Bartra Wealth Advisors have a limited number of final Irish Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) approved investment slots available, with a restricted quota and timeframe. These slots are open to clients who have an immediate intention to apply for the IIP. Contact us now to secure your opportunity.

Irish citizens and their global opportunities

Ireland is a great place for many people to abode with their families. The country is renowned for its beautiful scenery, friendly people, and rich culture. Ireland also offers a great quality of life, a strong economy, as well as world-class healthcare and education system. Ireland is easy for foreigners to immigrate to, and the culture is extremely welcoming.

The Irish residency programme – the Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP), allows its investors to establish residency and later become eligible for citizenship. Our clients frequently ask questions about Irish citizenship as many of them have received or will be receiving their Stamp 4 visa (PR equivalent) by investing in Bartra’s IIP projects. For some of them it’s their goal is to move to Ireland. In this article, we are going to discuss the rights and benefits of an Irish citizen, citizenship and naturalization rules as well as eligibility. We also will share some thoughts from an interview with the Hong Kong Irish Chamber of Commerce, where our Marketing Director Jay Cheung spoke with their Treasurer, Henry Au, who is also the Chairman of Trinity College Dublin. The discussion focused on why many countries have built a strong bilateral relationship with Ireland, and the opportunities Ireland can offer for families around the world.

But, first and foremost, we would like to show you how welcoming Ireland is to people and families from different countries who want to set their roots in Ireland. Click to view a video from the Department of Justice in Ireland which was recorded at the Citizenship Ceremony in 2022 where applicants received their certificates of naturalisation.

Rights of Irish citizens

From the ease of travel to business opportunities, becoming an Irish citizen provides a wealth of opportunities for those who wish to expand their horizons. Irish citizens are entitled to:

  • Enjoy fundamental rights as set out in the Irish Constitution
  • Access free education
  • Vote in Irish and European elections
  • Be elected to government
  • Enjoy diplomatic support outside of Ireland
  • Hold dual/multiple citizenships
  • Pass Irish citizenship to your children
  • Irish citizens can also apply for a European Health Insurance Card. This enables access to state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in an EU member state, Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein and Switzerland.

Accessibility of Irish passport holders

In addition to the EU/EEA, Ireland holds agreements with other countries, allowing Irish citizens to travel to those destinations without visas. As of 2022, Irish citizens had visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 187 countries and territories, ranking the Irish passport 5th as the world’s most powerful passport, placing it ahead of other popular immigration destinations including the US, UK, Australia and Canada, according to the Henley Passport Index.

In the aftermath of Brexit as of 2023, Irish citizens are the only nationality in the world with the right to live and work in both the European Union and the United Kingdom.

Irish passport holders are entitled to:

  • Live, work, study and travel in Ireland and the UK, under The Common Travel Area (CTA) long-standing arrangement
  • Live, work, study and travel in the EU/EAA
  • Have the E-1 and E-2 Treaty Investor visas to the United States

Becoming an Irish citizen through Naturalisation

The rules governing Irish Citizenship are set out in the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Acts 1956 to 2004. Naturalisation is the process through which a foreign national living in Ireland may apply to become an Irish citizen. To apply for naturalisation in Ireland, you must have been physically resident in Ireland for a certain length of time.

If you wish to become an Irish citizen through naturalisation, there are certain conditions that must be met. See below for some of the key conditions.

Age: You must be 18 years or older. If you are under 18, you can apply for naturalisation if you are married.

Character: You must be of good character – the Garda Síochána (Ireland’s national police) will be asked to provide a report about your background. Any criminal record or ongoing proceedings will be taken into consideration by the Minister for Justice and Equality in deciding whether or not to grant naturalisation. You should disclose details of any proceedings, criminal or civil, in the State or elsewhere, in the application form.

Residence in the State: You must have lived in the State for a certain length of time.

The specific requirements are that you:

  • can either choose to apply in 5 years, with each year’s absence from Ireland less than 6 weeks
  • or you need to reside in the State for at least 1825/1826 days over 9 years with a continuous reckonable residence in the latest 12 months before the application.

Parents: you are entitled to Irish citizenship if one of or both of your parents is a foreign national legally resident in the island of Ireland for 3 out of 4 years immediately prior to your birth.

Children: Children can apply independently for their citizenship when they stay five years or longer in Ireland and are 18 years or older. Their time in schools are also taken into account.

World’s opportunities for Irish citizens and immigrants

In our latest episode of the Immigration Insights video series where we interviewed Henry Au from the Hong Kong Irish Chamber of Commerce, he explained the histrorical links between Ireland and many countries, such as the US, UK, Australia, as well as the legacy connection between Hong Kong and Ireland that has established 200 years ago. During the interview, he talked about many fascinating facts such as the ways that global Irish citizens have brought their culture to the world, and at the same time, Ireland is offering unparalleled opportunities for families and future generations around the world who see Ireland as their future home. Click to view the interview.

In conclusion, the IIP not only offers a secure residency status in Ireland but also provides a simple, safe pathway to Irish citizenship. With the help of the right expert, families can be on their way to experiencing all that this wonderful country has to offer. Whether you are looking to get access to a top education system for children, travel the world, or simply secure a better future for yourself and your family, Irish immigration is the perfect choice for you. So why wait? Start your journey today and take the first step towards a better future.

Note: 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. Get in touch with us.  

Ireland versus the UK: how taxes compare for immigrants

Given the unique connection between the UK and Ireland, people often like to compare the two countries, from economic development to various aspects of living. And taxes have, of course, been much talked about, particularly among immigrants. Here, we discuss the fundamental tax implications for those looking to move to either Ireland or the UK.

What exactly is the relationship between the two countries? The UK and Ireland have benefitted from the Common Travel Area arrangement since 1922 and those born in Northern Ireland have rights to take up both Irish and British citizenship. Ireland is also unique among EU countries in that it shares a land border with the UK. Moving between countries and residing for a period of time in one or the other, individuals or families are liable to taxes under different tax regimes. Broadly speaking, there are eight major tax considerations:

1. Income Tax
2. Universal Social Charge (USC) Ireland / Social Security Rate and the Health and Social Care Levy in UK
3. Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) Ireland / National Insurance Contributions (NICs) in UK
4. Capital Gains Tax (CGT)
5. Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT)
6. Value Added Tax (VAT)
7. Stamp Duty
8. Corporation Tax

In our recent Immigration Insights video, our Sales Manager Tanya Wong spoke to Helen Lau, a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants in the UK and The Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants and a Hong Kong-certified Tax Advisor on UK and Irish taxes, including various tax reliefs and different concepts of domicile between the countries. Click to watch the video.

There are a few important points worth highlighting to distinguish between Ireland and UK taxes for immigrants.

State of domicile

Domicile of Origin usually relates to where you were born, while there is a Domicile of Choice if an individual moves to a country where he or she has decided to settle permanently.

There is also the concept of Deemed Domicile in the UK – individuals who have been UK residents for at least 15 out of the previous 20 tax years are deemed domiciled. Unlike the UK, there are no ‘deemed domicile’ rules in Ireland, making Ireland more favourable to non-domiciled individuals from a tax perspective. “Ireland’s number of non-domiciled individuals increased from 3,393 in 2013 to 7,262 in 2016. This has been driven in part by executives employed at multinational companies moving in and also by the take-up of the Irish Immigrant Investor Programme,” said Helen.

Individuals who become tax residents in Ireland and are non-domiciled, will only be taxed on their Ireland-sourced income and gains, and their worldwide income and gains only to the extent that they are brought into Ireland under Ireland’s non-domicile regime. A non-domicile status can continue indefinitely. In addition, Ireland has a comprehensive double taxation treaty network that a non-domiciled but tax resident individual can rely on.

Tax reliefs

With regard to the remittance basis of tax, Ireland is more favourable than the UK. Foreign nationals who become Irish tax residents, but are not Irish domiciled, will be taxed on a ‘remittance basis’. This means that they are taxed in Ireland on Irish employment income, Irish source income and non-Irish source income only to the extent they remit it to Ireland. There are very few countries that have this favourable tax treatment.

On the Double Tax Agreement (DTA), both Ireland and the UK are under the Comprehensive Double Taxation Agreements (CDTA) with Hong Kong, and the rates are similar. The maximum rates of withholding under the HK-Ireland Double Treaty on dividends is reduced to 0%; 10% for interest, or 0% in certain circumstances; 3% for royalties. Under the HK-UK Double Treaty, the withholding tax on dividends is reduced to 0% in some cases or 15% in others (the non-treaty rate is 20%); 0% for interest; 3% for royalties.

In Ireland, there is also the Special Assignee Relief Programme (SARP), which is a tax incentive used to attract talent (including returning Irish nationals) from outside Ireland to work in Ireland. The relief operates by allowing a 30% deduction from any employment income in excess of €75,000.

For other tax-related information, read our previously published articles:


For families who are thinking of moving to the UK or Ireland, it is important to understand any obligations for taxes at the different stages of immigration. One of the benefits of the IIP is that it allows families to have less pressure on tax planning due to its residing flexibility and offers plenty of time to sort out taxes before becoming tax residents.

Why Ireland and why invest in the IIP? A fireside chat with Bartra CEO and valued client Sally Yeh

Welcoming, open and safe, despite its small size Ireland has become an international hotspot for investment and immigration. In 2021, while the world was in lockdown, Ireland’s population rose above 5 million for the first time since 1851. “We see many people moving in for better education, higher paid jobs, and greater accessibility to the EU or to our close friends like the US and UK,” said James Hartshorn, CEO of Bartra Wealth Advisors in our most recent Immigration Insights video. “It is the fastest-growing economy in the EU and was one of the very few European countries that was able to see positive economic growth during the first year of the global coronavirus pandemic. It had double-digit GDP growth last year of 13.5% and this year that’s forecast to be around 5-6%, which is not bad, given the current high inflation rate.”

“Ireland has high-quality education and a reputation as both the Silicon Valley of Europe, the leading force in Big Data, and a new financial centre,” he added. “Many multinational brands, international companies, tech companies such as IBM, Microsoft and Apple, financial services companies like JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank and State Street, and medical and pharmaceutical businesses, all have their European headquarters in Ireland. The country offers myriad job opportunities.”

James Hartshorn, CEO and Co-founder of Bartra Wealth Advisors

There are plenty of other reasons why Ireland has become a preferred immigration country for families. At Bartra, we always enjoy the conversations we have with our clients to understand how they plan for the future and their reasons for choosing Ireland as their immigration destination.

For our most recent Immigration Insights video, we spoke with IIP investor Sally Yeh, who is originally from Taiwan and has lived and worked in Hong Kong in the financial industry since 2009, about her reasons for choosing the IIP and Bartra over other immigration programmes.

Many high-net-worth professionals like Sally favour Ireland’s IIP due to the greater flexibility and cost certainty it offers. Simplicity is another reason. “Ireland is one of six English-speaking countries where permanent residency (PR) can be obtained by investment in one step, over a short period of time and through a simple application process,” says Jeffrey Ling, Regional Director of Bartra Wealth Advisors. Interested to learn more about the IIP? Click to read our blog.

As well as Sally, we have spoken to number of other Bartra clients, including Luna Wu, who has received repayment and interest from our nursing home project, and Bruce Zheng, who invested in Bartra’s social housing and was fully repaid last month.

We take pride in our client testimonials. At Bartra Wealth Advisors, we strive to provide our clients with the best IIP-qualified projects, world-class experience and end-to-end services, and the feedback we receive is motivation to keep expanding our business to new markets so we can offer our direct investment and immigration services to more clients, providing safer investment projects and reducing their risks along their immigration journey.

Poplar Row social housing – client Bruce Zheng shares his IIP journey

This summer, we took one of our IIP investors to visit our Poplar Row social housing project in Ireland. Poole House, a new five-storey residential building conveniently located in Dublin 3, was officially completed in June this year. Our client, Mr Bruce Zheng, was thrilled to see it. He and his family invested in the project back in 2019 before construction commenced in July 2020.

During Bruce’s visit to Bartra’s head office and the Poplar Row site, our China-based Irish colleague, Richard Lenehan interviewed Bruce, who now has the Stamp 4 visa as a local PR, which has been renewed successfully, and has received his investment principal.

“I am glad that I invested in Bartra’s IIP project back in 2019. Now I am able to be here and see the project in person, see that it’s built, looking great and I can touch it; it’s real.  That’s why I always love tangible assets,” says Bruce.

“I am happy to shout out to Bartra for anyone who’s looking for IIP investments. Bartra is the number one go-to company. The reason I chose this social housing project for my investment was because of Bartra’s track record and the principal repayment guarantee. I feel safe and secure with my hard-earned money.

“I also like the fact that the projects are either leased to or sold to a Local Authority or Approved Housing Body. All of these factors give me confidence in investing in Barta’s projects, especially given the shortage of housing supply in Ireland. And the money I put in can help the local community with more and better housing that also makes me feel proud of my investments.

“Some of my friends asked me why I chose Ireland. I think Ireland offers a wealth of opportunities for my family, not only is it an English-speaking country, which makes communication easier, but it’s also very well connected with EU countries, as well as the United Kingdom and the US, so we are able to access more resources and can choose to live in different places.”

Watch our interview with Bruce to learn more about his journey to Ireland and his experience with the IIP and Bartra.

Bartra social housing projects

Under its Housing for All policy, the Irish Government has clearly identified the need to increase the supply of both private and social housing as its number one priority, with a commitment to deliver in excess of 88,000 Social Housing Units from 2022 to 2030.

For Bartra, building new homes is a key part of our business. As well as providing more much-needed housing, our construction programme helps to create jobs and training opportunities, regenerate neighbourhoods and support communities across Ireland.

Andrew Ennis, Director of Investments and Structuring, says, “Our plan is to deliver at least 3,000 new homes between now and 2030, with our primary focus on the continued delivery of sustainable social housing. We want to build more homes for social and affordable rent and believe social housing – the right homes, in the right places – could play a bigger role in reducing the impact of the housing supply crisis.

“In addition to building our own homes, we are engaged in a series of partnerships with Approved Housing Bodies and the Irish State and will continue to build more homes in partnership with these organisations.”

IIP funding provides safe investments for IIP investors

Bartra’s Colmcille House, Stoneybatter social housing project, completed in 2021

The construction of Bartra’s social housing is funded by investors seeking to participate in the IIP programme.

Bartra intends to develop bundles of social housing projects where it already owns the site, to provide visibility to IIP investors on the nature of the projects that they are investing in.

Batra launched its social housing business in 2017 to assist the Irish State in the provision of much-needed family homes. Bartra has established a dedicated social housing team, which is tasked with identifying development and refurbishment sites suitable for social housing where Bartra can deliver attractive investment opportunities to investors. The Bartra team will focus on acquiring opportunistic sites, primarily in the Dublin area.

Bartra has progressed its social housing sites in line with the business plans provided to investors:

  • Bartra acquired a modern residential block comprising 27 apartments over five floors and a ground floor commercial unit on Pim Street in the heart of Dublin City. Refurbishment works to the value of €1m were completed in 2018 and this development is now fully let to Dublin City Council.
  • Colmcille House in Stoneybatter, a new development consisting of 23 apartments over six storeys located less than 2km from the city centre, was completed in 2021 and again fully leased to Dublin City Council.
  • Poole House in Poplar Row, a new five-storey residential building conveniently located in Dublin 3 close to the city centre, was officially completed in June 2022.
  • Construction is also underway on the 26-unit Clonross scheme in Blanchardstown and is about to commence on the 36-unit Clonliffe Road Scheme.

We continue to expand our social housing portfolios. One portfolio, consisting of four new sites – Old Navan Road, Clonliffe, Old Kilmainham and Broombridge – with a total cost of approximately €62.7 million, has already been fully subscribed.

Another portfolio, which consists of two new sites – Belmayne and Woodlands – with a total cost of approximately €36.2 million, is currently available for IIP investors.

Bartra Group CEO Mike Flannery says, “Bartra is fast becoming one of the largest providers of social housing in Ireland. We are committed to our projects’ quality, from location to architecture to build.”

At Bartra, we want to build more homes for the community and contribute to society by helping to reduce housing problems.

Healthcare in Ireland and insurance planning for immigrants

If you’re thinking about making the Emerald Isle your home, fáilte! There is plenty to get excited about when it comes to living in Ireland, but before you move, it’s important to ensure you and your family have adequate health insurance.

Some of the challenges that immigrants face when it comes to healthcare services include language barriers; difficulties in arranging care without medical insurance coverage; lack of familiarity with the healthcare system; cultural differences; divergent understanding of illness and treatment; negative attitudes among staff; and lack of access to medical histories.

In this article, we look at the healthcare and medical services available in Ireland and speak to an insurance expert to understand more about insurance planning prior to moving abroad, the types of insurance emigrants should keep or forgo when moving overseas, and the insurance policies that can be used for tax planning.

Ireland’s healthcare and medical services

Ireland offers high quality and advanced healthcare and medical services. For families and individuals immigrating to Ireland, there are various routes to accessing healthcare:

GP – Access to a doctor, or general practitioner – GP for short – is essential for general health issues and non-emergency illnesses. A list of local GPs can be found on the website of the Health Service Executive (HSE), and registration with a practice can be done by providing name, address and PPS number. Unless it’s an emergency, GPs are the gateway to the Irish hospital system. If you need any hospital service, your GP will usually refer you to the place or person you require. For example, if an X-ray, blood test, scan or other procedure is necessary, your GP will tell you where you should go. He or she will also provide you with a letter of referral. Similarly, your GP will refer you to a consultant if you need special expertise.

A&E – The Accident and Emergency department of a hospital, A&E for short, is where you go if you’ve had an accident or feel extremely unwell. Treatment is on a needs basis, so if the condition is not urgent the wait time may be extensive. There is a charge of €100 to attend without a GP referral.

Private Healthcare – If you are a private healthcare patient covered by health insurance, you may be eligible for a range of benefits. These include faster access to diagnostic investigations and subsequent treatments through your choice of consultant, and access to both public and private hospitals depending on your insurance plan (including high-tech hospitals). Treatment and services for private patients are provided by a wide network of private hospitals and clinics, as well as public hospitals.

Private hospitals are located across Ireland and offer some of the most technologically advanced healthcare treatment options. The best include:

The Hermitage Medical Clinic: Hermitage Clinic, part of Blackrock Health, is a 112-bed private hospital in Lucan, West Dublin. The specialised medical teams provide medical, surgical and advanced radiotherapy care to patients and are supported by the very latest medical technology. The most up-to-date radiology equipment is available including MRI, PET/CT, Nuclear Medicine, 64 slice CT, Mammography, Ultrasound, X-ray and Fluoroscopy. They also have a fully integrated RIS/PACs system.

Blackrock Clinic: Blackrock Clinic, part of Blackrock Health, is Ireland’s leading high-tech hospital, focused on developing and delivering the newest and most technologically advanced healthcare.

Since it opened in the mid-1980s, the Blackrock Clinic has been recognised by the Joint Commission International (JCI), which accredits only hospitals that raise safety and quality of care standards to the highest levels, and was one of the first hospitals in Ireland to attain this international recognition.

Beacon Hospital: Beacon Hospital is one of the most technologically advanced private hospitals in all of Europe. It has Ireland’s most advanced diagnostic equipment and an Emergency Department located in Dublin.

With over 300 Consultants and 1,700 medical professionals, Beacon Hospital operates as a full-service acute hospital. Treatment and services include orthopaedic surgery, heart surgery, neurosurgery, general surgery, comprehensive cancer care (medical oncology and radiation oncology), and general and emergency medical services.

Beacon Hospital has satellite locations in Dublin 8, Wexford, Mullingar and Drogheda.

Bon Secours Private Hospital: Established in 1951, Bon Secours Hospital is an independent acute care private hospital located in Glasnevin in North Dublin. The Bon Secours Hospital Dublin is part of the Bon Secours Health System, Ireland’s largest independent healthcare provider incorporating a network of four modern acute hospitals in Cork, Dublin, Galway and Tralee. The Health System also includes a Consultation Centre in Limerick and a Care Village in Cork.

St. Vincent’s Private hospital: One of the world’s leading hospitals providing front-line, acute, chronic and emergency care across over 50 different medical specialties, St. Vincent’s is the only integrated multi-hospital campus in Ireland. Its Emergency Department (ED) is the major referral centre for the region for patients with strokes and major trauma.

St. Vincent’s Private Hospital is part of the St. Vincent’s Healthcare Group (SVHG), the group also includes St. Vincent’s University Hospital and St Michael’s Hospital, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin.

Insurance planning

Ireland’s public healthcare system is highly regarded. It ranked 11th for the best healthcare in the world in a 2018 study published by The Lancet, placing 12 positions above the UK. It also boasts more hospital beds per person than the UK, according to the OECD.

However, Ireland’s public healthcare is not always free. And having health insurance to pay your medical and hospital expenses can provide peace of mind for you and your family. With health insurance, you can expect:

  • more options to choose top class private hospitals in Ireland
  • quicker access to necessary medical care
  • treatment in hospitals as a private patient

The average annual cost of Irish health insurance paid by individual policyholders as of December 2021 was €1,470 for adults. While insurance is an additional expense, not having it could prove far more costly.

Families planning to relocate overseas may wonder if the insurance plans they have purchased in their home countries are still effective once they move, and whether life insurance can be an effective tax planning tool.

We spoke to Gigi Tsoi, District Director of Wealth Management and Protection, about the things to take into account regarding healthcare and insurance when moving abroad.

Medical and healthcare insurance is just one of five main categories of insurance to review when moving abroad. The others include life insurance, critical illness insurance, accident insurance or long-term disability coverage, and Investment-Linked Assurance Schemes (ILAS).

Gigi suggests that families first review their current medical insurance to understand any existing coverage and its suitability for the country they are moving to. If coverage is limited, she recommends families invest in a high-quality international health insurance plan to cover their medical needs. Such an insurance plan can be a lifeline in case something happens when they are abroad and they need to seek global medical treatment.

She also highlights how Inheritance Tax (IHT) can be offset with life insurance, or that people can avoid IHT being charged by putting the assets in trust.


For families moving overseas, residing in a country with a good healthcare system and access to medical care is important. The healthcare and medical system in Ireland is modern, safe and among the best in the world, making Ireland a great place to live, study, work and retire. When families have adequate insurance coverage, they will have peace of mind that they and their loved ones will be protected financially and enjoy a good quality of life in Ireland.

Why choose? Living in the UK and Ireland

Did you know that once you have citizenship in either the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, you and your family have the right to reside in the other, and enjoy the same associated privileges, including the right to work, study and vote in certain elections, as well as to access social welfare benefits and health services?

In this article, we explain why and how, and delve a little deeper into the historical links between the UK and Ireland and the cultural similarities between the two. In addition, we speak to a UK immigration expert, who shares the latest UK immigration policies, opportunities for emigration following the close of the UK Tier 1 investor visa, and an alternative immigration route to the UK.

The United Kingdom and Ireland

Historically, relations between the United Kingdom and Ireland have been influenced by issues arising from their shared history, with Ireland flitting from periods where it was under the control of Great Britain and times when it was fighting to establish or maintain independence.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, war and colonization saw Ireland come under the control of the English. In 1782, Ireland gained near-independence from Great Britain, but in 1801, the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland merged to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Violent campaigns for autonomy followed, culminating with a war of independence that ended with the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921. This saw the partition of Ireland into the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland, the latter which remained part of the UK. In 1937, Ireland declared itself fully independent of the UK.

Both Ireland and the UK joined the European Union in 1973. In June 2016, the UK held a referendum in which a majority voted to leave the EU. Brexit became effective in early 2020 with a deal reached on 24 December 2020, keeping Northern Ireland in the European Union Single Market for goods and maintaining a free border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The Republic of Ireland became the only English-speaking country in the EU.

Culturally, the four nations of the British Isles (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) have many similarities and people travel between each nation as if it were one.

Geographically, the UK shares a 499km international land border with the Republic of Ireland. And Dublin, the Republic of Ireland’s capital, is just 288 miles from London—a flight takes less than 1.5 hours and is very reasonably priced, with tickets available from £12 for a one-way trip and from £30 for a round trip. It’s therefore no surprise that people who live in Dublin might pop over to London for a weekend shopping trip or a UEFA champions league game during the football season.

Living in Ireland has many similarities to living in the UK – particularly when it comes to accessing good quality education. The UK and Ireland have very similar education systems and both provide a world-class education. In each country, there are five stages of education – early years (nursery), primary, secondary, further education (FE) and higher education. Irish secondary graduates can apply to study in UK universities through their schools or through the UCAS website, and there is a point-based system that can be used to compare the grades of the Leaving Certificate in Ireland with GCSE and A-level results in the UK. Likewise, British students can apply for undergraduate courses in Ireland through the Central Applications Office (CAO) – the Irish equivalent of UCAS.

In both Ireland and the UK, students are admitted onto a specific course rather than to a university. They are accepted, for example, to study Nursing at Queen’s University in Belfast, or to study Business & Management Studies at University College Cork (UCC). Some subjects in Irish universities are ranked among the top 50 in the world for their area or speciality. In 2021, the highest rank for Ireland was University College Dublin’s (UCD) Veterinary Science department, which placed 23rd in the QS World University Rankings by Subject. It was closely followed by the English Language and Literature programme at Trinity College Dublin, in 25th position. Between them, UCD and Trinity held eight top 50 positions, while University College Cork placed 49th for Nursing.

Additionally, due to Ireland’s burgeoning start-up, FinTech and entrepreneurship scene, some business courses at Irish universities have outperformed those in other UK and European universities, with the highest number of graduates going on to become entrepreneurs. The table above shows the top 10 universities in Europe by entrepreneur count, as well as the number of companies founded by those entrepreneurs, and the total of venture capital raised, according to PitchBook, a platform that provides financial data.

Common Travel Area arrangements (CTA)

The Common Travel Area (CTA) is a long-standing arrangement between the UK, the Crown Dependencies and Ireland that pre-dates both British and Irish membership of the EU and is not dependent on it.

Under the CTA, British and Irish citizens can move freely and reside in either jurisdiction and enjoy associated rights and privileges, including the right to work, study and vote in certain elections, as well as to access social welfare benefits and health services.

The UK and Irish governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in May 2019 reaffirming their commitment to maintain the CTA, and the associated rights and privileges, in all circumstances, and the CTA remains unchanged after Brexit.

UK immigration policies update and alternatives

2022 is shaping up to be a year of change with regard to UK immigration. The UK government has announced wide-ranging updates its Immigration Rules. Families who are planning to move to the UK through the non-BNO route may face challenges due to these policy changes, but rest assured, there are alternatives to the UK.

We spoke to Janine Miu, founder of UK Immigration Specialist, and a specialist in UK Immigration Law, about the changes to the UK immigration policy, the visa programmes that are currently available, and her views on an alternative route to the UK via Irish immigration by investment.

Following the closure of the UK Tier 1 investor visa, families and non-BNO passport holders who are looking to emigrate to a place that offers a high degree of residing flexibility, and who may still have an ultimate goal to live in the UK, can consider the IIP. Janine recommends it as a good alternative.

The IIP allows families to receive their Irish permanent residency in about six months, and families are only required to spend one day per calendar year in Ireland to maintain their residency status. After five years, they can apply for citizenship and receive a passport. Irish nationals enjoy a right of residence in the UK under the Common Travel Area (CTA) arrangement.

It’s important to note that the Enterprise Investment option in the IIP has 100% capital protection, meaning that investors can take their 1 million euros back at the end of the investment period, while investments in the UK Investor Visa have no full principal repayment guarantee.

Investing in the IIP will pave the way for the families to choose to live in both Ireland and the UK, enjoying optimal privileges and opportunities to study, work and enjoy a high standard of living.

Loughshinny Nursing Home repayment – client Luna Wu on her successful IIP journey

In March, Bartra proudly invited our clients in Ireland to visit Loughshinny Nursing Home, a project they invested in back in 2017 that is now complete and in operation. We are pleased to see that our clients are satisfied with their IIP investment journey with Bartra, not only because their principal amounts are secure with the agreed interest on the return on investment, but also having seen the project built to high specifications and now providing the highest quality of care to over 120 residents under Bartra’s successful management.

Ms Luna Wu is one of the investors. She invested in Bartra’s Loughshinny Nursing Home in 2017 and moved to Ireland with her family, including daughter Ellie, after receiving their Stamp 4 visa. She has now received the full repayment and interest from Bartra following the five-year investment term.

During the recent site visit, we spoke to Luna and Ellie. “I am glad to see my investment in Loughshinny has made a contribution to society,” says Luna. “The value of the investment is so meaningful beyond just the financial element. I am happy to see the project is well built, well managed, and that the people living in the care homes are happy.”

Luna’s family is planning to start a new business in Ireland using the repayment fund as capital. One of her ideas is to seed fund digital products related to cultural and lifestyle exchange between Ireland and China, while her husband plans to expand his retail business in Ireland. The couple enjoy their life in Ireland, and are keen to continue to explore all that the Emerald Isle has to offer.

Watch our interview with Luna to learn more about her journey to Ireland and her experience with the IIP and Bartra.

In a letter to investors, Mike Flannery, CEO of Bartra Group said, “In January, Bartra completed the repayment to all of our Loughshinny Nursing Home investors. The Executive Team is proud to repay all principal amounts and the agreed interest to investors. It is also with great delight that several investors have decided to re-invest in other non-IIP Bartra projects, showing their confidence in Bartra’s management team. It also demonstrates Bartra’s ability to continuously create investment opportunities for its clients and proves Bartra’s commitment to guiding investors along their IIP journey.”

Best-in-class Loughshinny Nursing Home

What makes this IIP project successful? At Bartra, we believe a great healthcare project requires three things: a great location, great specifications and great people. Our Loughshinny home ticks all those boxes.

Overlooking the Irish Sea, Loughshinny Nursing Home has been constructed on a panoramic 3.5-hectare site approximately 15km from Dublin City Centre in Blacklands, Skerries, Co. Dublin. The site is located within Fingal County Council (one of four local authorities in the Greater Dublin Area), which has a population of 555,000, of which 72,000 (13%) are aged 65 and over.

The construction of Loughshinny Nursing Home was completed in June 2019, and is now in operation, providing 123 world-class single occupancy private ensuite rooms within a state-of-the-art residential setting.

In addition, residents’ comfort and safety has always been our utmost priority. Loughshinny Nursing Home accommodates some of the most advanced equipment to ensure high-tech and intelligent nursing services. All beds can be easily raised and lowered, and the mattresses in each room are customised in consideration of body pressure distribution. Furthermore, every room is equipped with an alarm system for daily needs or emergency assistance.

Our highly skilled and experienced care team is inculcating a culture of quality caregiving in all our facilities, ensuring a standard of care that recognises our residents’ needs for independence, choice, dignity, respect, compassion and advocacy.

Additional project details:

  • Mid 2016: Fundraising began
  • November 2017: Construction started
  • As of 2019: All investors in the project and their family members had obtained Irish Stamp 4 visas
  • April 2019: The first investor in the Loughshinny Nursing Home Project successfully obtained the Stamp 4 renewal. He was also the first investor to enjoy the cancellation of the programme’s landing requirement
  • May 24, 2019: Loughshinny was completed and delivered
  • June 19, 2019: HIQA staff visited Loughshinny and confirmed that all facilities fully met HIQA standards.
  • July 1, 2019: The HIQA certification was officially effective
  • July 5, 2019: Bartra and the National Medical Purchasing Foundation of Ireland (NTPF) reached an agreement on the bed rate of the Nursing Home Support Scheme, and the NTPF agreement was signed for funding €1210/bed/week
  • July 17, 2019: Loughshinny welcomed its first occupant
  • July, 2020: During the pandemic, Loughshinny featured in the Irish Times; it has now resumed normal operations.
  • August 18-19, 2021, Manuela Cristea, inspector of the Irish HIQA visited Loughshinny for a two-day inspection. She spoke to residents, nursing home management and healthcare personnel, and assessed the overall capacity, quality and safety of the healthcare service. Loughshinny nursing home met the highest standards set by the HIQA and has been deemed fully compliant with all regulations. This is testament to Bartra’s successful management of the nursing home and all of its staff.

A successful IIP investment journey

Bartra is the only group that integrates development, operation and management in the IIP. The one-stop-shop services help investors mitigate risk during their investment journey. Successful applicants enjoy a fast approval time for the whole family with minimal residing requirements, and 100% capital repayment as well as a total of 20% interest for return on investment at maturity.

While investing in Bartra’s IIP nursing homes is a way to obtain Irish residency, it is also an amazing contribution to Irish society. Nursing care is an in-demand sector in Ireland. Due to years of under-investment in the country’s key infrastructure, the Irish nursing home sector is facing a major shortage of beds. Additionally, Ireland has an ageing population, which further increases the demand for nursing home facilities. By 2036, Ireland’s population aged over 80 is expected to rise from 170,000 in 2020 to more than double that at 343,000. Private sector investment in nursing home care plays an important role in supporting the sector in the medium to long term. It is also a safe investment funded by the government. More information is available about the benefits of investing in Bartra’s nursing homes here.

We are dedicated to providing our clients with the best IIP projects and services to ensure a straightforward and enjoyable journey to investing and living in Ireland.

Invest in the Future – Ireland, Europe’s Fintech Hub

Migrating to Ireland is becoming an increasingly attractive option for families, not only because of the quality-assured education system, but also the strong bounce-back in business, proving the economy’s robustness and agility. Ireland’s economic strength, coupled with its emerging focus on tech industries, offers many career opportunities for children as they look to the future.

In our previous blog Ireland’s Job Market – Which professional sectors are in high demand?, we introduced the country’s booming job market and its leading employment sectors. Our Marketing Director Jay Cheung recently spoke to Derek Kenny, Co-Founder and Managing Director of CGP Group, which specialises in recruitment and human resources, for the latest episode of Immigration Insights with Bartra Wealth Advisors. Watch the interview to understand what makes Ireland and its job market special and why would-be immigrants should consider it, particularly for their children’s future careers.

Fintech Evolution Centre

Ireland is rapidly transforming into a European tech hub with steady growth in employment driven by tech companies recruiting new talent. One of the country’s major tech sectors is fintech.        

Many people may not be aware that Ireland is Europe’s leading financial centre, with half of the world’s top 50 banks boasting branches in Ireland and many financial service providers having relocated staff and operations to Ireland following Brexit. Ireland is also known as the “Silicon Valley of Europe” with global tech giants such as Apple, Microsoft, and Google all having set up European headquarters in Ireland. By taking advantage of the well-established financial services and technology sectors, which boast talent from the US, the UK and all over the world, the country has emerged as a growing international fintech hub providing great opportunities for graduates and young people.

Joe Morley, CEO for TrueLayer Ireland and GM Europe, commented that Ireland has become the EU’s fintech centre of choice for some of the top fintech companies in the world, including the likes of Coinbase, Stripe, Remitly and Square. With the recent boom in fintech, Ireland has successfully seized the opportunity and become a leading innovation hub for fintech’s key players.

Square, the financial services and digital payments group supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland, launched in Ireland in May 2021. As an NYSE-listed company, Square is just one of the many fintech companies that have huge confidence in Ireland and chose the country as the location for its new headquarters, demonstrating that Ireland is an excellent place to accelerate fintech development in the long run.

Minister of State at the Department of Finance of Ireland Sean Fleming said: “This rapidly growing sector offers exciting opportunities for experienced executives and graduates across the country and an environment in which they can thrive. The development of the fintech sector is one of my priorities in Ireland for finance strategy.”

These developments in Ireland have allowed experienced talent and graduates who are interested in working in finance and technology to exchange insights. Other than gaining a broader field of vision, graduates in Ireland can be exposed to worldwide fintech enthusiasts without going abroad as their hometown offers one of Europe’s most fintech-favourable environments.

Rapidly-growing fintech start-ups that have set up their European headquarters in Ireland include:

  • Stripe: Fintech unicorn with a $95B valuation as of March 2021; approaching “hectocorn” status
  • Coinbase: The largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States by trading volume as of March 2021

▲ A snapshot of the international fintech industry in Ireland (Source: A&L Goodbody)

4 Factors Kickstarting Fintech Breakthroughs in Ireland

Governmental factors

Known as a place where finance and technology come together, the Irish government is dedicated to cementing Ireland’s reputation as a hub for the fintech industry. In 2015, the Irish government launched IFS2020, a five-year strategy to develop Ireland’s International Financial Services sector.

IFS2020 identified three key actions to implement concerning fintech:

1. Enhance international financial services, and information and communications technology
2. Source funding for fintech
3. Support fintech accelerators through partnerships with Enterprise Ireland.

The above, coupled with the synergy created from collaboration with large multinational enterprises, has contributed to the employment of approximately 40,000 people in financial services and more than 100,000 in technology, and these numbers are only going to grow going forward.

Apart from fund sourcing, another key element of IFS2020 is the partnership with Enterprise Ireland, a governmental organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets. It has a fintech team in Dublin that supports more than 220 companies with business strategies that are internationally focused.

With the aim of identifying worldwide business opportunities, Enterprise Ireland has embarked on the coordination of several fintech trade missions in the US, connecting European-based fintech start-ups with technical talent in North America. Immigrants in Ireland, especially those interested in fintech and its associated sectors such as crowdfunding and blockchain, have found this connection helpful, particularly when it comes to career development and capital flow home. Frequent capital flow fuels the further development of fintech through various means including knowledge research and nurturing talent.

Collaborative factors

The collaboration between fintech talent, world-class business, technology companies and research programmes has created advantages for Ireland that are allowing it to thrive in the fintech sector, which strengthens its position as a fintech hub in Europe.

Ireland is full of world-class talent; eight of the top 10 global software companies have European headquarters in the country. In terms of research and development, FinTech Fusion, a new fintech research programme in Ireland, has been a major catalyst in encouraging breakthroughs in payment (PayTech), regulation (RegTech), and insurance (InsureTech) technologies, according to Science Foundation Ireland. This has helped accelerate scientific progress and enable data-driven research for fintech people thereby helping to retain talent in the country.

FinTech Fusion’s research programme integrates businesses and technology across various dimensions, including AI, cloud computing and big data analytics. The programme’s academic researchers work together with companies such as Deutsche Börse, Fidelity Investments, Microsoft and Zurich, to develop fintech innovations that will have the potential to impact markets and individuals. This assists in worldwide talent acquisition and retention.

The strength of Ireland’s talent pool has had a long-term positive impact on the country’s culture, growth, and success by creating an engaged and committed workforce.  It is also far-reaching. Few know that many US businessmen are Irish by descent. According to Irish America magazine, Irish-Americans control many of the most powerful companies in the US, such as Intel and Motorola, and leading Irish-American business figures have built connections between the two fintech centres, encouraging exclusive business partnerships.

Political factors

Ireland is a committed member of the European Union (EU). As a result of Brexit, a number of high-profile fintech companies have made plans to relocate to Ireland in order to continue business cooperation in the EU.

Following Brexit, there are greater barriers for capital transfer between the EU and the UK, which raise the cost of business partnerships for fintech start-ups and unicorns.

Legal factors

Under the Irish legal system, commercial disputes valued over €1 million can be dealt with through the fast-tracked Commercial Court, which is a division of the High Court. Ireland is also a ‘common law’ jurisdiction, similar to the UK and the US. Common law consists of a series of principles and rules developed by judges over many centuries. It involves courts deciding cases by following the principles laid down in earlier cases and written judgments. This operates in tandem with legislation introduced by the Government to regulate specific areas, such as the financial services, data protection, the environment and criminal law, but this legislation is always subject to judicial interpretation.

English speaking, pro-business and with an efficient Commercial Court, Ireland is positioned to take advantage of its status as a common law jurisdiction integrated into the EU, which further strengthens its position as a fintech hub.


Are you looking for the best place for your kids to create, explore and invent? With the proliferation and sustainability of fintech start-ups, Ireland offers you and your family the most innovative and secure residency.

Immigrating to Ireland is an optimal option for the next generation to explore diverse and promising career opportunities. Contact us now to begin the journey to a bright future for you and your family.