The Immigrant Investor Programme was introduced by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (now known as the Immigration Service Delivery) in 2012 to enable high net worth non-EEA nationals to invest in the Republic of Ireland in order to obtain residency in the Irish State along with their family members.
The Immigrant Investor Programme offers the following four different investment options for prospective investors as a means of obtaining permission to live in Ireland.
- Endowment – 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.
- Enterprise Investment – A minimum €1,000,000 collective investment into a new or existing Irish business/company for a minimum of 3 years.
- Real Estate Investment Trust 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 and can be made in a number of different Real Estate Trusts provided that a minimum of €2,000,000 is invested
- Investment Fund – A minimum of €1,000,000 in a managed fund which finances Irish businesses and ventures.
Why invest in Ireland in order to obtain residence permission/Irish citizenship?
Irelands low corporation tax rate, highly skilled workforce and status as the only English speaking country in the Euro Zone are just some of the reasons why Ireland is such an attractive investment option to non-EU/EEA nationals who are seeking to be granted immigration permission to live in Ireland.
At present many of the world’s largest top performing companies are based in Ireland and it is fast becoming a global powerhouse in the Worldwide Web, 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 for non-EU/EEA nationals to invest in Ireland in order to be granted residence permission and Irish citizenship after five years of residence.
Criteria for the grant of immigrant investor permission to reside in Ireland
As well as the investment or donation, Applicants 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 reports. They must also submit a due diligence report from a reputable international risk management and security screening organisation.
The Immigration Service Delivery undertake an extremely comprehensive examination of the sources of funding for each application in order to verify where the finances have come from and require significant supporting documentation to be submitted verifying the source of an Applicants funds. A loan cannot be relied on as the source of funds and any applications relying on a loan as the source of finances will be refused.
A detailed business plan is required as part of the supporting documentation and the ISD charge a non-refundable fee of €1500 in order to process each application.
Applicants are required to transfer the appropriate funds to their preferred investment option only after the application has been approved by the Minister for Justice and Equality, however they will need to prove that they have access to the funds for the purpose of the application being processed.
Applications are submitted via email to the Department of Justice and Equality and all supporting documentation must be apostilled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Irish Embassy in the Applicants country of residence before submission.
One of the benefits of the scheme is that it is not only the primary investor who is granted permission to reside in Ireland – permission is extended to 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 where Applicants wish to relocate their entire family to Ireland.
Applicants are granted a “Stamp 4” permission to reside in Ireland.
A “Stamp 4” permission to remain allows non-EU/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 for a further three year period 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.
Non visa required nationals can enter Ireland immediately following the grant of Immigrant Investor permission to reside in Ireland. Visa required nationals must apply for an entry visa however this will be 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 permission to reside in Ireland (along with family members) will be renewed in five years periods thereafter.
Most attractively, after five years of residing in Ireland, Applicants are eligible to apply for Irish Citizenship, which if granted, opens even more doors and opportunities as the holders of an Irish/EU passport guaranteeing free movement residence rights in Europe.