The Irish Immigrant Investor Programme was introduced back in 2012 and is aimed at enabling high net worth non-EU nationals to invest in Ireland in order to obtain residency for them and their families. The investor visa programme offers the following options for prospective investors:
Endowment – the investor makes a single donation of about 500,000 euros to a public venture that benefits education, culture, health arts, or sports. If you are a group of 5 investors, each can make a 400,000 euros contribution.
Enterprise investment – this is a minimum of one million investment into an existing or new Irish business for a period not less than 3 years.
Real estate investment trust (REIT) – in this option, the investor invests a minimum of two million euros in an Irish REIT that is listed on the stock exchange. The investment doesn’t have to be in a single trust, but it can be distributed into different trusts, provided the total amount invested doesn’t drop below 2,000,000 euros.
Investment fund – the investor invests a minimum of one million euros in a managed fund used to finance Irish business ventures.
Now, whichever option the investor chooses, one thing that you have to prove is that they have a net worth of at least two million euros and that they have no criminal record. A due diligence report from a recognised risk management and security screening organisation is also needed. During the application, the Immigration Service Department conducts a comprehensive examination on the sources of the applicant’s money, trying to verify whether it is legitimate, and if it is, the investor will have to provide significant supporting documents verifying the source. It is important to note that a loan cannot be relied upon as a source of funds and any application relying on such a source will be rejected.
After you make your application and have submitted all the required documents, you will have to wait until the application is approved by the Ministry of Justice and Equality before you transfer the appropriate funds to your preferred investment option. However, you will be required to have access to the funds at any time during the application process, just in case, it’s needed.
For those who apply through email, all the supporting documents must be apostilled by the Foreign Affairs Ministry as well as the Irish Embassy in their home country before submission. Once the application is approved and the investor visa is granted, not only is the permission for residence granted to the primary investor, but also to the immediate dependent family members, including partner/spouse, and their children who are under the age of 18 and some instances, 24.
You will be granted the ‘Stamp 4′ permission to reside in the country. Not only does this permission allow you to live in Ireland, but it also ensures that you can study, work, or even set up a business in the country without any restrictions.
The permission is granted for a period of two years in the beginning, and if the investment is still in place, it will be renewed for a further 3 years. Remember, it is expected that the investor won’t become a financial burden to the state or engage in criminal activities, otherwise, the permission will not be renewed and it might even be terminated. After residing in Ireland for five years, you will no longer be required to maintain the investment and you and your family’s permission to remain in Ireland will be renewed after every five years. In fact, you will be eligible to apply for Irish citizenship.