‘Golden visa’ programme to be scrapped
Applications will no longer be accepted under the Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) from the close of business on Wednesday, the Minister for Justice has confirmed.
Simon Harris said the scheme had been under review for “quite a period of time” and that “strong advice” was presented to him recently that led him to make this decision.
He said that the attitudes of some international organisations towards such investment schemes were also considered.
Established in 2012, the IIP offers Irish residence in return for investment in the State to create jobs.
Applicants had to be high net worth individuals with a personal wealth of at least €2m.
The scheme required applicants to invest a minimum of €1 million for a minimum of three years.
Alternatively they could offer €500,000 as part of an endowment, or €400,000 as part of joint endowment, to a project of public benefit to the arts, sports, health, culture or education in Ireland.
The funds used for an investment had to be provided directly from the applicant’s own resources.
In recent years, a large number of submissions to the programme have come from China.
Mr Harris said since its inception, the programme has approved investment of almost €1.252 billion that has benefitted many enterprises both economic and social, including community and sporting organisations.
He said reviews had looked at the suitability of this programme continuing for cultural, social and economic use.
But the scheme was “of its time”, he concluded.
“Taking all of this into account, and informed by both internal and external reviews, I have recommended that it is now timely to close this programme to new applications,” he said.
Current applications will still be processed, however, while other applications that are in the process of being formally made will also be considered.
The Government also operates the Start-up Entrepreneur Programme (STEP).
Also established in 2012, it offers a way for entrepreneurs with an innovative idea to apply for a residence permission in Ireland,
The Government has said this will continue.