The digital nomad visa for Montenegro, also known as the Program for Attracting Digital Nomads in Montenegro, is an excellent opportunity for remote workers to enjoy the benefits of living and working in this beautiful country.
Although the formal launch and application process have not yet occurred, it is anticipated to be fully implemented in 2023. The visa promises favorable remote working opportunities in terms of length of stay, tax, and much more.
This article will provide an overview of the benefits, living and working options, requirements, and other essential details related to Montenegro’s digital nomad visa.
What Is a Digital Nomad Visa?
A digital nomad visa is a special type of visa designed for remote workers who want to live and work in a country while maintaining their employment or contracts with companies outside that country.
Variations of this visa include Remote Work Visa, Nomad Visa, and location-independent visa. Digital nomads have been around for years but have, since the pandemic, gained popularity.
The Benefits of a Montenegrin Digital Nomad Visa
While still being planned, the visa comes with promising advantages ideal for those who want to remain flexible while at the same time enjoying the benefits of having their temporary residence in Montenegro.
The digital nomad visa is a great way for those who are looking to live in Montenegro short term. If you are looking to establish yourself longer-term, the Montenegro Golden Visa is a good opportunity to pursue.
Stay for a While!
One of the most significant benefits of the visa is the opportunity for an extended stay. The visa allows you to live and work in Montenegro for two years, with the option to renew it for another two years.
After four years, you will need to spend six months outside the country before applying again. This extended duration provides you with the stability and flexibility to explore the country and truly immerse yourself in its culture.
A Safe Place To Live
Montenegro is known for its low crime rate, making it a safe destination for digital nomads and travelers alike.
This sense of security allows you to focus on your work and personal life without constantly worrying about your safety. Here are some aspects of safety in Montenegro:
- Safety for solo travelers and women: Montenegro is generally safe for women due to the low crime rates. Petty crimes such as pickpocketing still occur in tourist areas but are rare.
- Road safety has improved over the years, but some roads can still be narrow, winding, or poorly maintained, especially in rural areas.
- Montenegro’s public healthcare system has hospitals and clinics in major cities. However, medical staff may not always speak English. Private healthcare is widely available, and it is advisable to have good travel insurance during your travels as a digital nomad.
The general taxes in Montenegro are low compared to Western Europe and may offer advantages for remote workers.
However, it’s essential to note that specific tax benefits for digital nomads, such as exemptions or reduced tax rates, are still under discussion.
Additionally, your tax situation will also depend on your home country’s tax laws and applicable tax treaties.
Cost of Living
Living in Montenegro, you can enjoy a relatively low cost of living compared to many Western European countries.
This is ideal for those who seek to get the most value for their money while at the same time enjoying a higher standard of living.
Montenegro boasts fast, reliable, and affordable internet connections, including mobile internet. Utilities, such as electricity and water, are generally inexpensive, contributing to the country’s low cost of living.
Living Near Water, Mountains, or Both?
Finding the best place to live in Montenegro depends on your preferences:
- Coastal areas like Tivat or Kotor provide access to beautiful beaches and stunning sea views, making them perfect for those who love water sports or sunbathing.
- Cities like Podgorica and Budva offer a more urban experience, with plenty of restaurants, bars, and entertainment options.
- Mountain towns like Kolasin and Zabljak are ideal for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, offering hiking, skiing, and other adventure sports opportunities.
Coworking Spaces in Montenegro
As the digital nomad community grows in Montenegro, coworking spaces have started to pop up in cities and towns across the country:
- Podgorica, the capital city of Montenegro, has several coworking spaces, such as Mtel Digitalna Fabrika, which provides a modern and comfortable environment with high-speed internet and meeting rooms.
- Budva offers a few coworking spaces for digital nomads, including ITbranch.house coworking and AdriaHub coworking space, both of which provide modern facilities and networking opportunities.
- Kotor is home to a few coworking options, such as Kotor Nest Coliving, which provides a comfortable environment and rooms right in Kotor Bay.
- Tivat features a coworking space called Sedam Petaka Coworking, providing good facilities, conference rooms, and networking events.
These spaces provide a comfortable and productive environment for remote work, with access to amenities such as high-speed internet, meeting rooms, and networking events.
Montenegro’s expat community has seen steady growth in recent years, with people from various countries and backgrounds choosing to call this beautiful country home.
Expats often gravitate towards cities such as Podgorica, the capital, and popular coastal towns like Kotor and Budva. In these areas, you can find vibrant expat communities that offer a sense of camaraderie and support for newcomers.
Being an expat can be lonely at times, especially when the initial hype of moving to a new place has settled down and the day-to-day sets in.
You first start feeling at home in a new place when you have a trusted community of open-minded individuals around you.
If you are considering moving to Montenegro, I recommend that you join online forums and communities such as InterNations to connect with fellow expats.
Montenegro’s Digital Nomad Visa Requirements
Initially outlined, the Montenegro digital nomad visa requirements are:
- have a valid passport with at least six months of remaining validity,
- provide proof of travel insurance covering your trip to and stay in Montenegro,
- show proof of income (specific amount not yet available),
- have a return or onward ticket,
- provide a valid email address,
- show proof of accommodation in Montenegro, such as a rental agreement or lease, and
- prove employment or a contract with a company outside of Montenegro.
The processing time for the visa is not yet public. Additionally, these requirements can be subject to change when the official program is released, so stay tuned for more news.
What You Can’t Get With the Digital Nomad Visa
While the visa provides several benefits for remote workers, it does have limitations compared to temporary residency in Montenegro.
Here are some key differences that can only be attained through temporary residency:
- While on the visa, you can only work remotely for a company based outside of Montenegro, but with temporary residency, you have more opportunities to work with local companies.
- If you have a family or dependents, temporary residency might be a better option, as it typically includes provisions for family reunification, allowing your spouse and children to join you in Montenegro.
- You will have a time limit (usually two years, renewable for another two years with a six-month break). Temporary residency permits can have a longer duration, which can be beneficial if you plan to stay in Montenegro for an extended period.
- There is no indication that the digital nomad visa provides a direct pathway to permanent residency. In contrast, temporary residency can lead to permanent residency after a certain period of continuous residence, and eventually, you can apply for Montenegrin citizenship.
- You may have limited access to social benefits, such as public healthcare, education, and social security. With temporary residency, you are more likely to be eligible for these benefits.
While the digital nomad visa comes with its unique benefits, a residency permit can be a better option if you are looking towards permanent residency and citizenship.
Other Residency Options
There are two ways for you to acquire a Montenegrin residency permit today:
- Residency through the purchase of real-estate. This is the popular choice for those who want to invest in a growing market and make Montenegro their permanent home for the long term.
- Residency through company formation. Ideal for those who want the flexibility to travel and do business.
Both options have a straightforward application process and can be completed in a few weeks.
Montenegro’s digital nomad visa is an attractive option for remote workers who want to experience living in a beautiful, safe, and affordable country.
While the application process for the visa has not yet been finalized, it is worth keeping an eye the Government’s updates.
If you are eager to move, consider exploring other residency options in Montenegro, such as residency through real estate or incorporation.
If you need assistance planning your relocation or have any other questions feel free to reach out to me.