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Comparison between Montenegro and North Macedonia CBI program
Not so long ago, Eastern Europe was not one of the first options that came to mind when talking about citizenship by investment programs. But that all changed a couple of years ago when Montenegro inaugurated what is now one of the best programs for getting a European passport and a profitable investment. Now Northern Macedonia is joining the party with a new CBI program to promote foreign investment in this southeastern European country.
Everything seems to indicate that the Balkan area is going to become a new investment hub within Europe, but there is still some time to go before this scenario can be consolidated.
The question now is, which is the best citizenship by investment program in the Balkan region? Montenegro has been in the limelight for a couple of years now, but North Macedonia wants to position itself quickly as an ideal place to invest.
This is what we will discuss in this article. So if you were thinking about evaluating investment options to obtain second citizenship in Europe, read on to have the information to make the right decision.
Macedonia's New CBI Program
North Macedonia recently launched its new citizenship by investment program to give a boost to foreign investment in the country.
This southeastern European country has been developing since the dissolution of the Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Since then, it has been trying to strengthen its economy and influence in the region and disassociate itself from its socialist past.
North Macedonia currently has a GDP of $33bn, and most of its infrastructure and economic development is in its capital, Skopje. This city is home to just over two million people.
This Is What Macedonia Brings To The Table With Its New CBI Program:
- Possibility of entering the European Union at some point.
- No residency requirements to participate in its CBI program.
- It is a relatively low-tax country
- Access to U.S. E-2 visa
- Several investment options, includin
- Donation to the government
- Direct investment
- Purchase of securities or shares
At first glance, the Macedonian program looks like a worthy contender to the already established Montenegrin CBI program, which has been running for a couple of years now and has proven its worth. Let's look in detail at what Montenegro offers investors:
- There are also no residency requirements to participate in the CBI program.
- Access to the U.S. E-2 visa
- The Best investment returns to the real estate market in the region.
- Montenegro will join the European Union in 2025.
- Political and economic stability, not to mention the fact that Montenegro has the most powerful tourist market in the entire region.
Head to head; the two programs seem to be in similar positions. But there is one determining factor that makes us opt for the Montenegrin program: its entry prices.
In Europe, there is simply no option that can match the advantages of the Montenegrin program and still maintain entry prices starting at 250,000 euros. But we will see this in more detail.
Why Montenegro? Five Reasons To Choose The Montenegrin Program Over The North Macedonian Program
The Best Real Estate ROI in Europe
The European real estate market has not had it easy in recent years. It was already a problem to make real estate profitable after the financial crisis that started in 2008. And what little recovery we managed to see in some countries of the bloc languished again in the face of another disaster, this time the coronavirus pandemic.
However, the story in Montenegro is very different. Unlike in Central Europe, real estate investments in this Balkan country produce desirable investment returns because the supply and demand for luxury properties have remained balanced. In addition, the growing tourism sector revalues properties over time in a stable manner.
Buying a luxury property in Montenegro is a frankly affordable investment because prices in this country have not yet been distorted, which is why several investors from all over the world have started buying luxury properties in the North and south of Montenegro to take advantage of the current condition of its economy.
Certainty Of Entry Into The European Union
When people apply for a European CBI, one of the most common expectations is to become a citizen of the European Union in order to be able to invest without any limitations in other countries of the continent. Unfortunately, that is also what makes golden visas and citizenship by investment programs in the EU so expensive and regulated.
Montenegro solves that problem for investors because it is known that in 2025 this small Balkan country will formally join the European Union.
Entry Fees That Make Other Programs in Europe Look Like a Bad Investment
Montenegro's citizenship by investment program requires an investment in luxury tourism real estate with prices starting at 250,000 euros, which is shockingly low for what we are used to seeing in Europe when it comes to luxury real estate investments in CBI programs.
Fiscal Simplicity and Sustained Economic Growth
For the past few years, Montenegro has maintained its economic growth and infrastructure development at a healthy pace. Even after the worst of the pandemic has passed, economic forecasts for tourism activity and real estate development have positive indicators for the coming years.
That sustained economic growth has been paired with an ultra-simplified tax system that gives no investor headaches. In addition to the simplicity with which the Montenegrin tax system works, we have to say that taxes there are, on average, twice less than in the countries of the European Union.
The Tourism Market Does Not Stand Still
Unlike Northern Macedonia, Montenegro no longer has much to prove to the world to claim its place as the most attractive jurisdiction in the Balkans.
Montenegro has grown steadily, and today it is the region's tourism powerhouse not only in winter tourism but also during the rest of the year.
Investment in infrastructure brings in more tourists each year, and tourist visitation boosts the economy again. It is a virtuous circle that Montenegrins have managed to keep intact in order to grow and rival some of the most established economies in Europe.
Want to know more about Montenegro's advantages over European Union countries? Check out our country focus on Montenegro here.
North Macedonia's CBI Program Is Cheaper, But Montenegro's Is More Secure And Cost-Effective
The comparison that always manages to garner the most eyeballs is that of the prices of migration programs. In this case, the government of North Macedonia has proposed an entry fee for investors who want to get their passports, which in this case is 200,000 euros only.
The number alone may catch the attention of more than one investor, but there is an extra element to consider: it cannot be invested in real estate. For the North Macedonian CBI program, valid investments are directly in startups, technology development, public-private partnerships, and projects aimed at environmental conservation. All are riskier options than investing in property.
While in North Macedonia, obtaining a European passport may come at a price that many are willing to pay, in Montenegro, it is virtually free if you know how to invest wisely.
Entry prices for Montenegrin real estate projects start at 250,000 euros. The country's CBI program only contemplates luxury real estate projects supported by the Balkan country's growing tourism activity.
The best part? Five years after obtaining your passport, you can resell your property and recover your investment; only now will you have a passport that will allow you to invest without limitations in the rest of Europe. All this while you also enjoy the money you earned with the rent of your luxury property.
You can see in detail the necessary requirements to obtain the Montenegrin passport in our article about it!
Montenegro's Program Is Superior, But There Is Not Much Time Left To Take Advantage Of It.
It is impossible to escape the cliché that all good things must come to an end. This applies even to citizenship-by-investment programs such as Montenegro.
Originally, the Montenegrin government had opened applications for passport and citizenship by investment for a period of only three years. That was at the beginning of 2019, so with the beginning of 2022, Montenegro's citizenship by investment program will close its doors for good.
You may be wondering if you have any chance of beating the clock and getting Montenegrin citizenship before the program closes for good, and the answer is going to depend a lot on who is with you during your application process.
Obtaining the Montenegrin passport is something that takes between 3 and 6 months because of its CBI program, but that is only if you have the help of a qualified legal team for the task. The most difficult part of the whole process is that all the paperwork must be done in Montenegrin language, so a misstep with the language would mean wasting time, which does not exist.
If you start your application now accompanied by a good team of experts, you can most likely be enjoying your investment and your new passport before the end of December this year.
There are only a handful of legal teams that can help you go through the entire process of getting your Montenegrin passport on time, and our professionals are on one of those teams.
Who Are We, And What Can We Do For You?
For the past three decades, we at Mundo and NTL have set ourselves the task of working for investors, family offices, and high net worth individuals from around the world to identify and execute the best migration and investment strategies. All to help them protect their wealth and to safeguard their security away from authoritarian governments.
Our work is about helping people achieve new levels of economic and personal freedom in a world where it is increasingly common for governments to control what we can do and dispose of our money as if it were their own.
Our work has led us to connect a network of immigration and investment legal experts to help our clients.
That network of experts now reaches as far as Montenegro, making us one of the few teams in the world capable of accompanying investors through the entire process of obtaining Montenegrin citizenship.
The opportunity to invest in the jewel of the Balkans will not remain open for long, so if you want to take advantage of it, the time is now.
If you want to start your application to the Montenegro CBI program, contact us! Our team will contact you right away to get started!
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