Who may apply for the Irish Residence Permit Investor programme (“IIP”)?
The Ireland Immigrant Investor Program is a residency-by-investment program that requires a minimum net-worth of at least EUR 2,000,000. There is a wide range of investment options available for the investor, starting at EUR 400,000, and the current processing time is around 6 to 8 months.
Advantages of the Irish Residence Permit
- 2-Year Residence Visa for successful applicants
- Ireland is part of the European Union
- Opportunity for visa renewal after 2 years of residence visa
- Dependents included:
- spouse or civil partner
- children under the age of 18
- children between the ages of 18 and 24 may also be considered in certain circumstances.
- Ability to live, work and study in Ireland
- Possibility to apply for permanent residence or citizenship if certain requirements are met
- Enterprise Investment of at least EUR 1 million in either a single Irish enterprise, or several enterprises for a minimum of 3 years
- A minimum investment of EUR 1 million in an approved Investment Fund which must be held for at least 3 years
- A minimum investment of EUR 2 million in an approved Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) listed on the Irish Stock Exchange which must be held for at least 3 years
- An Endowment (non-refundable donation) of EUR 500,000 in the arts, sports, health, cultural or educational fields (EUR 400,000 also available)
- Must make a qualifying investment in Ireland for at least 5 years
- The applicant must have legally acquired net assets of at least EUR 2 Million
- Funds used for the application must be capable of being transferred to Ireland and convertible to Euros
- The applicant and family members must be in good health and have no criminal record
- The applicant and family members must have private medical insurance covering their period of residence in Ireland
- Must spend at least one day per year in Ireland
- Applicant must prove the source of funds used for the investment, loan is not an acceptable source of funds
- The application must be approved by an Evaluation Committee composed of senior officials from the Irish Government
- The Evaluation Committee convenes four times per year (Feb, May, Sept and Dec) to assess applications
- Investment is made only after the application is approved
- Once the investment is completed then Residence permits are then issued to applicant and family members for an initial period of 2 years
- Residents permits may be extended for a further 3 years’ subject to the investment continuing to be held
- After the initial 5-year period, applicant and dependents can:
- apply for a 5-year visa extension; or
- apply for Permanent Residence (if residing in Ireland); or
- apply for Citizenship (subject to meeting residency and other requirements)
What are the options available for investment under the IIP?
- Enterprise Investment – A minimum investment of €1 million in an Irish enterprise for a minimum of 3 years
- Investment Fund – A minimum investment of €1 million in an approved investment fund for a minimum of 3 years.
- Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT) – A minimum investment of €2 million in any Irish REIT that is listed on the Irish Stock Exchange for 3 years
- Endowment – A minimum investment of €500,000 in a project of public benefit in the arts, sports, health, cultural or educational field.
Are there any reductions in the amount of investment under the Endowment?
Yes, where a group of 5 or more investors wish to combine their philanthropic endowments to contribute to an appropriate project, a minimum investment of €400,000 per investor will qualify under the IIP.
How can you decide what option is best?
- There is no ‘best’ option, however some general guidance is detailed below for each of the options available:
- The Enterprise Investment option will be suitable for investors who wish to create a new enterprise or invest in an existing business in Ireland. This option will facilitate investors who have their own investment or business strategy and see the benefits of Ireland as a location
- The Investment Fund option allows investors to avail of the services of approved professional investment intermediaries to invest in the future potential of Ireland’s Enterprise sector.
- The REIT option provides an investor with a lower-risk property investment model in which the investment is diversified into a pool of properties. The debt limits within the REIT reduce exposure to negative equity risk, and REITs are income producing investments which are required to distribute the majority of profits each year, and so generate a regular income stream for investors.
- The Endowment option will facilitate investors who wish to actively engage in philanthropy and who wish to champion projects that benefit the public at large. It is the most straightforward option and once the endowment is made no further financial obligation is required under the IIP.
Can the investment funds come from a loan?
No. A loan is not an appropriate source of funds for this program.
How does the immigration office determine an Applicant’s net worth?
All Applicants for the IIP must clearly demonstrate that they have a legally acquired minimum net worth of €2 million. Applicants must clearly demonstrate that they are independently wealthy and do not rely on funds which are solely owned by another individual.
Is there any residency requirement for IIP?
Yes, 1 day a calendar year.
Can the Applicant renew their residence permissions?
Yes. Initially for two years if certain conditions have been fulfilled during this period.
Can IIP Applicants apply for naturalisation after obtaining their residence permission?
Yes. Successful IIP Applicants are free to apply for naturalisation in the normal manner under the provisions of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956. This legislation requires Applicants for Irish naturalisation to have resided physically in Ireland for the 12 months prior to application and to have physically resided in Ireland for four of the preceding eight years, i.e. 5 years.
What is the current processing time for an IIP application?
Approximately 6-8 months
What are the upcoming application deadlines for 2020?
Applications windows will no-longer apply and applications for the Immigrant Investor Programme may be submitted at any time
The present document is intended for guidance and general information only and does not constitute or purport to provide you with legal advice. Such information is subject to changes without notice. Each case is unique and depends on the facts and circumstances of the individual and due consideration should be taken if applying the general information to your personal situation. For an evaluation of your personal circumstances one of our legal team would be happy to assist.