Guidance

Living in Montenegro

Advice for British people living in Montenegro, including information on health, education, benefits, residence requirements and more.

This guide sets out essential information for British nationals residing in Montenegro, including advice on health, education, benefits, residence requirements and more.

We are unable to provide any guidance on general lifestyle enquiries apart from the information and links listed below. See our information on what consulates can and cannot do for British nationals.

Health

There is a reciprocal healthcare agreement made between the United Kingdom and Montenegro, which entitles British citizens eligible to NHS medical treatment to free emergency care or immediately necessary medical treatment that arises during your stay in Montenegro.  

In order to exercise the right to free medical care in Montenegro, British citizens should have a valid British passport and some evidence of being insured in the UK. You are required to present those documents to the office of the Health Fund of Montenegro which is located in the town where medical treatment is received. The Fund’s office will provide you with a certificate which you will then use to get treatment in state medical facilities in Montenegro. Feel free to check our list of medical facilities in Montenegro.

The reciprocal agreement does not cover repatriation to the UK or any additional costs, so we highly recommend taking an adequate travel health insurance to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

British citizens who have moved abroad on a permanent basis might no longer be entitled to medical treatment under normal NHS rules, depending on whether they are living abroad permanently or only working outside the UK for a set period, recipient of a UK State Pension or other UK benefits, For more useful information visit the NHS Moving Abroad page.

When charged for more specialised medical treatments by state health institutions in Montenegro, receipts should be provided and the same fees applied as to Montenegrin citizens. 

The State Health Scheme or “public fund” in Montenegro was introduced few years ago. Within this system, each patient is allocated to a specific GP, who will provide primary care by appointment. The GP will then refer for investigations or hospital care in those state or private facilities which choose to join the scheme. Some types of super-specialist medical care are not available in the country, so patients must travel elsewhere. Many doctors will speak at least some English, but finding your way through the local medical system can be sometimes confusing and frustrating, so do use the following guidance, carry a mobile phone, and take someone with you who speaks local language if possible.

The private health sector is rapidly developing in Montenegro and British nationals can also choose to use their services to arrange specialist check-ups and treatments when needed. Please note that most private service providers have not joined the public fund, so their patients, both local and foreign, are required to pay the full costs of their treatment. Only few types of medical services can be provided by private hospitals on the cost of the Montenegrin public health fund, in cases when public health institution issues certificate to a patient that they are not able to provide specific health service in the given time period defined by the local legislation. 

If you need urgent medical assistance, call 114 (+382 124) and speak to the Montenegrin Emergency Centre.

Education

Education in Montenegro is regulated by the Ministry of Education. Education starts in either pre-schools or primary schools. Children enrol in primary schools (Montenegrin: Osnovna škola) at the age of 6 and it lasts for nine years. Primary education is compulsory to all children age 6 to 15 years and is free of charge. 

Employment

According to the Law on Employment and Work of Foreigners a foreigner may be employed or work in Montenegro, provided that he/she has: work permit, permission for permanent residence or temporary residence permit, and concluded labour contract.

Work permits are issued by the Employment Bureau of Montenegro, whilst the Ministry in charge of labour affairs in Montenegro prescribes contents of work permits, procedure for issuing and manner of entering the data.

To regulate all forms of employment and work of foreigners in the labour market, Montenegro envisages three types of work permits: personal work permit, employment permit and work permit. Permits are issued for a limited time, for a period of three months to one year, extendible to two more years, or to indefinite period of time, depending on the type of permit. The Employment Bureau shall be obliged to decide on the request within 30 days from the day of submitting the request.

Entry and residence requirements 

A valid British passport must be held for entry to and exit from Montenegro. There is no minimum passport validity requirement, but you should ensure that your passport is valid for the duration of your visit.

British passport holders do not need a visa for visits up to 90 days. Embassy has been informed by the Montenegrin Ministry of Interior that in the course of the initial 6 months, British citizens can go in and out of Montenegro as long as they have days left out of those 90 days, but you should register and de-register with the local police each time you enter / leave the country.

British citizens need to register their presence in Montenegro with the local police within 24 hours of arrival, unless staying in a hotel or official tourist accommodation, in which case you will be registered automatically on checking-in.  

According to the Law on Foreigners, British citizens intending to stay in Montenegro for longer than 90 days, must apply for a longer tourist visa or for a temporary residence permit before the 90 days are up. 

If you need more information about residence in Montenegro or are having problems with your application and would like to contact the governing authorities, please contact the “Foreigners, migration, visas and readmission section” at the Montenegrin Ministry of Interior or the Embassy of Montenegro in London if you are in the UK. 

Carry your passport with you at all times. It’s the only officially recognised form of identification. Keep a photocopy of the biographical details page (the page where your photograph is) in a safe place, including details of your next of kin. 

Benefits

The rights in the area of social and child protection established by the national Law on social and child welfare can be exercised by a British citizen who has the status of a foreigner with granted temporary stay or permanent stay in Montenegro. 

British citizen in need of assistance or advice in this area should contact the Centre for Social Work (Montenegrin: Centar za socijalni rad) based in the municipality of their registered residence. 

British citizens employed in Montenegro under regulations in line with the national legislation have rights and enjoy benefits arising from the mandatory pension, social and disability insurance. More information on this can be obtained from the governing authorities in Montenegro: The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and the Pension and Disability Insurance Fund.

To find out what UK benefits you might be able to get while abroad and how to claim them please visit Benefits if you’re abroad and Moving and retiring abroad webpages. 

Driving licences and vehicles

The Embassy cannot issue or renew a UK driving licence. Contact the DVLA for information about renewing a licence or applying for a new licence

To drive in Montenegro, you must have a valid driving licence. If you are taking your car, you must have vehicle registration / ownership documents and a locally valid insurance policy.

The Ministry of Interior of Montenegro is the responsible authority for replacing foreign driving licences and registration of vehicles.

Guidance on bringing medication into Montenegro

Individuals are allowed to bring medications for personal use based on the prescription, in amounts required for the medical treatment only. 

Bringing intoxicating drugs into country is forbidden. There are some exemptions for medications containing intoxicating drugs in amount for personal use only, but name and quantity of those drugs have to be reported to the Customs, and a valid report of a medical institution presented, containing MD specialist confirmation of the necessity of that medical treatment, quantity of the medication needed and length for medical treatment prescribed. 

Possession of intoxicating drugs without necessary medical documentation or failure to report the possession of a such drug to the Customs is an offence, and such drug will be taken away from the individual under special supervision. More detailed information on this subject can be obtained from the Customs Administration Office.

Disclaimer

This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the Embassy by the relevant local authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. The FCO and the British Embassy will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information. British nationals wishing to obtain any further information must contact the relevant local authority.

Published 24 October 2013
Last updated 14 February 2017 + show all updates
  1. Editorial changes to the "Living in Montenegro" guide.
  2. Update of list of medical facilities in Montenegro.
  3. First published.