Although Montenegro is not part of the EU, Montenegro has signed an agreement on border management cooperation with the European Union and its Montenegrins are currently permitted to travel to the Schengen Area visa-free for up to 90 days, without obtaining any kind of travel document.
However, by the end of 2021, it will be mandatory for citizens of Montenegro to pre-register for an ETIAS visa waiver to travel to countries in the Schengen zone for short stays.
ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System. This electronic visa waiver system is being implemented by the European Commission to pre-screen travelers to Europe for any potential security risks and strengthen the external borders of the Schengen Area. The system was approved in 2016, and is expected to be implemented by 2021.
Montenegro passport holders will be able to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver through a simple online application which will only take a few minutes to complete, eliminating the need to apply from a consulate or embassy.
DO I NEED TO APPLY FOR A VISA TO TRAVEL TO EUROPE FROM MONTENEGRO?
At the moment, citizens of Montenegro are visa-exempt to visit all of the European countries who have signed the Schengen agreement without having to obtain a travel document for entry.
However, from 2021, Montenegrin nationals will need an ETIAS travel authorization to travel to Schengen countries for up to 90 days, for purposes of tourism, medical treatment, transit, or business.
ETIAS is a multiple-entry travel authorization which permits Montenegrins to spend up to 90 days in the Schengen Area with each entry, within every 180-day period. It is valid for 3 years from the date of approval, meaning citizens of Montenegro do not need to apply for an ETIAS before every trip to European countries.
The countries for which ETIAS is required for Montenegrins are as follows:
As soon as the ETIAS is fully implemented, it will allow Montenegrin travelers to visit the following 22 European countries that are part of the Schengen Area:
- EU Schengen
- Non-EU Schengen States
- Non-Schengen EU States
Micro-States de facto part of Schengen Area:
- San Marino
- Vatican City
Non-Schengen EU States
- United Kingdom
- Republic of Ireland
Citizens of Montenegro who wish to visit the above countries for longer periods and purposes not permitted with an ETIAS are required to apply for a Schengen visa from an embassy or consulate of the individual Schengen country they wish to visit.
Unlike ETIAS, which permits the holder to travel to all of the Schengen countries, a Schengen visa for Montenegrins is issued for one specific European country.
ETIAS VISA WAIVER REQUIREMENTS FOR MONTENEGRIN CITIZENS
In order to register for an ETIAS authorization, it is first necessary to meet the ETIAS requirements for Montenegrin citizens.
Applicants from Montenegro are required to have a Montenegrin passport valid for at least 3 months from the intended date of arrival in a Schengen country.
Travelers with dual nationality should ensure they the same passport to complete the ETIAS application from Montenegro as that which they will later use to travel to the Schengen Area.
This is because an approved ETIAS visa waiver for Montenegrins is electronically linked to an individual passport used to complete the online form. For this reason, it is also necessary to submit a new ETIAS application if the traveler’s passport expires during the validity of the ETIAS.
Applicants are also required to provide valid credit or debit card details to pay the ETIAS fee, and supply a current email address to which a copy of the approved ETIAS for Montenegro citizens will be sent.
It is also necessary to meet the requirements for personal, passport, and travel information to be included on the ETIAS application form for Montenegrin citizens. Applicants are required to supply of range of data, including:
- Passport number
- Passport expiry/issue date
- Full Name
- Place and date of birth
- Current address
- Contact telephone number.
When completing the online form, applicants are also required to indicate the Schengen country of first intended entry.
HOW TO SUBMIT AN ETIAS APPLICATION FOR CITIZENS OF MONTENEGRO
Montenegrins are able to apply for the electronic visa waiver for Europe through the simple online ETIAS application form, which will take around 20 minutes to complete and submit.
In addition to filling in the required passport, travel, and personal information, applicants are also required to answer a few security questions in order to submit an ETIAS form from Montenegro, related to the following subjects:
- Education and employment history
- Criminal convictions
- Drug use
- Human trafficking
- Previous travel to conflict areas
- Previous travel to Europe.
Once the applicants has provided all of the necessary information on the form, and paid the ETIAS fee, they are able to submit the ETIAS application.
Before an ETIAS from Montenegro can be processed, all of the information provided on the online form is checked against security databases managed by eu-LISA, the European Union Agency which manages the operations of its large-scale information systems. These databases include SIS, VIS, EURODAC, and a dedicated ETIAS watchlist for Europe.
Travelers are advised to apply for the ETIAS for citizens of Montenegro at least 96 hours before the intended entry date to the Schengen Area, to allow for sufficient time for the visa waiver to be processed. An ETIAS from Montenegro may be processed within minutes, but may take up to a few days in some cases.
Before submitting the ETIAS form for Montenegrins, applicants are advised to carefully check that all of the information provided is correct and matches the details of the traveler's passport. This is because even small mistakes may result in a delay in receiving the ETIAS or even a rejection of the application.
TRAVELING TO THE EU WITH AN ETIAS FROM MONTENEGRO
Once successfully processed, the approved ETIAS visa waiver for Montenegrin passport holders is electronically linked to the applicant’s passport, and a copy is sent to the email address provided on the online form.
The holder of the approved visa waiver is then able to present the ETIAS-linked passport to board a flight to Europe, and at European border control to gain access to the Schengen countries.
Although an approved ETIAS from Montenegro is electronically linked to the holder’s passport, the traveler is nevertheless advised to print a paper copy of the visa waiver to carry with them when traveling to Europe, in the rare case of a problem with the electronic system.
An approved ETIAS visa waiver for citizens of Montenegro does not guarantee the holder entry to Europe: an individual Schengen Area immigration official will make the final decision for entry when the traveler arrives at a border checkpoint.
ETIAS for Montenegrins - FAQ
How long can a Montenegrin stay in Europe?
At the moment, citizens of Montenegro are able to stay in European countries within the Schengen Area for up to 90 days without a visa or travel authorization.
However, this will change in 2021 when the ETIAS visa waiver is implemented. By the end of 2021, all Montenegrin nationals will be required to obtain an ETIAS authorization before traveling to any of the Schengen countries for short stays.
An approved ETIAS from Montenegro is a multiple-entry electronic visa waiver which allows the holder to travel to the Schengen zone for a stay of up to 90 days with each entry, within every 180-day period.
Montenegro citizens who wish to stay in the Schengen Area for longer periods of time are required to apply for the relevant type of visa from an embassy or consulate of the individual Schengen country the applicant wishes to visit.
Can I work in Europe with a Montenegrin passport?
An approved ETIAS for Montenegrins allows the holder to visit the Schengen Area countries for purposes of business, transit, tourism, or medical treatment.
Unfortunately, those who travel to Europe with ETIAS from Montenegro are not able to work in the Schengen zone countries. This is because undertaking paid employment in Europe falls outside of the travel purposes permitted with the ETIAS visa waiver.
Working in Europe with an ETIAS would break the conditions under which the ETIAS has been issued, and may result in the revocation of the visa waiver.
Montenegrin passport holders who wish to work in Europe are required to apply for the relevant work permit or national visa from an embassy or consulate of the individual Schengen country they wish to visit.
Can I study in Europe with an ETIAS visa waiver from Montenegro?
Citizens of Montenegro are unfortunately unable to use an ETIAS visa waiver to study in Europe. This is because studying in the Schengen Area falls outside of the terms of the approved ETIAS for Montenegrins, which may only be used for purposes of business, tourism, medical treatment, or transit.
Montenegrins who wish to undertake a program of study in the Schengen zone are required to obtain the relevant study permit or national visa from an embassy or consulate of the individual Schengen country they wish to visit.