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Ireland’s Visa Program

While many Americans are starting to understand the benefits associated with having a second passport from a foreign country, there is still uncertainty over what is the country that offers the best incentives to foreign investors. In this post we’ll explore Ireland’s Visa offering and give you the good and the bad of this second residency program.

Portugal, Malta, and several countries in the region have great double passport programs that are cheap and extremely efficient. These are very well known and have attracted many foreign investors.

One country that is not that well known  to foreign investors that’s starting to take advantage of the necessity for a second passport is the country of Ireland. Ireland’s geographic location, beauty, and location as part of the United Kingdom make it a highly coveted place for foreign investors.

About a decade ago, Ireland was the place to be for tax efficient business structures and second passports in the EU. I have several friends that hold this passport. Then Ireland got out of the business because of pressure from the rest of the Union. It seems Ireland is moving to attract investors once again.

Ireland offers several double passport and visa programs, meaning that you can choose the best one that meets your needs. Like many countries in Europe and the Caribbean with double passport programs, they are very protective of foreign investors and are given a presidential treatment.

The most common and fastest way to obtain a second passport from Ireland is to invest in any of the programs sponsored by the government. There are many different investment visa programs that you can choose from such as:

  • Investing 1,000,000 EUR in public debt bonds for five (5) years.
  • Investing 500,000 EUR in an Irish Company for three (3) years.
  • Investing 2,000,000 EUR in an Irish Real Estate Investment Trust for three years, you must be registered on the Irish Stock Exchange list.
  • Deeds of a property in Ireland worth 450,000 EUR combined with an investment of 500,000 EUR in the Immigrant Investor Bond for five (5) years making it a total investment of 950,000 EUR.

Before making any of this investments you must prove that you possess a total of 2,000,000 EUR in assets.

The public bonds that you invest in are guaranteed by the Irish government. To keep your Irish residence permit, you have to visit Ireland at least once a year. On the other hand, there are no requirements for a minimum period of time that you must remain in the country. So, you can live wherever you like and simply visit Ireland once a year.

As opposed to Britain, Ireland has less restrictive rules for immigration and it’s easier to obtain a work visa in the country. Work visas in Ireland have become a popular tool for members of the European Union, but Americans can also take advantage of them.

There are 4 ways to obtain a work permit in Ireland if you do not have a European passport. For example,  the green card, which is obtained if the Irish government approves the skills of the applicant as a skilled worker. Approval will depend a lot on the age and your level of English at the time of application.

Second is a work permit supported by an employer. That is, a company that has already hired the person, also if a transnational company hires the worker to perform their job in a location that is in Ireland, and if the spouse formally works in that country.

To apply for a work visa in Ireland you must have a high salary offer. The work to which you apply must have a remuneration greater than 30,000 EUR per year.

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You also need to be fluent English when applying and taking the IELTS in Ireland is a must. In addition, you must have relevant experience for the position and beat all those who are applying. The Ministry of Justice is the one with the final word to grant you the work permit.

If your investment or your work visa is approved and you have continued to participate in any of this two programs for a duration of 5 years, then you qualify for citizenship under Ireland’s guidelines.

A foreign investor must follow the same rules that someone with an Irish work visa has to follow in order to gain citizenship. Ireland accepts Dual citizenship so you can keep your American passport while at the same time enjoy the benefits of an Irish one.

Your family members will be included in the immigration process in Ireland. Therefore, they will obtain the Irish residence permit and can become citizens of Ireland once your citizenship is approved.

Ireland is a fantastic option if you wish to start a business in Europe. The costs of Ireland are not as extreme as in Britain and you will find that the lifestyle is more relaxed and amicable. You will not regret coming to Ireland.

I hope you’ve found this article on Ireland’s visa program to be helpful. For more information, or for assistance in starting an offshore bank or corporation, please contact us below by filling out the form, Thank you. For other countries, like Nicaragua, we have a great article that I know you’ll love to read.  

For more information on Visa’s please contact our office HERE


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