New figures show that over 1,200 people have applied for a visa through Ireland’s State Immigrant Investor Programme.
Successful applicants are granted permission to reside in Ireland for a fixed period with residency rights also applying to their families. Currently, the visa only requires the investor to be in Ireland for a minimum of one day a year.
After five years, people who have complied with the programme gain an indefinite right to a residency visa. There are a number of additional financial criteria that an applicant must meet in order to comply with the programme.
Ireland’s Immigrant Investor Programme is open to high-net-worth individuals who have a personal wealth of at least €2 million.
As is the case with many investor programmes operated around the world, the scheme has attracted a high number of Chinese multimillionaires.
The figures from the Department of Justice show that around 800 of the 1,200 applications have been approved to date. The new scheme was introduced in 2012 yet more than 400 of these approvals have been made since 2017.
A previous Irish investor programme had been abolished in 1998 amid claims that people were merely using the scheme to buy Irish passports.
However, the Department of Justice and Equality say the risks of abuse in the current system are minimal at present, although did note that if the scheme continued to grow, “then the risks will become more significant. It also said that the number of investors who have been granted residency was only “a tiny fraction” of the people being granted citizenship annually through the normal immigration process.
Article published 9th September 2019