Golden visa in Ireland – The Irish Immigrant Investor Programme

The Irish Golden visa scheme known as  The Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) was set up by the Irish Government in 2012 to offer Irish Residency to foreign nationals who make a qualifying investment.

The Irish Government created the Immigrant Investor Programme to facilitate investors and business professionals from outside of the EU to avail of the opportunities of investing and locating business interests in Ireland. The IIP scheme is set to create investment in Ireland and to enhance Ireland’s position as one of the world’s most globalised economies.

  • Ireland is an Euro area member since 1 January 1999.
  • Irish businesses have unhindered access to a market of over 510 million people.
  • Irish citizens have the right to move, work and reside freely within the territory of other member states.
  • Foreign Direct Investment in to Ireland have increased dramatically from just €16 million in 1972 to more than €30 billion

The Immigrant Investor Programme facilitates non-EEA nationals and their families who commit to an approved investment in Ireland to acquire a secure residency status in Ireland. The ultimate objective of this programme is job creation and facilitating further Irish economic development.

Eligible Investments

Overseas investors who wish to avail of the IIP may invest €1m in an individual enterprise in Ireland;

  • €2m in a Real Estate Investment Trust (REITs); or
  • €1m in a Central Bank Approved Investment Fund.  or
  • Philanthropic donation of €500,000.

The Irish Diaspora Loan Fund is such an approved fund. The Irish Diaspora Loan Fund (IDLF) gives people 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.

The Irish investor visa scheme is 50% cheaper than UK tier 1 investor visa scheme which requires £2 million investment requirement.

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.

Irish Diaspora Loan Fund (IDLF)

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.

  • Must have no criminal convictions in any jurisdiction.
  • Provide a statement of good character from their local police department.
  • Clearly demonstrate a personal net worth of €2m.
  • Invest €1,000,000 into the IDLF for 5 years, plus 6 months settlement period.
  • Provide clear evidence of the source of the investment funds.

The Investor is not required to live in Ireland, however the Investor is required to visit Ireland for one day each year to maintain the Residency Permission. The Investor receives a 2 year Residency Permission. After this 2 year period, this Residency Permission is extended for 3 years, provided

a) The investor has not been a nancial burden on Ireland.
b) Has not been convicted of a criminal o ence. Thereafter, the Residency

Residency Permission is renewed every 5 years without limit.

In return for lower cost finance, the hotel is required to spend the financial savings on upgrading the hotel asset (building an extension, refurbishing bedrooms, new facilities, etc), and also demonstrate to the IDLF the growth in employment during the 5 year term. This upgrade investment increases the value of the hotel, while also improving the tourism sector and creating new Irish jobs.

IDLF Investment Objective:

The investment objective of the Fund is to contribute to the recovery to the Irish economy. The Fund expects to achieve this objective through the creation and/or protection of employment in companies registered in and operating throughout Ireland which are focused on the hotel, student housing and/or serviced offices, whilst seeking capital preservation.

The initial focus of the Fund will be the hotel sector, student housing and serviced offices and the aim of investments will be to enhance and refresh the capacity of such facilities in a wider economic context, and in the context of the continued expansion of the tourism/ housing sector. A key requirement of the investments will be that they contribute to job creation and job retention on the part of the applicant hotel.

The Irish hotel sector is an important part of Ireland’s tourism offering, which in turn is a key element of Ireland’s overall economy. For reasons to do with the wider recession there has been little investment over the last eight years in the hotel sector and it is also carrying significant debt. The strong recovery in the Irish economy overall is also being experienced in the tourism sector, which has seen significant growth in 2013 and 2014, and which continued in 2015. There is a pressing need therefore for new investment in the hotel sector.

How to Apply for IDLF

  • Complete application forms and initial compliance checks
  • Application is made to INIS (Irish naturalisation and immigration office) and receive initial approval.
  • Invest €1 million to fund
  • Initial visa is granted
  • Receive €1 million back after 5 years

Irish Citizenship

You must show that you have lived in the State legally for at least 1825 or 1826 days (five years) over the last 9 years.

FAQs

What family members are eligible to be included?

Application is also available to spouses/partners and minor children (i.e. children under 18 years of age) for whom the principal applicant and/or their spouse or partner has legal guardianship.
Children between the ages of 18 and 24 will be considered for residence under the programme where they are unmarried and do not have a life partner, and they are nancially dependent upon their parents (e.g. they are in full-time education). Applicants should provide evidence of their family relationships with their initial application.

Spouse: Applicants should provide evidence that their marriage or civil partnership is legal.

Partners: Applicants should provide evidence that they have been cohabitating with their partner in a common law/de facto relationship for the previous two years.

Children: the minor children of the applicant shall qualify for residency status provided that applicant quali es for residency status and provided that they are legally in the custody/guardianship of the applicant. If they are unmarried and are not in a de facto/common law relationship In respect of each child, applicant must supply birth certi cates detailing parentage or legal documentation verifying the applicant’s custody/guardianship.

Are there language or education restrictions for applicants?

There is no minimum requirement for English language skills or educational quali cations.

How many days should be spent in Ireland?

Investors who bene t from the programme may have substantial business and nancial interests outside of Ireland. Therefore actual physical residence in Ireland is not a condition of residency permission under the programme. This condition applies to both investors and their nominated family members. The programme simply requires investors and their family members to visit Ireland at least once per calendar year.

When should the investment be made?

Investors are required to transfer the appropriate funds to the IDLF within month after the provisional letter of approval has been issued by the Department of Justice. Con rmation that the investment has been made will be required in order for the actual issuing of residence permissions under the programme.

How long is the Investment required to be held?

The investment must remain in the fund for 5 years. An additional 6 months is required to complete the legal processes required to enter and exit all shareholders from the fund. Therefore the total investment duration will be 5 years and 6 months.

What supporting documentation is required to apply?

All applicants for the program must demonstrate that they have a legally acquired minimum net worth of €2 million. In addition to the declaration of Net Assets Section on the application form, the Investor will be required to provide an explanation of all activities for the previous 12 month period including income, investments and bank loans.

What evidence is required to show availability of investment funds?

The applicant must provide evidence of the funds that are to be used for the proposed investment, the provenance of those funds and the ability of the applicant to transfer those funds to Ireland.

This should be done through:

Personal bank statements from a bank that is regulated by the home regulator (o cial regulatory body for the country in which the nancial institution operates and the funds are located), showing the amount of funding available in the name of the applicant.

The applicant should provide bank statements, covering the three full consecutive months before the date of application. The most recent statement must be no more than one calendar month old at the date of application. All bank statements provided must be original documents and not copies, be on the o cial bank stationary and each must show the full amount of the available funds.

A letter from a bank that is regulated by the domestic regulator (o cial regulatory body for the country in which the nancial institution operates and the funds are located). If the applicant cannot provide bank statements, a letter from his/her bank is required, stating that the account has held the required amount of money on the day the letter was produced and for the three full consecutive months immediately before the date of the letter. The letter must be dated no more than one calendar month before the date of application. The letter must be an original letter and not a copy; on the institution’s o cial headed paper; and it must have been issued by an authorised o cial of that institution.

What evidence of good character is required?

All applicants, as well as their nominated family members over the age of 16 must submit their application with a statement of character from the police authorities of each country in which they have resided for more than six months during the 10 year during the 10 year period prior to the application being made.

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