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Ireland’s Immigrant Investor Program is aimed at wealthy high net worth investors from outside the EU and EEA who are willing to invest in excess of one million into Ireland in return for five years (or more) of residency there for themselves and their family. The long-term hope of the program’s creators is for the investors to establish a permanent relationship with Ireland.
Each potential investor’s application will be carefully examined by an independent interdepartmental committee who are looking to determine the following:
That the investment is good for Ireland
That the investment will create jobs
That the investment is in the public interest
That the funds invested have been legally acquired
That the investor is of good character
To be considered suitable for the Irish Immigrant Investor Program, an applicant must invest in one of the following six categories:
Immigrant Investor Bond – €1.0 million investment in Irish Government Bonds at 0% interest
Enterprise investment – €1.0 million invested into an Irish business enterprise for 3 years
Investment Funds – €1.0 million invested in a government approved fund
Real Estate Investment Trusts – A minimum investment of €2 million in any Irish REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) that is listed on the Irish Stock Exchange. The investment can be spread across several Irish REITs
Mixed Investment – A real estate purchase for the minimum value of €450,000 plus an investment of €500,000 into Irish Government Bonds, giving a combined minimum investment of €950,000
Endowment – A €500,000 non-refundable philanthropic donation
Benefits Of The Irish Immigrant Investor Program
Successful applicants can expect to enjoy these benefits:
5 years of Irish residency (reviewed after two years to ensure the investor is meeting the conditions of their particular investment)
After the initial 5 years, the investor can renew their residency every five years without having to make any further investments
Family members are granted residency at no additional cost
The investor is not required to establish actual residence in Ireland
There are no minimum residence requirements other than the stipulation that the investor must visit Ireland at least once each year
After five years of living and working in Ireland, an investor can apply for naturalization, which is Irish citizenship and its passport
Ireland is an EU member state, and its citizens have the right to live and work in any other European Union country without time restriction and with the same rights to health care and education as the citizens born to that country
The Irish passport is the sixth most powerful in the world, with visa free access to 172 countries. The areas of the world where an Irish passport holder can venture visa free include the Americas in their entirety (Canada, the USA, Central America, the Caribbean and all of South America), Western Europe in its entirety, parts of Eastern Europe, parts of Africa, areas of Asia and Southeast Asia and all of Australasia
Pros and Cons of Living in Ireland
Geographically Ireland may be a small country, but it has an enormous amount to offer. Despite its size it is still spacious, with lots of things to do and places to visit including beautiful beaches, mountains and lakes, plus an abundance of great golf courses. The standard of living in Ireland is on a par with any major EU nation including France and Germany. Irish people are extremely sociable and enjoy a strong –family-orientated social life.
Ireland has excellent healthcare and education, the cost of living is reasonable and the price of property is cheaper now than it was 10 years ago. Ireland is an EU member state that relies on trade with the European Union to sustain its economy and has no intention of a Brexit-style referendum anytime soon. The Irish passport is one of the most powerful in the world with visa-free access to 172 countries.
It rains in Ireland – a lot! While the summers are sunny, they are somewhat brief, so holidays to the continent are a necessity. Ireland is very much a drinking culture and much of the social life centers around the local pub which can result in nondrinkers feeling somewhat ostracized.
The Irish Immigrant Investor Program is as good as some of the better known visa programs like St. Kitts and Nevis’ citizenship by investment program or Belgium and Portugal’s investor residency programs. There are no less than six investment options to choose from, with the cheapest option being a €500,000 charitable donation.
If an investor is prepared to live in Ireland for five years they will be eligible to apply for full Irish citizenship and its passport. The program also allows for applicants family members to be granted residency at no additional cost. All in all, the Irish Immigrant Investor Program is an exceptionally good program, and an ideal way for a foreign investor to gain full EU citizenship.