Montenegro is a regular European country. Tourism is a major source of income. For this reason Montenegro continues in its effort to simplify entry for foreigners year on year. Most visitors can spend a limited time here without a visa. For example, Russian citizens can continue their stay in Montenegro without a visa for 30 days. When the time limit is about to expire, it is simply a matter of exiting Montenegro to neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina or Albania with subsequent re entry on the same day, the 30-day term then starts anew. Therefore leaving for just a few hours effectively allows you to stay in Montenegro for an unlimited time.
You can only exceed this 30-day grace period without leaving Montenegro if you have a tourist visa or a work permit (‘boravok’) in advance.
Neighboring countries vary in their entrance policies for Montenegro yearly. The current situation largely depends on the Balkan countries’ ongoing initiatives to affiliate with or join various international organisations and alliances.
Croatia officially entered the EU as a full-fledged member in 2012. You can now only enter Croatia with a Croatian visa or an open Schengen multiple entry visa. Croatia has not entered the Schengen Agreement yet, but it already recognises Schengen visas.
You can apply for a Croatian visa at any Croatian embassy. The documents required are almost identical to a Schengen visa application.
Foreign citizens staying in Montenegro on a long-term tourist visa or a work permit (‘boravak’) can apply for a Croatian visa in Montenegro via one of the Croatian consulates.
Croatian consulate in Kotor:
Stari Grad, Trg od oruzja bb, the building near the main gates.
Consul general – Božo Vodopija
Croatian consulate in Podgorica:
Ul. Vlada Četkoviča, 2
Consul – Petar Turčinovič
Be careful visiting Croatia in a car with Montenegrin registration plates. Remember, that only recently, during the 1990’s, Croatia had been in a bitter armed conflict against Serbia and Montenegro. Croatians who live in border regions up to Dubrovnik and Makarska can be hostile. Their displeasure usually manifests in unfriendly looks, but sometimes tires are slashed and windscreens shattered. However, Croatians are quite welcoming towards foreigners, including Russian language speakers. For your own safety and that of your car near Croatian border, displaying a note saying ‘RENT-A-CAR. I am a tourist’ in large print under your front and rear windscreens. This simple measure has been tried and tested by local expats.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
From 2013 all Russian citizens need to enter Bosnia and Herzegovina is an international passport.
Before that a travellers also had to have a tourist visa, but this requirement has been lifted recently. Please note that visa-free period in Bosnia and Herzegovina is limited to 30 consecutive days.
One does not need any documents other than an international passport to enter Serbia. This applies all year round.
Russia actively disapproved of Kosovo’s separation from Serbia, so Serbia opened its borders on an ex parte basis as a gesture of gratitude and to ensure friendly relations.
Besides, the border between Serbia and Montenegro – friendliest Balkan countries – has simplified the procedures for crossing in both directions. It is easier to cross the Serbian-Montenegrin border than any of other Montenegrin borders.
The country is relatively young and some of its institutions have still not reached maturity. Many state agencies are still developing and not fully established in their everyday activities. Legislative fundamentals are also being developed. The same applies to border crossing regulations. So far, there is no single uniform standard.
To enter Kosovo at the moment citizens of Russia, Belarus and the Ukraine need to obtain a visa in advance in their home countries. If you have a valid Schengen multi-entry visa, this is sufficient to cross the border with Kosovo.
Entrance to Albania does not require a visa from June 10 to September 30. The exact timetable may vary yearly. You need only your passport to cross the border.
During the rest of the year (for Belarusian citizens all year round) one needs a visa to cross the Albanian border. The visa should be obtained in advance in the country of residence. In practice though, a valid Schengen visa will be enough. Albania is not on the list of the countries which signed Schengen agreement and its consulates cannot grant Schengen visas, but Albania wants to become a part of EU just like its neighbours, so exceptions are quite often made on the border.
A tourist who wants to go to Italy must have a valid Schengen visa obtained in advance in the country of residence. This is a core requirement. The only exception used to be a cruise tour “Bar-Bari-Bar” for citizens of Russia, Belarus and the Ukraine. This cruise stopped in 2013.
Montenegro has a sea border with Italy, but it is easy to get to Italy by car too. All year round a cruise ship goes from the Montenegrin city Bar to Italian city Bari. More details are available on the relevant page of our website.
It is impossible to come for a holiday in Montenegro and buy or obtain a Schengen visa in a more simplified way, despite rumours on the Internet. You can only apply for a Schengen visa in Montenegro if you live and work there with a tourist or business visa. In this case, the standard requirements for documents apply.
Italian embassy in Podgorica:
Ul. Džordža Vašingtona, 83
Tel. +382 20 234 661/2, Fax. +382 20 234 663