Montenegro Digital Nomad Visa: Requirements and Application Process

The Southeast European country of Montenegro has emerged as an enticing destination for digital nomads in recent years by embracing the global trend of remote work and digital nomadism.

The Montenegro Digital Nomad Visa, officially known as the “Program for Attracting Digital Nomads in Montenegro,” was launched in December 2021, with the aim of attracting remote workers reside and work remotely in Montenegro. The program is set to last until 2025​​.

The program offers a stay duration of two years and renewable for another two years, require applicants of a minimum income requirement of €1,350 per month for the last 12 months, and health insurance coverage.

In this article, we’ll delve into the essential features of the visa – from eligibility criteria and application process to the cost of living adjustments and amazing spots in Montenegro for digital nomads.

aerial view of a community with houses with green hill and mountain in the background

What is the Montenegro Digital Nomad Visa?

The Montenegro Digital Nomad Visa, formally recognized as the “Program for Attracting Digital Nomads in Montenegro,” is a strategic initiative launched by the Montenegrin government in December 2021.

This program is designed specifically for remote workers and digital nomads from outside the European Union, providing them the opportunity to live and work in Montenegro while enjoying its unique cultural and natural landscapes.

Set to run until 2025, the program aligns with the global trend of remote work, offering a blend of work-life balance in a picturesque setting​​.

  • Duration: The visa allows digital nomads to stay and work in Montenegro for up to two years, with the possibility of renewal for another two years. However, after a continuous four-year period, applicants must leave the country for six months before they can reapply​​.
  • Income Requirement: Applicants must prove a minimum income of €1,350 per month over the previous 12 months to support themselves during their stay in Montenegro​​.
  • Internet Connectivity: Montenegro boasts an excellent internet infrastructure, with average speeds of 87.87 Mbps, ensuring reliable connectivity for remote work​​.
  • Safety: The country is highlighted for its low crime rate, making it a safe destination for digital nomads and travelers​​.
  • Application Process: The application process can be initiated online, where available, or at the nearest Montenegrin embassy. It involves submitting a valid passport, proof of employment or business activities outside of Montenegro, sufficient funds, international health insurance, a criminal record certificate, and proof of accommodation in Montenegro​​.
  • Tax Considerations: While Montenegro is not a tax haven, it offers competitive tax rates. Digital nomads should be aware of their tax obligations, especially if they stay for more than 183 days in a calendar year, potentially qualifying them as tax residents​​.

The Benefits of the Montenegro Digital Nomad Visa

Image text showing benefits of The Montenegro Digital Nomad Visa

The “Program for Attracting Digital Nomads in Montenegro,” presents a variety of benefits and intriguing facets that make it an appealing option for digital nomads considering Montenegro as their next remote work destination. Here are the key details and benefits that highlight its allure:

  • Extended Stay: The visa allows digital nomads to live and work in Montenegro for an initial period of up to two years, with the possibility of renewal for another two years. This extended stay option is perfect for those looking to immerse themselves in the local culture and explore the country in depth​​.
  • Robust Internet Connectivity: With an average internet speed of 87.87 Mbps and affordable mobile internet plans offering up to 500GB for as little as 10-15 EUR per month, Montenegro ensures that digital nomads have the reliable connectivity they need to work efficiently​​​​.
  • Safety: Montenegro’s low crime rate makes it a safe choice for digital nomads. Whether strolling through the streets day or night, the sense of security is a significant draw​​.
  • Affordability: The cost of living in Montenegro is relatively low compared to many Western European countries. Apartment rentals can range from €170 to €250 per month, with monthly utility costs under €100, making it financially attractive for nomads on various budgets​​.
  • Scenic Beauty and Leisure Activities: The country offers an abundance of natural beauty, from over 115 beaches to the majestic Bay of Kotor and the historical charm of Kotor Old Town. Digital nomads can enjoy leisure and adventure activities, enhancing their work-life balance​​​​.
  • Cultural Richness: Montenegro’s rich history and cultural diversity offer a unique backdrop for digital nomads. Engaging with local traditions, cuisine, and the community can enrich the experience of living and working in the country​​.
  • Digital Nomad Friendly Destinations: Popular locations for digital nomads within Montenegro include Kotor, known for its historic old town and scenic bay, and Budva, famous for its vibrant nightlife and beautiful beaches. These destinations offer a mix of natural beauty, historical sites, and modern amenities, making them perfect for remote work and leisure​​​​.
  • Taxation Insights: For digital nomads considering tax implications, Montenegro has favorable rates, with an income tax rate of 9% for salaries less than approximately €750 per month and 11% for higher incomes. This competitive taxation framework is beneficial for those planning an extended stay​​.

The Montenegro Digital Nomad Visa: Requirements, Application & Costs

Image text showing requirements for The Montenegro Digital Nomad Visa

When applying for the Program for Attracting Digital Nomads in Montenegro, applicants must meet specific criteria and provide a comprehensive set of documents.

Requirements

  • Age Requirements: There are no specific age requirements mentioned for the Montenegro Digital Nomad Visa in the sources. However, applicants should be of legal age and hold a valid passport.
  • Stay Duration: The visa allows for an initial stay of up to two years, with the possibility of renewal for another two years. After four years, a six-month period outside Montenegro is required before reapplying​​.
  • Proof of Sufficient Funds: Applicants must demonstrate the ability to support themselves during their stay with a minimum income requirement of €1,350 per month for the previous 12 months​​.
  • Valid Passport: Must be valid for at least 6 months beyond your intended stay in Montenegro​​.
  • Proof of Employment or Business Activity: Applicants need to provide a contract of employment or proof of company ownership outside Montenegro, ensuring that they are either employed or conduct business activities for companies registered outside of Montenegro​​.
  • Health Insurance: Valid international health insurance covering the entire duration of stay in Montenegro​​.
  • Criminal Record Certificate: A certificate from the applicant’s home country or the country of their last residence, confirming they have not been convicted of any criminal activities​​.
  • Proof of Accommodation: Applicants must submit a lease or rental agreement in Montenegro, demonstrating they have a place to stay during their visit​​.
  • Online Application: Complete the application form on the official Montenegro government website.
  • Document Submission: Submit the required documents either at the nearest Montenegrin embassy or consulate or via the online portal.
  • Processing Time: The processing time for the visa is usually around 30 days​​.

Application Process

Applying for the Montenegro Digital Nomad Visa, officially known as the “Program for Attracting Digital Nomads in Montenegro,” involves a series of steps that are generally processed both online and offline, where applicable.

Below is a guide to navigating the application process, from preparation to arrival in Montenegro. The exact process may evolve, so always verify details on the official Montenegro government website or through the nearest Montenegrin embassy or consulate.

Step 1. Eligibility Check

  • Ensure you meet the basic requirements, such as having a remote employment or business outside Montenegro, the financial means to support your stay, and a valid passport.

Step 2. Gather Required Documents:

  • Valid passport with at least 6 months of validity beyond your intended stay.
  • Proof of employment or business activities for a company registered outside Montenegro.
  • Proof of sufficient funds (minimum income requirement of €1,350 per month for the previous 12 months).
  • Valid international health insurance covering the entire stay.
  • Criminal Record Certificate from your home country or the country of your last residence.
  • Proof of accommodation in Montenegro (lease or rental agreement).

Step 3. Online Application Form:

  • Complete the application form available on the official Montenegro government website or secure one from the nearest Montenegrin embassy or consular office.

Step 4. Document Submission:

  • Submit the required documents either through the online portal provided during the application process or at the nearest Montenegrin embassy or consulate, depending on the specific instructions given at the time of applying.

Step 5. Application Fee Payment:

  • The application fee, approximately €67, is typically paid after submitting the online application or at the time of document submission. Be prepared for additional costs related to document translation and notarization. The precise timing of the fee payment may vary, so it’s important to follow the guidelines provided during the application process.

Step 6. Wait for Processing:

  • The usual processing time for the visa is around 30 days. Patience is key during this period as your application is reviewed.

Step 7. Visa Approval and Collection:

  • Once your visa is approved, you will be notified about how and where to collect it. This could be through the online system or require a visit to the embassy or consulate.

Step 8. Arrival in Montenegro:

  • With your Digital Nomad Visa, you can now enter Montenegro. Ensure you have all necessary documents for entry, including your visa and proof of accommodation.

Step 9. Registering Your Stay :

  • Upon arrival, it might be necessary to register your stay with the local authorities. Check the current regulations to see if this applies to digital nomad visa holders.

The application process is designed to be straightforward, catering to the needs of digital nomads and take note that the financial requirement is a critical part of the application, evidencing your ability to sustain your lifestyle in Montenegro without local employment.

Costs

  • Application Fee: The application fee for the Montenegro Digital Nomad Visa is approximately €67. This fee is paid as part of the application process and is essential for the processing of your visa​​.
  • Document Translation and Notarization: If your documents are not in Montenegrin or English, you might need to get them translated and notarized. The cost for translation and notarization can vary widely depending on the length of the document and the rates of the service provider. A rough estimate could be between €20 to €50 per document, but it’s wise to get quotes from certified translators for accurate pricing.
  • International Health Insurance: The cost of health insurance can vary depending on the coverage amount, the insurance company, and the duration of your stay. Expect to spend anywhere from €100 to €300 for comprehensive coverage for a year. It’s important to shop around and find a policy that meets the visa requirements.
  • Criminal Record Certificate: The cost for obtaining a criminal record certificate varies by country. In some cases, it might be free, while in others, there could be a nominal charge of about €10 to €50.
  • Proof of Accommodation: If you’re renting an apartment or booking a hotel as proof of accommodation, this cost can vary significantly based on location, season, and the type of accommodation. Monthly rentals can range from €170 to €250 for an apartment​​.

Payments for the application fee are typically made online through the official Montenegro government visa application portal or directly at the embassy or consulate. Payment methods can include credit cards, debit cards, and sometimes bank transfers.

Tips for Payment:

  • Always have a credit card handy, as it’s the most widely accepted payment method for most of the application-related expenses.
  • Keep receipts of all payments, as you might need to present proof of payment at different stages of the application process or for personal record-keeping.
  • Check with each service provider for their preferred payment method, especially for costs like document translation, notarization, and health insurance.

Be sure to budget for both the basic and incidental costs to ensure a smooth application process for the Montenegro Digital Nomad Visa.

castle near the body of water with mountain background

Cost of Living In Montenegro

Living in Montenegro offers a unique blend of Mediterranean charm and affordability, making it an attractive destination for digital nomads. Based on recent data, the cost of living in Montenegro can vary significantly depending on lifestyle choices, location, and personal spending habits.

Here’s a comprehensive overview based on current monetary values in both local currency (Euro, €) and its equivalent in US Dollars (USD), tailored specifically for digital nomads considering Montenegro as their next remote work destination.

Monthly Living Expenses for a Single Person (Without Rent):

Estimated monthly costs are approximately €604.2, equivalent to about $657.4​​.

Rent:

  • For a single bedroom apartment in the city center, you can expect to pay around €572.22 to €602.77, which is roughly $623 to $656​​​​.
  • Outside of the city center, the cost decreases to approximately €418.57 to €461.54 ($455 to $502)​​​​.

Food and Dining:

  • A meal at an inexpensive restaurant is around €9 ($9.8), while a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant costs about €40 ($43.6)​​​​.
  • Groceries for one person per month might range from €50 to €100 ($54 to $109), depending on dietary habits​​.

Utilities:

  • Monthly utilities, including electricity, water, and internet, for a standard apartment are estimated at €50 to €112.46 ($54 to $122)​​​​.

Transportation:

  • Public transportation costs vary, with monthly passes around €15 to €30 ($16 to $33), and fuel expenses for those who prefer driving ranging from €50 to €100 per month ($54 to $109)​​​​.

Leisure and Fitness:

  • Engaging in sports and leisure activities, such as a gym membership, might cost around €35.90 per month ($39)​​.

Additional Considerations:

  • Internet and cable TV packages are approximately €18 to €25.37 per month ($20 to $28)​​​​.
  • Clothing and shoes, such as a pair of jeans or Nike shoes, can vary greatly in price, often matching European averages​​.

Overall Monthly Budget:

  • Considering the above costs, a digital nomad could expect to spend approximately €800 to €1,000 per month ($870 to $1,087) to live comfortably in Montenegro, excluding rent​​. This estimate provides a good starting point, but personal spending habits and choices can significantly affect the overall budget.

Montenegro offers a cost-effective alternative to many Western European countries, with the added benefits of its beautiful landscape, rich history, and warm Mediterranean climate, making it a compelling option for digital nomads looking for a new base.

Resources to Stay Up to Date with Visa Changes

aerial view of a city showing orange roof surrounded by body of water

Do I Need a Montenegro Digital Nomad Visa?

Deciding whether you need a Montenegro Digital Nomad Visa hinges on a combination of factors, including your nationality, intended length of stay, and the nature of your work. This visa caters specifically to non-EU citizens who wish to live and work remotely in Montenegro for an extended period, up to two years, with the possibility of renewal​​​​.

If your lifestyle as a digital nomad involves staying in Montenegro for longer than what’s allowed under a tourist visa, and you work for a company registered outside of Montenegro, this visa is designed for you.

Pros of Staying in Montenegro as a Digital Nomad:

  • Cost of Living: Compared to many Western European countries, Montenegro offers a lower cost of living, allowing digital nomads to enjoy a high quality of life without breaking the bank​​​​.
  • Scenic Beauty: With its stunning Adriatic coastline, mountainous landscapes, and historic towns, Montenegro provides an inspiring backdrop for work and leisure​​.
  • Safety: Montenegro’s low crime rate makes it a safe option for digital nomads looking for a secure place to live and work​​.
  • Community: The growing expat and digital nomad community in Montenegro means opportunities for networking and socializing​​.

Cons of Staying in Montenegro as a Digital Nomad:

  • Internet Speed: While generally reliable, internet speeds can vary, especially in more rural or less developed areas​​.
  • Seasonal Crowds: Tourist hotspots can become crowded in peak season, potentially impacting the cost of living and quality of life.
  • Limited Local Job Opportunities: For those looking to supplement their income locally, job opportunities may be limited, particularly for non-native speakers.

Living and working as a digital nomad in Montenegro presents a balanced mix of affordability, safety, and natural beauty, alongside a vibrant community of like-minded individuals. The cost-effective lifestyle, coupled with the scenic environment, offers a conducive setting for both productivity and relaxation, embodying the digital nomad ethos of balancing work with exploration and personal growth​​​​.

However, potential challenges such as variable internet connectivity in certain areas and the seasonal influx of tourists, which can affect living conditions and costs, should be considered. Ensuring access to reliable internet, choosing the right location, and planning for seasonal changes are crucial steps for a fulfilling digital nomad experience in Montenegro.

If your work allows for the flexibility to choose where you live and you’re drawn to Montenegro’s charm, the Digital Nomad Visa provides a structured pathway to immerse yourself in this captivating country while continuing your professional pursuits.

Best Places to Live or Explore In Montenegro for Digital Nomads

Image text of the best places to live or explore in Montenegro

Kotor

people walking in the street and some are sitting on a cafe -montenegro digital nomad visa

Nestled along the Adriatic coast, Kotor is famed for its breathtaking bay, medieval architecture, and vibrant expat community.

Digital nomads can work from cozy cafes like “Café Perper” with strong Wi-Fi and an inspiring view. The “Old Town Library” offers a quiet place for focus and research. For networking, “Catovica Mlini” is perfect for meeting fellow nomads and locals in a serene setting.

Budva

aerial view of a town near body of water and with mountain in the back- montenegro digital nomad visa

Known for its sandy beaches and lively nightlife, Budva balances work with leisure seamlessly. “Café Greco” is a popular spot for digital nomads, offering excellent coffee and internet.

The “Modern Gallery” is ideal for creative inspiration or a quiet work session. “Ploce Beach” provides a unique working environment with beach bars equipped with Wi-Fi, allowing for a swim break or seaside relaxation.

Podgorica

city view showing large bridge in the middle with green trees and hgih-rise buildings- montenegro digital nomad visa

As the capital, Podgorica offers urban conveniences with green spaces.

The “Capital Plaza” area is surrounded by modern cafes and restaurants, such as “Carine” café, where digital nomads can work and enjoy the city’s vibe. “Gorica Park” is great for outdoor workdays or after-hours relaxation.

“The Living Room Lounge & Dining” is a coworking space and café, offering a comfortable work environment and networking opportunities.

Tivat

white yatch on the body of water with green hills on the background- montenegro digital nomad visa

Tivat is renowned for its luxury marina, Porto Montenegro, filled with cafes and coworking spaces like “Hub 3.0” that cater to digital nomads. “Big Ben” café offers a relaxed atmosphere with fast internet.

For a change of scenery, the “Tivat Naval Heritage Collection” provides a quiet spot with a unique view, perfect for creative work.

Ulcinj

buildings, cafe and umbrellas near the body of water - montenegro digital nomad visa

For those seeking a quieter atmosphere, Ulcinj offers beautiful beaches and a slower pace of life.

“Café de Paris” is a beachfront spot where one can work with a view. “Ulcinj Salina” is perfect for nature lovers looking to work in tranquility. “Corso Café” in the city center is known for its strong Wi-Fi and delicious coffee, making it a favorite among remote workers.

Montenegro Digital Nomad Visa – Summary

The Program for Attracting Digital Nomads in Montenegro is a testament to the country’s welcoming stance towards digital nomads, offering up to two years of residence with the possibility of renewal. This not only facilitates a deeper immersion into the local culture but also provides stability for those looking to establish a more permanent base​​.

The benefits of the Program for Attracting Digital Nomads in Montenegro are very compelling. From the stunning landscapes of Kotor to the sandy beaches of Budva, the country offers a variety of settings to suit any preference, all while maintaining a lower cost of living compared to many Western countries​​​​​​. The vibrant expat communities in cities like Podgorica and Tivat provide a sense of belonging and a network of support, making the transition smoother for newcomers​​​​.

However, there are challenges. Navigating a new culture and language can be daunting, and while Montenegro boasts reliable internet in urban areas, remote spots might not offer the same connectivity, potentially limiting work flexibility. Moreover, the visa process, though straightforward, requires diligence in gathering and submitting the necessary documentation​​.

In assessing whether being a digital nomad in Montenegro is worth it, it’s important to weigh all your options. The allure of affordable living, scenic beauty, and a supportive nomadic community is compelling. Yet, it requires adaptability and a willingness to embrace local customs and navigate occasional bureaucratic hurdles.

For those seeking a balanced lifestyle that combines work with exploration, Montenegro presents a captivating option. Whether it’s worth it ultimately depends on one’s priorities, but for many, the chance to blend productivity with adventure in such a setting will be an irresistible call.

If you want to know more about digital nomad visas and other global destinations, check out our other posts on;


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Montenegro Digital Nomad Visa – FAQs

Does Montenegro have a Digital Nomad Visa?

Yes, Montenegro offers a digital nomad visa known as the “Program for Attracting Digital Nomads in Montenegro.” This initiative is designed to welcome remote workers from around the globe, providing them the opportunity to live and work in Montenegro. The visa allows for an initial stay of up to two years, with the possibility of renewal for another two years​​.

Is Montenegro’s Visa a Schengen Visa?

No, Montenegro’s visa is not a Schengen visa. Montenegro is not a member of the European Union or the Schengen Area. Therefore, visas issued by Montenegro do not grant access to the Schengen Area.

However, Montenegro does allow travelers with multiple-entry Schengen visas to enter and stay in Montenegro for up to 30 days within the validity period of their Schengen visa, without the need for an additional Montenegrin visa.

Can I Apply for a Montenegro Visa Online?

The application process for Montenegro’s visas, including the digital nomad visa, traditionally requires submitting documents at the nearest Montenegrin embassy or consulate.

However, there are plans to make the process more accessible, possibly including online applications. As of now, it’s recommended to check the official Montenegro government website or contact the nearest Montenegrin embassy for the most current application procedures​​.

Where is the Best City for Digital Nomads in Montenegro?

Kotor is often cited as the best city for digital nomads in Montenegro, thanks to its breathtaking bay, medieval architecture, and vibrant community. It offers a great balance of scenic beauty, historical charm, and modern amenities, with plenty of cafes and spaces conducive to working remotely.

Additionally, the city’s relatively affordable cost of living compared to Western Europe and robust internet connectivity makes it a popular choice among digital nomads​​​​.

The cost of living in Montenegro is generally lower than in many other popular digital nomad destinations, especially when compared to Western European and North American cities.

On average, living expenses (excluding rent) for a single person are estimated to be around €604.2 ($657.4) per month. Rent, utilities, and dining out are considerably more affordable, making Montenegro an attractive option for digital nomads looking to maximize their budget while enjoying a high quality of life in a beautiful setting​​​​.

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