The Irish investment-based immigration program is one of the newest programs in the world, as it was only just approved by the Irish government in January 2012. Similar to other European programs, Ireland divides its program into two broad categories: the Immigrant Investor Programme and the Start-Up Entrepreneur Programme.
That said, The Irish residency by invest scheme has seen a huge 55% increase in demand within the past 12 months alone. This is primarily because investors are now starting to recognise the unique advantage Ireland is able to offer their investors.
Under the Investor Programme, approved investors and their immediate family members (spouse and unmarried minor children) will be granted Irish residency for a period of five years. This residency is renewable after two years. The types of investments that Ireland hopes to encourage under this program include a specially created low-interest Government Bond. Investors who select this option must invest a minimum of 1 million Euros into the bonds.
An investor can commit €1 million to an Approved Investment Fund. These Investment Funds have been approved for the purposes of the Immigrant Investor Programme by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service and are regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. All funds have to be invested in Ireland and must represent equity stakes in Irish registered companies that are not quoted on any stock exchange. Secondly, the funds and fund managers will have to be regulated by the Central Bank to conduct business in Ireland. Thirdly, only fund managers with an established record of managing regulated funds will be accepted to manage funds in Ireland.
The IDLF is a Central Bank of Ireland approved and regulated investment fund which gives overseas investors the opportunity to invest in Ireland while supporting Irish job creation. The IDLF provides lower cost, asset-secured finance to the Irish hotel sector. Loans are provided to suitable Irish hotels on more favourable terms compared with traditional banking institutions and are secured against the hotel property. Loans are provided on a fixed 5-year term.
Successful Investor Applicants are required to invest €1,000,000 into the IDLF for 5 years and 6 months. In return, the Investor (and nominated family members) will secure Residency Permission for Ireland, enabling freedom of movement within Ireland and the UK (both European Union members). Provided the applicant abides by the programme rules, this Residency Permission will be renewed every 5 years without limit.
Sterling Migration provides complete tailor-made solutions:
Alternatively, foreign nationals may invest a minimum amount of 500 thousand Euros into one Irish enterprise or spread out over multiple enterprises. If the investor chooses this option, the investment must be sustained for at least three years. The enterprises can be brand new businesses that are created by the investor or they can be existing companies. The only other requirement is that the business is registered and headquartered in Ireland.
(This is an important issue. The intention of the Programme is to support High Potential Start-Up businesses.)
The scheme is not intended for retail, personal services, catering or other businesses of this nature.
Notably, investments in the cultural, sporting, educational or health areas will also be considered for the purpose of immigration benefits, which is a feature unique to this Irish program. Importantly, there is not a fixed amount required for the investment. Rather the amount deemed required will depend on the nature of the investment and to which industry it will be committed. However, the Irish government has stated that the required amount generally ranges from 500 thousand Euros to 2 million Euros.
Under the Start-up Entrepreneur Programme, foreign investors who have a “good business idea” to bring innovation to the economy, as well as funding of 70 thousand Euros, may be granted residency in Ireland for the purposes of developing their business. The investor is not required to create a minimum amount of new job positions for Irish workers, making this option particularly easy to achieve.
Another option for the foreign national is to invest in property. The investor can choose to invest a minimum of 450 thousand Euros in a residential property combined with a 500,000 Euro investment into the immigrant investor bonds.
Once the investment has been made and documented, the foreign national and family can apply for the permanent resident permits. These permits will typically be valid for a total of five years, with approval occurring at two different increments. After the investor has been a resident for two years, the Irish immigration authorities will review the investment to ensure that it still meets the conditions of the visa program. If the investment continues to meet the conditions, the residence will be extended for an additional three years.
Afterwards, the investor can extend the permanent residence in five-year increments.
Ireland is now offering a great deal for investors and even though this is a new scheme, we are certain Ireland will fast become the leading investment programme within the European Union in the coming years and is already the fast growing for the past five consecutive years.
Source of Funds Whether the money is held in a financial institution regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland or overseas at the time of application, we must establish the source of the funds to show the 2 million Eur required was obtained lawfully.
We will consider the following sources of funds
i) business and investment activities
ii) deeds of sale
iv) divorce settlement
The above sources of funds will only be considered where the following evidence is provided;
If the funds are being sourced from the applicant’s business and investment activities, the applicant should provide financial accounts together with a verification letter from a registered legal adviser who is permitted to practise in the country where the applicant’s business activities are operating. This letter must confirm that the applicant can lawfully extract the money from the business.
The required financial accounts must be a profit and loss account or income and expenditure account if the organisation is not trading for profit. The financial accounts should be prepared and signed off in accordance with legal requirements and should clearly show the
The verification letter, in the form of an original document from a legal adviser permitted to practice in the country where the applicant’s business activities are operating, must confirm that the applicant can lawfully withdraw the funds from the business. The letter must be an original document and not a copy and must show:
If the funds are being sourced from the proceeds of a sale of assets, the applicant should submit original documents in the form of the deeds of sale of assets accompanied by a verification letter from a registered legal adviser who is permitted to practise in the country where the sale was conducted.
INIS will require the deeds of sale of assets such as business or property if the applicant has generated these funds from this source for the purposes of this application. This should be accompanied by a confirmation from a registered legal adviser, who is permitted to practice in the country where the sale was conducted, that the sale was genuine and that the funds realised are available to the applicant. All deeds of sale should meet the relevant legal requirements of the country in which the sale was conducted. As a minimum requirement, the deed of sale document must show:
If a sale is required to be registered on an official public register in the country of sale, a copy of the relevant registration should be submitted.
The verification letter in the form of an original document from a legal adviser, permitted to practice in the country where the sale was conducted, must clearly show the following:
If the applicant has been the beneficiary of an inheritance which has enabled his or her application, then a notarised copy of the will which conferred this benefit on the applicant should be provided together with a verification letter from a registered legal adviser permitted to practise in the country where the will was made confirming the validity of the will. If the applicant has received assets, rather than money, then the applicant may not use estimates of the value of the assets as evidence of funds for investment.
The will should contain the following information:
If the applicant has obtained the required funding as a result of a divorce settlement, a notarised copy of a financial agreement following a divorce must be provided together with a letter from a registered legal adviser permitted to practice in the country where the divorce was decreed. Where the applicant has received possessions or assets, rather than money, estimates of the value of the items will not be accepted as evidence of funds available for investment.
The verification letter in the form of an original document from a registered legal adviser permitted to practice in the country where the divorce was decreed, must clearly state the following:
Note: If the required funding is from a source not listed above, we must provide original documentation as evidence of the source of the funding, together with independent supporting evidence. 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.
To qualify for Irish citizenship, the foreign investor must have demonstrable good moral character (i.e, no criminal convictions), at least one year of continuous residence in Ireland before submitting the citizenship application, and the intent to continue to reside indefinitely in Ireland for the foreseeable future. Additionally, the investor must make a declaration of allegiance to Ireland and avow to observe the nation’s laws and values.
Since 1921 There has been a free common travel agreement in place between Ireland and the UK which is separate from any E.U involvement and takes president over any subsequent legislation. In the simplest terms, it means a resident of Ireland is free to come and go to the UK as and when they wish without even being required to show a Passport.
This is an excellent benefit of being a resident of Ireland, part of the European Union while having free access to London and the rest of the United Kingdom for those who need unimpeded access to both countries.
Investors can gain a €50,000 reduction in the amount needed for investment if they have children who wish to attend university in Ireland. The benefits of a full education in Ireland are attractive. English speaking and offering some of the best universities in Europe, Ireland offers unique opportunities for students and for graduates. Two of the top four universities in Europe for educating entrepreneurs are based in Dublin, namely Trinity College and University College Dublin. In addition due to its access to the EU market, graduates are welcomed by many of the world’s top companies with headquarters in Ireland.
Graduates from Trinity College Dublin founded more companies than graduates from any other European university over the last five years. Two of the top 4 universities in Europe for educating entrepreneurs are in Dublin.
Saint Patrick isn’t just the patron saint of Ireland but is also a patron saint of Nigeria.
While Ireland has seen a boom in its standards of living since joining the EU in the 1970’s there’s still a way to go. For investors looking to provide their families with a world-beating standard of living, we recommend looking at the current Australian investor visa programme. Australia offers a safe investment environment and an unbeatable way of life for migrants able and willing to invest in securing permanent residency, leading to citizenship.