Irish Visa Start-up Entrepreneur Programme

The Irish Start-Up Entrepreneur Visa Programme, introduced by the Irish Government in 2012, allows experienced businesspeople with an innovative business plan to gain long term residence in Ireland. To take advantage of this programme you must intend to introduce a 'new or innovative product or service' to International markets, as well as have €50,000 in start up funds. This could be an entirely new business, or an existing one which you plan to relocate to Ireland. Foreign entrepreneurs may obtain a temporary residence permit in Ireland

High potential start-ups for Irish Visa Programme

To be eligible for an Irish visa under the Start-up Entrepreneur Programme your business plan must be for a 'High Potential Start-up', defined as a business which will:

  • Introduce a 'new or innovative' business plan to international markets

  • If an existing business which you plan to relocate to Ireland, it must be less than 6 years old at the time of the application

  • Have the potential to create at least 10 new jobs in Ireland within 4 years

  • Have the potential to generate at least €1,000,000 in sales within 3 to 4 years

  • Be headquartered in Ireland

  • Be led by experienced managers

  • Have at least €50,000 of initial funding

Required documentation for Irish Visa Application

You must provide the following required documents in support of your application for an Irish Start-up Entrepreneur Programme visa:

  • Proof of comprehensive health insurance 

  • Evidence of the funds that are to be used for the proposed start-up, the applicant must also be able to provide prove that they have the ability to transfer those funds to Ireland (more on funding below)

  • Proof of  clean criminal record (Original Police Clearance Certificate)

  • If an existing business which you plan to relocate to Ireland, you must provide the business's most recent audited accounts

  • A business plan written using the template provided on the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service website

  • Original and photocopy of passport
  • Two passport-size photos

Applicants must also provide character statements from the police of all countries they have resided in for 6 months or more in the 10 years prior to the application. Applicants can also provide screening reports from international risk management agencies if they wish.


All applicants must have at least €50,000 in available funds for the start up or relocation of their business. Which must come from one, or a combination, of the following sources:

  • Your own funds

  • A business loan

  • Angel investor or venture capital funding

  • A grant from the Irish State Agency

You must also provide the following evidence of these funds:

If the funds are your own then:

  • If the funds are kept in a financial institution regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland you must provide a letter from the institution confirming the amount of available funds.

  • If the funds are kept in a financial institution regulated by a domestic regulator outside of Ireland you must provide a letter from the institution stating that the funds can be transferred to Ireland and converted to Euros, as well as either:

    • A letter from the institution stating that your account has held the funds for at least 3 months prior to the date of the letter. The letter itself must be dated no more than 1 month prior to your application, OR

    • Bank statements showing that the funds have been held in your account for at least 3 months prior to the date of the most recent statement. The most recent statement must be less then 1 month old at the time of your application.

If the funds are from a loan, angel investor, venture capital firm, or Irish State agency, or any combination thereof, then:

  • You must provide a letter from each funding source stating the amount of funds they have made available to you and confirming that the funds may be used for your proposed business.

Irish Visas available for Family members

You can include the following family members in your application. If successful they will be granted Irish residency on the same terms as yourself:

  • Married or civil partners

  • De facto partners, provided you can supply evidence that you have been in a cohabiting relationship for at least 2 years

  • Children under the age of 18, provided they are unmarried and you or your partner have legal custody or guardianship over them


Renewing your permit and citizenship

To renew the permit, start-up must still be operating and must have secured an assessment from the Evaluation Committee stating its success. 

If the assessment from the Evaluation Committee comes back as positive, a 3-year residence permit extension will be granted. After this 3 year extension, permits can be renewed 5 years at a time regardless of how well the business is doing. 

After a total of 8 years of residency, residents can apply for naturalisation as long as they have been residing continuously for a minimum of 365 days. The 365 days must be immediately before applying for naturalisation. The resident must have also resided for a minimum of at least 4 years at any time during the 8 years prior to applying for naturalisation. 

Dual citizenship is recognised in Australia 


Further Information, help, and visa advice has over twenty years of experience helping people immigrate to countries all over the World. Whether you wish to visit, work, study, or do business in Ireland our specialist team of immigration experts can help you with one to one advice, information, and representation when applying for your Irish visa or work permit.

For more information and advice on Irish immigration law and Ireland visa applications please contact us on 0344 991 9222 or at