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Ireland Investor Visa 2021 – Your Guide To A Golden Passport

Ireland has operated a Golden Visa scheme – known as the Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) – since 2012. It invites high-net-worth individuals from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) to make an approved investment in Ireland. In return, the applicant and their immediate family are granted residency in Ireland. This can be renewed indefinitely, subject to certain conditions.

Ireland Investor Visa 2021 – Your Guide To A Golden Passport
Photo by Luciann Photography

After five years of living in Ireland, the applicant and their family members can apply for Irish citizenship.

Immigrant Investor Programme Ireland

Ireland's Immigrant Investor Programme is a residency-by-investment scheme. It is popular with non-EEA citizens across the globe – and with good reason. In 2020, Ireland was labelled as the EU's fastest-growing economy. Various investment options are available, and significant returns can be made for the business-savvy.

But that's not all. The IIP gives the applicant AND their spouse and dependent children residency status in Ireland, should they want it. This entitles them to live, work, study and start a business in Ireland. Yet, Irish residency is not a pre-requisite: those participating in the IIP only have to spend one day in Ireland each year.

Permission to reside in Ireland is granted for an initial period of two years. This can be extended for another three years, so long as the investment is maintained. Once five years have passed, immigration status can be renewed indefinitely. Those who have lived in Ireland for five years out of the previous nine years can apply for Irish citizenship by naturalisation.

So, while Ireland's golden visa is not a citizenship-by-investment scheme, it can most certainly pave the way to citizenship if that is the applicant's intention. The benefits of being an Irish citizen (and by default, an EU citizen) are numerous, including the freedom to live, work, travel and study all across the European Union.

Who Is Eligible for the Ireland Investment Visa?

There is, however, a catch. To participate in Ireland's Immigrant Investor Programme, the applicant must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be a non-EEA national

  • Have a personal net worth of at least €2,000,000 and be able to provide evidence of these funds

  • Have a clean criminal record

  • Make an approved investment in Ireland for at least three years

There are four investment options, ranging in value from €500,000 to €2,000,000. The applicant cannot use a loan to finance this investment. Rather, it must come from their own resources.

The four investment options are:

  1. Enterprise investment

  2. Investment fund

  3. Real estate investment fund

  4. Endowment

Enterprise Investment

This requires the applicant to make a minimum investment of €1,000,000 in an Irish enterprise for a minimum of three years. This can be a single enterprise or spread over several enterprises. Each enterprise must be registered and headquartered in Ireland and must support the maintenance or creation of employment.

This option is typically suited to those who want to establish a start-up in Ireland or invest in an existing business in Ireland.</