Ireland is universally known as a great place to live with excellent standards of life and education, and has been a steady member of the EU for nearly 50 years, having joined in 1973.
It is a very popular place for residency due to a combination of factors, including its location, stability, healthcare, and tax laws, among other reasons.
Its proximity to continental Europe and the UK, as well as it being a travel hub to the US, are commonly known as some of the important pull factors for the country.
What many people are unaware of, however, are different ways to get residency for Ireland.
In this guide, we will discuss how you can get permanent residency in Ireland by participating in the Immigrant Investor Programme (or IIP for short).
So, what is the IIP scheme?
The IIP is a programme that is available to non-EEA nationals who agree to invest in Ireland.
The investment must be a minimum of €1 million, over the space of three years, and must be fully sourced by the investor, i.e. not come from a loan or similar facility.
The nickname for the scheme is the ‘Irish Golden Visa’.
It was introduced in 2012 with the intention of bringing in new investments while offering residency opportunities to foreign nationals.
All of the applications for IIP, including the candidates’ application forms and all supporting documentation as well as the details of their investment proposals, will be presented for consideration to an Evaluation Committee.
Those who are successful and approved by the Evaluation Committee as well as the Minister for Justice and Equality will be given residence permissions for the country once the investments have been made.
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.
What are the pros of getting the IIP?
You’ll have an Irish Passport
With an Irish passport you would be able to travel to over 185 countries in the world. Members of your family will be able to apply for an Irish passport as well.
What’s more, an Irish passport enables you to apply for dual citizenship.
The Irish tax system
An attractive feature of the Irish tax system is that there is no tax on worldwide income for nonresidents.
It’s a very important factor to consider if you decide you don’t want to live in Ireland during your residency.
In addition to that, the corporate tax rate in Ireland is as low as 12.5%.
You may stay in Ireland after your investment ends.
After the five year period has ended and you claim your investment back (cash in), you can still reside in the country and work towards obtaining citizenship.
Ireland’s standard of living.
Ireland’s healthcare, education and lifestyle quality are among the best in Europe. The Irish people are known for their friendliness and hospitality.
Ireland ranks above the UK and US on the UN’s standard of living.
Political and economic situation.
Political and economic stability can be offered for people coming from troubled countries in comparison. What’s more, Ireland has been a member of the EU since 1973.
How to become an Irish resident through investment
IDLF aims to offer residency in Ireland with its associated advantages to dynamic business professionals with a proven record of success.
The scheme requires investors to meet certain requirements in order to be applicable for the scheme.
These requirements include:
- being of good character
- not having committed a crime in any jurisdiction
- invested a minimum of €1 million in Ireland while proving to have a net worth of at least €2 million.
Another option for potential investors is to invest in property. This can be a minimum investment of €450,000 in a residential property, as well as €500,000 Euro investment into the immigrant investor bonds.
The IDLF also provides lower cost, asset-secured finance to the Irish hotel sector.
Loans are provided to Irish hotels that meet certain requirements, and are on more favourable terms compared with traditional banking institutions, as well as being secured against the hotel property.
Loans are provided on a fixed 5 year term.
The hotel is required to spend the financial savings on upgrading the hotel asset in return for lower cost finance, (this can include building an extension, refurbishing bedrooms, new facilities, etc), and the hotel must also be able to demonstrate to the IDLF the growth in employment during the 5 year term. This has a knock-on effect of promoting tourism and bringing in new jobs to Ireland.
Are there any downsides of investing in the IIP?
But there are some important factors to keep in mind if you intend to apply for an Irish citizenship in the long-term.
Due to the tax laws, you will either pay regular tax rates and spend the majority of your time in Ireland, or spend less than six weeks a year in the country and not have to pay these taxes.
Essentially, you’ll be a non-domiciled resident for tax purposes in Ireland if you spend less than 140 days a year in the country.
This allows you a considerable period of time in the country without paying taxes. However, if you eventually decide to apply for Irish citizenship, you will need to spend all but six weeks a year in Ireland to qualify.
How can IDLF help me with my application?
If you are still confused about any aspect of the IIP scheme, the IDLF team will be happy to help!