Why Consider Monaco?
Contrary to perceptions that Monaco is an expensive destination, it is actually on a par with many other European destinations including London.
It does however offer many more advantages over and above other destinations which is why it is still a very popular jurisdiction, particularly because English is widely spoken and understood.
The government is actively encouraging individuals and their families and corporations to relocate to Monaco. It remains secure and politically stable and holds a strong and well supported banking and financial services community.
10 Reasons why you should consider Monaco
1. For resident individuals Monaco has a number of advantages over other jurisdictions. For example, there is no income tax and no requirement to prepare and submit tax returns or disclose worldwide income or assets.
2. For companies, although the corporate tax rate is 33.33%, after various allowable deductions, this results in an effective corporate tax rate of under 6%. Directors fees if taken by resident directors are free of income tax to the recipient.
3. For most individuals there are lower compliance costs as there is no requirement to prepare and submit yearly tax returns.
4. As there is no income, capital gains or wealth tax there is a greater ability to preserve and accumulate one’s wealth.
5. There is increased confidentiality of one’s wealth as there is no reporting of worldwide income or assets to outside agencies.
6. There is no capital gains tax, or wealth tax for non-French resident individuals.
7. There are no inheritance taxes on Monaco based assets between husband and wife or children. A sliding scale of rates applies between 8% and 16% for more distant inheritors.
8. The residency application procedures for most individuals and their families is relatively straightforward.
9. There is no requirement to purchase a property in Monaco nor is there a minimum property rental charge payable.
10. There is no dependants tax charge levied.
Monaco attracts many different people such as:
- Individuals retiring from business
- Individuals who want Monaco based offices
- Entrepreneurs who are still actively growing their businesses
- Individuals who want to operate private equity and hedge fund management in Monaco
- Families wanting to take advantage of the excellent facilities (including education) in Monaco
- Companies looking to relocate and reward their senior management teams without the effects of personal income tax
The Application process (Overview)
There are various rules regarding Monaco Residency and EBC can help with your application.
Anyone, over the age of 16, has the opportunity to stay in Monaco for a period not exceeding three months without going through any formalities other than those necessary to travel to France. However, anyone (other than Monegasesque nationals) wishing to gain residency in Monaco and wanting to make Monaco their primary residence, must obtain a Monegasque Residency Card (“Monaco Residency Card” or “Carte de sejour”) from the Monegasque Authorities. European nationals, EU/EEA, (see list of countries) just need to hold a valid national identity card showing their name, date and place of birth and nationality.
Non EU/EEA individuals will need to obtain a long term French visa from the nearest French consulate to where they reside. Once this is obtained they can proceed with their residency application on the same basis as an EU/EEA individual.
On the basis that you hold an EU country passport you can apply directly for residency without the need to obtain a long term French visa. An outline of the requirements that you will need to follow to obtain residency in Monaco is as follows:
1. Obtain a lease or own an apartment in Monaco and
2. Obtain one of the following:
a) open a bank account and obtain from a Monaco bank a letter confirming you have sufficient funds to live here or;
b) show you are employed by a Monaco company or;
c) a document from the government authorising the creation of a business activity by you in Monaco and
3. Supply the additional information to support your application is as follows:
a valid passport, a current identity card (if applicable), 2 photos, CV, birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable), divorce record (if applicable), names of your brothers and sisters (if any) together with their dates of birth and where they live, details of any children, your current address and over the past 5 years, your academic record from school with dates any certificates and professional qualifications or awards, names and address of all your employers, what you intend to do in Monaco, any property you own in Monaco or elsewhere and your police record.
The Application Process (In Detail)
Applications for a Monaco Residency Card are split into four categories:
- Non-EU Nationals who Reside outside of France – Must first obtain a visa as indicated below in Steps 1 and 2
- Non-EU Nationals Residing in France for less than a year – Must return to their home countries to apply for a visa as in Steps 1 and 2
- Non-EU Nationals Residing in France for over a year – Must apply for a transfer of residency to the French Embassy in Monaco and then apply for a Monaco residency card as in Step 2
- European Nationals – Can proceed directly to Step 2 to obtain their Monaco residency card.
For Nationals of the following Countries or if you hold a French Carte de Sejour,
then you can apply directly via Step 2 and ignore Step 1:
Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Romania, United Kingdom, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and Andorra.
The Monaco Residency application process
Request for a Long-Term Visa for the Principality
By virtue of the Franco-Monegasque Convention of 1963, France administers visa applications on behalf of Monaco. A Monaco residency application is submitted during an appointment at the French Consulate in the country where the applicant has been resident during the preceding six months.
The following documents are required when applying for Monaco Residency:
- Six recent photographs in colour (size 35×45).
- A photocopy of a valid passport (minimum 6 months validity).
- The application form for a long stay visa, duly completed in French and filed in person together with 4 photocopies of each of the document listed below and Euro 99 for the visa fee.
- A certificate from the police authorities in the country of their nationality stating “no police record” and if applicable, a certificate from the police authorities from the country where the applicant is currently residing. A translation in French must also be prepared by a qualified translator.
- An affidavit sworn by the applicant in the presence of a Solicitor/Commissioner for Oaths, stating that the applicant has never been convicted of a criminal offence of any kind or disqualified to trade in any jurisdiction and that they have no pending affairs with any court of law or the Police in any jurisdiction.
- A sworn statement by the applicant that they have never been convicted.
- Proof of sufficient means to live in Monaco. This can be provided by (i) submitting an “Engagement de Travail” to work in Monaco, or (ii) a request for authorisation to set up a business or a company, or (iii) a bank reference attesting to sufficient means to live without taking up employment in Monaco.
- Proof of accommodation. This can be done by providing (i) a lease, or (ii) a certificate of free accommodation or (iii) a deed of Monaco property ownership.
- The “Engagement de Travail” is an undertaking of employment from an authorised Monaco employer, duly stamped by the Employment Department of the Principality. The bank reference is a letter in French from a bank affirming the applicant has sufficient means, and would preferably come from a Monaco-based bank. An accompanying letter from a solicitor, accountant or bank in the last country of residence naming the source of income should be provided. If the applicant intends to set up a business in Monaco, a formal application must be completed in French (refer to the Business in Monaco section).
- Proof of marriage for spouses of French nationals, Monegasque or foreign residents living in Monaco.
Proof of accommodation includes (i) a rental contract, or a promise of rental, or (ii) a certificate of free lodging or (iii) a deed of property ownership, or (iv) a written undertaking by the applicant to produce one of these documents within the three months following their arrival in the Principality.
In the case of a certificate of free lodging (“Certificat d’Herbergement Gratuit”) this is an official form that must be signed by the person undertaking to provide free lodging for the applicant and further signed by the owner of the property or their representative.
The applicant must also countersign the document. A copy of the registered lease or title of property must also be provided.
For children their parents they will need to complete an application form, pay a fee of Euro 99, and provide 6 photographs, a photocopy of their passport, a school certificate, and birth certificate.
Once the visa has been approved by the French authorities (this can take between three and six months), the applicant is informed by letter and must go to the Consulate to have the visa stamped in their passport (in some cases it is possible to have the authorisation sent to the French Consulate in Monaco where the passport may be stamped). The applicant must then apply to the Monegasque authorities for a Monaco Residency card (“Carte de Sejour”). This application must be made to the Residents Section of the Directorate of Public Security within three months of arrival in the Principality.
N.B. Residents of France holding a French Carte de Sejour do not need a visa and may therefore make an application for a Monaco Residency Card as explained in Step 2 below without going through the above procedure. However, it can in certain cases take several months to obtain a French “Carte de Sejour” and the temporary “Recipisse” issued upon application is not valid when applying for Monaco residency.
Carte de Sejour Application
EU nationals (see list of countries) can apply directly to the Residents Section of the Directorate of Public Security for a Monaco residency card (“Carte de Sejour”).
After obtaining the visa in Step 1 above, any person over the age of sixteen years can apply for the Monaco residency card (“Carte de Sejour”). The applicant will have to go the Residents Section of the Directorate of Public Security and ask for an application form. This will be provided if the applicant can present a valid passport (if necessary with a visa) together with a letter from a Monaco estate agent confirming they are engaged to find a property for the applicant.
An appointment for an interview will be fixed within three to five weeks of applying. A response for the issue or otherwise of the Monaco residency card will be sent to the applicant within 7 to 8 weeks following the interview.
The following documentation must be submitted at the interview. They must be all in French or translated into French by certified translator :
- The completed application form
- One recent photograph. A second photo identification will be made at the interview
- A valid passport stamped with the visa (if applicable)
- A birth certificate
- A marriage certificate (if applicable)
- An extract of the applicant’s criminal record, or an equivalent legal document from the country of residency of the applicant from the last 5 years
- Proof of sufficient income to live in Monaco. This can be provided in several ways by submitting:
i. An “Engagement de Travail”. This must come from a company that has obtained the permission of the Department of Employment in Monaco to offer the applicant employment, or
ii. A document authorizing the creation of a company. If the applicant intends to set up a business in Monaco, a formal application must be completed in French (refer to the Business in Monaco section), or
iii. A bank reference attesting to sufficient income from a Monaco based bank. The letter issued by the bank must be written in French, it must certify that the applicant has sufficient income without engaging in gainful employment. The applicant will need to open two accounts with their chosen Monaco bank: a current account and an escrow account. This letter must be accompanied by a document indicating the source of income.
Proof of accommodation
This can be done by providing:
i.a lease, or
ii. a certificate of free accommodation or
iii.a deed of Monaco property ownership
In the case of a certificate of free lodging, (only reserved for close family or household employees), an official form must be signed by the landlord and the property owner or his representative. A copy of the lease or property title must also be provided.
For European residents, they must also include a valid National Identity Card, where available.
At the interview the applicant will be asked questions about their education, qualifications, work experience, details of their children, their ages and schooling, their parents, and other family members.
Renewal of the Carte de Sejour
There are 4 types of Cards:
- Temporary residence card valid for 1 year for a duration of stay in Monaco of three months minimum. This must be renewed annually for the first 3 years of residency.
- Ordinary residence card valid for 3 years for a duration of stay in Monaco of three months minimum. This card can be applied for in the 4th year of residency.
- Privileged residence card valid for 10 years for a duration of stay in Monaco of six months plus 1 day minimum. This card can be applied for in the 10th year of residency.
- Joint Monaco residency cards can be applied for where the spouse is not Monegasque, but is married to a Monegasque citizen.
For the renewal of a Monaco Residency Card, the following documents are required:
- A copy of the lease or property deed
- A certificate of employment (if employed) or;
- A letter from the bank showing sufficient income or;
- an extract from the Register of Commerce RCI (if the owner of a company)
- A completed form (available from the Directorate of Public Security, Residents Section)
- A copy of the last two electricity bills (or the last four electricity bills if it is the renewal of 10 year card)
How EBC can help you:
- Assist with the preparation of the visa dossier
- Attend the meetings in Monaco with the client when applying for the visa
- Introduce local estate agents to help find a property to buy or rent
- Introduce local banks in order to open an account and obtain the necessary bank letter if required
- Assist with the application to form a business entity in Monaco.