Investor and Entrepreneur Schemes

IMPORTANT UPDATE (16 March 2016) 

Arising from an ongoing review of Business, Entrepreneur and Investor related migration schemes currently being undertaken, the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) has decided to suspend the ‘Business Permission Scheme’ with effect from close of business Wednesday 16th March 2016 until further notice. 

The suspension will not affect applications received before Wednesday 16th March, 2016 or the status of persons already holding permission under the scheme. Sinnott Solicitors will monitor the situation and provide an update when the Department of Justice have completed their review of the procedure.

Immigrant Investor Programme

The Immigrant Investor Programme is open to non-EEA nationals and their families who commit to an approved investment in Ireland. Aproved participants in the Programme and their immediate family members will be granted rights of residence in Ireland which will allow them to enter the State on multi-entry visas and to remain here for a defined period but with the possibility of ongoing renewal. The Programme will facilitate participants, over time, in establishing a permanent relationship with Ireland.

The Department of Justice have advised that as of from 18 July 2016 the following investment options have been temporarily suspended from the options available under the Immigrant Investor Programme:

  • €1,000,000 Investment in the Immigrant Investor Bond
  • €950,000k Mixed Investment (€500k invested in the Immigrant Investor Bond and a minimum purchase of €450k on a residential property).

As a result of this suspension, in order to apply for the programme, the only investments which will now be considered are as follows:

  • Endowment: €500,000 to a public project benefiting the arts, sports, health, culture or education. The endowment can be €400,000 per investor if it is pooled by at least 5 individuals.
  • Enterprise Investment: A minimum €500,000 aggregate investment into new or existing Irish businesses for a minimum of 3 years.
  • Investment Fund: A minimum of €500,000 in an approved investment fund which would invest in Irish businesses and projects.
  • Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT): A minimum investment of €2 million in any Irish REIT listed on the Irish Stock Exchange. The investment may be spread across a number of Irish REITs.
Please note that the next closing date for receipt of applications under the IIP and STEP programmes is 5.00pm Wednesday 14 September 2016.

Each application will be examined on its merits in a qualitative examination by an independent interdepartmental committee. The investment has to be good for Ireland, good for jobs and in the public interest, the funds invested have to be legally acquired and owned by the investor (i.e. not borrowed). The person has to be of good character.

Residence Permission Granted to Successful Applicants

Successful applicants can expect to receive residence permission for 5 years.

An initial permission will be granted for two years and following a review at that point to ensure the investor is continuing to meet the conditions of the scheme (i.e. the investment has not been withdrawn, they continue to be law abiding and self- sufficient), a further period of 3 years will be granted. After this initial 5 years period, the investor will be free to apply for residence in 5 year tranches.

The investor is not required to establish actual residence in Ireland. The Immigrant Investment Programme is about rights of residence that the investor may exercise as their business and family needs dictate. No minimum residence requirement is set other than the stipulation that the persons concerned should visit Ireland at least once in every 12 month period.

Anyone interested in this programme should contact Sinnott Solicitors below and we can outline the requirements of the programme and the application process.

Start-Up Entrepreneur Programme

The Start-up Entrepreneur Programme provides that non-EEA nationals with an innovative business idea for a High Potential Start-up and funding of €50,000 can acquire residency in Ireland for the purposes of developing their business. No initial job creation targets will be set as it is recognised that such businesses can take some time to get off the ground. The Programme will facilitate participants in establishing a permanent relationship with Ireland.

Types of Business Proposal that that may apply under this Programme

(This is an important issue. The intention of the Programme is to support High Potential Start-Up businesses.)

  • A High Potential Start-Up is defined as a start-up venture that is:
  • Introducing a new or innovative product or service to international markets.
  • Capable of creating 10 jobs in Ireland and realising €1m in sales within three to four years of starting up.
  • Led by an experienced management team.
  • Headquartered and controlled in Ireland.
  • Less than six years old.

The scheme is not intended for retail, personal services, catering or other businesses of this nature. The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service existing business immigration channel known as the Business Permission Scheme remains available to this sort of proposal. For more information on the existing business permission visa available please contact us and we would be happy to assist.

Residence Permission granted to successful applicants: Successful applicants can expect to receive an initial permission or two years and following a review at that point to ensure the entrepreneur is continuing to progress with the business proposal a further period of 3 years will be granted. After this initial 5 years period, successful entrepreneurs will be free to apply for residence in 5 year tranches.

Anyone interested in this programme should contact us below for further information regarding the Guidelines, the application forms and the business plans necessary for the Start-up Entrepreneur Programme. We are happy to make applications on behalf of interested applicants and we feel that this is an excellent initiative for Ireland’s economy at present.