On Tuesday 14 February, the Irish government announced the closure of the Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP). IIP applications via approved projects may be granted a grace period of three months to submit the finalised application. Any interest in IIP is the last chance and would have to apply on an urgent and immediate basis or the programme will no longer be available. Contact us now.

How to assess risks of immigration investor programmes?

Thoroughly evaluating the risk profile of an immigration investor programme or investor residence scheme can seem daunting, as every programme and scheme has immigration and financial risks. Once committed, risks can change through the various stages of the process. It is imperative that project owners and investors have candid conversations about risk. To help guide those conversations, we have put together a list of some of the most prevalent risk factors and an explanation of the asset types which are commonly seen under immigration investor programmes as the underlying assets.

Risk Factor 1: The Programmes

Irish passport

Immigration, and investment immigration in particular, can be a key driver of a country’s economic growth. The inflow of investments and population mobility help a country to gain talent, high-net-worth families and capital. Immigrant investor programmes or investor resident schemes usually have higher asset and investment requirements with greater flexibility around travel and physical presence when compared to other lower-tier immigration programmes or quota-based skilled professional immigrant programmes. Most of these programmes aim to support local infrastructure, boost certain financial or commercial sectors or enhance community living through job creation and recreation. However, not all the programmes and schemes create a positive result for the country. For example, over-investment in the residential market can create a housing bubble where locals cannot afford to buy property in a reasonable timeframe with their salary and income. Other schemes may lead to a range of other risks particularly around security, money laundering, corruption and tax evasion. Some programmes may change due to political influences.

Travel and settling requirements, and the right of residency status are aspects that investors need to pay attention to. Most English-speaking countries will require actual residency for a minimum of five years. With regard to residency status, investors are advised to pay attention to the visa or permit types, as some may be issued in the form of a Temporary Resident Visa without the right to access local benefits, and may require investors to pass a language test, a medical test or to apply within a certain age bracket to obtain permanent residence.

Additionally, it’s important if holding a dual residency to check the country’s residence rules and when the tax year starts and ends. Staying in a country for more than 183 days in a tax year, may make an investor liable for taxation if the country has a global tax law, meaning that the investor’s overseas income is taxable to the country.

Risk Factor 2: The Projects

Construction Projects in Ireland

Investing in a good project in a stable market is the best way to mitigate market risk. This involves evaluating the market conditions in a particular geographic area, including demand, competition and financials.

To scope out the market conditions, investors and their advisors should thoroughly review a project’s market study. Independent research is required to look for indicators that the market is stable, shows strong signs of growth, and that the project will benefit from various drivers that will continue to push demand for the project. For example, a hotel would benefit from being located near a university, an attraction or an international airport, since these all have a broad base of users frequently looking for hotels. The market study, in addition to the business plan, should also discuss the competition. Look for signs that the project has a reasonable plan regarding how it will compete. It is also advised that investors understand the operational financial information and assumptions in the project’s business plan. For example, if a market study determines a hotel in a location will have an expected occupancy rate of x and an average daily rate of y, make sure those are the same figures used by the project. If not, run a stress test on the financials to see how it performs at these determined market rates.

The investor should assess a developer to see if they are creditworthy. Look for developers and operators with a trusted and extended track record. This helps show they can manage their business both when times are good and also during downturns.

A wider market assessment should also take into account the current pandemic situation, where some sectors, such as hotels, hospitality services and student accommodation, have been severely affected in a way that may affect a project’s financial stability.

Risk Factor 3: Liquidity and Return of Principal

Liquidity and Return of Principal

A looming concern for most investors is the return of their investment. Working with their advisor, investors should run financial models to see if a refinancing event or sale of the project would generate enough cash to pay back existing debt and investors. Assumptions in the project’s exit plan, such as the anticipated sale price or cap rate, should be cross-referenced with a market study or other available data to ensure it is reasonable.

Some projects are easy to exit, for example those where terms and repayment are specified in the Loan Agreement, while some may be affected by market performance when redeeming the investment such as funds or bonds. Some may have to sell the asset where, in the case of residential property for instance, the return of the capital would depend on the secondary market and market value. If it’s a business, it may depend on the valuation of the business entity, the tangible and intangible assets.

Understanding Asset Types and Their Values

To assist you on your journey, these are some of the most common types of investments an investor may encounter when researching immigration investor programmes:

Asset Types and Their Values


Closed-end funds are pooled money investments that have a primary focus. Investors need to understand how the fund is managed, whether the fund is approved and regulated by the local monetary and financial authority, what assets the fund invests in, and the fund’s performance either on asset value or profit. Repayment to investors would be dependent on the market condition and fund performance while management charges are also a consideration.


Some investor visas can be obtained by investing in Government Bonds or Corporate Bonds. Government Bonds are considered low-risk investments since the government backs them. Corporate Bonds can be share capital and/or loan capital in active and trading registered companies. Since these are equity market-linked, the value can be affected by a company’s credit rating, price volatility is higher and the risk level is also relatively higher.

Start-up and Entrepreneur

Start-up and Entrepreneur visas have expanded rapidly since 2012 as many governments like to encourage foreign capital to run businesses in the country to support the economy and employment development. Some programmes require applicants to have experience in business planning, management and control of financial resources on top of the investment requirement. There are many factors to consider including hiring and domestic competition. Exiting a business is also not a straightforward process and the value of the business depends on its tangible and intangible assets, which will all affect the return of the invested capital.

Real Estate – Residential


The most common investor residence schemes and investor citizenship schemes in the EU are residential property investments where the amount of money required usually does not exceed €500,000.

Although the entry point of these “Golden Visa” schemes is lower than many immigrant investor programmes, a spike of people investing in the private residential market is causing housing pressure in local metropolitan areas, with some programmes putting an end to it, including Lisbon and Porto in Portugal. Also, when buying residential properties, some investors may have concerns around the secondary market where it may not be easy to resell or exit from their investments.

Real Estate – Social Infrastructure

There are many advantages to investing in social infrastructure projects. They are tangible fixed assets and the programmes are often supported by governments to help local communities and increase capital inflow. These assets can be government-backed, either with a long lease signed with the government or with subsidies from government funds. Furthermore, due to the nature of population growth and ageing populations, and as a result of the financial crisis in 2008 and the 2020 global pandemic, there is a shortage in social housing and nursing home supply, while demand for these assets is strong, something that is true globally and not only specific to Ireland.

To learn more, read Impact Investing – The potential of Social Housing and Nursing Homes in Ireland.

Beaumont & Stoneybatter

As one of the largest property developers in Ireland and with a proven track record, Bartra is here to help you understand the value of nursing homes and social housing projects in Ireland and to mitigate your immigration risk.

Nursing home and social housing investments are under the IIP Enterprise Investment option. Before committing to any IIP Enterprise Investment, below are some of the questions investors would have to ask:

  • Who is the developer of the project and what is the scale of their portfolio?
  • Do they have a successful project completion track record and experience in running these types of projects?
  • Are these projects located in much-needed areas, such as Dublin?
  • Are these properties new-build, second hand, converted or refurbished developments? Valuations vary across developments, with new-builds having the highest value.
  • Do these projects qualify for immigrant investor programmes where the government’s initiative is to increase the supply of infrastructure?
  • What is the connection between the selling company and the developer, and where is the company registered?

Due to the IIP’s flexibility and its investment safety, Ireland is increasingly becoming an immigration hotspot, and more immigration companies have entered the market. By understanding the risks and asset types, we hope that investors can choose suitable immigration programmes and will be able to work with project owners collaboratively to increase the overall likelihood of success. We are proud of our services, our projects and our 100% success rate of helping our clients to obtain residency.

Ireland’s Job Market – Which professional sectors are in high demand?

Whenever a family chooses to emigrate to another country, there are a number of factors to consider, such as quality of education and job market prospects, as these may affect your children’s future. It would defeat the purpose of studying abroad if your children were not able to find a good job after graduation and subsequently remigrate. In recent years, Ireland has become one of the top immigration destinations, partly due to its unrivaled advantages in education and thriving job market.

Before looking into Ireland’s job market, let’s talk about how outstanding Irish education is. Ireland has one of the best education systems in the world, ranking seventh globally. As mentioned in our blog “Irish education – a future for your children”, Ireland remains the only English-speaking country in the EU following Brexit. An Irish education is strongly influenced by Britain, and the education systems of Hong Kong, Ireland, and the UK have many similarities. The primary goal of Irish education is to provide cultural, artistic, sporting, psychological and spiritual development as well as to prepare children for academia.

Under the Common Travel Area (CTA) arrangement between Ireland and the United Kingdom, Irish citizens are entitled to live, work and study in the UK. Through the Ireland Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP), your children can obtain residency status in Ireland and will be eligible for an Irish passport when they are aged 18 or over and have been residents in the state for at least five years. Once your children become Irish citizens, they can choose to study at top universities in the UK or Ireland. If they opt for a British university, they can qualify as local students and pay the ‘home rate’ instead of overseas rates, saving nearly three times the tuition fees.

Job Market

With the rapid growth of the Irish economy in recent years, local companies have continued to expand and are hiring more graduates. Of all EU member states, Ireland was the only one that maintained economic growth amid the global pandemic in 2020. GDP expanded by 3.4% according to the Central Statistics Office Ireland, despite falling 6.3% in the EU overall (and by 6.8% in the eurozone).

Boasting a competitive corporate tax rate of 12.5%, Ireland offers an attractive taxation framework and has been one of the most attractive countries for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), while maintaining the highest economic growth rate in Europe for six consecutive years.

Ireland is home to:

  • Global tech giants, including Apple, Microsoft, and Google
  • 9 of the world’s top 10 pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson
  • 18 of the world’s top 25 MedTech companies
  • Half of the world’s top 50 banks
  • More than 250 global financial institutions

What is the job market in Ireland like? Take a look at the following data:

  • Many new job openings
    The number of job postings increased by 34% in 2021 Q1 compared to the previous quarter, according to the latest Irish Jobs Index by ie. This shows that Irish companies have quickly recovered from the pandemic and are actively expanding.
  • The new financial hub of Europe
    According to New Financial, more than 400 financial firms have moved from the UK as a result of Brexit, of which 135 chose to relocate to Ireland (the most in Europe). New Financial expects relocation numbers to increase over time, with Ireland continuing to be the biggest beneficiary.
  • Europe’s Silicon Valley
    As stated by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment of Ireland, there are currently more than 80,000 tech professionals in Ireland, with a further 8,000 IT job openings forecast each year in Ireland.
  • Talent from all over the world
    According to Eurostat, 1 in 8 people living in Ireland come from abroad, which is among the highest in Europe.

Top Sectors in Ireland

It is easier for your children to find a job after graduation if they specialize in one of the country’s booming sectors. So, what are the key sectors that have prospered in Ireland? Here are the 7 best-paying industries in Ireland, according to CPL’s latest Salary Guide for 2021:

Industry Top Salary in 2020
1 Accountancy & Tax €150K – €275K
2 Finance Services €190K – €260K
3 Legal €120K – €200K+
4 Marketing €95K to €160K
5 Life Sciences €155K – €280K
6 Technology €120K – €280K
7 Technology, Infrastructure €120K – €140K

After considering some of the most popular industries, below we detail four noteworthy sectors in Ireland based on data and trends:

Financial Sector

Ireland, the only English-speaking country in the EU, remains the top destination for financial firms to relocate to after Brexit, which brings Ireland’s prosperous financial industry to the next level. The funds and asset management sector have long been in high demand, while risk and compliance professionals are also attractive as Ireland’s fintech space continues to boom.

Due to the growing complexity of financial markets and transnational transactions, demand for taxation professionals such as tax accountants and tax analysts is also rising.


The financial district of Dublin, Ireland

Life Sciences & Pharmaceuticals Sector

The global demand for medical and healthcare products is increasing day by day. Did you know that Ireland is one of the world’s largest exporters of pharmaceutical products? More than 85 pharmaceutical companies operate over 100 facilities in Ireland, and 9 of the world’s top 10 pharmaceutical companies are established in Ireland. In 2020, Ireland’s total exports of pharmaceutical products hit a record high, reaching US$65.73 billion.

Ireland’s significant pharmaceutical sector plays a decisive role in creating employment. Jobs related to life sciences and pharmaceuticals have been featured on Irish job search platforms for many years, and the Covid-19 pandemic has provided the development of the industry with a boost. According to CPL, professionals in areas such as MSAT, quality, and chemistry R&D are in high demand.


Life sciences and pharmaceuticals are one of the most popular sectors in Ireland

Technology Sector

Technology has always been one of Ireland’s key sectors. Ireland is home to a huge array of tech giants, such as Apple, which has been based in Cork since 1980. In Dublin’s Silicon Docks, you will find the European Headquarters of other tech giants such as Google and Twitter, and e-commerce stars like Amazon and PayPal. Many Chinese tech companies have also entered Ireland in recent years. For example, Tik Tok, a viral social video-sharing app, announced in 2020 that its European headquarters will be located in Dublin.

Fun Facts

  • Brendan Greene, the creator of the world-renowned multiplayer shooting game PUBG, is Irish.
  • Many companies in Ireland like to hire foreign nationals. For example, LinkedIn’s 1,600 employees in Ireland speak 35 languages; Google’s 70,000 employees in Ireland speak 49 languages. Many people, even if they are not EU citizens, come to Ireland to look for job opportunities.
  • In May 2021, Google and Dublin City Council launched “Air View Dublin”, an initiative that measures air quality across the city.

Construction and Engineering Sector

According to Construction magazine’s annual Top 50 CIF Contractors listing for 2019, the top 50 Irish contractors reported total turnover of €8.39 billion in 2018, an increase of more than €1.5 billion over 2017. Amid Covid-19 and lockdowns, the construction industry has been hit hard and has met with many challenges. However, with the introduction of vaccines and the potential stabilization of the pandemic, the construction industry in Ireland is gradually getting back on track.

According to CPL’s report, the most buoyant areas in construction include social housing, hospital builds and infrastructure, in addition to residential and commercial buildings.


As one of the leading real estate developers in Ireland, Bartra has lodged a planning application for a major new community development with 1,047 A-rated social, affordable and private homes in the former O’Devaney Gardens site in Dublin 7, which has been the subject of discussion for more than 25 years. There will be two new parks, dedicated cultural and community spaces, shops, cafés and a crèche, comprising a sustainable, enterprising community that meets the needs of future residents.


Ireland’s economic success is no fluke, but the result of years of hard work by the Irish government. Diversified industries have laid a solid foundation for the Irish economy, which has remained resilient during the pandemic. As such, whether for education or employment, Ireland holds the title of the best immigration destination in Europe.


Bartra Wealth Advisors honoured at the Quamnet Outstanding Enterprise Awards 2020

From left to right: Business Development Manager Alan Lau, Regional Director Jeffrey Ling, and Marketing Director Jay Cheung.

Bartra Wealth Advisors was named Outstanding Ireland Immigration Advisory & Immigrant Investor Programme at the Quamnet Outstanding Enterprise Awards 2020. We are delighted to have once again been recognised by the industry.

Mr. Jeffrey Ling, Regional Director, said, “As the only Irish developer that offers investors one-stop Ireland immigration services, Bartra Wealth Advisors attaches great importance to the development of service quality, project safety and brand image. We are grateful to be recognised by Quamnet Outstanding Enterprise Awards for our efforts in the past year, and we will keep it up in the future.”

Established in 2009, the Quamnet Outstanding Enterprise Awards aims to identify and recognise enterprises that excel in the Awards’ eight evaluation criteria, which include exceptional products and services, brand reputation, philosophy of operation, marketing strategies, sustainable development strategies, accomplishments, corporate social responsibility and unique business philosophy or development. The Awards is widely supported by investors, the media and the industry.

Watch an exclusive interview with Jeffrey Ling, to understand what makes Bartra’s services stand out (in Cantonese):

As the only Irish developer with a physical office in Hong Kong, Bartra Wealth Advisors prides itself on delivering streamlined, in-group, end-to-end Ireland investment immigration services. To date we have helped more than 300 families immigrate to Ireland. Compared to other European immigration programmes, our investment programme offers a 100% repayment guarantee and an exit strategy that is simple and straightforward without any of the hassle related to liquidation or concerns around market performance. In addition, Bartra has successfully maintained a 100% success and renewal rate.

Keen to learn more about immigrating to Ireland, one of the world’s most enticing destinations, with the expertise of a best-in-class Irish developer? Or looking to obtain Irish residency without moving? Contact us today.