Ireland to offer special resident visas for investors interested in immigrating

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Under proposals to be laid out soon, Ireland will begin to offer special visas to individuals who invest in Ireland. It is hoped that wealthy individuals from outside the EU will wish to take advantage of one of the new investor schemes and immigrate to Ireland.

Immigrants interested in the new scheme can do one of the following:
  • Make a one-time payment of a minimum of €500,000 to a public project benefiting the arts, sports, health or education.
  • Make a minimum €2,000,000 investment in a low interest immigrant investor bond. The investment is to be held for a minimum of five years. The bond will not be tradeable.
  • Invest a minimum of €1,000,000 in venture capital funding into an Irish business for a minimum of three years.
  • Make a minimum €1,000,000 mixed investment in 50% property and 50% in Government securities. Special consideration could be given to those purchasing property, that is owned by National Asset Management Agency. In such cases a single €1m investment in property might be sufficient. The Agency has acquired land from participating Irish financial institutions. Its objective is to obtain the best achievable financial return for the country.
The proposal comes as Ireland looks to rebuild its economy and financial markets after one of the biggest banking collapses in history. The Irish government has also said they will offer finders' fees of about 4,000 euros if you find someone who creates jobs in Ireland and will offer tax breaks for executives moving to the country.

"You might have businesspeople in China or in Brazil or in various non-EU countries who would like to be entitled to come and reside here," Irish Justice Minister Alan Shatter said. "The scheme has great potential."

Investors will be able to bring family members with them on the visa. Successful applicants will be granted a residence permission for two years which will be renewable thereafter provided the business is still operational and the applicant is earning a living without being a burden on the country. There will be no requirement to employ people for the first two years. Also, the business will not be required to be profitable at the renewal stage. Ireland is expected to announce further details next month.

Shatter also said that immigrant investor schemes had worked for other countries. For instance, the US offers the E2 treaty investor visa for individuals who invest "substantial amounts of capital" in the US; The E1 treaty trader visa is for individuals who undertake a significant amount of international trade with the US.

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