Montenegro’s economic citizenship program is still on hold. The program was announced last August and put on indefinite hold in November. While it was in operation, renowned mobile phone mogul and ex-Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra received Montenegrin citizenship.
St. Kitts and Nevis, the Commonwealth of Dominica, and Austria have similar citizenship programs. Lithuania and Slovakia have citizenship programs where the residency requirement may be waived for approved investors. The United States has a Green Card Through Investment program which grants investors permanent residence. Great Britain is considering implementing a plan similar to the current U.S. system. The Dominican Republic, Paraguay, and Uruguay have citizenship programs which require only a short term of residence.
The program was rumored to have been placed on hold due to pressure from the European Union, although no official pressure was made public. In addition, the program remains legally authorized under Article 12 of the Citizenship Act of 2008:
“An adult person may be granted Montenegrin citizenship if he or she does not fulfill the requirements referred to in Article 8 of this Law if it would be in the scientific, economic, cultural, sport, national, or other interest of Montenegro”.
A well-designed citizenship program would function to attract investors and badly needed investment capital to Montenegro. The program would work exceptionally well to attract American investors who would benefit most from escaping the United States oppressive taxation of expats. It would be a shame if concerns over EU integration prevented Montenegro from taking advantage of this opportunity to obtain foreign investment which would create significant benefits for it’s economy.