Ireland is one of the very best countries to live, work, study and do business for wealthy families and investors. Ireland provides excellent healthcare, world class education and highest standards of living than any other country in the world.
Ireland offers a golden visa scheme officially known as ‘Irish immigrant investor scheme (IIP) . The minimum investment for this scheme starts from €500,000 and eligible investors are granted permanent residence status (known as Stamp 4)
The Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) provides non-EEA nationals with a number of options to invest in Ireland, and successful applicants are granted a Stamp 4 permission to reside in Ireland for a fixed period.
The programme offers four investment options for potential investors:
- Enterprise Investment: A minimum of €1 million invested in an Irish enterprise for a period of at least 3 years.
- Investment Fund: A minimum of €1 million invested in an approved investment fund for a period of at least 3 years. Such funds must be approved and regulated by the Central Bank.
- Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT): A minimum investment of €2 million in any Irish REIT that is listed on the Irish Stock Exchange, for a period of at least 3 years.
- Endowment: A minimum €500,000 philanthropic donation to a project which is of public benefit to the arts, sports, health, culture or education in Ireland. It is a philanthropic contribution with a clear public benefit. Investors will receive no financial return or recoupment of the principal.
Applicants are required to demonstrate a minimum personal net worth of €2million and these assets have been acquired legally through legitimate business and commercial activity, inheritance, endowment and/or divorce.
All successful candidates and their nominated family members will be granted a permanent residence permission in Ireland under “Stamp 4” conditions.
“Stamp 4” conditions permit foreign nationals to work, to study or to start their own businesses in Ireland.
Actual physical residence in Ireland is not a condition for renewal of your residency permission under the Immigrant Investor Programme. This condition applies to both investors and their nominated family members. The programme simply requires investors and their family members to visit Ireland at least once per calendar year. The applicant must spend a minimum of 1 day per calendar year in Ireland.
To facilitate investors who wish to educate themselves or their family members in Irish higher education institutions, an investor may avail of a maximum €50,000 discount on their investment for any educational expenses for family and children that they intend to commit to in Ireland.
Review of Applications
There are no quotas or limits on the number of permissions or applications for under Irish IIP.
The Evaluation Committee assesses applications on the basis of the profile of the applicant, the commercial viability of the project, employment outcomes associated with the proposed investment and the overall benefit to the Irish State.
Applications are assessed on the basis of the profile of the applicant, the commercial viability of the project, employment outcomes associated with the proposed investment and the overall benefit to the Irish State.
Refusal of Applications
The decision of the Minister for Justice and Equality on an application is final and a rejection of an application under the Immigrant Investor Programme will not qualify for review or appeal.
Applications are assessed by an Evaluation Committee, composed of senior civil and public servants from relevant Irish Government Departments and State Agencies involved in enterprise development in Ireland. There is a EUR 1500 application fee
Ireland has tightened the screening of applications with stringent checks on background of applicants and source of funds. Applicants and sponsors are subjected to enhanced due diligence processes which includes checks for:
- Anti-Money Laundering (AML)
- Know Your Client (KYC)
- Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs)
- Sanction checks.
In 2018, INS imposed bans on financial lending or loans are not considered as appropriate source of funding and such applications were to be refused .
Further in compliance with the international tax rules, INIS through the Irish Revenue Commissions will spontaneously exchange the personal data of successful IIP applicants with the jurisdiction of tax residence of the successful applicants
The Immigrant Investor Programme does not provide for preferential access to naturalisation for successful applicants. Successful applicants are free to apply for naturalisation in the normal manner under the provisions of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 (as amended).
This legislation requires applicants for Irish naturalisation to be physically resident in Ireland for the 12 months prior to application and to be physically resident in Ireland for four of the preceding eight years, i.e. 5 years.
Investors and their family members who exercise their right not to reside in Ireland under the Immigrant Investor Programme will not fulfil the residency requirements for naturalisation requirement and therefore will not qualify for citizenship.
Children under the age of 18 qualify under the IIP applicant’s residency. Children between 18 and 24 will be considered under the programme where they are not married or in a de facto relationship and are attending full time education in Ireland and are still financially dependent upon the investor.
Ireland may revoke stamp 4 residency status under the Immigrant Investor Programme under the following circumstances –
1. If the acquisition of the status was fraudulent;
2. In the event of the holder being the subject of a deportation order;
3. In the event of the holder being convicted of a criminal offence in any jurisdiction;
4. If the applicant fails to meet the conditions of the scheme as regards duration of the investment;
5. If the investor failed to disclose material information available to them at the time of the application or renewal that would, if known to the immigration authorities, have made them ineligible for the programme on the grounds of character.
6. Where the immigration permission of the main applicant/investor is withdrawn, then the permission granted to their family members are also withdrawn.