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What are the requirements to obtain the Monaco citizenship?

The Principality of Monaco is known among tourist or its luxury, casinos, Formula 1 Grand Prix and beautiful locations.

But this small country of just 30,000 inhabitants is also very attractive as a permanent residence, offering security, social and economic stability, quality education and health systems and, above all, no or low taxes.

It is no coincidence that the likes of Bono, Boris Becker, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg among others have chosen this paradise as a place to live. In fact, it is said that one in three Monaco residents is a millionaire.

And, despite what many believe, Monaco is no longer a tax haven: it does have very low taxes, but both the European Union and the OECD have removed it from the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions or tax havens.

But, how does someone obtain a residence permit in Monaco?

Who can apply for a Monaco citizenship?

If you want to obtain residence in Monaco, all you have to do is apply to the Monegasque authorities for a residence permit.

Nationals of the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA) only need to have a valid identity card or passport before starting any procedure and fill in the forms of the Monegasque government, as long as a number of requirements are met.

If you are a non-EEA citizen, you can also apply for the residence permit provided that comply with several requirements. However, the process is longer than the one established for EEA citizen.

Note that Monaco does not have a Golden Visa or residence by investment as such, so Monaco residency must be obtained through the residency process established by the Monegasque Authorities.

Please note also that the residency does not imply the citizenship, becoming a Monegasque citizen implies effective residency in the country for larger periods.

How is the process?

If you are interested in obtaining the residence permit in Monaco, you will have to go through different stages.

Obtaining a visa or long-stay permit

This stage only applies to non-EEA citizens, included UK citizens (not to EU or EEA citizens).

In this regard, non-EEA citizens would have to apply for a long-stay permit through the French Consulate or Embassy closest to your most recent place of residence.

However, if you have already been in France for longer than a year, you would have to apply for a transfer of residency from the French Embassy in Monaco.

Once long-stay permit (type-D visa) is granted, you can apply for a residence permit.

Application to residence permit

Both EEA citizens and non-EEA citizen with long-stay permit can apply for Monaco residence permit if requirements set out in the section below are met.

Once is granted, a temporary or ordinary residence permiy shall be issued by the Monegasque Authorities.

Finally, note that if any of the above residence permit is obtained, foreigners shall be residing (in person) in Monaco at least 3 months per year.

Becoming a Monegasque citizen

Finally, if you have lived in Monaco at least 10 consecutive years and comply with a number of conditions that will be explained in a section below, you may apply to become a Monegasque citizen.

If it is granted, a privilege residence permit shall be issued by the Monegasque Authorities.

Citizenship requirements

Anyone who is at least 16 years old and wishes to reside in Monaco for more than 3 months in a year or, set up in the Principality, shall apply for a residence permit from the Monegasque authorities.

If you wish to stay in Monaco for a period not exceeding 3 months, it would be only sufficient the document required at the entry in the French territory (passport, travel or identity document) to stay in Monaco during said period.

However, if you want to reside in Monaco for more than 3 months the foreigner shall comply with the following requirements:

Accommodation in Monaco

Foreigners shall be able to prove one of the following:

  1. They are the owner of a house or an apartment located in Monaco;
  2. They are the director of a company which owns properties in Monaco;
  3. They rent a house or an apartment in Monaco (at least for a minimum of 12 months);
  4. They are staying with a close relative, spouse or partner whit whom living as a couple.

In this sense, the foreigners shall provide the Monegasque Authorities with:

  1. If you are an owner, the property deed;
  2. If you are the director of a company, the proof of share held in the company which owns properties in Monaco;
  3. If you are renting, the tenancy agreement registered with the Department of Tax Services;
  4. If you are staying with someone, a certificate of free accommodation signed by the person you are staying with.

Note that Monaco is one of the most expensive countries in Europe, so it is important to consider that property prices and rentals are too high in comparison to other countries.

Generally, property prices in Monaco usually start from EUR 1,000,000 with no upper limit, while flat rents can range from EUR 4,000 to EUR 40,000 (depending on the number of rooms).

Sufficient financial resources

It implies that the foreigner shall get a great salary (regardless of whether it is an employee or a professional); or sufficient savings (this is judged by the bank entity located in Monaco providing the reference); or being supported by a relative, spouse or partner with whom the foreigner is living as a couple.

Note that documents proving sufficient funds shall be translated to French language.

In this sense, if the foreigner is:

  • A self-employed, or the manager or director of a company in Monaco, a copy of the relevant Trade and Industry Register shall be supplied.
  • A person who is setting up a business in Monaco, a receipt from the Business Development Agency confirming the admissibility of the application to start a business shall be supplied.
  • An employee in Monaco, a certificate from the Employment Office authorising employment in Monaco shall be supplied
  • A person who is retired, a proof of pension shall be supplied.

Also, a bank reference from a Monaco bank confirming that the foreigner has sufficient funds to live in Monaco may be supplied.

Note that the bank entity is responsible for determining whether the foreigner has sufficient funds. Normally, the foreigner should have savings of around EUR 500,000.

Finally, in case the foreigner is supported by someone else, a letter from the third party confirming that he/she is supporting the foreigner and document evidence of third party’s financial resources shall be supplied.

Good character

The foreigner would be obliged to supply a copy of its criminal records information or equivalent issued by the authorities of the las country (or two countries) in which the foreigner has resided in the 5 years prior to Monaco.

This certificate must be less than 3 months old at the time of applying for residence. If it is older than the above deadline, it must be reapplied for.

Other formal requirements

Additionally, the following documents of the foreigner shall be provided to Monegasque Authorities:

  • A valid passport or identity card.
  • Birth certificate.
  • If the foreigner is married or divorced, a marriage/divorced certificate.
  • If the foreigner has children under 16, a passport or identity card for each child.

Finally, you shall make an appointment with the Residency, Certifications and Lost-and-Found Section to have an interview about your residency application.

All documents mentioned above shall be submitted at the same time of filling the resident application.

Granting of a Monegasque residence permit

If the above requirements are met by foreigners, they would be granted by the Monegasque Authorities with the residence card “Carte de Sejour”, which allow them to live in Monaco.

Note that the residence permit does not become the foreigner in a Monegasque national, for which additional conditions shall be met.

Normally, your residence permit will be available within a maximum of 6 weeks (even though it may take longer).

Once is granted, one of the following residence permits shall be obtained:

  • A Temporary residence permit: This is granted to first-time residents. It is valid for one year and it may be renewed for 3 consecutive years.
  • An Ordinary residence permit: This is a permanent residence permit granted to people who have lived in Monaco for 3 years. This permit may be renewed 3 times for another 3 years period.

Finally, note that if any of the above residence permit is obtained, foreigners shall be residing (in person) in Monaco at least 3 months per year.

Conditions to become a national

If, in addition to having a Monaco residence permit you wish to be a Monegasque national, you should take into account the following considerations:

  • You have to live in Monaco at least 10 consecutive years.
  • You have to directly apply to the Sovereign Prince of Monaco, whose process may be longer in comparison to other residence permits.
  • You have to be exempted from military service obligations in your country of origin.
  • You have to renounce your previous nationality (dual nationality is not possible).

Although foreigners comply with the requirements, the Monaco government may reject the application. Note that it is not possible to appeal it, even though the foreigner may re-apply as many times as you like.

If it is granted, a privilege residence permit shall be issued by the Monegasque Authorities, which is is valid for 10 years. If not, the foreigner will have to renew the ordinary residence permit every 3 years.

Advantages of the Monegasque citizenship

Once you are granted your residence permit in Monaco, you will able to enjoy the benefits of living in Monaco. In particular, among others, the most relevant advantages of being a resident in Monaco are the following:

  • Monaco is one of the safest countries in Europe, with a great quality of life and climate. The above, together it is location and its favourable tax structure makes it one of the most attractive places to live in Europe.
  • Obtaining a residence permit allows you to live indefinitely in Monaco (even though the permit has to be renewed on a regular basis). Once granted, the residence permit covers the whole family, that is, your spouse or common-law partner and children.
  • The residence permit offers you the possibility of visa-free trave to more than 160 countries around the world.
  • Monaco has a favourable tax structure in comparison to other EU countries. If you are interested to know more about the tax structure of Monaco, please see our guide about taxes in Monaco.

How to take the first step?

At Relocate&Save we have been helping entrepreneurs, high net worth individuals, sportsmen and women and people from the world of cryptocurrencies to transfer their tax residency to Monaco for years.

In fact, our presence and contacts in Monaco make us an ideal travel partner for this arduous task. So if you are interested in changing your tax residence to Monaco and would like us to help you with the process, please write to us at [email protected]

If you are interested in changing your tax residence to Monaco, we recommend you to download “The definitive guide to living and paying taxes in Monaco”, available for free below.

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Andreu Capmajó

Tax director

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