Ireland’s EU membership, high standard of living and favourable business environment make this country very attractive for investors looking to relocate. The straightforward residency programme provides applicants and their families with a residence permit that can be renewed indefinitely, while investors are not required to physically reside in Ireland.
Ireland has two main investor programmes - the Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) and the Start-up Entrepreneur Programme - leading to residency. Ireland allows people to apply for Citizenship after they have been physically resident in the country for a minimum of five years.
The Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP)
The Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) is open to non-EEA nationals who commit to an approved investment in Ireland. It requires a minimum investment of €1m, from the applicant’s own resources and not financed through a loan or other such facility, which must be committed for a minimum of three years.
There are four investment options:
1. Enterprise Investment - a minimum investment of €1.0 million in either a single Irish enterprise or spread over a number of enterprises for a minimum of 3 years
2. Investment Fund - a minimum investment of €1.0 million in an Approved Investment Fund
3. Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT) - a minimum investment of €2 million in any Irish REIT that is listed on the Irish Stock Exchange. The €2 million investment may be spread across a number of different Irish REITs.
4. Endowment - a minimum Endowment of €500,000 in a project of public benefit in the arts, sports, health, cultural or educational field
The Start-up Entrepreneur Programme
The Start-up Entrepreneur Programme provides that migrants with a proposal for a high potential start-up in the innovation economy and funding of €75,000 can be given residency in this State for the purposes of developing their business. No initial job creation targets will be set as it is recognised that such businesses can take some time to get off the ground.
Successful applicants to both programmes are granted residency status for themselves and eligible family members for a period of two years initially, extendable to five years if (a)the investment is still in place; (b) they have not become a financial burden on Ireland; and (c) they have not been investigated, indicted or convicted in relation to any criminal offence in any jurisdiction.
After five years, residency can be extended for further five-year periods subject to conditions (b) and (c) above being met.