The IIP Programme provides a range of investment options to high net worth investors considering Ireland for investment. There are a number of specific criteria. Firstly, the investment must be good for Ireland, increase employment and be in keeping with public interest. The funds to be utilised through the programme must be legally acquired and not borrowed. Investors must show that they are of good character and have no previous convictions. They must also have a net worth of a minimum of €2 million and this must be evidenced through property and/or official bank/ government statements. All of the evidence provided will be vigorously tested by the Department of Justice through correspondence with home countries. The funds must also be capable of transfer and not subject to any lean.
The proposed investment must be in one of the following categories:
- Endowment: €500,000 to a public project benefiting the arts, sports, health, culture or education. The endowment can be €400,000 per investor if it is pooled by at least 5 individuals. Generally speaking, the endowment is usually by way of a charitable donation and cannot be recovered by the investor at a later date.
- Enterprise Investment: A minimum €1 million investment into a new or existing Irish business for a minimum of 3 years. The enterprise can be a start-up registered by the investor. The investment can be in a single Irish enterprise or spread over several enterprises. The enterprise must be registered and headquartered in Ireland and the investment must support the creation or maintenance of employment.
- Investment Fund: A minimum of €1 million investment in an investment fund for at least 3 years. Investment funds must invest in Irish businesses and projects. The route for a fund to be accepted as an investment for the purposes of the Immigrant Investor Programme is for it to be part of an application by an individual investor.
- Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT): A minimum investment of €2 million in any Irish REIT listed on the Irish Stock Exchange. The investment may be spread across a number of Irish REITs. This type of investment is of particular interest to many business people as following three years from the date of purchase the investor can cash out/ divest themselves of no more than 50% of the shares purchased, in the fourth year the investor can divest up to a further 25% of the shares purchased for the IIP. And after five years from the date of purchase the investor can divest the remainder of the shares and no further requirements are on the retention of shares.
It should be noted that in relation to all of the investments as mentioned above “INIS does not take any responsibility for the performance of approved investment funds. INIS does not conduct any oversight of fund operators and confers approved investment fund status on the basis of the external regulatory regime of the Central Bank of Ireland. Investors commit funds at their own risk and should be aware that the value of the funds is dependent on the performance of their fund manager and the value of their investment may rise or fall. However, fund performance is not a condition of renewal of immigration permission.” http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/imm-inv-prog-funding-guide-dec2016.pdf/Files/imm-inv-prog-funding-guide-dec2016.pdf
Decisions on investments are made by the Department of Justice through the Evaluation Committee. Whilst it is hoped that all applications are processed in a timely fashion there is a serious backlog in the processing of these applications owing to strict due diligence checks being carried out by the Department of Justice. Waiting times at present for approval are in the region of 7-9 months. During the evaluation process your legal team may be required to provide additional information and draft complex legal submissions. They will then be able to advise further
Please contact Stephen Kirwan for a professional and confidential consultation relating to the options available to you and your family through the Immigrant Investor Programme.