USA and the UK
- What is the Immigrant Investor Programme?
- Who is eligible for the Enterprise Investment?
- Who is eligible for the Investment Fund?
- Who is eligible for the Real Estate Investment Fund?
- Who is eligible for Endowments?
- How to apply for the Immigrant Investor Programme?
- What evidence of net worth is required?
- How can IAS help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Immigrant Investor Programme?
Note that as of 15 February 2023, the Irish Immigrant Investor Programme will no longer be accepting new applications.
Foreign nationals wishing to immigrate to Ireland for business purposes may wish to consider the Start-up Entrepreneur Programme (STEP). Alternatively, those who are self-sufficient and wish to retire in Ireland may consider applying for Stamp 0.
The Immigrant Investor Programme, also known as the Irish Golden Visa, is intended for non-European Union (EU) / European Economic Area (EEA) citizens who would like to invest money in Ireland in exchange for permanent residency in the country. Depending on the sum and the type of investment you want to make in Ireland, there are four different investment options you might be eligible for. These are:
- The Enterprise Investment
- The Investment Fund
- The Real Estate Investment Fund
To be able to come to Ireland under the Immigrant Investor Programme, your investment in Ireland has to be financed by your own funds. It is not possible to use a loan to get funds to apply for the program.
If your application for the Ireland Investor Visa is successful, you will receive Stamp 4 in your passport and you will have the right to reside in Ireland long term.
Who is eligible for the Enterprise Investment?
You should choose the Enterprise Investment route if you are planning to invest in a new enterprise or an existing business in Ireland. To be eligible for the Enterprise Investment, you have to meet the following requirements:
- You have at least €1 million to invest in an Irish enterprise or a business registered and headquartered in Ireland
- You will retain the investment for at least three years
- The investment will be made in your name.
When making an investment under the Enterprise Investment, you can decide whether you want to invest in a single enterprise or a number of enterprises. Furthermore, you will need to submit a business plan detailing how your investment funds will help support the creation or maintenance of jobs in your specific enterprise.
Who is eligible for the Investment Fund?
You should apply for the Investment Fund if you intend to invest a minimum of €1 million into an approved investment fund, a low-risk investment fund that is both commissioned and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Moreover, you have to retain the investment for at least three years.
If you are not sure whether you meet the criteria to apply for the Investment Fund, talk to our lawyers. They will assess your circumstances and determine whether the type of investment you are thinking of making in Ireland qualifies you for this route. Hiring a qualified immigration lawyer can increase your chances of successfully applying for the Immigrant Investor Programme.
Who is eligible for the Real Estate Investment Fund?
The Real Investment Fund is intended for foreign citizens who want to make a lower-risk investment in property in Ireland. The eligibility requirements for the Real Estate Investment Fund are:
- A minimum investment of at least €2 million to invest in an Irish Real Estate Investment Trust listed on the Irish Stock Exchange
- You will retain the investment for at least 3 years
- The investment will reduce negative equity.
When making the investment you have the right to choose an Irish Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), a listed company used to hold rental investment properties. After the initial 3 years of retaining the investment, you will be able to divert the funds at an approved rate. Once 5 years pass, you will no longer have the obligation to maintain the investment and can still keep your Irish residency status.
Who is eligible for Endowments?
The Endowments Investment path is the route for those who wish to make a philanthropic contribution or an investment that will benefit a certain community in Ireland. To qualify for endowments, you have to:
- Have at least €500,000 to invest in Ireland
- Not be expecting any financial returns as it is considered a philanthropic contribution
- Plan to make an investment that will benefit the public
It is possible to apply for Endowments as a group of 5 or more investors provided that each of the investors will donate at least €400,000. Contributions under Endowments have to be made to projects in areas of arts, sports, health, culture, or education.
How to apply for the Immigrant Investor Programme?
There are three steps in the application process for the Ireland Golden Visa.
First, you will have to submit an email application with a form in which you provide the details of your investment proposal in Ireland. You also have to submit documents that prove your finances and show evidence of the source of your income. Moreover, the email application has to present a business plan and an executive summary for your investment in Ireland.
Once you submit the online application form, you have to pay the application fee of €1,500. This fee is non-refundable, even if you withdraw your application. Keep in mind that payments have to be made by electronic fund transfer.
Finally, you have to send your original signed application form and the receipt for the application fee by post to the following address:
Immigrant Investor Unit,
Immigration Service Delivery
Department of Justice
13-14 Burgh Quay
Dublin 2 D02 XK70
After you complete these steps, your application will be reviewed by an Independent Evaluation Committee.
What evidence of net worth is required?
All applicants for the Immigrant Investor Programme have to provide evidence of their net worth. The information you have to submit includes:
- Proof of investment including the nature of the investment, the amount invested, source of investment funds, and the names of other shareholders (if applicable)
- Proof of income – annual income, job title, duration of employment
- Proof of loans – amounts of any bank loans received.
To be eligible for an Investor Visa, you have to be able to invest a large sum of money in Ireland. Hence, you need to be able to provide evidence showing that you have enough funds to do so.
The exact evidence you can submit to prove your net worth varies depending on your individual circumstances. Talk to our immigration lawyers and they will explain to you in detail what documents you have to prepare.
How can IAS help?
Applying for the Irish Immigrant Investor Programme can be complex as there are several routes that fall under it, each with a different set of requirements. Our lawyers can assess the type of investment you wish to make in Ireland and advise you on which route you should venture down. They can also help you assess whether you wish the eligibility requirements for the program.
If you hire one of our experienced immigration lawyers, they will guide you through the application process and will make sure that you submit sufficient evidence confirming your eligibility for the Immigrant Investor Programme. Thanks to their help, you can be sure that your case is as strong as possible.
Call us today on +1 844 290 6312 to find out more about how we can help. Our lawyers will answer any questions and clear any doubts you might have.
Last modified on August 8th, 2023 at 10:06 am
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Unfortunately, there is no appeal process for applications for the Immigrant Investor Programme. That means that the decision you receive is final and, if it is unsuccessful, you cannot come to Ireland under the program.
If your application is rejected, you will be issued a letter explaining the reasons for the decision. You will also be able to apply again in the future. Keep in mind, however, that the fee for the application is non-refundable so you will not get your money back.
To maximize your chances of a positive outcome, hire one of the highly-qualified immigration lawyers.
The waiting time for the decision regarding the application for the Immigrant Investor Programme varies depending on the complexity of each case. Nevertheless, most applications are processed within 3 to 4 months. If you fail to provide enough information about the planned investment or if the evidence proving your finances is not sufficient, the waiting time can be longer.
To be eligible for the Immigrant Investor Programme, you also have to prove that you are of good moral character. To demonstrate that you can use one of the following documents:
- Statement of good character issued by the police in your home country. If you lived abroad for six months or more, you also have to submit such a statement for each of the other countries.
- Due diligence screening by a reputable international risk management or security screening organization.
If your application for the Immigrant Investor Programme is accepted, you will have the right to reside in Ireland long term. Coming to Ireland under the program does not automatically grant you Irish citizenship, however.
Nevertheless, those who successfully apply for the Immigrant Investor Programme receive Stamp 4 in their passport so the time they spend in Ireland with it counts towards reckonable residence. After living in the country for a certain qualifying period of time (at least 5 years), you will have the right to apply for Irish citizenship by naturalization.