Montenegro Immigration Law 2018

By , 07 Mar 2018, 09:17 AM Made in Montenegro
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On the 23rd of February 2018, a new Immigration Law came to force in Montenegro.

1. Temporary residence

New purposes for temporary residence

There have been two new additions for applying for a temporary residence permit:

- volunteer work within the European Voluntary Service

- stateless persons

Extending temporary residence 

A foreigner – self-employed businessperson or an executive director of a Montenegrin company, where they are the sole owner or have more than 51% shares, can extend their temporary residence permission without any breaks while fulfilling all legal conditions. In the previous version of the Immigration Law of 2015, this option was disabled. Because the law of provisions regarding permanent residence obliges you to have five years of continuous temporary residence permits, the foreigners in the categories above have a chance to apply for a permanent residence.

Temporary residence for members of a yacht crew and yacht owners 

According to the new Immigration Law and the Amendments to the Law on Yachts of 2016, members of a yacht crew and yacht owners, who have signed an agreement with any of the marinas in Montenegro for more than 90 days, can apply for temporary residence permission in Montenegro and be absent from Montenegro for more than 90 days without any penalty. 

2. Permanent residence

In the previous law from 2015, there was a provision that property owners could not apply for permanent residence, and they could only extend temporary residence each year. In the new Law of 2018, this provision has been deleted. There has not been an announcement of any new provisions about permanent resident permits for property owners.

Also, the provision that foreigners who have a temporary residence in Montenegro for education purposes cannot receive permanent residence has been removed. The new law allows applying for a permanent residence for those who had a temporary residence for education before. In the case of education, only half of the time spent in Montenegro is calculated. This means that five years of studying is calculated as 2.5 years only, and an applicant needs to have more than 2.5 years with a temporary residence to apply for a permanent residence.

3. Family members 

The autonomous residence permit (called atonomni boravak) for family members has been added. Foreigners married to a Montenegrin can extend the residence permit in the case of divorce after three years, or the death of a Montenegrin husband/wife.  The residence permit can also be extended to an adult child who had a continuous permit in the previous three years. 

4. Right to work

The right to work is given not only to family members married to a Montenegrin, or a foreigner with a permanent residence permission, as it was in the previous version of the Law, but also to those married to a foreigner who possess temporary residence permission for scientific purposes or for work within a foreign company which has its representative office in Montenegro.

The right to work is given to students as well.

5. Conditions for EU passports

The new Immigration Law contains many provisions for EU citizens or those who have permanent residency in the EU, but all of these provisions will come into force after Montenegro becomes a member of EU.

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