South Africans look to the Balkans for property and easy access to Europe
Montenegro to join the Schengen area by 2025, says Sable International
Montenegro, a tiny country situated on the Balkan coast, has become a popular tourism destination in recent years, and is fast being recognised as a place for foreigners to invest in property. South Africans looking for offshore investments linked to citizenship, visa-free travel and possible access to an EU passport, are seeing Montenegro as an option.
Sable International director Andrew Rissik says that the country has embarked on programmes to attract foreign investment that are proving attractive to South Africans.
Having shaken off its Eastern Bloc legacy, Montenegro has embarked on a programme to attract wealth and investment to the country. The country has launched a citizenship-by-investment programme to encourage and facilitate foreign direct investment, offering a Montenegrin passport and associated citizenship to investors that make a defined economic contribution to the country.
“South Africans keen to establish a base in Europe are opting for the Montenegro economic citizenship programme, which allows foreigners to be granted the citizenship of Montenegro through a designated investment. The programme enables instant Montenegro citizenship and a passport within three months,” says Rissik.
The Montenegrin passport is ranked 42nd in the world with visa-free access to 123 countries including EU Schengen states, Russia, Turkey, Singapore and more. A visa is needed to travel to the UK, Canada, Australia and the US. It already allows free movement in EU countries and the Schengen area.
“Montenegro offers a low tax policy for established businesses and individuals, and property prices are still among the cheapest in Europe. This may change when they are included in the EU and we expect property values to rise,” says Rissik.
“Montenegro is incredibly beautiful, with an amazing coastline and an interesting culture. It’s becoming the new playground of wealthy global citizens and adventure travellers. Who knows, it could become the next Monte Carlo.”
* Area: 13.812 km²
* Population: 662,000
* Over 280 sunny days a year
* 295km of coastline
* 73km of beaches
* Highest peak: 2,525m
* Capital: Podgorica
* Mediterranean and continental climates
* Three-hour flight time from major European capitals
* Official language: Montenegrin
* Currency: Euro
For the Montenegro citizenship-by-investment programme, applicants are required to invest in approved real estate projects within the country.
“Depending on where the selected projects are, you have a choice of investment levels, where you can either invest a minimum of €250,000 (about R5m) in government-approved development projects inland, or €450,000 (about R9m) into the more developed southern coastal region and Podgorica,” says Rissik.
“In addition, you must contribute €100,000 (about R2m) in the form of a government fund donation. This is invested in a fund for the less developed areas of Montenegro.”
A development in the Unesco-protected Bay of Kotor is capturing SA investors’ attention. Porto Montenegro combines a spectacular lifestyle destination with a world-class, full-service marina and luxury residential village offering premium real estate for sale and rental. The superyacht marina offers investors Montenegrin citizenship, and is a compelling real estate investment.
The latest phase of the development, Boka Place, was designed as a direct response to the needs of foreign buyers. It provides an affordable alternative for buyers who want to be part of the Porto Montenegro community without having to compromise on the quality of accommodation or amenities available.
“We launched Boka Place in SA two weeks ago and the interest has been exceptional, with several investors already proceeding with the investment as well as the citizenship programme,” says Rissik.
This article was paid for by Sable International.
Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments?
Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.