Many people confuse citizenship with residency.

If you are one of these people, don’t worry!

In this guide, we are going to examine the difference between the two and take a look at some of the options available if you are looking for routes to move abroad through investment.

What does Citizenship by investment mean?

Citizenship through investment programs can enable an individual to acquire a passport within a short period of tim by investing in a foreign country.

Citizenship is for life. You will be permitted to travel (visa-free) to any nation that your country has a travel agreement with.

In many cases with citizenship, there is no (or very little) minimum stay requirement.

You will also have the right to vote, work, receive education, and access the countries’ healthcare and welfare systems.

What does Residency by investment mean?

This means you can obtain residency permission in another country by contributing to the economy in a meaningful way.

Through this option, you can legally reside in the country, before citizenship becomes possible after a set number of years.

Often residency will grant you other rights such as access to education, the ability to work or start a business.

Instead of a new passport the host country will grant you an alternative document such as a residence card.

Unlike with citizenship, many countries have a minimum stay requirement with residency.

Who can help me to take part in these programmes?

Many countries operate their own individual citizenship and residency by investment programmes.

For example, at the Irish Diaspora Loan Fund (IDLF), we enable foreign investors to gain long-term residency in Ireland via the IIP (Immigrant Investor Programme).

IDLF (Irish Diaspora Loan Fund) is a Central Bank of Ireland approved and regulated investment fund.

Our fund is a low risk, low return fund which provides the investor with a safe route to the Immigrant Investor Programme.

How it works

The IIP is open to any non-EEA nationals who are interested in Irish residency. Each investor must invest €1m for a 3–5 year term in order to meet the requirements of the Immigrant Investor Programme.

Those who are successful and approved by the application’s Evaluation Committee as well as the Minister for Justice and Equality will be given residence permissions (called a stamp 4 visa) for the country once the investments have been made.

Stamp 4 holders have the right to reside and work in Ireland with many state services such as free education available to them also.

Successful applicants and their chosen family members (ages 16 or over) must then submit an affidavit of good character. This affidavit must be prepared by a professional who is licensed to practice law in Ireland.

Once the investor has held the stamp 4 for 5 years, they will become a permanent resident of Ireland and eligible to apply for citizenship.

I’m still unsure what I want to do!

No worries!

If you are still confused about any aspect of the IIP scheme, or you would like more information about the positives and negatives of residency through investment, then the IDLF team are happy to help.

Laura McHugh

Laura McHugh

MARKETING MANAGER

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