For almost two decades, Montenegro has been one of the most popular countries for Russians to move to permanent residence. As of 2022, the number of Russian citizens who have settled here has reached six thousand, and there are several times more owners of “vacation real estate”. And as practice shows, their choice in favor of this Balkan state is mainly influenced by a combination of the following factors.
Climate and ecology
Despite its small size, the territory of Montenegro “accommodates” three zones with different climates: subalpine in the north, where snow falls in winter not only at ski resorts, continental in the center of the country and Mediterranean in the south. In cities such as Budva, Bar, Ulcinj, located on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, which is distinguished by its transparency, you can sunbathe and swim even in December.
In Montenegro, there are almost completely no hazardous industries, thanks to which in many regions of the country nature has been preserved almost in its original form. First of all, these are the Durmitor National Park, the Bay of Kotor, Lake Skadar, the Tara River gorge (the deepest in Europe and the second in the world), relict forests of Biograd Mountain and numerous picturesque bays.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Montenegro could be reached in three hours by direct flight from Moscow; Now there are various options with transfers in Belgrade or Istanbul. Not only its citizens and residents can enter the country, but also ordinary tourists who have a vaccination certificate (regardless of the vaccine manufacturer), a negative PCR test or a certificate of the presence of antibodies.
Montenegro has a well-developed bus service, so crossing it in all main directions will not be difficult. In turn, having a valid Schengen visa opened the way to Croatia, Albania and Italy.
Standard of living
Prices for basic food products, goods and services are significantly lower than in most European countries, if you do not take into account the seaside resorts. However, with the average income of residents of Moscow, St. Petersburg and a number of other large cities in Russia, Montenegro can afford much more than in their homeland.
Real estate prices in Montenegro are also more affordable than in many countries that are popular with Russian investors. And this statement is true not only for budget options for a “second home”, but also in relation to luxury housing.
Similarities of languages and lifestyle
It is not uncommon for adaptation to a new place to be delayed and complicated due to the language barrier, but in the case of Montenegro this problem does not exist. Due to the fact that tourism is a priority sector of the economy, and the share of guests from Russia has always been very impressive, many local residents speak either Russian or English. However, in order to begin to understand the Montenegrin language, it will take quite a bit of time.
Almost all foreigners who stay in Montenegro for a long time note a calm and measured rhythm of life, completely devoid of any rush. The friendliness and openness of Montenegrins, who do not show the slightest signs of aggression in communication, as well as the absence of any serious crime, also speak in favor of this country.
Possibility of obtaining residence permit and citizenship
Compared to Spain, Greece, Portugal, not to mention other EU states where Russians prefer to move, obtaining a residence permit in Montenegro is much easier. For this there are no restrictions on the cost of real estate and its location; You can request a residence permit for the whole family based on the mere fact of purchasing a home.
Since 2019, the state program “Citizenship in exchange for investments” has been operating in Montenegro, the amount of which varies between 350-550 thousand euros depending on the region. While a Montenegrin passport does not provide visa-free entry into the Schengen countries, the country has already set a course for joining the EU, which is expected in the second half of the decade. You can read information about the extension of this program to 2022 by following the link.
Starting a business and taxation
Due to the transition of many companies to remote work, Montenegro has become attractive to “digital nomads” and entrepreneurs whose business is not tied to any specific location. Registering a company in Montenegro is easier, faster and cheaper than in the vast majority of European countries, after which you don’t have to conduct active business, limiting yourself to submitting financial statements and paying taxes.
Taxes on personal income, capital gains, and dividends are significantly lower than the European average, and the corporate tax rate is only 9%. The liberal tax system also attracts yacht owners to Montenegro, for whom all conditions have been created here.