In 2012, Ireland brought in the concept of Ireland Investment Immigration Programme for both non-EU/ EEA nationals and their family members to receive citizenship in Ireland. A substantial amount of investment has to be contributed to Irish businesses for obtaining citizenship. This programme helps in creating jobs opportunity and developing the Irish economy.
Officially, Ireland investment visa does not grant Irish citizenship by investment. It offers a long-term residency in Ireland, used to support citizenship application under the country’s Naturalisation rules. Ireland investment visa generally referred to as Ireland Golden Visa. Acquiring Ireland Golden Visa is the only way or possible conduct for Ireland citizenship by investment. An individual must have legally assembled minimum net worth of € 2 million approximately Rs 14, 62, 40,100.00 to be fit for the Irish Investment visa. The individual to be eligible for visa also must have a good character with no criminal background or convictions anywhere around the world. The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) with an evaluation committee set rules about which investments are eligible for the Ireland Investment Programme and whom all can apply or get Ireland Investment Visa.
Irish Immigrant Investor Programme will certify investment options that will qualify an individual for residence in Ireland. These qualified investments are:
- Enterprise investment- At least € 1 million into certifying Irish enterprise for at least three years.
- Approved Investment fund- At least €1 million into a certifying investment fund for at least three years.
- Real Estate investment trust- At least €2 million into one or more certifying REITs for at least three years.
- Endowment (donation option) – Donate at least €500,000 to a certifying philanthropic project in arts, sports, health, culture or education.
Immigrant Investor Program Ireland Process
Step 1- Find a certified Ireland immigration lawyer.
Step 2- Check Ireland Investment immigration and citizenship by investment options with a lawyer.
Step 3- Assist with Irish Immigration lawyer to obtain all supporting documents.
Step 4- Submission of Application to Ireland immigration officials depending on one of the four available investment options with supporting documentation. A non-refundable fee of € 1,500 must be paid for the applicant and accompanying family members if any. Application is accepted only during official intake “windows” which occurs approximately five times a year and last about 25 days each.
Step 5- Acquire approval of Ireland Golden Visa application from the Immigration Ireland evaluation committee. The committee has been authorised to recommend Investment visa applications for approval by the Minister for Justice and Equality.
Step 6- Once the application gets approved by the Minister for Justice and Equality, the applicant must make the recommended investment and submit the proof of it.
Step 7-Provide evidence of sufficient private medical insurance.
Step 8- Submission of a certificate of good character by the licensed lawyer in Ireland. This requirement is different from the statement of good character given by the police in the initial application.
Step 9- Once the investment is officially confirmed, the applicant will be granted an initial residency of two years in Ireland with the eligible family member mentioned in the application.
Long Term Residency In Ireland
After two years, investors can renew their residency permit by submitting evidence that their investment has been maintained for the holding period, depending on the investment option selected by them. Considering, that person’s investment still qualifies, is financially stable, of good character and has not been charged with any criminal activity the residency permit can be extended for another three years.
Ireland Citizenship by Investment
The Ireland Immigrant Investor Program is formerly a residency program and not a citizenship program. However, one is entitled to apply for Irish citizenship on the same rules. The resident permit can help immigrant investors in meeting the residency requirements for Irish citizenship. The criteria for applying for Irish citizenship by investment is that the immigrant investors must have been resident in Ireland for at least twelve months immediately preceding to their application date, and must have been resident in Ireland for four of the immediately preceding five years before the application date The term “residency” here means actual physical presence in the country. Although, a person will be considered a resident if they leave the country for business trips and vacations. The criteria are that the participant must spend most of the time being physically present in the country to be considered a resident in Ireland.
Ireland recognises dual citizenship. The country does not force citizenship applicants to disregard their current citizenship to obtain Ireland citizenship through investment. Ireland Golden visa is of particular interest to high net worth individuals (HNWI) interested in obtaining a second citizenship.
Investor Visa Ireland Supporting Documentation
- Required documents for Enterprise Investment option:
- A detailed description of the business plan should disclose how the business will create or maintain employment in Ireland. The investor has to explain how he intends to ensure financial return on the investment made by him. Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) website has or provides a template business plan.
- The investor has to provide details of recent audited accounts of the existing company depending on whether an investment has made in Irish or non-Irish enterprise.
- Required Documents for Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Option:
- Once the Minister for Justice and Equality approves the Irish Investor Visa Application, the investor needs to submit a share certificate and letter from their broker mentioning the number of REIT shares purchased. Purchase date, share price and the total amount of investment should be there in the letter. The applicant will not be permitted residency until these documents have submitted.
- Required Documents for Endowment Option:
- Statement on how the donated funds are used by the beneficiary and how it will benefit the public. The available business template accessible on (INIS) website can be used or the purpose.
Advantages of Ireland Golden Visa
- EU Residence and consequent citizenship
- An appealing tax regime
- Dual citizenship
- High standards of living
- Travel benefits
- Access to the U.K
- Access to the Irish educational system
- Political and economic stability
- The comfort of the European Union
- Minimal residence requirement
Disadvantages of Ireland Golden Visa
- One would not be able to travel in the Schengen area freely.
- RBI program has no residency requirement, yet it requires that the applicants and residents visit Ireland at least once a year even for one day.
- One can be a Non- domiciled tax resident of Ireland if one spends less than roughly 140 days a year in the country, that gives the benefit of spending time in the country without paying taxes. However, if one wants to apply for Irish citizenship one, has to spend six weeks in a year to qualify. Thus, disqualifying one from the non-domiciled status. So one has to choose between taxes or citizenship.