Updated: Oct 31, 2021
The Irish Immigrant Investor Visa is often overlooked in favour of other more affordable investment options. However, for those who have the budget, the country offers some excellent benefits over other EU countries.
In 2020, Ireland maintained its top 10 positions as one of Europe’s most attractive locations for foreign direct investment (FDI) – attracting 165 FDI projects in 2020. The country also maintained its position in first place for the greatest number of investment projects per million population.
Ireland is quickly becoming home to many start-ups, established multinationals and exciting innovations. The country has environmental sustainability and availability of tech talent, which is central to decision making for global investors.
What Makes the Irish Immigrant Investor Programme Such an Attractive Investment
1. Residency in Six Months
Should your application be successful, you and your family will be granted residency in Ireland in six months. This will allow you to live, work, start a business or study in Ireland.
2. Rights in Both the UK and EU
The Irish passport is the only passport that lets you work, study and travel in both the EU and the UK. This is because Ireland is part of the EU, and it has a Common Travel Area agreement with the UK.
Once you obtain Irish citizenship, you will be able to access social welfare and health benefits in the UK should you wish to.
3. High Standard of Living
Ireland currently ranks second for quality of life in the UN’s annual Human Development Index(HDI). The country ranks above average in jobs and earnings, housing, personal security, health status and education and skills.
4. Adult Children Can Be Included in Your Application
Other residency-by-investment options usually only allow you to include minor dependent children on your application. However, under the Irish programme, you can include children up to the age of 24, as long as they are still financially dependent on you and enrolled in full-time education.
5. Access to Top Universities
Irish residency will give your children access to the best colleges and universities in the country. These include Trinity College and University College Dublin.
6. Low Stay Requirements
If you don’t plan on getting citizenship after five years, then you only need to stay in the country for one day a year to keep your residency permit. This is the lowest stay requirement out of all other EU residency programmes.
7. Route to Citizenship
After residing in Ireland for five years, you can apply for citizenship. Your family members who reside with you will also be eligible for citizenship and can apply as soon as they’ve met the five-year residency requirement. An Irish passport will give you access to over 185 countries. You will also be allowed to live, work and study in the EU with no visa requirements.
8. No Language Barrier
Ireland is the only predominantly English-speaking country in the EU. What’s more, you don’t need to master the language to invest or live in the country.
Only investments approved by the Irish Immigrant Investor Programme will qualify you for residence in Ireland. The Irish programme offers four investment options.
1. Investment Fund
This is a popular option among investors as the investor’s risk is mitigated and the capital investment is returned at the end of the investment period. You will need to invest €1 million into a government-approved fund for at least three years.
2. Enterprise Investment
Invest €1 million into one or more qualifying enterprises for at least three years. You can invest in an established business or one you start yourself. The business must be registered and headquartered in Ireland. At the moment, the Irish government is only approving enterprise investments in certain categories and areas of the economy.
3. Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT)
Invest €2 million into one or more qualifying REITs for at least three years. The REIT must be listed on the Irish Stock Exchange or have applied for a listing.
4. Philanthropic Donation
An endowment of no less than €500,000 into a public-benefit project in the fields of arts, sports, health, culture or education. You can also make a joint investment with five or more other applicants and donate €400,000 each.
Is the Irish Immigrant Investor Visa Right for You?
Given that you need to live in Ireland for five years to qualify for citizenship, we generally recommend the Irish Immigrant Investor Programme to families who want to move overseas, rather than those seeking second citizenship or “plan B”. However, the programme remains an attractive choice for many of our clients who don’t wish to relocate because it gives their children access to quality education and citizenship in the future.
The country’s easy access to the EU is a great advantage to anyone with business interests in both the UK and EU. The country makes the perfect home base for starting your own business and offers great networking opportunities with some of the world’s biggest companies that are established there.
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