Ireland Investor Immigration

The Irish Immigrant Investor Programme closed to new applications on 15 February 2023. If you have questions or require further advice concerning alternatives such as the Start-Up Entrepreneur Programme, get in touch.


This article was published before the IIP closure in February 2023. 

What is the Ireland Investor Immigration Programme?

The Irish investor programme grants residency in Ireland to eligible investors, as well as a path to Irish citizenship. It is available to non-EU citizens who can evidence a minimum net worth of €2 million and who make an approved investment in one of a number of qualifying options. In return, you will be granted Irish residency for you and your family. You may also become eligible to naturalise as an Irish citizen and apply for an Irish passport.

If you are looking to invest in Ireland, it is important to seek legal advice to understand the migration options open to you, to ensure your case is effectively represented to the Irish Department of Justice and to avoid any delays with your application.

Am I eligible for the Ireland Investor Immigration Programme?

To qualify under the investor programme for Ireland, you will have to evidence through documentation that your personal net worth exceeds €2 million (or equivalent), that the source of your funds and assets are legitimate and that you meet the good character requirement.

You will also have to invest in one of four approved investment options.


What are the four investment options?

Unlike equivalent schemes in other countries, the Ireland Investor Immigration Programme does not require you to invest the funds prior to making your application. You only have to identify which investment option you intend to proceed with. The investment is then made once your application is approved.

Investors who wish to participate in the scheme must choose from one of four eligible investments in Ireland:

  • Enterprise Investment
  • Investment Fund
  • Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT)
  • Endowment


Additional documentation will need to be provided in relation to the investment you opt for.  

Each of the options carries different benefits and risks for investors, so it will be important to take professional advice to understand which option best suits your requirements and circumstances.


How to apply for the Ireland Investor Immigration Programme

There are four stages to the application process:

  1. Making your application. Select the investment option you will proceed with and compile a complete and comprehensive application with supporting documentation to the Department of Justice.
  2. The Evaluation committee will review your application, and approve or refuse on the basis of your submission.
  3. If approved, you are to make the investment in your chosen option.
  4. After your investment has been placed, you and your family will be granted permission to reside in Ireland.


How long do applications take to approve?

In total, it can take around 4-6 months from submitting your application to the Irish Department of Justice for a decision to be made. Delays arise where documentation is not complete and the Evaluation committee requests further evidence to be submitted.

The Evaluation committee usually meets at least four times a year to consider applications.


Can investors bring dependants?

Yes, under the programme you will be able to bring your spouse or partner and children under the age of 18 with you to Ireland. In certain circumstances, dependent children between the ages of 18 and 24 may also be considered if they are unmarried and do not have a life partner, and are financially dependent on their you (e.g. in full time education).

The programme allows your dependants permission to work, study or start their own businesses in Ireland.


How long is residency granted for?

The Irish investor scheme grants residency for an initial period of two years. This can be extended by a further three years, provided you have made the approved investment.

After the initial five years, residency permission can be extended for a further five years subject to further conditions being satisfied in the the preceding three year period, including that your investment has remained in place for the required time period, i.e. a minimum of three years. Alternatively, after the initial five years you may seek to apply for Irish citizenship.

Investment performance is not a condition for residence. As long as you commit your funds for the required period of time your residence will be extended.


Do I have to live in Ireland to keep my status under the programme?

Full time residency is not mandatory, although you are required to be in Ireland for a minimum of 1 day per calendar year to maintain your eligibility under the programme. This also applies to family members also included in the programme.

However, should you intend to apply to naturalise as an Irish citizen and attain an Irish passport, you will need to satisfy the residence requirement under the naturalisation process.


Is it possible to lose your immigration status?

It is possible to lose your residency status in a number of circumstances. For example, where the individual is convicted of a criminal offence or fails to meet the investment conditions of the programme. 


Can I get Irish citizenship through the investor immigration programme?

Automatic citizenship after the five year period is not granted, and there is no fast-track or preference for individuals under the investor programme.

However, you can apply for naturalisation after five years actual residence in Ireland, provided you are eligible. This includes evidencing that you have been physically resident in Ireland for four of the preceding eight years, i.e. 5 years, prior to your application. During each of these years, your home must have been in Ireland and you must have been physically present in Ireland for at least 10 months of each year, after holidays and trips away for business and leisure, have been deducted.

Applicants must be ‘continuously resident’ in Ireland the year before applying for citizenship. ‘Continuous’ has been interpreted as meaning no absences at all from the Republic during the 12 month period prior to making the application, including trips to Northern Ireland. As a result, individuals looking to apply for Irish citizenship should take advice well in advance of their eligibility date to ensure they meet the residence requirements under the prevailing interpretation of the rules. 


Can I apply for an Irish passport?

If you are successful in naturalising as an Irish citizen, you become eligible to apply for an Irish passport.


What if your Investor programme application is refused?

There is no right to appeal if your application is rejected and your application fee will be lost.

You will be advised of the grounds for refusal. On this basis, it is recommended to take advice on your options and the merits of making a new application, addressing the issue(s) of your refused application.


We can help

At DavidsonMorris we help both individuals and commercial employers meet their global mobility needs, including Irish investor visa applications.

We have an established reputation for effective and efficient management of Ireland investor programme applications, providing advice and support through the investment requirements and, where applicable, helping to obtain Irish citizenship and secure an Irish passport which brings EU free movement rights. 

We also understand the stresses involved with moving across the world, and take great pride in playing a supportive role to ease the pressure. For specialist application support, contact us. 


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