Irish investor visas and citizenship
Irish investor visas and citizenship

Irish Residency by Investment

“Dedicated to bespoke Irish emigration solutions”

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.

Irish Residency for Investors solutions

The Irish Investment Fund

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:


  • We complete your initial compliance checks
  • We file your application to INIS (Irish naturalisation and immigration office) and receive your initial approval
  • You invest €1 million to fund
  • Your initial visa is granted
  • You receive €1 million back after 5 years

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.


Types of Business Proposal that that may apply under this Programme

(This is an important issue. The intention of the Programme is to support High Potential Start-Up businesses.)


  • A High Potential Start-Up is defined as a start-up venture that is:
  • Introducing a new or innovative product or service to international markets.
  • Capable of creating 10 jobs in Ireland and realising €1m in sales within three to four years of starting up.
  • Led by an experienced management team.
  • Headquartered and controlled in Ireland.
  • Less than six years old.


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.


  • Ireland is a committed member of Europe
  • No requirement to learn English
  • Residency requirement only 1 day per year
  • 100% of funds returned

The Requirements

  • Investors must be of good character
  • Investors must not have been convicted of any criminal offences in any jurisdiction
  • A minimum investment of €1m
  • Investors must prove a minimum net worth of €2 million


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

iii) inheritance

iv) divorce settlement

The above sources of funds will only be considered where the following evidence is provided;


i) Business and Investment Activities

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:

  • the name of the legal adviser who is confirming the details;
  • the registration or authority of the legal adviser to practise legally in the country in which the business is operating;
  • the date on which the details are confirmed and
  • confirmation that the applicant can lawfully withdraw the funds from the business in question.

ii) Deeds of Sale

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:

  • the name of the applicant,
  • the monetary value of the sale,
  • the date of the sale.

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:

  • the name of the legal adviser confirming the details,
  • the registration or authority of the legal adviser to practise legally in the country in which the sale was made,
  • the date of the sale,
  • the date of production of the letter confirming the sale,
  • the details of what was sold and the amount of money received from the sale, net of any mortgage or other loans,
  • the name of the person receiving the money from the sale,
  • the date that the money was transferred,
  • that the sale was valid according to the laws of the country in which it was conducted.

iii) Inheritance

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:

  • the date of the will,
  • the applicant should be identified as a beneficiary of the will,
  • the amount of money that the applicant has inherited,
  • the names of any executors, plus any codicils (additions) to the will that impinge on the amount of money that was received,
  • The verification letter should be an original document from a registered legal adviser, permitted to practise in the country where the will was made, and must clearly demonstrate:
  • •the name of the legal adviser confirming the details,
  • the registration or authority of the legal adviser to practise legally in the country in which the will was made,
  • the date of the document produced by the legal adviser confirming the will,
  • the date that the applicant received the money as a result of the settlement of the will (assets or possessions will not be accepted for qualifying investments),
  • the names of the person making the will and the beneficiaries,
  • confirmation of the amount of money received by the applicant,
  • that the will is signed and valid,
  • that the will is valid according to the laws of the country in which it was made.

iv) Divorce Settlement

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:

  • the name of the legal adviser confirming the details the registration or authority of the legal adviser to practice legally in the country in which the divorce was decreed,
  • the date of the document produced by the legal adviser confirming the divorce settlement,
  • the date that the applicant received the money as a result of the settlement,
  • the names of the persons who are divorced,
  • confirmation of the amount of money received by the applicant,
  • confirmation that the divorce settlement is complete and valid.

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.

  • Fully committed to being part of Europe
  • The Irish economy is the fastest growing in the Eurozone and is the 6th most competitive economy in the world
  • Ireland has been named the best country in the world for attracting high-value foreign direct investment for six years in a row
  • Only English speaking country in the Eurozone – and, following Brexit, the only English speaking country in Europe
  • Ireland has the youngest population in Europe with one third under 25 years and almost half the population under 34
  • Ireland’s education system is amongst the top 10 globally


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.


  • Irish universities are in the top 1% of research institutions in the world in terms of research impact
  • Ireland is ranked 2nd for Chemistry
  • Ireland is ranked 2nd for Nanotechnology
  • Ireland is ranked 3rd for Animal and Dairy
  • Ireland is ranked 3rd for Agricultural Sciences
  • Ireland is ranked 4th for Mathematics
  • Over 5000 internationally recognised qualifications available to study

More Facts About Ireland

  • Saint Patrick isn’t just the patron saint of Ireland… but is also a patron saint of Nigeria. He never made it to Africa himself, however, he was given secondary patronage status along with the Blessed Virgin Mary as the St. Patrick’s Missionary Society was the first to bring Christianity to the country.
  • 88% of Irish citizens are nominally Roman Catholic. The Republic of Ireland has one of the highest rates of church attendance in the Western World (around 45% of regular Mass attendance).
  • The three most famous symbols of Ireland are the green Shamrock, the harp, and the Celtic cross.
  • Dalkey, a suburb of Dublin, is Ireland’s “Beverly Hills”, home to a number of Irish celebrities, such as the authors Maeve Binchy, Roddy Doyle and Hugh Leonard, the film directors Neil Jordan and Jim Sheridan, as well as several international music figures, including U2 members Bono and The Edge, Enya, Chris de Burgh and Van Morrison. Among former residents were James Joyce, George Bernard Shaw, and more recently singer Jim Kerr, and F1 drivers Damon Hill and Eddie Irvine.
  • The story of the world-famous vampire Count Dracula was written in 1897 by Bram Stoker, from Dublin. His real-life inspiration for his character was a friend of his, the actor Sir Henry Irving. Count Dracula was the culmination of 20 years of vampire stories in Victorian literature. Dracula is said to have been inspired by the early Irish legend of Abhartach, an evil chieftain who, after being betrayed by his subjects and slain by the hero Cathrain, rose from his grave every night to drink the blood of his subjects.


  • At a height of 688 metres above the Atlantic Ocean, Croaghaun (on Achill Island) are the second-highest cliffs in Europe – after Cape Enniberg in the Faroe Islands.
  • Phoenix Park in Dublin is the third-largest walled city parks in Europe after La Mandria in Venaria Reale (Turin) and Richmond Park in London. It covers 707 hectares (1,750 acres).
  • The Irish National Stud’s Japanese Gardens, laid between 1906 and 1910 by Japanese master horticulturist Tassa Eida, are considered the finest of their kind in Europe. They are located in Kildare.
  • The Tara Mine near Navan, County Meath, is the largest zinc mine in Europe, and the fifth-largest in the world.
  • Ireland is a snake-free island. Due to its isolation from the European mainland, Ireland lacks several species common elsewhere in Europe, such as moles, weasels, polecats or roe deer.


  • Hook Lighthouse is thought to be the oldest working lighthouses in Europe, or possibly in the world. Located at Hook Head, in County Wexford, the present structure was completed either in 1172 or in 1245, although the first lighthouse on that spot dates back to the 5th century.
  • In 1845, William Parsons (1800-1867), 3rd Earl of Rosse, built the Leviathan of Parsonstown, a reflecting telescope of 72 in (1.8 m) aperture. It was the largest telescope in the world until 1917. His youngest son, Sir Charles Algernon Parsons (1854-1931) invented the steam turbine and built the world’s first turbine-powered battleship and passenger ship. In 1879, Charles’s elder brother, the 4th Earl of Ross, installed a water wheel equipped with a turbine on the River Camcor to provide electricity to Birr Castle and the town, making Birr (Parsonstown) the first town in the world to be lit by electricity.
  • John Philip Holland (1840-1914) invented the first functional self-propelled submarine in 1877. He later developed the first submarines used by the U.S. Navy (1900), the Royal Navy (1901), and the Japanese Imperial Navy (1904). The latter played a decisive role in the victory of Japan over Russia in 1905, for which Holland was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun by Emperor Meiji.
  • Louis Brennan (1852-1932), an Irish mechanical engineer who emigrated to Australia, invented the steerable torpedo in 1874. It was the first weapon in history that could be remotely directed to its target. He later invented the gyroscopically-balanced monorail system and the gyroscopic helicopter, which performed the world’s first unmanned (but controlled) helicopter flight.
  • Owing to its strategic position at the western fringe of Europe, Ireland played a decisive role in early long-distance communications with North America. In 1907, Irish-Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi set up the world’s first permanent transatlantic radio station in Derrigimlagh Bog near Clifden, in County Galway. It operated until 1918. The next year, John Alcock and Arthur Whitten completed the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic. They took off on 14th June 1919 from St John’s in Newfoundland and landed the next day right next to Marconi’s station, bringing with them the first transatlantic mail. On 12-13 April 1928, Dublin-born pilot Captain James Fitzmaurice flew from Dublin to Newfoundland, in what was the first Trans-Atlantic aircraft flight from East to West.


  • Ireland has had its own Olympics since the Bronze Age. The Tailteann Games (Aonach Tailteann), as they were known, were athletic contests held in honour of the deceased goddess Tailtiu, Lugh’s wife. Although historically attested games were held from the 6th to the 12th century CE, it is claimed that the origins of the Tailteann Games go back to 632 BCE, or even as far as 1600 BCE (against 776 BCE for the ancient Greek Olympic Games). The modern revival of the games has been held since 1924.
  • Ireland was one of the last countries in Europe to adopt the feudal system (it was introduced by the English). Throughout the Middle Ages, Irish society preserved the traditional Celtic organisation of society based on tribes/clans. The absence of feudalism means that there were no serfs, but slaves. Ireland was one of the last European nations to abolish slavery of its own people (as opposed to slaves imported from abroad).
  • Erected from 1729, the Irish Houses of Parliament was the world’s first purpose-built two-chamber parliament house. It now houses the headquarters of the Bank of Ireland.
  • Founded in 1745, the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin is the world’s oldest continuously operating maternity hospital.
  • In the late 18th century, Cork was the largest exporter of butter in the world, mostly to Britain and the British Empire.
  • On 9th July 1939, the Pan Am Clipper III left Botwood, Newfoundland, and landed the next day at Foynes, County Limerick. It was the first direct commercial passenger flight from America to Europe. For the next three years, the village of Foynes became the busiest civilian airport in the world, serving most flights from North America to Europe. Humphrey Bogart, Ernest Hemingway, John F. Kennedy and Eleanor Roosevelt all passed through Foynes Airport during WWII. Irish coffee is said to have been invented at Foynes in 1942 to cheer up passengers after a Pan Am flying boat was forced to turn back due to bad weather conditions. This golden age is commemorated in the Foynes Flying Boat Museum, on the site of the old airport. In 1942, Shannon Airport replaced Foynes as the gateway to America. It is also in Shannon that the world’s first duty-free opened on 21st April 1947. It served as a model for other duty-free facilities worldwide.

Government & Economy

  • One of the most successful beer brands worldwide, Guinness was once the largest brewery in the world (from 1914) and remains the largest brewer of stout in the world.
  • The Republic of Ireland has experienced a dramatic economic boom since the late 20th century.
  • American hi-tech companies have been investing massively in Ireland. 25% of Europe’s computers are now made in Ireland. Ireland is the world’s largest exporter of software. The European (or regional) headquarters and/or customer service operations of Google, Microsoft, Apple, IBM, Dell, Intel, Motorola, Oracle, Lotus, and Boeing Computer Services are all located in Ireland.
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