Retiring in Ireland as a Person of Independent Financial Means:
The first question you might ask is why Ireland? There are many reasons that Ireland is the destination for retirees and those of independent financial means who wish to live here for more than 90 days at a time. The main selling point for most people is that it is a friendly English-speaking country.
Aside from its natural beauty and growing multi-cultural population it is conveniently located so as to act both as a gateway to continental Europe, the United Kingdom, North America, the Middle East and Africa. With multiple daily flights to most major cities around the globe it is ideally located and accessible from those who wish to travel. Despite being a small island, it offers a large variety of rural and urban life while never being too far away from essential amenities given the excellent road infrastructure.
What permission do I need to apply for and what are the requirements?
You will be required to make an application to Unit 2 Immigration Service Delivery seeking a permission to reside in the jurisdiction as a person of independent means. You will be requesting that the Minister grants you a Stamp 0 with this application being made before arriving in the jurisdiction.
Demonstrating ‘independent means’
In order to successfully retire in Ireland as a person of independent means you are required to show that you are able to support yourself financially and that you will not have recourse to any social assistance payments or benefits from the Irish State. Income cannot be derived from any active employment or self-employment either in the State or outside the State and you are also prohibited from remote working arrangements under this permission.
Current Ministerial guidelines suggest that in addition to this you need to show that you have an individual income which is equivalent to €50,000 per year. In addition, it is required to show that you have access to a lump sum to cover any potentially unforeseen expenses. The current guidelines suggest equivalent to the price of a residential property in Ireland. This obviously varies greatly, and advice should be sought from an appropriately qualified professional who deals with these applications before proceeding.
It is noted that finances must be in the form of readily accessible funds or pension income and typically investment sums do not count in terms of establishing independent means. The financial documentation relied upon must be presented in tabular format and will need to demonstrate monthly income and expenditure. Importantly any financial documentation including yearly income and financial liabilities must be certified by an Irish based accountant who has a knowledge of international baking and finance.
It is also required that you present a letter of motivation outlining why it is you are seeking to reside in Ireland together with presenting relevant police clearance certificates and evidence of private medical insurance.
Once approved you will receive a Conditional Letter of Offer and an Agreement Form from Unit 2 Immigration Service Delivery. If you are a non-visa required national (in other words a national from a country that you do not need to get a 90 day tourist visa to enter the jurisdiction) you would present at a port of entry with this letter. Subject to the Immigration Officer being satisfied that matters are in order you will be then directed to register your permission with the local Immigration Office which should be done as soon as possible upon arrival.
If you require a visa to enter the jurisdiction you are required to first apply for a Long Stay ‘D’ Visa via the Online AVATS system. This will be required to be processed prior to you coming to the jurisdiction.
The Immigration and International Law Team in KOD Lyons have extensive experience in dealing with these applications. Should you require any assistance with this application please contact a member of our team who would be very happy to help.