So, you’ve decided to come and live in Monaco. Congratulations! But before you uncork the bubbly, read through our checklist to make sure that your move is going to be possible, legal, and as straightforward as possible. As with everything, there’s a lot of misinformation out there, so we’ve used reliable and recommended sources to put together our own guide to moving to Monaco
Visiting the Principality of Monaco
Although Monaco is not part of the EU or the Schengen agreement, its territory is within the Schengen area, so foreigners may visit and reside in the Principality up to a maximum period of three months without a residency permit or visa. During this 90-day period, one is considered a tourist in Monaco.
The law requires visitors to hold the necessary travel documents required for entry into French territory. This can be a passport or any identification document acceptable for travelling (for French citizens a national identity card is sufficient).
No other formality is required for foreigners who wish to travel to Monaco and to stay in the Principality for a period not exceeding three months.
Longer than 90 days
However, if you plan to stay for more than three months, you must apply for a residence permit called ‘Carte de Sejour’ (often referred to as Carte de Residence). Once the paperwork is done, successful applicants receive a card for one year, renewable yearly. Long-term residents may graduate to a three-year card, then eventually a 10-year card.
Following approval, the residency permit should be available for collection from the Residents Section office within a maximum of 8 weeks for European Union passport holders. For non-EU passport holders, the administration process can take up to 16 weeks due to the settlement visa request from the French Embassy in their country of residence.
If one leaves Monaco permanently, the residence permit must be surrendered.
Cost of residency
Without a physical address in the Principality, you cannot apply for a residence permit. In other words, you must have rented or purchased accommodation. In fact, the cost of applying for residency in Monaco mainly relates to the expense of renting an apartment, added to the general cost of living.
Unlike other countries offering residency programmes, applying for residency in Monaco does not require the applicant to ‘invest’ a specified sum of money in Monaco, nor is it compulsory to purchase a property, as renting accommodation is sufficient.
Assuming you have fulfilled the basic financial prerequisites for relocating to the Principality of Monaco, the next step is to find a place to live.
It is highly important to be aware of the housing requirements in Monaco. Each home must have enough rooms to accommodate each adult living there. So if you are aiming to relocate to Monaco as a couple with a child, you cannot apply for a residence permit by renting or buying a studio apartment. For the application to be successful, you must have a separate room for your child and for you and your spouse. (In other words at least two bedrooms)
There are four ways you can prove your Monaco-based address:
- being the owner of a house or apartment;
- being the director, or unit-holder of a company which owns a house or apartment;
- renting a house or apartment; or
- staying with a close relative, your spouse, or partner with whom you are living as a couple
Residence permits are not issued to minors (i.e. those under the age of 16). However, in certain cases, a travel document for a foreign minor may be issued to enable overseas travel.
Opening a bank account
The second step is to open a bank account. This can be done through a bank or wealth manager if you have sufficient wealth. Alternatively, one can also open a commercial bank account if you are employed by a Monaco-based company.
The Monégasque Government does not check how much wealth one actually has; however, it requires a declaration (in the form of a written statement from the chosen bank) that one has sufficient financial resources with which to live in the territory of Monaco.
‘Sufficient financial resources’ in this case means
- a salary or professional income (either from independent commercial activity or a company); or
- sufficient savings (the exact amount depends on the Monaco banking establishment providing the reference); or
- the ability to be supported by a relative, spouse or partner with whom you are living as a couple
- Residency permit is required if you plan to stay for more than 3 months
- The residence permit is called Carte de Sejour (or often referred to as Carte de Residence)
- Resident permits are not issued to minors under the age of 16.
- European Union: Following your case approval, your residency permit will be available within a maximum of 8 weeks.
- Non-EU passport holders: Following your case approval, your residency permit will be available within a maximum of 16 weeks due to the settlement visa request from the French Embassy in their country of residence.
- You are allowed to open Monaco bank account with or without residency
- The Principality of Monaco does not set financial limitations required to relocate
- A physical address in Monaco is requested for the application, find your desired apartment. It is highly important to be aware of the housing requirements in Monaco.
- The cost of applying for residency in Monaco mainly relates to the expense of renting an apartment.
- Since Monaco highly respects the privacy of its residents, they will never ask how much money one has
- The Monégasque Government does not check how much wealth you actually have; however, it requires a declaration, a written statement from your chosen bank that you have sufficient financial resources in which to live in the territory of Monaco
- Many banks in Monaco are part of the Association Monégasque Des Activités Financières (AMAF). Since May 2017, AMAF in Monaco recommends that its members ask for a minimum deposit of 500.000 Euro in case of Monaco residency applications
- The amount of capital can vary from the amount requested from banking institutions
- It is recommended to bring an independent advisor who represents one’s personal interests to partake in these negotiations
- When one applies for Monaco residency, the Monegasque Government entrust the local bank to declare (without disclosing your wealth) that one can pay the living costs during the period of the Monaco residency
- If you leave Monaco permanently, you must surrender your residence permit.