What is the Immigrant Investor Programme
The Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) was launched to encourage foreign investment in Ireland. It is an Irish immigration programme that enables non-EEA nationals to secure immigration permission in Ireland providing they are able to commit to an approved form of long-term investment.
Successful applicants for the immigrant investor programme will be granted residence permission for an initial period of two years, which can be extended for a further 3 years under certain conditions.
Whilst in Ireland under the Immigrant Investor Programme you will be able to live and work in the country, however, you do not have to actually reside in Ireland to maintain your residency permission. This programme also allows applicants to bring their family members to Ireland with them.
Who is eligible for the Immigrant Investor Programme
To be eligible for the Irish Immigrant Investor Programme there are a number of criteria that you will need to meet, you must:
- Be classed as a “high-net-worth individual” with a minimum net worth of €2 million.
- Be of good character
- Have no criminal convictions
- Intend to invest in one of the four approved financial investment options, you will need to meet the minimum investment requirement for the option that you choose.
Types of investment
To apply for the Ireland Immigrant Investor Programme you must invest using one of the approved investment options. There are four options that you can choose from, each option has varying investment requirements, these are detailed below.
Under the Enterprise investment option, you can qualify for the Irish immigrant investor programme by making a minimum investment of at least €1 million into a qualifying Irish enterprise for at least three years.
Both an existing business registered in Ireland or a new business created by the investor applicant. However, the business must be registered in Ireland and its headquarters must also be in the country. As well as meeting these criteria, the enterprise must also benefit the Irish economy by either creating or maintaining jobs in Ireland.
The Investment Fund option allows applicants to qualify for the programme if they make a minimum investment of at least €1 million in one of the approved investment funds for a minimum of three years. The fund must meet certain requirements, it must:
- Be pre-approved for the program by Immigration Ireland
- Be invested in an Irish registered company
- Be regulated and approved by the Central Bank of Ireland, this includes both the fund and fund managers
- Be a private equity or venture capital fund focusing on small and medium-sized businesses
- Have a minimum target size of €20 million
Real Estate Investment Trust
To be eligible for the programme under the Real Estate Investment Trust option, applicants must make a minimum investment of €2 million into one or more qualifying Irish REITs for a period of at least three years. The REIT must be listed on the Irish stock exchange or must have applied for a listing. Under this route, you do not need to maintain the investment after 5 years and after 3 years you can divert your investment funds.
Under the Endowment option, applicants for the Immigrant Investor Programme must donate at least €500,000 to a qualifying philanthropic project. The endowment must benefit the community and could be in projects in the arts, sports, health, culture or education sectors. Under this option, you can invest with a group of 5 people or more and if you do this you each only need to make a contribution of €400,000 to the same project. You mustn’t expect to see a financial return on your donation.
The application process
Once you have chosen your investment option you can begin the process of applying for the Immigrant Investor Programme.
To begin your application you will need to complete the application form and submit it to Ireland immigration officials. You will need to submit the application form alongside all of the relevant supporting documents.
To start the processing of your application you will need to pay the €1,500 application fee. Once your application is approved then the next step is to transfer your investment funds and submit evidence of this transfer. You must wait for approval before you transfer the funds.
Only once your proof of transfer has been confirmed will you be granted permission to remain in Ireland. You will be granted residency for an initial period of two years. Once you are granted permission to remain you will be able to live and work in the country.
Your family members who have applied to join you in Ireland will also be granted residency permission for two years.
The decision as to whether your Immigrant Investor application is approved relies heavily on the supporting documentation that you submit alongside your application form. To prove that you can meet the requirements for the programme you will need to submit:
- Evidence Of Net Worth
- Evidence Of Good Character
- Evidence of Availability of Investment Funds
- Evidence of Source of Investment Funds
- Evidence of Ability to Transfer Funds
- Evidence of Relationship with Accompanying Family Members
Depending on the investment option that you choose there are other documents that you may also need to submit.
If you choose the Enterprise Investment route then you will need to submit a comprehensive business plan. If you chose the Real Estate investment route then you will need to submit a share certificate and letter from your broker. If you choose the Endowments option you must submit a statement outlining how your investment will benefit the community.
Residence permission and citizenship in Ireland
Successful applicants for the programme will be granted residency status in Ireland for an initial period of two years.
You can extend your residency status after two years if you are able to submit evidence to prove that you have maintained your investment for the required holding period. If your investment still qualifies and you continue to meet the other requirements including being financially stable and of good character, then your residency permit can be extended for another 3 years.
The Immigrant Investor Programme is an Irish residency programme, not a citizenship by investment programme. However, applicants for the programme are entitled to apply for Irish citizenship on the same basis as anyone else and obtaining a residency permit can help you to meet the requirements for Irish citizenship.
To be eligible for citizenship by investment you must have resided in Ireland for at least 12 months prior to your application and you must also have been resident in Ireland for at least four of the immediately preceding five years prior to their application date.
How Total law can help
Applications for the Immigrant Investor Programme can be particularly complex as the documents that you will need to submit vary depending on the investment option that you choose. Our experienced immigration lawyers can assist you with your Investor Visa application and will be there to guide you through every step of the process.
We can assess whether you are eligible for the Immigrant Investor Programme and can also provide you with reliable legal advice about which investment routes you are eligible for and which is the most viable route for you.
Once you have decided on the route you will use our team can help you to complete the application form and to gather all of the supporting documentation that you will need.
We can also provide assistance with applications for eligible family members to join you in Ireland.
To find out more about the types of immigration service that you offer, get in touch with our team today on (+353) 061 518 025.
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You can be eligible for Irish citizenship through investment if you have resided in Ireland for at least 12 months prior to the date of your application and if you have spent at least 4 out of the 5 years prior to your application primarily resident in Ireland.
How much you need to invest in Ireland to get residency status depends on the approved investment route that you choose. The Endowment route is the cheapest and you must invest at least €500,000 or €400,000 if investing with a group of 5.
For the Enterprise Investment and the Investment fund routes you must invest at least €1 million, and for the Real Estate Investment Trust route, you must invest at least €2 million.