In 2012, the Ireland Immigrant Investor Program was launched to allow rich people and families from outside the European Union to apply for residency in Ireland in exchange for making an approved investment in the Irish economy. Although the program does not offer permanent residency, if the necessary conditions are completed, resident permits can be extended for an indeterminate time every few years. Although the Ireland Investor Immigration Program does not offer Irish citizenship in exchange for money, long-term stay in Ireland can be used to support a citizenship application under Irish naturalization laws.
Obtaining a “Golden Visa” through the Irish Immigrant Investor Program is currently the exclusive way to obtain Irish citizenship through investment. A candidate must have a lawfully established minimum net worth of €2 million to be eligible for an Irish Investment Visa. In addition, the applicant must be of good character and have no criminal convictions elsewhere in the world. Before an EU Investor Visa may be granted, an applicant must show the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that he or she has made a sufficient investment in the nation in accordance with the program’s regulations.
- Investment in a Business
Applicants for an Ireland Investor Visa must invest at least €1 million in an eligible Irish business for at least three years under this option. The firm can be an existing business or one that the investor has founded from scratch. The company must be incorporated in Ireland, and its headquarters must be based there. The company must also contribute to the Irish economy by creating or preserving local jobs. Prospective immigrants must make the business investment in their own name (not in the name of a corporation or trust), and they cannot qualify for this option by purchasing publicly listed stock or real estate to rent to renters. As long as each individual investment qualifies separately under the program, potential applicants may propose a big investment including a number of partners, all of whom are applying to the Ireland Immigrant Investor Programme. It is also feasible to invest in multiple qualifying enterprises in Ireland if the total investment is at least one million euros.
- Approved Investment Funds
Applicants must invest at least €1 million in an eligible investment fund for at least three years under this option of the Ireland immigration by investment program. Immigration Ireland must have pre-approved the investment fund for the program, and it must be a private equity or venture capital fund focused on small and medium-sized businesses. A minimum target size of €20 million is also required for the fund. The fund’s domestic investments must be utilized to purchase equity ownership in Ireland-registered companies with non-publicly traded shares. In order to perform any business in Ireland, the funds, as well as the fund managers, must be regulated by the Irish Central Bank. Under this option of the Irish Investor Program, only funds managed by an experienced fund manager based in Ireland are eligible for approval.
- Real Estate Investment Trust
Applicants must invest in a REIT based in Ireland. A REIT is a publicly traded business that holds rental property while minimizing investment risk and avoiding double taxation. To reduce risk, a REIT will normally invest in a diversified pool of properties and must disperse the majority of its profits every year. Applicants must invest at least €2 million in one or more eligible REITs for at least three years to qualify for Irish residency under this option. The REIT must either be listed on the Irish Stock Exchange or have applied for listing and notified the Revenue Commissioners of its intent to do so. Even if the value of the shares climbs above the €2 million investment minimum, investors must keep the same number of shares for the whole three-year period. After three years, the immigrant investor may sell up to 50% of his or her investment.
- The endowment (Donation Option)
Candidates must donate at least €500,000 to a qualifying charity project in the arts, sports, health, culture, or education to be eligible for this Ireland Investor Program option. Candidates who work in conjunction with four or more other immigrant investors can each donate up to €400,000 as long as the whole donation goes to one project. Immigrant investors must not be compensated financially for their investment. There is no minimum holding period for this option because it does not require an investment.
Documents Required When Applying for a Golden Visa in Ireland
- Evidence of net worth. To be eligible for the IIP, you must have a minimum net worth of €2 million that you have legally acquired. The money has to be yours, not a family member’s.
- Explanation of your financial activity throughout the previous year
- Detailed information on any investments you’ve made.
- Your debts (bank, mortgage, etc.)
- Demonstrate that you have the necessary finances to invest. You must also be able to demonstrate that you have the ability to transfer them to Ireland.
- Proof of your funds’ origins. You must be able to demonstrate how you obtained the funds for the investment, for example, by:
- Investing/business activities
- Deeds of sale
- Settlement of a divorce
- Character evidence.
- You must include the same type of character statement for any of your children over the age of 16 as you did on the application.