Montenegro in Nomad Economy

By , 01 Mar 2018, 18:22 PM Lifestyle

Residence Permits Policy in Montenegro. For whom should it be tailor-made, Nomad Capitalists or Digital Nomads?

When Jared Diamond wrote about the biggest reasons for the development gap between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, both sharing the island of Hispaniola, he mentioned openness and isolationism as one of the main reasons why the Dominican Republic developed and Haiti became the most impoverished country in the Western Hemisphere.

That is why Marat Guelman is right when he says that one of the leading preconditions that will make Montenegro „become a country instead of the land it is" is a larger population. With just above 600.000 citizens, it is impossible to build a functional modern society when you have a situation where almost everyone is everyone's cousin. What we shouldn't do at all costs is follow the example of Croatia and Serbia, where government financed campaigns tell women they should stay at home and produce more pure genetic material. This is not only fascist but ineffective since no similar campaign ever made results. Montenegro should think of an easier approach.

Digital Nomads

Some time ago, a new trend arose among freelance professionals. Some of them decided to change the urban environment for places with a warmer climate. Mainly Southern Europe or Asia.

The remote work, however, like any other question, has its supporters and opponents. The latter - most often, conservative people - believe that any work out of office is ineffective. The more advanced generation already knows for sure: communication in the smoking room can be replaced by chats, brainstorming sessions by Skype or other video communication. The general project is easy to edit in Google documents or other applications for teamwork and to get a salary; one does not need to stand in line in the accounting department or bank. Those who often stay at home instead of the office are potential digital nomads since many places can offer you a less expensive, cosier life with the same salary you earn. What is certain is that the Digital Nomads are not to be confused with downshifters, because they are the people eager to work, but are in search of an environment that makes them more productive.

Montenegro is a country with a pleasant climate, natural beauty and, ultimately, is a comfortable place to live. There are people of many free professions who are already moving here - designers, developers, consultants, and architects - and these are the people who are self-employed and would like to live in Montenegro without the desire to acquire Montenegrin citizenship. They merely want to work here or work from here, and what is essential for us, is that they spend their money in Montenegro.

Nomad Capitalists

Nomad Capitalist is the term coined by Andrew Henderson, a young American born entrepreneur, who founded the company with the same name.

In the era of the Internet and the interconnected world, Andrew calls the Nomad Capitalist an entrepreneur willing to adapt to changes, and ready to "go where he's treated best". Administrative efficiency, loose tax policies, and the possibility to easily acquire economic citizenship are the signs of proper treatment according to Henderson.

Citizen or Resident

Economic citizenship as an idea in Montenegro was met with great public distrust in the country. The idea was to invest about half a million euro in Montenegro to get a Montenegrin passport. This idea had critics not only in our public but also the partners from the European Union, who called the plan premature.

Economic citizenship might seem discriminatory, but generally, it is not a bad idea. It is good that Montenegro is attracting investors this way, but investors sooner or later might express a demand for a skilled staff.

A young designer with the minimum net income of a couple of tens of thousands euro per year cannot legally reside in Montenegro, apart from a 90-day period throughout half a year - or a tourist stay. All other options the law allows (family, company opening, job search in Montenegro, etc.) are quite complicated, and lead people to unnecessarily lose time and resources.

It would be great if Montenegro recognises the need for the liberalisation of the rules of residence for the wealthy, but also for the talented. It’s all about allowing people to earn money here and to spend here their earnings earned elsewhere.

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