Route to Residency: Immigrant Investor Programmes
04 December 2013
By Jane Pilkington. Contact Jane.
The introduction of Immigrant Investor Schemes in April 2012 has made Ireland an attractive location for foreign investors who are seeking residency in another country.
What do these schemes offer businesses which wish to establish in Ireland?
Prior to April 2012, Ireland had one limited immigrant investor type scheme, the Business Permission Scheme. Although the Business Permission Scheme remains in place, in January 2012 two new Immigrant Investor Schemes were introduced, the Immigrant Investor Programme and the Start Up Entrepreneur Scheme.
Immigrant Investor Programme
The Immigrant Investor Programme
is open to non-EEA nationals and their families who commit to making an approved investment in Ireland. The investment must fall into one of five categories:
A minimum €500,000 aggregate investment into new or existing Irish businesses for a minimum of three years.
A once off endowment of a minimum of €500,000 to a public project benefiting the arts, sports, health, culture or education.
A minimum €1,000,000 investment in a special zero interest five year immigrant investor bond.
A minimum €950,000 mixed investment consisting of €450,000 in residential property and €500,000 in immigrant investor bonds.
€500,000 invested in an approved fund. The fund must be regulated for the purpose of doing business in Ireland and its investment strategy must be compatible with the aims of the Scheme.
Successful applicants will be granted residence for an initial period of two years, followed by a further three years upon completion of a review.
The minimum residence requirement is relatively lenient and requires that the investor visits Ireland at least once in every twelve month period.
Start Up Entrepreneur Scheme
The Start Up Entrepreneur Scheme allows for investments in a broader range of categories than those stipulated in the Immigrant Investor Scheme but specifically excludes retail, personal services, catering or other businesses of this nature as these fall within the Business Permission Scheme. The Start Up Entrepreneur Scheme provides that non-EEA nationals with an innovative business idea for a High Potential Startup and funding of €75,000 can acquire residency in Ireland for the purpose of developing their business.
In order to be considered a ‘High Potential Start-Up’, the investor must show that:
they are bringing a new and innovative product to international markets
the High Potential Start-Up must be capable of creating 10 jobs in Ireland and realising €1,000,000 in sales within three to four years of starting up
the Start Up must be led by an experienced management team
the Start Up must be headquartered and controlled in Ireland
the Start Up must be less than 6 years old.
The Scheme contains the same time constraints as the Immigrant Investor Programme so that an initial permission to remain is given for 2 years.
An extension of 3 years is granted on successful review and is further followed by extensions in blocks of 5 years.