What is the Immigrant Investor Programme?
Note that as of 15 February 2023, the Irish Immigrant Investor Programme will no longer be accepting new applications.
Foreign nationals wishing to immigrate to Ireland for business purposes may wish to consider the Start-up Entrepreneur Programme (STEP). Alternatively, those who are self-sufficient and wish to retire in Ireland may consider applying for Stamp 0.
The Immigrant Investor Programme gives foreign citizens, including Canadian citizens, the chance to get permission to reside in Ireland long term after investing a large sum of money in Ireland.
There are four routes that fall under the Immigrant Investor Programme and each of them comes with different eligibility requirements. However, regardless of the route you venture down, the investment has to be financed with your own money, not a loan.
As part of the application process, you have to provide evidence showing that you have enough funds to make the investment and retain it for a few years.
Our lawyers can assess your circumstances and help you determine whether you qualify for the Immigrant Investor Programme. They can also help you prepare sufficient evidence confirming that you are able to make the planned investment.
What are the eligibility requirements for the Immigrant Investor Programme?
When applying for the Immigrant Investor Programme, there are four routes you can choose from. Depending on which one you want to apply for, you have to meet the following eligibility requirements:
- The Enterprise Investment – you have at least €1 million to invest in an enterprise or a business that is registered and headquartered in Ireland and you have to be able to retain the investment for at least 3 years
- The Investment Fund – you have to have at least €1 million to invest in a small or medium-sized business in Ireland and you have to be able to retain the investment for at least 3 years
- The Real Estate Investment Fund – you have to have at least €2 million to invest in an Irish Real Estate Investment Fund and you have to be able to retain the investment for at least 3 years. Moreover, your investment has to reduce negative equity.
- Endowments – you have to have at least €500,000 to make a philanthropic contribution or an investment that will benefit a certain community in Ireland. When making the donation, you cannot be expecting any financial gains.
Each of the investment types comes with slightly different rules. For example, if you make an investment under the Real Estate Investment Fund, after 3 years you can divert the funds at an approved rate and after 5 years, you no longer have to retain it. Or, if you want to make an Endowments contribution, you can do it as a group of 5 or more as long as each of you has at least €400,000 to invest.
If you hire one of our lawyers, they can help you understand the rules and requirements that apply to your chosen type of investment.
How can Canadian citizens apply for the Immigrant Investor Programme?
To apply for the Immigrant Investor Programme, you have to complete an application form and submit it by email. In the form, you have to provide details of the planned investment in Ireland and you need to include documents that prove you have enough money to do it. In your application, you also have to provide a business plan and an executive summary for the investment you plan to make.
Finally, you have to pay the non-refundable application fee of €1,500. You have to make the payment by electronic fund transfer.
Then, you need to send the application form and the receipt for the application fee by post to the following address:
Immigrant Investor Unit,
Immigration Service Delivery
Department of Justice
13-14 Burgh Quay
Dublin 2 D02 XK70
If your application is successful, you will receive Stamp 4 in your passport and you will have the right to live and work in Ireland long term. The time you spend in Ireland on Stamp 4 will count towards reckonable residence, which means that after living in Ireland for a certain period of time, you will be able to apply for citizenship by naturalisation.
If your application is rejected, however, you will not have the right to appeal the decision. To make your case as strong as possible from the start, you should hire an immigration lawyer.
What happens after my application is approved?
Once you submit the application form and documents proving your finances, your application will be reviewed by an Independent Evaluation Committee. The waiting time for the decision varies depending on complexity of each case but most applications are processed within 3 to 4 months.
Once your application for the Immigrant Investor Programme is approved, you need to complete the following steps:
- Make the investment and submit evidence proving that the investment was made in full using your own money
- Submit documents confirming that you have private medical insurance
- Submit Affidavit of Good Character.
To be able to come to Ireland under the Immigrant Investor Programme, you have to be able to show that you are of good moral character and that you have not previously committed any serious crimes. To prove it, you can obtain a statement from the police in your home country. Keep in mind that if you lived in any other country for 6 months or more, you also have to provide a statement of good character for each of these countries. Alternatively, you can submit proof of having undergone a due diligence check carried out by a reputable organisation.
How can Total Law help?
At Total Law, we have a team of experienced immigration lawyers who have helped many Canadian citizens immigrate to Ireland. Understanding the requirements for the Immigrant Investor Programme can be complex but our lawyers can explain to you in detail what is expected from you and what documents you need to provide.
If you hire one of our lawyers, they will guide you through each step of the application process, making it stress-free and straightforward. They will be around to answer any questions and clear any doubts you might have. Thanks to the professional assistance of our lawyers, you can maximise the chances of your application being approved.
And, even if your application is unsuccessful, our lawyers can help you understand why it was rejected and they will tell you what your options are. Even though there is no appeal process, you have the right to apply again at a later date, or you can try getting another Irish Visa.
Call us today on +353 061 518 025 to find out more about how Total Law can help.
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After your application for the Immigrant Investor Programme is approved you have to make the investment and submit evidence proving it. To keep your permission in Ireland, you have to adhere to the following conditions:
- Your investment must remain in place for the specified period
- You must not become a financial burden on the state
- You must not be convicted of committing a criminal offense.
If you fail to make the investment in full, or you breach any of these conditions, your status in Ireland might be revoked and you will have to leave the country.
When completing the application form for the Immigrant Investor Programme, you have to provide the following information:
- Personal details
- Information about your employment status
- Information about your income sources
- Details of the investment you wish to make in Ireland
- Details of your Irish immigration history
- Details of your criminal history.
Depending on your circumstances, you might also have to provide additional information. If you hire one of our immigration lawyers, they will explain to you in detail what evidence you need to submit.
When applying for the Immigrant Investor Programme, you have to pay the application fee of €1,500 by electronic fund transfer. This fee is non-refundable so you will not get your money back if your application is rejected or if you withdraw it. Paying the fee is an important step of the application process and you will not be able to proceed with your application until you have settled the payment.
Most applications for the Immigrant Investor Programme are processed within 3 to 4 months. Nevertheless, if you fail to provide some of the required documents or if you make mistakes in your application, the waiting time can be longer. Similarly, if your case is complex, the Evaluation Committee might need more time to review your application.