The pint-sized principality of Monaco is home toalmost 40,000 peopl—but only a quarter of them are Monégasque or natural-born citizens. The vast majority are expatriates—wealthy ones at that
How does a country smaller than New York’s Central Park attract such a sizable population of affluent foreigners? The great climate, seaside location, and luxurious lifestyle are certainly factors, but the main draw is the highly favorable tax rules
Unlike other countries, Monaco does not levy an income tax. As such, it’s become a haven for the rich and famous, with almost one in three resident being millionaires
If you’d like to enjoy the perks of living in Monaco, however, you’ll need to apply for residency first. Below is an in-depth guide that explains the process
Getting your residency
You can visit the closest Monégasque embassy or consulat to apply for residency. Alternatively, you can visit the nearest French consulate to process your application. Residency in Monaco works in three progressive stages, namely
- Carte de séjour temporaire (Temporary residence card)
This residency allows you to live in Monaco for 12 months. You don’t have to stay in the principality the entire time, however—just 3 out of the 12 months. You can renew your card for two additional 12-month periods, for a total of three years
- Carte de séjour ordinaire (Ordinary residence card)
After your third renewal, you may upgrade ordinary resident status. This residency allows you to stay for up to three years and can be renewed indefinitely. As with the temporary residence card, you are only required to stay three months out of a year
- Carte de sêjour privilégié (Privileged residence card)
In your tenth year of residence in Monaco, you can apply for the privileged residence card, which allows you to stay in the principality for 10 years. However, the longer validity requires you to live in Monaco for a longer period—at least six months out of a year.
Of course, Monaco residency is a closely guarded privilege. To qualify for it, one must meet the following requirements
There are three ways to prove your financial capacity to Monégasque authorities
- Open a bank account. The account must be in your name and must be opened at a local Monaco bank (foreigners are allowed to open accounts). You must deposit at least €500,000, and the amount must be held in your chosen bank for the entirety of your residence. Ask your bank for the proof of deposit and include this in filing your residency.
- Proof of employment. Show proof that you are gainfully employed by a Monaco-based company. File your employment contract, along with the government letter that authorizes your company to hire you
- Form a company. You can also prove your financial capability by establishing a company that will employ at least 10 citizens or residents. Acquire a business authorization from the local government and include this in your application
Aspiring residents must also secure housing that provides suitable living conditions for all family members. This may be done by
- Real estate purchase.Foreigners face no restrictions whenbuying a property in Monac. Moreover, there are many excellent luxury homes to choose from. However, be sure to work with a real estate agent who specializes inMonaco real estate for sal. Include your deed or purchase contract when applying for residency
- Renting a property.Renters must lease their home for at least a year. There is no minimum monthly rent requirement but the property must comfortably fit your entire family. For example, a four-person household needs to rent at least a two-bedroom house. You can submit your rental contract as proof of housing
Proof of good character
Only applicants of good moral character will be granted residency. You must have no criminal records in the last two countries you resided in over the past five years. Visit your local police department to request a criminal background check
What about citizenship?
Long-time residents of Monaco may apply for naturalization and become full-fledged citizens. The requirements for naturalization include
- 10-year residence. You can apply for citizenship if you have resided in Monaco for at least 10 consecutive years. Howevnce may waive the residency requirement for applicants of “extraordinary merit.
- Renouncement of current citizenship. The principality does not recognize dual citizenship. If you are applying to become a Monégasque citizen, you must renounce your foreign nationality and certify that you owe no national service to your current country of citizenship
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