This is a rough guide to the operation of this programme about which we have many enquiries.Advantages of programme: ? Quick – 8 weeks from submission of application to approval ? No minimum residency requirement: one day per year only ? Family permission: spouse/partner and children under 18 qualify automatically ? Strong nature of permission: Stamp 4: work, run a business, study (including free education for minors at state schools.) ? Easily renewable: pathway to long term residency and opportunity to apply for citizenship Disadvantages of programme: ? Ireland is not a Schengen visa country and visas are still required for travel to other European countries; ? No guarantee of citizenship at the end of five years; ? Cost: minimum of €500,000.00 investment – borrowing not permitted. Advantages of Ireland as a place to reside: ? Safe ? Strong rule of law ? Pollution free environment ? English speaking ? Good education system ? Multi-cultural ? EU membership ? Tax Regime (we do not give tax advice: the following is an outline of Ireland’s tax regime: ? Corporate tax rate of 12.5% for active business. ? Remittance basis of taxation (only money remitted to Ireland is taxable in Ireland ? 25% Research & Development (R&D) Tax Credit which may be refundable over a three year period. ? An Intellectual Property (IP) regime which provides a tax write-off for broadly defined IP acquisitions. ? An attractive holding company regime, including participation exemption from capital gains tax on disposals of shares in subsidiaries. ? An effective zero tax rate for foreign dividends (12.5% tax rate on qualifying foreign dividends, with flexible onshore pooling of foreign tax credits). ? An EU-approved stable tax regime, with access to extensive treaty network and EU Directives. ? Double taxation agreements with many jurisdictions ? Generous domestic law withholding tax exemptions. Disadvantages: Ireland is not a Schengen visa country and visas are still required for travel to other European countries. What you get: ? Residence in Ireland for applicant, wife and children for two years, renewable for a further three years*; ? Stamp 4 permission: work, run a business or study without restriction. ? After 5 years participants under the programme will be entitled to apply for long term residence in Ireland. ? Multiple entry visa for Ireland for the same duration. *During this period beneficiaries must have private medical insurance and must not have recourse to public funds. Typical costs for a family of two adults and two children is €3,000.00 per annum. What investments qualify? 1) Immigrant Investor Bonds A minimum investment of €1,000,000 in the immigrant investor government bond The immigrant investor bond has a term of 5 years and an annual interest rate of 0% per annum. These bonds are not transferrable. 2) Enterprise Investment A minimum investment of €500,000 in a single Irish enterprise or spread over a number of enterprises for a minimum of 3 years. The enterprise may be a start-up established by the investor or an existing business registered in Ireland. The enterprise must be registered and headquartered in Ireland. The investment must support the creation or maintenance of employment. The investment must be made in the name of the individual seeking residence under the Programme. In certain cases, a property investment of a minimum value of €500,000 in which the investor can demonstrate a clear economic or social benefit for Ireland or where the property investment is a critical part of an overall business development or enterprise plan. 3) Approved Investment Funds A minimum investment of €500,000 in a single Irish enterprise fund. At the time of writing, no funds have been approved. 4) Mixed Investments In such cases a minimum investment of €950,000 will apply between residential property (minimum value €450,000) and immigrant investor bonds (€500,000.00.) The residential property must be on in which the applicant and their family intend to reside in Ireland (residential properties purchased for rental income will not be eligible). 5) Endowment A minimum endowment of €500,000 in a project of public benefit in the arts, sports, health, cultural or educational field. The endowment should be regarded asa philanthropic contribution with a clear public benefit. Investors will receive no financial return or recoupment of the principal. 6) Others In certain circumstances investment through a venture capital (VC) fund may be considered. However it must be clearly demonstrated that the net effect of the investment is the same as if it were invested directly in Irish businesses. A substantial investment in a company listed on the Irish Stock Exchange may be considered in exceptional circumstances where that investment represents a significant contribution to Ireland’s national economic interests. A simple purchase of shares on the open market would not meet the investment requirements of this programme. The investment must be held for a minimum of 3 years. The Minister has agreed to extend the scheme to Real Estate Investment Trusts but this has not been done as yet. Process The application process has two stages Stage one – application for investment and immigration approval In the application stage candidates will submit their application forms and all supporting documentation as well as the required details of their investment proposals for approval by the Evaluation Committee. The committee meets monthly and at this point, considers all applications properly before it. Thus if you lodge your application the day before the meeting, you will be considered and processed. The Evaluation Committee will make recommendations to the Minister as to whether or not the person should be accepted under the programme and the Minister has to date approved all our applicants who have been recommended Thus the processing time is usually less than 6 weeks from application. Stage two – issue of residence permission Applicants who are successful and whose investment proposals are approved will been issued with the residence permissions when the following conditions have been met:- 1. The proposed investment has been pursued and evidence of the transfer of funds in to the investment has been supplied to INIS; 2. The applicant, and if relevant their spouse/partner, has submitted the required affidavit attesting to their good character and lack of criminal convictions; No Investment Prior to Approval: Investors don’t have to make the investment before making the application but should accompany their application with the following detail: i) Immigrant investor bond It will be sufficient for the applicant to show that they have the necessary funds for the immigrant investor bond as required by the Evidence of Funds condition detailed below. ii) Enterprise Investment _ If the applicant is investing in an existing Irish business or is relocating a business to Ireland, the most recent audited accounts for that business should be submitted in support of the application. _ For investments in existing businesses, relocating business and new business proposals the applicant should submit a comprehensive business plan which clearly identifies the financial investment being made in support of the application for residency under this programme. iii) Property investment Where applicants wish to include a property component in their investment application it will be necessary to provide a document from a legal adviser permitted to practise in Ireland, confirming that the applicant is actively pursuing a suitable property. There is no obligation to have a signed contract on the property. iv) Endowment Applicants who wish to pursue the endowment option should submit the details of their endowment. We have sourced a number of suitable scientific, cultural and artistic endowments for those who wish to pursue this route. Evidence of funds The applicant must provide evidence of the funds that are to be used for the proposed investment, the provenance of those funds and the ability of the applicant to transfer those funds to Ireland. This should be done by – A letter from a financial institution regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland, Or If the funds are not held in a financial institution regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland, personal bank statements from a bank that is regulated by the home regulator (official regulatory body for the country in which the financial institution operates and the funds are located), showing the amount of funding available in the name of the applicant. The applicant should provide bank statements, covering the three full consecutive months before the date of application. The most recent statement must be no more than one calendar month old at the date of application. All bank statements provided must be original documents and not copies, be on the official bank stationary and each must show the full amount of the available funds. Or A Letter from a bank that is regulated by the domestic regulator (official regulatory body for the country in which the financial institution operates and the funds are located). If the applicant cannot provide bank statements, INIS will require a letter from his/her bank, stating that the account has held the required amount of money on the day the letter was produced and for the three full consecutive months immediately before the date of the letter. The letter must be dated no more than one calendarmonth before the date of application. The letter must be an original letter and not a copy; on the institution’s official headed paper; and it must have been issued by an authorised official of that institution. The letter must confirm the following: _ the name of the applicant, and that the money is available in their name/s; _ the bank is regulated by the home regulator; 8 All funds must be acquired and held legally and must be fully at the free disposal of the applicant. _ the dates of the period covered. This must include both the day the letter was produced and three full consecutive months immediately before the date of the letter; and _ the balance of the account to cover the amount claimed as a credit balance on the date of the letter and the three full consecutive months before the date of the letter. _ If the letter does not confirm a minimum sufficient credit balance for the full period required, the applicant must also provide further evidence of the source of the money, from the list below. Source of funds i) Business and investment activities If the funds are being sourced from the applicant’s business and investment activities, the applicant should provide financial accounts together with a verification letter from a registered legal adviser who is permitted to practise in the country where the applicant’s business activities are operating. This letter must confirm that the applicant can lawfully extract the money from the business. The required financial accounts must be a profit and loss account or income and expenditure account if the organisation is not trading for profit. The financial accounts should be prepared and signed off in accordance with legal requirements and should clearly show the amount of funding available for investment. The verification letter, in the form of an original document from a legal adviser permitted to practise in the country where the applicant’s business activities are operating, must confirm that the applicant can lawfully withdraw the funds from the business. The letter must be an original document and not a copy and must show _ the name of the legal adviser who is confirming the details _ the registration or authority of the legal adviser to practise legally in the country in which the business is operating _ the date on which the details are confirmed _ confirm that the applicant can lawfully withdraw the funds from the business in question. ii) Deeds of Sale If the funds are being sourced from the proceeds of a sale of assets the applicant should submit original documents in the form of the deeds of sale of assets accompanied by a verification letter from a registered legal adviser. iii) Inheritance If the applicant has been the beneficiary of an inheritance which has enabled his or herapplication, then a notarised copy of the will which conferred this benefit on the applicant should be provided together with a verification letter from a registered legal adviser permitted to practise in the country where the will was made confirming the validity of the will. If the applicant has received assets, rather than money, then the applicant may not use estimates of the value of the assets as evidence of funds for investment. If the applicant has received the required funding from a source not listed above, they must provide original documentation as evidence of the source of the funding, together with independent supporting evidence. Evidence that the money can be transferred All of the funds required to meet the conditions of the Immigrant Investor Programme must be capable of being transferred to Ireland and convertible to euros. Many jurisdictions have controls over the transfer of currency and it will be necessary for the applicant to prove that the funding can be transferred to Ireland if the application is successful. Applicants should provide a letter from their bank or financial institution as evidence that the funds can be transferred into Ireland. This must be an original letter, on the official letter-headed paper of the bank or financial institution. It must have been issued by an authorised official of that institution and must confirm the following details _ the name of the beneficial owner of the funds, which should be the applicant, _ the date of the letter, _ the amount of money to be transferred, _ that the money can be transferred to Ireland if the application is successful, _ that the institution will confirm the content of the letter to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service upon request. Evidence of Character All applicants must submit their application with a statement of character from the police authorities of each country in which you have resided for more than six months during the 10 year period prior to your making an application. Applicants who are in a position to supply screening reports from reputable international risk management companies are invited to do so. Police certificates are not accepted from all countries and in those cases it is necessary to retain a risk consultant recognised by INIS to provide the necessary clearance. Where an applicant is successful in having their investment proposal approved they will be required to arrange for the submission of an affidavit attesting to their good character and affirming that they have no criminal convictions. This affidavit must be produced by a legal practitioner who is registered to practice law in Ireland. A similar affidavit will be required from all family members of 16 years of age or more who are availing of residence under this scheme. It is our practise to get the affidavit sworn and then to file it immediately with INIS who issue the residency within days. Therefore this element can be concluded during a short visit to Ireland. Renewal of Residency Permission Permission will be renewed subject to; • The investment remaining in place thereafter for the designated period; • An assessment by the Evaluation Committee of the success or viability of the investment; • The Candidates maintaining their good character; • The candidates maintaining their private medical insurance and not having recourse to publicly funded welfare programmes. On renewal, residency permission will be granted for 3 further years. Thereafter permission may be renewed in 5 year instalments. Naturalisation At the moment there is a very benign citizenship framework and persons having 60 months legal residency are entitled to apply for citizenship which at the moment is processed within 6 months. However, the law and practise of naturalisation may change and no guarantees or assurances are given that Irish citizenship will follow for applicants. Eligible Family Members Residency status, on similar terms, to the principal applicant is also available for spouses/partners and minor children (i.e. children under 18 years of age) for whom the principal applicant and/or their spouse or partner has legal guardianship. Consideration of family relationships: Where the person applying for residence status under the Immigrant Investor Programme for themselves and their families the validity of the family relationships will be considered. Spouses: Applicants should provide evidence that their marriage or civil partnership is legal. It is unlikely that marriages to subsequent wives will be recognised in Irish law; Partners: Applicants should provide evidence that they have been cohabitating with their partner in a common law/de facto relationship for the previous two years. Children: The minor children of the applicant shall qualify for residency status provided that the applicant qualifies for residency status and provided that; • They are legally in the custody/guardianship of the applicant • They are unmarried and are not in a de facto/common law relationship In respect of each child, the applicant must supply birth certificates detailing parentage or legal documentation verifying the applicant’s custody/guardianship.
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