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 Immigrant Investor Programme was introduced by the Department of Justice and Equality in 2011 in order to allow non-EEA nationals who are seeking to invest in Ireland to obtain residency with their family members as a result of this investment.
The programme was reviewed in 2013 and again in December 2016 and offers the following five different investment options for prospective investors as a means of obtaining their permission to live in Ireland.
- A single donation of at least €500,000 to a public venture which benefits the arts, sports, health, culture or education. Alternatively the donation can be €400,000 per person if it is pooled by at least 5 people.
- A minimum €1,000,000 collective investment into a new or existing Irish business/company for a minimum of 3 years.
- A minimum €2,000,000 investment in an Irish Real Estate Investment Trust that is listed on the Irish Stock Exchange. The €2,000,000 does not need to be in one single trust an can be made in a number of different Real Estate Trusts provided that a minimum of €2,000,000 is invested
- A minimum of €1,000,000 in a managed fund which finances Irish businesses and ventures.
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