Since the announcement of Brexit, this office has received a noted increase in queries from non EEA nationals seeking to obtain permission to reside in Ireland pursuant to the Immigrant Investor Programme.
As a result the shock referendum result in June, Sinnott Solicitors understand that many business organisations from UK and elsewhere are presently looking to move their financial headquarters to Ireland, thereby making it an extremely attractive investment destination for both EU and non-EEA nationals alike.
There are many reasons for this, examples of which are;
- the fact that Ireland will be the only English-speaking country left in the Eurozone,
- the fact that the ‘passporting’ of financial services from the UK, which has been a key factor in London becoming the financial capital of Europe, will no longer be possible,
- the fact that the EU is presently negotiating new free trade agreements with Japan and the United States as well as the attractive Irish corporation tax rate amongst others.
At present many of the world’s largest top-performing companies (such as Intel, Twitter, Pfizer, Citi, Huawei, Takeda, Fujitsu, Novartis Trend Micro) are based in Ireland.
Ireland is also becoming a global powerhouse in Big Data, Information Communication Technology Skills, Energy and Renewable Resources, Pharmaceutical and Biological Science as well as the Financial Services Sector.
There is no better time than the present to invest in business in Ireland for both EU nationals and Non-EEA nationals.
In addition to investing in Ireland, many non EEA nationals also wish to live here. As a member of the European Union this is not a problem for EU nationals who can exercise the rights conferred upon them pursuant to the various treaties and Directives of European Union in order to do this.
For non EEA nationals, the Department of Justice and Equality have in place a specific scheme which permits non EEA nationals to invest and reside in Ireland on a full time basis.
What Is the Investor Programme and How Does It Work?
The country’s Immigrant Investor Program is available to high net worth individuals and their families outside the European Economic Area and has a pathway for citizenship. The investment must fall into one of the following four categories:
- enterprise investment
- investment fund
- real estate investment trusts
Enterprise Investment requires a minimum investment of 1 million euros in a new or existing Irish business for a duration of at least 3 years. Investment Fund requires a minimum investment of 1 million euros in an approved investment fund for at least 3 years, in an Irish registered company not quoted on a stock exchange. Real Estate Investment Trusts requires a 2 million euros investment for a period of 3 to 5 years in any Irish Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) listed on the Irish Stock Exchange, an investment which may be spread across different REITs. Endowment requires a donation of 500,000 euros to a project of public benefit to the arts, sports, health, culture or education in Ireland.
Applicants must demonstrate a 2 million euros net worth. Irish residency is granted for two years, which can be renewed for three years. Residing in Ireland is not required but investors must visit once per year. Family members will be able to work, study or establish a business in Ireland as well. It takes a minimum 4 months to get a visa.
Although Ireland does not offer a CBI program, successful residency applicants can obtain citizenship – and a well-regarded EU passport – after living five of the last 9 years in Ireland. Investors need to have been physically a resident in Ireland for the last 12 months to apply for naturalization. Benefits of citizenship is free travel from one EU country to another without obtaining a visa.
Ireland’s Immigrant Investor Program (IIP) is open to non-EEA nationals investing in Ireland at a minimum of 1 million euros with a three-year commitment. The investment must be from the applicant’s own resources and not through a loan or other means. Applicants must demonstrate a 2 million euros net worth.
How To Apply
There are set times when applications are accepted, which can be found on the Irish Naturalization and Immigration Service website. The process from application to residency typically takes four months. Applicant must provide evidence of source of funds/assets for the intended investment. http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/New%20Programmes%20for%20Investors%20and%20Entrepreneurs
At the moment, applications will be accepted between 15th – 29th August and 10th – 24th October 2018.
Investors must be able to show that they have a net worth of at least €2,000,000 and must show that they are of good character through police clearance reports. They must also swear an affidavit of good character.
Benefits of The Irish Immigrant Investor Scheme Post Brexit
One of the benefits of the scheme is that it is not only the investors themselves who are granted permission to reside in Ireland; it is extended to their immediate dependant family members (spouse/partner, children under the age of eighteen years and up to twenty four in certain circumstances). This is of particular benefit to family members who wish to relocate their entire family to Ireland.
Applicants are granted permission to reside in the state on a Stamp 4 basis.
A ‘Stamp 4 permission to remain’ allows non EEA nationals to reside in Ireland, to study, work and set up businesses without restriction.
Initially permission will be granted for a period of two years, however will be renewed provided that the investment is still in place, the investor has not had recourse to public funds or become a financial burden to Ireland, or come to the attention of the authorities in Ireland or abroad.
Residency for Family Members & Irish Citizenship Opportunities
Non-visa required nationals can enter Ireland immediately following the grant of the immigrant investor programme permission to reside in Ireland.
Visa-required nationals must apply for an entry visa to the state however this will processed in an accelerated fashion provided all of the relevant documentation is submitted.
After five years of residing in Ireland the investor is no longer required to maintain their investment and their permission to reside in Ireland (along with family members) will be renewed in five years blocks. Most attractively, after five years of residing in Ireland they will be eligible to apply for Irish citizenship, which will open even more doors and opportunities for themselves and their family members.
Key Business Advantages of Doing Business in Ireland After Brexit
Ireland offers excellent opportunities for non EEA nationals and their family members who are seeking to invest and reside in Ireland and ultimately become citizens of the Irish state/European Union.
Ireland has a favourable 12.5 % corporate tax rate
It has a strong and educated growing workforce
For 20 years Ireland has had a significant financial services sector
The cost of living is reasonable in Ireland
Ireland will be the only English-speaking nation in the European Economic Area
There is a huge supply of commercial property available from which to run your business