Managed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Services [INIS], the Immigrant Investor Programme [IIP] was launched in 2012 by the Irish Government.
Established in 2005, the INIS provides a one-stop-shop for visa, immigration, asylum and citizenship services.
The IIP offers high net worth individuals an Ireland immigration pathway to residency in Ireland, based on their investment.
The IIP was specifically designed for encouraging investors and business professionals – from outside the European Economic Area [EEA] – to invest and locate their business interest in Ireland, acquiring secure residency status in the country.
Since the launch of the IIP in 2012, the programme has been responsible for over 1,100 investors availing of the scheme for acquiring Irish residency.
Official figures reveal that around €826.5 million-worth of investment into Ireland from non-EEA nationals has come about through the IIP.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020, the IIP led to an approximately €184.6 million being invested in the Irish economy.
In order to be eligible for the IIP route to permanent residency in Ireland, the individual must be a high net worth individual with a personal wealth of a minimum of €2 million.
While earlier an application window format was followed by the INIS for the IIP, as per a Notice published June 12, 2020, “applications windows will no-longer apply and applications for the Immigrant Investor Programme may be submitted at any time”.
Following the submission of an application under the IIP, an assessment is made by an Evaluation Committee that comprises senior-level public and civil servants from the relevant Government Agencies and Departments in Ireland.
The meeting of the Evaluation Committee is held at least once a quarter.
The INIS emphasizes the importance of the submission of “complete applications”, that is, containing an in-depth independent due diligence report and apostilled/legalised documents [where required].
The IIP route to permanent residency in Ireland
|Investment required||Minimum €1million, in own resources and not financed through a loan or other such facility*|
|Personal net worth required||At least €2 million|
|Duration that investment has to be committed for||3 years|
|Invest options available for potential investors||4 investment options –
· Enterprise Investment
· Investment Fund
· Real Estate Investment Trusts [REIT]
|Basic step-wise process||STEP 1: Making an application, based on any 1 of 4 investment options available.
STEP 2: Approval of the application by the Evaluation Committee.
STEP 3: Making the investment as per the approved application.
STEP 4: Providing evidence that the investment has indeed been made.
|Total number of investor permissions available for the IIP annually||Currently, there is no limit on the number of permissions available.|
|Countries eligible for the IIP||No countries are excluded from the IIP.
However, international sanction agreements might apply to certain nationalities.
Non-refundable if application refused
|Processing time||Generally 3 to 4 months.
The processing time might be longer if the Evaluation Committee requires additional information.
|Eligible family members||In addition to the main applicant, Ireland residency status will also be available for spouses/partners and children below 18 years of age.
In certain situations, children between 18 to 24 years will also be considered. Such situations are wherein the child is –
· Unmarried and does not have a life partner
· Financially dependent on their parents.
|Naturalisation||The IIP does not offer preferential access to naturalisation.
Regular Irish naturalisation requires applicants to be –
· physically present in Ireland for 1 year before applying, along with
· being physically present in Ireland for 4 out the preceding 8 years.
Hence, the applicant must have been physically present in Ireland for a total of 5 years [1 + 4] to be eligible for naturalisation.
Only physically residing within Ireland will be considered towards the calculation of the minimum residence period.
|Minimum time to be spend per year in Ireland in order to adhere to the rules of the IIP||The applicant must spend a minimum of 1 day per calendar year in Ireland.|
*As per the INIS, “Under no circumstances will a loan provided to the applicant for the purpose of making an IIP application be considered an appropriate source of funding”.
Applicants as well as their nominated family members that are successful – and whose investment proposals are approved by the Evaluation Committee and the Ministry for Justice and Equality – will be issued a pre-approval letter inviting them to proceed with making their investment.
The investment will have to be made within 90 days of the date of this pre-approval letter.
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