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Irish Immigrant Investor Programme 2020: New Investment Options | Ultimate Guide2020-04-08T17:43:12+00:00

Irish Immigrant Investor Programme 2020

New Investment Options | Ultimate Guide

Looking to obtain residency by investment in Ireland in 2020? As of 15 April 2020, foreign investors will have additional investment options to choose from. Find out more about your options for obtaining Irish residency by investment or contact us now to discuss your options for obtaining EU residency through company formation or business investment.

NOTE: For those seeking to obtain EU residency by business formation or investment, there are far simpler, faster and more cost effective options available than the Irish Golden Visa program or the Irish Startup Visa. Contact us now to learn more about alternative faster, more cost effective programmes.

Program FAQs

New Investment Options | Ultimate Guide

IIP Dependent family member eligibility 20202020-04-06T08:09:48+00:00

The spouse of the primary application, as well as any dependent children under the age of 18 years are eligible to be included under the primary applicant’s residency application. Ireland recognizes same sex marriage, and children under the age of 24 will be eligible for residency as well, provided that they are financially dependent, unmarried and in studying full time.

Does Ireland recognize dual citizenship in 2020?2020-04-06T08:09:55+00:00

Yes, Ireland does recognise dual citizenship, so you won’t need to give up your citizenship to gain Irish citizenship and the related benefits.

How many Irish investor visas are granted per year?2020-04-06T08:10:01+00:00

As of 2020, there is no limit on the number of IIP visas that can be issued per annum.

When do I need to commit my investment funds for the IIP?2020-04-06T08:10:07+00:00

You will only need to commit your investment funds upon received your pre-approval letter from the Irish nationalization and Immigration Service (INIS)

Are any countries excluded from applying for the Irish Investor Program?2020-04-06T08:10:21+00:00

As of 2020, no countries are formally excluded from the IIP, however certain sanctioned countries may be prevented from applying for Irish investment residency.

What are the investment options for the Irish Investor Program?2020-04-06T08:10:29+00:00

Immigrant investors can choose from the following investment options to gain Irish residency:

1) Endowments: A donation of no less than €500,000 into a philanthropic project or similar approved initiative with benefit to the Irish public can serve as the basis for a residency application under the IIP. Applicable project areas include Irish arts and culture, sports public healthcare or educational initiatives.

2) Enterprise investment: A qualifying investment of no less than €1 million can serve as the basis of an Irish residency application under the IIP. The investment must be maintained for a minimum period of 3 years. It must be noted, however, that unlike IDLF investments, Irish enterprise investments tend to carry a higher degree of potential downside risk.

3) Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs): A minimum investment of €2 million in any Irish REIT listed on the Irish Stock Exchange, and maintained for a minimum period of 3 years, can serve as the basis for a residency application under the Irish Investor Program.

4) The Irish Diaspora Loan Fund (IDLF): A minimum investment of €1 million in this Fund, maintained for a period of 5 years, will qualify the foreign investor to apply for Irish residency.

What are the application criteria for the Irish Investor Program?2020-04-06T08:10:36+00:00

Investors seeking Irish residency by investment must be able to make a minimum qualifying invest of €1 million in the IDLF. In addition, prospective investors must be of good international standing, have a clear police record in their native jurisdiction, and must be able to prove a minimum net worth of €2 million.

 

The Irish IIP application process2020-04-10T14:32:43+00:00

Step 1: Compile and submit your application, indicating your intended investment preference. No capital needs to be committed at this stage.

Step 2: Application consideration by the Evaluation Committee.

Step 3: Receive in-principle approval and make the eligible investment.

Step 4: Provide proof of having made your investment, and have your application processed, and residency status granted.

All Irish residency by investment applications are appraised by the Ireland Immigrant Investor Program’s Evaluation Committee, with an ultimate decision being made by the Ministry for Justice and Equality.

The approval criteria include the applicant’s personal and financial profile, the viability of the proposed commercial investment or projects, as well as the probability of successful job creation, if relevant. The project’s overall positive impact on the Irish economy is generally a key consideration.

Once your pre-approval letter has been obtained, you must make the required investment within 90 days or less.

 About the Irish Immigrant Investor Programmes: 2020 update

On 24 February 2020, the Irish Ministry for Justice, Equality and Defence announced the launch dates for two new investment residency programmes. As of 15 April, the Immigrant Investor Programme and Irish Startup Entrepreneur Visa Programme will be accepting applications from foreign investors and startup founders.

The new initiatives were approved by the Irish Government in January, and it is hoped that the programmes will contribute meaningfully towards funding for social impact projects and initiatives that serve the public interest. In addition, the startup visa programme, in particular, is expected to draw top tech talent to Ireland, and to stimulate new job creation in the technology sector.

It must be noted that this is NOT a Citizenship by Investment Programme; migrant investors will need to follow the same route to naturalisation as any other foreigner residing in Ireland: Only after 5 years of maintaining unbroken residency status will migrant investors become eligible to apply for Irish citizenship.

Other than the incentives implicit in the programme, no further tax breaks or incentives have been announced. Irish sourced income is taxed in accordance with applicable tax laws and international treaties, and none of these residency options alter the Irish tax regime in any material way.

Under the programme, approved migrant investors and their immediate family members will be able to apply for Irish residency. The residency permit is to be granted for an initial period of 3 years, after which a review will be conducted to ensure that the immigrant investor still meets the programme’s criteria.

 Subject to this being the case, their residency can then be renewed for an additional period of 3 years. Once the first 5 year period has passed, the investor will be able to apply for renewal of their residency permit every 5 years.

As is the case with the investment residency programmes of Greece, Portugal and Spain, the investors are not required to reside in Ireland. While no minimum stay periods are specified, it is expected that the investor visit Ireland once every 12 months.

While the above-mentioned programmes all offer a property investment routes to residency, Ireland has historically not offered real estate investment as a residency eligible option. As of 2020, however, Ireland will now offer a property based investment option – but more on that below…

Updated programme investment options 2020

The updated residency by investment options now include the following:

  1. A 1 million investment in the Ireland Diaspora Loan Fund, a mutualised, asset backed investment fund more commonly referred to as the IDLF, for a period of 5 years. The fund offers low yield, and low risk, yet serves as the basis upon which investors can apply for Irish residency.

  2. A €500,000 endowment towards a project benefitting the public: Such an endowment can be made to the benefit of the arts and culture, sports, education, o to promote optimum healthcare service provision. The tangibility of the project and clear benefit to the public good are key considerations for this investment option, and the endowment is a non-refundable donation. 

  1. A €1 million minimum combined investment into new or existing Irish businesses (maintained for a minimum 3 years): Venture capital based fund investments may be considered eligible as a basis for investment residency, provided that it can be proved that the net impact of the project is equivalent, or more impactful, than that of a direct investment. As is the case with the USA EB-5 Green Card Program, the emphasis for this option is on the creation of sustainable jobs for Irish citizens, or alternatively the investment must serve to save existing Irish jobs that are at risk. Speculative asset acquisitions or simple share purchase transactions therefore won’t qualify as the basis for an Irish investment residency application under this program. This investment route has become increasingly popular among affluent Hong Kong nationals, in particular, given the ongoing conflict in their native country.

  1. A €2 million minimum investment in low-interest Immigrant Investor bonds (maintained for a minimum of 5 years): A single interest payment of 5.1% (or the equivalent of 1% per annum) is payable at the end of the minimum 5 year investment period. This special Irish investor bond will be issued by the Irish National Treasury Management Agency, and will not be tradable on the market, nor will these bonds be transferrable.

Additional programme criteria

Similar to most of the above-mentioned Golden Visa programmes, financial self-sufficiency is a key criterion of the Irish migrant investor programme; you have to be able to support yourself and your dependent, immediate family members without placing any burden on the state. A minimum personal net worth of €2 million is required.

Applicants must be individuals of good international standing, and will require a clean, recent police record from the country in which they are permanent residents.

In close adherence to international Anti Money Laundering and Counter Terror Financing legislation, the source of funds for the proposed investment will need to disclosed in detail.

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