Brexit is a done deal after prolonged negotiations between the EU and the UK, and the biggest gainer could be Ireland’s Immigrant Investor Program.
Under the Schengen Agreement, all citizens and residents of member nations enjoyed visa-free travel privileges within the EU. This meant they can study, work, or settle in another EU country with minimal procedures.
Ireland: Linking the EU and the UK
Post-Brexit, a citizen of the UK will need a residence permit to live in the EU while an EU citizen will have to apply and obtain a visa before visiting, studying, or working in the UK. The only exception to this rule covers Irish citizens.
Ireland remains the only English-speaking member of the EU, which means an Irish citizen can travel to an EU-member nation with minimal visa requirements.
Ireland has a Common Travel Agreement with the UK that allows free movement of citizens between the two nations. As per the CTA, an Irish citizen can enter and remain in the UK without the need for any residence or employment permit.
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About the Irish Immigrant Investor Program
Ireland does not have direct citizenship by investment program. Its IIP offers a fast-track route to permanent residence to individuals with net worth of at least €2 million fulfilling one of the following investment conditions.
- €1 million or more in an Irish enterprise for at least three years.
- €2 million or more in a listed Irish Real Estate Investment Trust for at least three years.
- €1 million or more in an investment fund approved and regulated by the Irish Central Bank for at least three years.
- Philanthropic donation of €500,000 or more towards public interests of Ireland. These may include donations to arts, sports, health, culture, or education.
Unlike other countries, Ireland has been focused on preventing excess demand. It was one of the few programs in the EU to actually increase minimum investments and make it tougher for investors to qualify for permanent residence.
Enterprise investment was the most popular option with more than 75 percent of all investors applying between 2015 and 2019 choosing this option. Endowments/donations was the next preferred option with 12 percent of all investors choosing this route.
Benefits of Choosing the IIP
Access to the EU as well as the UK is an addition to the long list of advantages and benefits of choosing the Irish IIP.
In the absence of a direct real-estate investment option, the enterprise investment route is the simplest and safest option for investors.
The investor just needs to stay invested for the holding period to qualify for PR. There is no need to sell any asset or liquidate positions. The money is returned and the transaction is completed.
The government has expressly highlighted sectors into which it expects foreign investments. This helps applicants avoid the political backlash generally associated with investment immigration.
Further, Ireland’s corporate tax rate, at 12.5 percent, is the lowest among golden visa/CIP countries. Other European countries with investment immigration options include Malta, with a corporate tax rate of35 percent, Spain (25 percent), Portugal (21 percent), and Greece (24 percent).
Despite the high cost, the Irish IIP has seen steady demand from investors, which is only likely to increase going ahead as the country leverages its status as a link between the UK and the EU.General Information: Contact us to receive more information about this article.
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