Immigrant Investor Programme (Golden Visa)
How to Apply for the Immigrant Investor Programme
Examples of Eligible Investments
A minimum investment of €1 million into either a single Irish enterprise or spread over a number of enterprises for a minimum of three years is required.
The enterprise can be a start-up or existing business, but must be registered and headquartered in Ireland. The most recent audited accounts must be submitted for existing businesses
An investment must support the creation or maintenance of employment, with a business plan submitted to indicate how this will be completed.
The purchase of publicly-traded securities will not be considered an eligible investment.
A minimum of €1 million can be invested in an approved investment fund, and must be held for a minimum period of three years.
The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) has specific guidelines in relation to the type of funds it approves. In general:
- Money invested by the fund must represent equity stakes in companies not quoted on any stock exchange
- The funds and fund managers must be regulated by the Central Bank
There are a number of funds in Ireland that have been set up specifically with IIP applicants in mind. Your solicitor will be able to help you understand which funds are suitable for investment as part of your IIP application.
Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT)
A minimum of €2 million invested into any Irish REIT, which is listed on the Irish Stock Exchange. An investment may be spread across a number of different REITs and must be held for a minimum of three years.
During the three-year period of investment, the number of shares approved must be retained, even if their value increases above the original €2 million investment. Once the initial investment period is over, the investor may divest up to 50% of the shares purchased for the IIP. After four years, the investor may divest no more than a further 25%. There are no retention obligations after five years.
An investment into a REIT provides an investor with a lower-risk property investment model in which the investment is diversified into a pool of properties, while debt limits within REITs reduce exposure to negative equity risk.
REITs are exempt from corporation tax and are required to distribute the majority of profits each year, meaning they generate a regular stream of income for investors.
A minimum endowment of €500,000 is required into any project of public benefit in the fields of art, sport, health, culture or education, and will be regarded as a philanthropic contribution, so investors will receive no financial return. Funds must come from the applicant’s own resources.
FAQs About Investing in Ireland
What are the key benefits of investing in Ireland?
Key benefits of investing in Ireland include:
- Irish citizenship through investment after five years’ residency
- Recognition of dual nationality visa-free for 172 countries
- A free, high-quality medical and health system
- Free primary and secondary education for children
- No management experience required
- No barriers regarding age, education or language (applicants must be over 18 years)
- A requirement to visit Ireland on only one day each year
Is there a time limit on applications for the Immigrant Investor Programme?
Previous application windows will no longer apply. Applications can be submitted at any time.
What can I do if my application is rejected?
A rejection of an IIP application is final and there is no process for appeal. You will receive a letter outlining the reasons for your rejection.
You are free to make a new application at a later date.
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For help with any immigration matters, contact us by phone on +353 (0)1 872 3143 today, or complete our online enquiry form and let us know a convenient time to call you back.
For more information on Irish immigration law, take a look at our blog: