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Montenegro Second Passport Interview with Laszlo Kiss
One of the services we've delivered for the last two decades in Mundo with NTL is second passports. Since the first program in Saint Kitts and Nevis started, we've been one of the top providers. CBI programs have developed and now they're not limited to a handful of small Caribbean and Pacific Islands. Malta and Cyprus are two of the long-established programs that have seen unparalleled success because they are EU members.
However, a couple of years ago, a new kid on the block was announced: Montenegro, a prospective member of the EU.
We've received plenty of questions because it's the newest program, and it's initially limited for three years.
And to answer them, we've brought Laszlo Kiss. Laszlo is the Managing Director of Discus Holdings Ltd, one of the three government-authorized providers of the CBI program in Montenegro. We've interviewed him asking him some of the most common questions our clients usually have about Montenegro CBI.
Dear Laszlo, thank you for your kindness in taking some of your precious time to answer a few questions for our clients at Mundo. The Montenegro CBI program is the latest one to join the group. Will it be successful?
The Montenegro Citizenship by Investment Program will become successful very quickly. The legislators took their time to create the rules, which satisfied the leadership of the European Union and brings the most profit for the country and attracts wealthy foreigners to give a boost to the economy.
What advantages can the program offer for investors, especially Latin American investors?
Montenegro is joining the European Union soon. Still, the cost to obtain citizenship is more affordable compared to the EU passport schemes. Also, Montenegro is one of the best locations for investment in Europe.
According to the Montenegrin Investment Promotion Agency, the essential drives to start business activities in Montenegro are the followings:
- Dynamic economic growth and development
- Multi-ethnic harmony and political stability
- Strategic geographic position, with exit to the sea
- Qualified human resources
- Favorable tax climate (corporate tax 9%)
- Pro-business Government
- Treatment of foreign and domestic investors on the same basis
- Hub for regional business
- Easy business start-up
- Young population with multilingual talent.
Why choose Montenegro and not Malta or Cyprus, who are already EU members, or one of the Caribbean and Pacific Islands that offer a CBI program?
The cost of the Montenegrin Citizenship by Investment Program can be less than one-fifth of the Maltese Program and less than one-eighth of the Cypriot scheme. Moreover, Cyprus is a Member of the European Union but not a Member state of the Schengen Agreement. Cypriot citizens can travel in the EU with their passport, as the Montenegrin passport holders, there is no difference.
Malta, Cyprus, Vanuatu and the Caribbean paradise islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Lucia and Grenada are all well-known locations for luxury holidays. Meanwhile, Montenegro is an unknown, almost hidden gem. Neighboring Croatia is fully filled with investors, and prices are continually increasing, while in Montenegro, you can reach profit and still enjoy the quality of life, without the hordes of mass tourism.
Does the program have a set number of passports it will provide and a time limit?
The Montenegrin program runs for only three years, offering investment citizenship to 2000 foreign investors, and it will end 31 December 2021.
Does the CBI program offer any particular tax advantages for those who get a positive response?
Montenegro is one of the last low-tax jurisdictions in Europe. The personal income tax is 9-11%, capital gains tax is 9%, and there are no taxes on inheritance and gifts. Moreover, payments from life and property insurances are also tax-exempt. For foreign investors, it is vital to know that the 9% corporate income tax is among the lowest in European and the 7-17% VAT is also more than attractive. Non-resident citizens must pay tax only on their locally-sourced income.
What other investment opportunities does the country have? What would you say to convince someone to invest in Montenegro?
Montenegro is the last European El Dorado for tourism investment.
The almost mini-state is one of the fastest-growing and dynamic tourist destinations next to the European Union with well over two million arrivals in 2018, an increase of 10.2% on an annual basis.
Does the source of wealth need to be disclosed? What other requirements must be considered?
Yes, the applicants "must prove the lawful origin of the funds used to invest" Moreover, the applicants cannot be subject to individual sanctions or banned from entry to the EU, USA, UK, or Canada. They must submit a clean police certificate and can't have open legal cases against them. Likewise, they must have an impeccable personal and business reputation, as well as credit history, and the investor must be in good health.
What are the investment possibilities to apply to the program? Are there any additional contributions?
The Montenegro Citizenship by Investment Program allows the applicants to invest in real estate. There are two options:
- Purchase real estate in the northern part of the country for €250,000
- Purchase real estate in the southern part of Montenegro or the capital city of Podgorica for 450,000 EUR
Under both options, the investor must also contribute to the state 100,000 EUR.
Can I invest in any project I like or only in government-approved projects?
The program includes only real estate investments qualified and approved by the government.
How many projects have the Montenegrin government approved so far? Do you provide guidance on this part of the process? Do you have direct access to any of them?
We are among the only three official agents of the Montenegro Citizenship by Investment Program. Naturally, it means that we can offer the lowest price, the best and fastest information, and we can guide our client to visit all investment projects to be able to make the right decision. You don't have to cut through a long chain of agents to arrive at the source.
Now, the following real estate projects are approved by the government, but more and more projects are qualifying for the strict guidelines of the regulations.
- Condo Hotel," Kolasin Resort & Spa", Kolasin
- Condo Hotel," Breza", Kolasin
- Hotel," Kraljicina plaza", Milocer – Budva
- Hotel," Durmitor Hotel & Villas", Zabljak
What is the mandatory investment term? Can the real estate be rented out during that term or only after it?
Each development is different, so you should ask for the detailed information of every case. Legally the purchased property can be rented out.
What are the main fees that must be paid to apply and to get the passport?
Government Due diligence fees:
Primary applicant: €7,000
Dependent (up to 4): €10,000
Dependent (after the 4.): €1,500
There is also a €15,000 government application fee for the primary applicant plus €10,000 for each family member plus €50,000 after the fourth family member.
Which dependents can be included in the application?
- Primary investor
- His or her spouse
- Dependent children without age restriction
- Citizenship is also guaranteed for the next generations.
Could you walk us through the process? Does the applicant need to live in Montenegro during the process? When does he have to be physically present?
The applicants do not have to live in Montenegro, but they must be personally present during the process to take their biometric data – but it is only at the end of the whole procedure.
The process is straightforward:
- Signing the agreement and making a preliminary due diligence check
- Payment of professional and legal fees
- Document collection
- Payment of government fees
- Investment project selection and signing the investment documentation
- Payment of investment and contribution into an escrow account
- Submission of the necessary documents and application for citizenship
- Getting the affirmative decision and the certificate of naturalization
- Taking of biometric data in Montenegro
- Receiving the passport
How much time does the process take?
Answer: Montenegro offers the fastest European passport through an investment scheme; the process takes approximately three months only.
Is Discus Holdings a government-licensed service provider in Montenegro?
Naturally, Discus Holdings was among the first immigration and investment consultancies to obtain a license from the government.
What do you offer over other providers in Montenegro? Why should a client pick Discus Holdings?
Most of our competitors entered the citizenship and residency by investment sector only a couple of years ago. Meanwhile, our colleagues have more than 25 years of experience. Even before the trend of obtaining second citizenship started, we have already been one of the leading European company forming and tax planning service providers in Central Europe. We have the contacts, and we are official agents of the programs. We take the success of your application personally. Ask for a free consultation to check the quality of our service.
Do you want the expertise of Discus Holdings? Contact us right now!
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