Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George’s Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, and the twentieth-largest on Earth. Politically, Ireland is divided between the Republic of Ireland (officially named Ireland), which covers five-sixths of the island, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom.
Ireland is a beautiful and rich country in Western Europe known for its captivating landscape and cleansing air. Grasslands and pastures cover 80% of the island. It is surrounded by the ocean and borders with the UK. Ireland is one of the fastest growing economies in Europe and it is also one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Its geographical location, low tax rate and EU and Eurozone membership attract many international companies that want to gain access to Europe and North America including Apple, Google, Huawei, Intel, Microsoft, Dell. Thousands of the world’s largest technology and innovation companies establish their European headquarters in Ireland. In addition to that, Ireland are attracting investors who want their children to have a better English education, high standard of living and investors with a strong interest in Business.
|FORM OF GOVERNMENT:||Unitary parliamentary republic|
|LEGAL SYSTEM:||Common-law / Parliamentary Democracy|
|LOCATION:||Located in the continent of Europe, Ireland shares land borders with only one country, United Kingdom.|
|TIME ZONE:||GMT/WET (UTC), Summer (DST) IST/WEST (UTC+1)|
|AREA:||26,592 square miles (68,890 square kilometers)|
|MAJOR MOUNTAIN RANGES:||Macgillycuddy’s Reeks, Wicklow Mountains|
|MAJOR RIVERS:||Shannon, Liffey, Boyne, Moy, Barrow|
IRISH IMMIGRANT INVESTOR PROGRAM
Ireland introduced its initial investor visa programme in 2012. It was heightened in 2013. The golden visa programme was launched to stimulate investment in Ireland and offer residency to HNW individual business entrepreneur and professionals with a proven record of success. This is an ideal programme for investors seeking residency in Europe and will be particularly attractive to businessmen, entrepreneurs and those seeking a top level of education for their children at world class universities.
To be considered suitable for the Irish Immigrant Investor Program, an applicant must invest in one of the following six categories:
- Immigrant Investor Bond – €1.0 million investment in Irish Government Bonds at 0% interest.
- Enterprise investment – €1.0 million invested into an Irish business enterprise for 3 years.
- Investment Funds – €1.0 million invested in a government approved fund.
- Real Estate Investment Trusts – A minimum investment of €2 million in any Irish REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) that is listed on the Irish Stock Exchange. The investment can be spread across several Irish REITs.
- Mixed Investment – A real estate purchase for the minimum value of €450,000 plus an investment of €500,000 into Irish Government Bonds, giving a combined minimum investment of €950,000.
- Endowment – A €500,000 non-refundable philanthropic donation.
Option 1 & 6 is currently suspended as per Irish regulations.
The Irish Immigrant Investor Program facilitate non-EEA nationals and their families who commit to an approved investment in Ireland to acquire a secure residency status in Ireland. A minimum investment of €1.000.000 either in a single Irish enterprise or spread over a number of enterprises holding for a minimum of 3 years under the Program.
The enterprise can be an existing business, or it can be a new business started by the investor. The enterprise must be registered in Ireland, and its headquarters must be located in the country. The enterprise must also help the Irish economy by creating or maintaining local jobs.
Business Investment must be under Investor’s own name (not in the name of a corporation or trust). Investment should not be through the purchase of publicly traded shares or real estate that they intend to rent to tenants.
Investor may qualify for an Ireland Investor Visa by investing in an Irish REIT. A REIT is a listed company used to hold rental property in a manner that mitigates investor risk yet avoids double taxation. A REIT will typically invest in a diverse pool of properties so as to minimize risk and must distribute most of its profits every year.
Applicant must make an Investment of at least €2 million into one or more qualifying REITs for at least three (3) years to qualify for Investor Immigration in Ireland. The REIT must either be listed on the Irish Stock Exchange or have already applied for listing and given notice of the same to the Revenue Commissioners. Investor must maintain the €2 million investment shares for a complete 3 years post which investor may divest a maximum of 50% of his or her shares. One year later, an additional 25% of shares can be divested while full shares can be divested at the time of completion of 5 years from the date of original purchase.
Under this Ireland Investor Program option, candidates must donate at least €500,000 to a qualifying philanthropic project in arts, sports, health, culture or education. Candidates that act in concert with four or more other immigrant investors may invest as little as €400,000 each as long as the total donation goes to a single project. Immigrant investors must not receive any financial return on their contribution. Since this option does not require an investment, there is no minimum holding period.
Irish Immigration Investor Program offers the opportunity for applicants from outside the European Union to gain Irish Residency through investing a minimum €1.0 million in an Approved Investment Fund.
The fund is a low risk investment fund authorized and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. It offers the opportunity for foreign investors to invest in Ireland in return for long term residency status.
The two key objectives of the fund are:
- Ensure maximum protection of investor funds through a conservative, low risk loan investment policy.
- Issue innovative finance to a portfolio of Irish hotels which will each increase employment levels through the lifetime of the fund.
This is an asset backed mutualized debt fund which offers a very secure option for investors seeking access to the Irish Investor Visa Programme.
Under this option of the Ireland immigration by investment program, applicants must invest at least €1 million into a qualifying and pre-approved investment fund for at least three years. The investment fund must be a private equity or venture capital fund focusing on small and medium-sized enterprises. The fund must also have a minimum target size of €20 million.
Any domestic investment by the fund must be used to purchase equity stakes in non-publicly traded Ireland-registered companies. The funds, as well as the fund managers, must be subject to regulation by the Irish Central Bank in order to conduct any business in the jurisdiction. Only funds managed by an experienced fund manager located in Ireland are eligible for approval under this option of the Irish Investor Program.
The Irish Naturalization and Immigration Service (INIS) does not possess the expertise or authority to recommend any particular investment fund, whether or not it has been pre-approved for immigration purposes. Consequently, INIS does not in any way guarantee the performance of any such fund.
IMMIGRANT INVESTOR PROGRAM IRELAND PROCESS
Evaluate Ireland investment immigration and citizenship by investment options with legal counsel.
Preparation of Application Documents.
Application submission to Ireland Immigration authorities by choosing one of the four currently available investment options. No investment is required at this time, but a non-refundable filing fee of €1,500 must be paid for the main applicant and any accompanying family members. Ireland Investor Visa applications are only accepted during official intake “windows” that occur approximately five times a year and last about 25 days each.
Obtain approval of Ireland Golden Visa application from the Immigration Ireland Evaluation Committee. The Evaluation Committee is empowered to recommend Investment Visa applications for approval by the Minister for Justice and Equality.
Make necessary Investment and submit proof of Investment.
Submit an evidence of sufficient private medical insurance.
Submit an Affidavit of Good Character issued by an attorney at law licensed to practice in Ireland. This requirement is separate from the statement of good character from the police that was included in the initial application.
Issuance of Ireland Residency and Investor Visa
- Evidence of Investors net worth of €2 million.
- Clean criminal record.
- Proof of adequate investment to Irish Naturalization and Immigration Service (INIS)
- High standard of living.
- One of the safest countries in the world.
- High level of education.
- Warm-hearted people and fantastic culture.
- No mandatory residency required, the applicant must visit the country for 1 day in 12 months.
- The dependents of the applicants can use the primary and secondary education for free.
- Pathway to citizenship after meeting certain criteria.
- After 3 years the investment can be removed, the immigration/visa permission will be permanent.
- 5 years of Irish residency (reviewed after two years to ensure the investor is meeting the conditions of their particular investment)
- After the initial 5 years, the investor can renew their residency every five years without having to make any further investments.
- Family members are granted residency at no additional cost.
- The investor is not required to establish actual residence in Ireland.
- There are no minimum residence requirements other than the stipulation that the investor must visit Ireland at least once each year.
- After five years of living and working in Ireland, an investor can apply for naturalization, which is Irish citizenship and its passport.
- Ireland is an EU member state, and its citizens have the right to live and work in any other European Union country without time restriction and with the same rights to health care and education as the citizens born to that country.
- The Irish passport is the sixth most powerful in the world, with visa free access to 172 countries. The areas of the world where an Irish passport holder can venture visa free include the Americas in their entirety (Canada, the USA, Central America, the Caribbean and all of South America), Western Europe in its entirety, parts of Eastern Europe, parts of Africa, areas of Asia and Southeast Asia and all of Australasia.
The Ireland Immigrant Investor Programme is officially a residency program, not a citizenship by investment program. The Immigrant Investor Programme does not provide for preferential access to naturalization for successful applicants. Successful applicants are free to apply for naturalization in the normal manner under the provisions of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Acts 1957-2004. In summary this legislation requires applicants for Irish naturalization 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.
Please note that only residence where you physically reside in Ireland is considered for the calculation of the minimum residency period in naturalization applications. 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 naturalization.
[Dual citizenship is recognized, and Irish naturalization can be applied for by participants under the programme, under the terms of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Acts 1957-2004.]
NOTE: A person can be regarded as physically resident in Ireland and still travel abroad for business or leisure. However, the person’s home must be in Ireland and they should spend the larger part of the year there.
RESIDENCY IN IRELAND
After two years, Ireland residence permit can be renewed by submitting the evidence of;
- Maintaining the investment for the required holding period.
- Financial Stability.
- Good Character Certificate.
- Clean Criminal Record.
Residence permit can be extended for another three years.
Irish Residence Permit can be renewed every 5 years thereafter with no further investment requirements, although financial stability and good character requirements still apply.