Immigrant Investor Programme - Ireland
The Immigrant Investor Programme (IPP) was set up in 2012 by the Irish Government. The IPP was created to allow non-EEA national and their families to become permanent residents in Ireland on condition that they provide an approved investment in Ireland. Often referred to as an Irish Investment Visa, the application can be broken down into two separate parts; the person/individual and the investment.
The main elements which the application focuses on are; good character, the individual’s net worth, and the nature of the funds being invested.
The nature of the proposed investment is naturally of high importance. The applicant must choose from 4 eligible investments. Once the application is received with the necessary documentation it is processed for approval. Upon approval, the investment may proceed. Permission to reside in Ireland will be given to the individual and their family once the funds have been officially invested. As of January 2018, the minimum investment is € 1,000,000. This investment must come from the individual’s own resources and cannot be financed through loans or investments. In addition, the investment must have a minimum of three years commitment.
Approved applicants are initially granted a residency period of 2 years. After the first 2 years of residency, a further period of 3 years can be granted on condition that the investor is adhering to the conditions of the IIP. Once the investor has reached the 5 year residency period they are eligible to apply for residency indefinitely in 5 year blocks. Regarding residency requirements, the investor is not required to establish a permanent residency in Ireland, they are only required to spend at least one day per year in the country. It is important to note that the IIP does not provide for special access to citizenship. Applicants must apply for naturalisation through the normal channels.
1. Enterprise Investments
- The minimum figure for investment is € 1,000,000.
- It can be invested across a number of enterprises or in a single enterprise.
- The enterprise must be registered and have its headquarters in Ireland.
- Investments in publicly traded securities will not be considered an eligible investment.
- The investment must be made in the name of the applicant/individual seeking residence.
- It is a requirement that a business plan is submitted, indicating how the investment will create employment.
- All existing businesses associated with the applicant must submit their most recent audited accounts.
- The enterprise investment option facilitates investors who have their own investment or business strategy and see the benefits of Ireland as an investment location.
2. Investment Fund
- The minimum figure for investment is € 1,000,000. This must be invested in an approved investment fund.
- The investment must be held for a minimum of three years.
- Proposals will be assessed upon the investment in Ireland and potential job creation.
- Investments can be made in Approved funds or non-approved funds, once they meet the criteria set out by the IIP.
- The main focus for the IIP is the growth of employment. Investments must represent equity stakes in companies which are not quoted on the stock exchange.
- All funds and fund managers must be regulated by the Central Bank.
- A number of investment fund in Ireland have been established specifically for IIP investors.
- Investments in commercial and/or residential property with the intention of leasing to tenants will not be considered.
3. Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT)
- The minimum figure for investment is € 2,000,000.
- The REIT must be on the Irish Stock Exchange.
- The investment must be held for a minimum of three years. The number of shares approved must be retained during this period, even in the event that their value rises above the original €2 million investment. After 3 years the investor may divest up to 50% of the shares. After 4 years the investor may divest no more than a further 25% of the shares. After 5 years there are no longer any retention obligations.
Benefits of REITs are:
- REIT provides an investor with a lower-risk property investment model where the investment is diversified across a pool of properties.
- Debt limits in REITs reduce the investor’s exposure to negative equity risk.
- REITs are exempt from corporation tax.
- REITs generate a regular income for investors as they are required to distribute the majority of profits annually.
- €500,000 is the minimum endowment required in projects of public benefit such as; in sport, health, culture, education or arts. Investors will receive no financial return as this is seen as a philanthropic contribution.
- The investor is required to submit a business plan highlighting how the investment will be of public benefit and how the investment will be utilised by the beneficiary.
- The endowment programme is available to non-EEA nationals who have a net worth of over € 2,000,000.
- Individuals must not have any criminal convictions.
- Funds used in this investment cannot be borrowed and must be the individual’s own funds.
- The investor must prove that their net worth of € 2,000,000 has been legally acquired.
- The investor will be required to explain all their activities from the previous 12 months. This includes their income, other investments, and any loans.
Evidence and Origin of funds:
- Investors must produce evidence and origin of funds to be used.
- The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service require the investor to produce sources of funds for the following; business and investment activities, deeds of sale, inheritance, and divorce settlements.
- The individual must provide original documentation and independent documentation as evidence in the event that the funding has come from an alternative source.
Statement of Character:
- A statement of character from police authorities in the country of which they have resided for a period of 6 months of more (over the last 10 years) must be submitted.
- The individual must submit An application form, with all supporting documentation and a non-refundable fee, must be submitted to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service.
- Completed applications will be presented to the Evaluation Committee.
- Assessment of applications are based on the applicant’s profile, the employment outcomes associated with the proposed investment and the overall benefit to the Irish State, and the commercial viability of the project.
- Upon approval, the applicants will be issued with residence permissions from the Minister for Justice and Equality.
Right of residence:
- Stamp 4: Successful applicants and their families will be granted continuous residence in Ireland under Stamp 4 conditions. Stamp 4 allows foreign nationals to work, study, or start their own business in Ireland.
- The immigration permission is initially for a 2 year period, and will be extended to a further 3 years subject to the following conditions:
- The designated investment is still in place.
- The individual or their family have not become a financial burden on Ireland.
- The individual or their family have not been indicted or convicted of any criminal offence(s) in any jurisdiction.
After the initial 5 years the immigration permission can be extended for a further 5 years. This is provided the designated investment remained in place for the required time and individual or their family have not become a financial burden on Ireland, nor have they been indicted or convicted of any criminal offence(s) in any jurisdiction.
- Successful applicants for the IIP, and their spouse/family, who are coming from countries that require visas must obtain an entry visa before arriving in Ireland.
- Once their letter of approval from the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service is received, successful applicants can apply for a multi-entry visa.
Irish naturalisation - Applicants must be continuously resident in Ireland for at least 12 months before they apply for Irish naturalisation. They are also required to have been resident in Ireland for a period of 4 of the proceeding 8 years.
In order to be granted Irish citizenship through naturalisation, an applicant is required to meet the following criteria, in addition to the residence requirement above.
- Applicants must be 18 years or older, or married if younger than 18.
- Applicants are required to be of good character (the Irish Police Force (Garda Síochána) are asked to provide a report on the background of all applicants).
- Applicants are required intend to continue to reside in the State after naturalisation.
- Applicants are required to make a declaration of fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the State.
If you are interested in applying for the Immigrant Investor Programme you can contact us using the form below: