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.

Embracing the Festive Magic: 10 Enchanting Things to Do in Ireland Over Christmas

As the holiday season approaches, and many of our clients would have to register their Stamp 4 VISA or meet their annual once-a-year landing requirements, it’s a perfect time to make a visit while Ireland transforms into a winter wonderland, adorned with twinkling lights, festive decorations, and an air of merriment. Christmas in Ireland is a magical time, offering a plethora of activities for locals and visitors alike. Here are 10 enchanting things to do in the Emerald Isle during the Christmas season.

Christmas 2023 - 02

1. Experience the Glow of Dublin’s Christmas Lights:

Christmas shopping on Grafton Street

Dublin comes alive with a radiant display of Christmas lights. Take a stroll through Grafton Street, O’Connell Street, and St. Stephen’s Green to witness the city’s transformation into a dazzling spectacle of festive cheer.

2. Visit Christmas Markets:

Immerse yourself in the warmth of Ireland’s Christmas markets. Cities like Galway and Dublin host charming markets where you can shop for unique handmade gifts, indulge in festive treats, and enjoy live entertainment.

3. Attend a Traditional Panto:

Experience the joy and laughter of a traditional Christmas pantomime. These entertaining performances, featuring slapstick comedy and audience participation, are a beloved part of Ireland’s festive culture. The most famous venue of all is The Gaiety Theatre.

4. Skate at Winter Wonderlands:

Ice Skating Ireland

Lace up your skates and hit the ice at one of Ireland’s temporary winter ice rinks. Locations like Galway and Dublin often set up these festive rinks, providing a delightful experience for families and friends.

5. Marvel at Festive Displays in Killarney:

Head to Killarney, where the festive displays are nothing short of magical. The town center and National Park are adorned with lights, creating a fairytale atmosphere that captures the essence of the season.

Killarney1600, Co. Kerry-ChristmasKillarney1600, Co. Kerry-Christmas

6. Enjoy Christmas Carols and Concerts:


Immerse yourself in the joyous sounds of the season by attending Christmas carol services and concerts. Many churches and venues across Ireland host musical events that celebrate the true spirit of Christmas.

7. Take a Festive Coastal Drive:


Indulge in the festive spirit of Ireland with a picturesque coastal drive during Christmas. Along the famed Ring of Kerry, experience the magical blend of coastal beauty and holiday charm in towns like Killarney and Waterville. For a delightful atmosphere, drive the Dingle Peninsula, where villages like Dingle come alive with Christmas lights. Finally, take in the coastal enchantment of the Wild Atlantic Way from Clifden to Westport, capturing the rugged scenery and seasonal cheer.

8. Participate in the Wren Day Celebrations:

Wren Day2

Experience the unique Irish tradition of Wren Day on December 26th. Communities come together to celebrate with music, dance, and colorful processions, making it a lively post-Christmas event.

Wren Day1

9. Visit Historic Castles and Houses:

Embark on a journey through Ireland’s storied past by visiting historic castles and houses, each adorned with festive decorations that add a touch of holiday magic to their centuries-old charm. Among the must-visit sites, consider exploring the opulent halls of Bunratty Castle, where Christmas events unfold against a medieval backdrop. Dive into the seasonal festivities at Kilkenny Castle, a symbol of Norman grandeur, or experience the yuletide charm of Malahide Castle, surrounded by enchanting gardens. For a truly magical encounter, venture to the historic halls of Castletown House, where Christmas events seamlessly blend the elegance of the Georgian era with the warmth of the holiday season. These historic landmarks open their doors to offer a unique fusion of Ireland’s rich history and the festive spirit of Christmas.

Malahide Castle, Co_master

10. Indulge in Festive Culinary Delights:

Fade Street Social

Treat your taste buds to traditional Irish Christmas fare. From hearty stews to delectable desserts, savor the flavors of the season at local pubs and restaurants where festive menus abound. Some recommendations in the City of Dublin would be Searsons Pub, FIRE, and Fade Street Social.

Ireland, with its rich traditions and warm hospitality, offers a Christmas experience like no other. Whether you’re enchanted by twinkling lights in Dublin or reveling in the festive atmosphere of a coastal town, the holiday season in Ireland is truly a time of joy, warmth, and memorable moments.

Navigating the Shifting Landscape of Immigration by Investment Programs: Updates on IBI Programs in Five Popular Countries

In an era marked by increasing globalisation and mobility, the allure of securing a second citizenship or residency through investment has never been stronger. Immigration by Investment (IBI) programs, which allow individuals and families to acquire residency rights or new citizenship in exchange for substantial financial contributions, have evolved considerably in recent years. In this article, we’ll provide an update on the latest trends, changes, and considerations in the dynamic world of IBI programs.

The Growing Popularity of IBI Programs

Immigration by Investment programs have gained popularity worldwide, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down. Several factors contribute to their appeal:

Global Mobility: IBI programs often grant visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to numerous countries, enhancing the freedom of global travel for investors and their families.

Family Future Planning for Enhanced Education and Global Vision: IBI programs are increasingly favored by families seeking to secure a brighter future for their children. These programs enable better educational opportunities and a broader international perspective for the younger generation.

Family Protection for Greater Residence Flexibility, Healthcare and Wealth Planning: IBI programs are also chosen for the invaluable protection they offer to families. This protection allows for enhanced residence flexibility, a higher quality of life, better healthcare and medical systems and comprehensive wealth planning – IBI programmes empower families to strategically plan their wealth, safeguarding their financial future. By diversifying their assets across borders, families can better navigate economic fluctuations and global financial challenges.

The growing popularity of IBI programs stems from their ability to serve as a cornerstone for family future planning, educational enrichment, global mobility, residence flexibility, and comprehensive wealth protection. This trend is set to endure as families increasingly seek to secure a better tomorrow for themselves and their children.

Immigration Law

Recent Trends and Changes

The global landscape of IBI programs is witnessing notable transformations as countries adapt to evolving economic and security concerns, their IBI programs are experiencing significant shifts that are redefining the opportunities available to individuals seeking residency or citizenship through investment.

Due Diligence Enhancements: Many countries have taken steps to strengthen their due diligence procedures. These measures are aimed at ensuring that applicants meet high standards of integrity and suitability, with a particular focus on verifying the legitimacy of their capital. This enhancement is crucial for maintaining the credibility and security of IBI programs.

Family Inclusion: An emerging trend in IBI programs is the expansion of eligibility beyond primary applicants. Numerous programs now include family members, allowing them to also enjoy the benefits of residency or citizenship. This inclusivity provides more comprehensive opportunities for families seeking to relocate.

Shift Away from Real Estate Investment: Several countries have either raised or are considering raising the investment thresholds for real estate within their IBI programs. This shift is intended to ensure that investors make substantial contributions to local property markets or support rural areas to stimulate economic activity and job opportunities. In some cases, countries have even suspended the real estate investment route to prevent housing crises.

Reduced Availability of IBI Programs: There is a noticeable reduction in the availability of Citizenship by Investment (CBI) or Residency by Investment (RIB) / Golden Visa programs in various countries. For example, Bulgaria, the UK, and Ireland (with some investment options available until the end of 2023) have announced the closure of their programs. Additionally, some countries have reduced the quota for their Golden Visa programs, as seen in Australia. Furthermore, the reopening of suspended BIB schemes has been delayed in certain countries, including Canada.

In conclusion, the landscape of IBI programs is undergoing significant changes. These trends reflect a growing emphasis on due diligence, inclusivity for families, a shift away from real estate-centric investments, and reduced programs availability in certain countries. These developments are reshaping the options available to individuals seeking residency or citizenship through investment.

Immigration Changes

Specific IBI Program Updates

Among all the IBI programs, Residence by Investment (RBI) / Golden Visa programs have gained significant popularity among individuals seeking to secure a second home in a foreign country. These programs offer a pathway to residency and, subsequently, citizenship, with specific residency requirements for investors and their families, often in exchange for designated financial investments. In this section, we will compare RBI programs in five prominent countries: Canada, Australia, Ireland, the UK, and Portugal. Each program offers unique benefits and considerations, enabling prospective investors to make informed decisions.

Canada – Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP)

Investment Requirement:

  • A minimum investment of CAD 1.2 million in an approved financial intermediary or by financing that investment for five years.

Minimum Net Worth:

  • A minimum of CAD 2 million in legally acquired net worth, alone or with the help of their spouse or common-law partner if accompanying the applicant.


  • Canadian residency provides access to excellent healthcare and education systems. It’s a pathway to Canadian citizenship and offers visa-free travel to numerous countries.


  • A minimum of two years of management experience over the course of five years prior to the submission of the candidate’s application. The experience must have been acquired in a specific enterprise (agricultural, commercial, industrial), or in a government or international agency, and in a position defined as full-time.

Program Status:

  • QIIP was initially suspended for review until April 2023, however, it’s further delayed until January 2024 with no specific timeline to re-open the program and new requirements may apply.

Australia – Significant Investor Visa (SIV) / Investor Stream (Subclass 188)

Investment Requirement:

  • 188C: Invest a minimum of AUD 5 million in eligible ventures, small companies, and funds.
  • 188B: Commit at least AUD 2.5 million to complying investments in Australia and maintain business/investment activity in Victoria.


  • 188C provides a direct path to permanent residency.
  • 188B offers a provisional visa with a pathway to permanent residency.
  • Australia offers a strong economy, quality healthcare, and a high standard of living.


  • 188C: Investment options carry inherent risks; applicants must meet health and character requirements. Genuine intention to live in the nominating State or Territory is required.
  • 188B: Applicants need at least three years of management experience in qualifying businesses/investments, must reside for three years before applying for permanent residence, have an age limit of under 55, and score at least 65 on the SkillSelect points test.

Program Status:

  • The Australian government has shifted its focus to skilled worker immigration post-pandemic, significantly reducing available quotas for Investor Visas.

UK – Tier 1 Investor Visa

Investment Requirement:

  • A minimum investment of £2 million in the UK, with options to increase investments for accelerated settlement.


  • The UK’s RBI program provides access to world-class education, healthcare, and business opportunities.
  • It leads to permanent residency and citizenship.


  • The program involves complex financial investments, and applicants must meet strict compliance requirements.

Program Status:

  • Since the Home Office scrapped the Tier 1 (Investor) visa in 2022, a replacement visa route has yet to be introduced, allowing High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) to move to the UK through substantial investment.

Portugal – Golden Visa Program

Available Investment Options:

  • Venture Capital Fund Investment: Capital transfers of €500,000 or more for participation units in venture capital funds (without real estate ties).
  • Research Funding: Investment of €500,000 or more in research activities conducted by public or private scientific research institutions.
  • Commercial Company Investment: Capital transfers of €500,000 or more for establishing a national territory-based commercial company or increasing the share capital of an existing company (with the creation of five permanent jobs).
  • Cultural Heritage Support: Non-refundable investment of €250,000 or more in support of artistic production, recovery, or maintenance of national cultural heritage.

Non-Available Investment Options (No Longer Accepted):

  • Capital transfers of €1,500,000 or more.
  • Purchasing real estate valued at €500,000 or higher.
  • Investing in the rehabilitation of real estate properties that are at least 30 years old, with a total investment of €350,000 or more.
  • Investing in real estate in low-density areas for €400,000 or €280,000.
  • Investing in funds with direct or indirect real estate investments.


  • Portugal’s Golden Visa offers EU residency with a path to citizenship.


  • An “official SEF source” indicates more than 7,000 pending golden visa applications, a significant departure from the SEF’s 10-year average of around 1,000 annual approvals. Clearing this backlog alone could take 6-7 years, pushing approval timelines past 2030 if new applications were suspended today.
  • Investors should note annual government fees, legal fees, and tax representative fees per family member.
  • A language test is required for Portuguese citizenship eligibility.

Ireland – Immigrant Investor Program (IIP)

Investment Requirement (popular options):

  • A minimum investment of €1 million in an Irish enterprise or Investment Fund.
  • A minimum €400,000 philanthropic donation to a project that benefits the arts, sports, health, culture, or education in Ireland.



  • The Irish government announced the closure of the IIP in February of this year.
  • Only approved IIP projects can continue to accept investors for applying to the IIP with a grace period, and the available quotas are very limited for Enterprise investments and Endowment options.
  • An extension has been granted to the Investment Fund option offering the IIP, allowing it to run until the end of 2023. Regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland, this low-risk investment fund route has received special permission to continue processing applicants for the IIP until December 31 of this year.
  • Bartra Wealth Advisors specializes in Irish immigration, providing one-stop-shop solutions by assisting investors from initial consultations and applications to landing services and investment exits. We currently have limited IIP slots available for investors who have immediate application intentions.


Immigration by Investment programs continue to evolve, offering a pathway to enhanced global mobility, economic opportunities, and an improved quality of life. As countries adapt to changing circumstances and investor needs, staying informed about the latest trends and changes in IBI programs is essential for those considering this life-changing opportunity.

The choice of a Residence by Investment program depends on individual goals, financial capabilities, and preferences. Each country’s program offers distinct advantages, such as access to strong economies, high-quality living standards and educations, and pathways to citizenship. It is crucial for prospective investors to conduct thorough research, seek legal and financial advice, and carefully evaluate the unique benefits and considerations of each program before making a decision. With the right choice, investors can secure not only a second residence but also a brighter future for themselves and their families.

IIP Updates and Current Available Options

The Irish Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) offers HNW investors and their families a safe, simple, and proven route to permanent residency in Ireland – one of Europe’s safest and most stable countries. The Programme has a wealth of advantages, such as investment only required to be made after approval and minimal residing requirement. Family members of the successful applicants can also be benefited from the IIP:

  • They have the right to live and work in Ireland, without any time constraints.
  • They can get access to educational and healthcare benefits.
  • They can apply for citizenship through naturalisation to obtain one of the most valuable passports worldwide.
  • Visa-free or Visa on arrival to 189 countries, including the United States, Schengen Area, and the United Kingdom.

In return, the Programme helps to bring foreign investment into Ireland (more than €1 billion in total) to build or improve its infrastructure, create new companies or jobs and raise capital to boost the economy. It has also contributed to many local communities, hospitals and sporting organisations.

However, the government decided to close the Programme with immediate effect in February, with a few limited exceptions:

  • The existing approved projects will not be affected for IIP applications and need to be completed within the timeframe set out per the business plan.
  • Applications not yet submitted, but where the project was significantly developed with the assistance of the IIP Unit of the Department of Justice, may be granted a grace period of three months to submit the finalised application.

The closure has changed the Irish IIP landscape since then.

VISA approvals

Current IIP availability

Since the sudden closure announced in February for this decade-old, sought-after Residency by investment programme, investors have been looking for available project options to grasp the final IIP opportunities during a grace period granted by the government.

Among the four IIP investment options – Enterprise Investment, Endowment, Investment Fund, and REIT,  statistically and historically, the applications and investments largely go to Enterprise investments, followed by Investment Fund and Endowment.

Over the last few months, it is believed that the approved Enterprise Investment projects i.e. social housing schemes and nursing homes, and Endowment projects should have been all snapped up by investors, leaving only a handful of investment slots from investors who have withdrawn from the applications or investments after getting approvals. For any existing Enterprise Investment and Endowment projects that are still available on the market, IIP investors are advised to carry out their own full due diligence before investing to assure that their chosen projects have been approved in order to secure their future approvals.

IIP Investments

Worth noting is that an extension has been granted to the Investment Fund option offering IIP to run until the end of 2023. Regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland, this low-risk investment fund route has been granted special permission to continue processing applicants for IIP until 31st December this year.

Characteristics of IIP investment Fund

  • All funds have to be invested in Ireland and must represent equity stakes in Irish-registered companies that are not listed on any stock exchange.
  • The funds and fund managers will have to be regulated by the Central Bank to conduct business in Ireland.
  • Only fund managers with an established record of managing regulated funds will be accepted to manage funds in Ireland.
  • Under this scheme, investors will receive a residence permit for 5 years. An initial permit for two years and another 3-year permit if investors keep the investment. After the 5-year period, investors can apply for renewals in 5-year tranches.

How can investors choose their IIP Investment Fund?

Each fund has their investment objectives and strategies, when choosing a fund for the purpose of IIP, broadly speaking, investors are suggested to consider the following 4 key areas:

  • Understand the nature of the fund and its investment objectives: What companies and assets is the fund investing in and what is it trying to achieve, i.e. some funds invest in Irish enterprises and assets for achieving capital growth, while some simply provide loans to commercial sectors for earning interest.
  • Understand the risk factors: Different investment strategies have their associated risks. Generally speaking, higher growth rates indicate higher risk. Also, the sectors where the investments go in would affect the performance of the fund, market performance is one of the key factors. The more diversified the sectors of the investments in the portfolio, the lower the risk of major losses that can result from over-emphasizing a single asset class.
  • Know the fund managers and Board of Directors: The performance of the fund is largely dependent on the fund management team’s experience and expertise. Having a good understanding of the companies and key stakeholders in the fund is essential for investors to choose a suitable IIP investment fund.
  • Understand the return and fees: if capital refund is the expectation, investors would have to choose a fund whose investment objective is aligned with the investors, as some growth funds do not provide the full capital return. Investors are also advised to understand the fund fee structure, as some funds would charge management fees and costs for operations.

It is worth mentioning that, although most of the funds are 5-year investment period, due to the funds’ nature of their maturity date, investors who invest in a fund may have less than a 5 year investment horizon due to each fund’s maturity time as well as IIP’s approval time.

Invest IIP with Bartra Wealth Advisors  

Half a year since the closure announcement was made, in August, Bartra received over 20 approval letters for our clients across our offices. To date, Bartra have more than 300 approved Investors through IIP, with a total investment amount exceeding €220 million. The approvals prove that clients’ investment through Bartra is safe and we are reliable to deliver high-quality, government-backed projects to secure clients’ residency.

In addition to its minimal residency requirement, IIP offers some investment options that are capital protected investments and they are also passive investments, which means the initial capital of investors will be repaid to investors at its maturity and investors do not have to manage or operate their investments. This is another major advantage of IIP for those who are looking for a safe and secure investment opportunity. It is also hassle-free at the same time as it requires minimal time and effort.

IIP Approvals

Investing with Bartra not only can secure your path to a successful Irish residency, through Bartra’s one-stop-shop investment services and its five-year customer servicing and settlement services in Ireland, clients can be rest assured of a smooth transition and relocation in Ireland.

Click here to learn more about the IIP or to contact us.

Bartra only have a small number of available slots remaining for IIP-approved investment projects, contact us now and secure your successful IIP journey right away.

Irish IIP Key Benefits: holding PR status for entire family without residing in Ireland

As part of the ‘Irish IIP Key Benefits’ article series and following the previous blog about Approval First, Invest Later, in this article, we are going to discuss the scheme’s other advantage – minimal residency requirement.

The Irish Immigrant Investor Programme is a unique and highly sought-after immigration program that provides numerous benefits to those seeking to become Irish citizens. One of the most notable benefits of this program is its minimum residency requirement, which is very rare among English-speaking immigration programs. This residing flexibility not only offers investors an opportunity that they do not have to sacrifice their current lifestyle or uproot their families, but it also means that investors will be able to plan ahead and minimise their tax liabilities.

IIP a rare RBI programme

The last couple of years have been quite eventful, causing more uncertainties in the world. Investors and HNWIs across the world are seeking out second residencies that offer them and their families peace of mind while dealing with uncertainties. This has led to unprecedented interest in the Residency/Citizenship by Investment (RCBI) industry worldwide.

Ireland’s decade-old IIP soared in popularity in 2022, with record applications numbering more than 1,000 from across the world, more than twice the annual record set in 2019. As one of the largest Irish immigration IIP fundraisers, Bartra was involved in roughly 25% of the total Irish IIP applications.


One of the notable advantages of IIP is that the scheme requires that investors only reside in Ireland for one day per year for the first five years. The successful investor and his or her family will be granted a ‘Stamp 4’ status visa (equivalent to a Permanent Residency status) and family members will be benefited from their own permission to work, study or establish a business in Ireland as they wish, or they can hold their PR status without having to actually reside in Ireland. This freedom to effectively come and go as they like, makes the IIP stand out from all other immigration routes available to persons wishing to establish ties to Ireland. For those investors who choose to live in Ireland for 5 years, they may then be eligible to apply for citizenship by naturalisation. The Irish passport is widely recognised as one of the most valuable for those travelling internationally, and it is the only passport that allows citizens to travel, live and work in Europe and the UK.

In addition to its minimal residency requirement, IIP offers some investment options that are capital protected investments and they are also passive investments, which means the initial capital of investors will be repaid to investors at its maturity and investors do not have to manage or operate their investments. This is another major advantage of IIP for those who are looking for a safe and secure investment opportunity. It is also hassle-free at the same time as it requires minimal time and effort.

Tax planning

Because of IIP’s minimal residency requirement, investors who stay in Ireland for less than 183 days or more in a tax year, are not considered taxable residents with no tax liabilities, such as no income tax for foreign-soured income, no inheritance tax and no capital gain tax. Investors and their families can decide themselves whether to become tax residents in Ireland depending on their situation.

Furthermore, the remittance basis of tax is another favourable tax treaty to people coming into Ireland if non-domiciled. If not an Irish national, then any investment income is only taxable if that goes into Ireland. There are very few countries that offer this favourable tax treatment.

Tax Planning

We previously discussed some tax scenarios (also compared taxes between Ireland and UK), and provided many practical tips, click to read the article to learn more about the tax issues where we interviewed KPMG.


After all, the Irish Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) is a unique and highly sought-after immigration program that offers numerous benefits to those seeking Irish residency and creating a pathway to becoming an Irish citizen. From its minimal residency requirement to its capital protection, passive investment options and tax planning benefits, the IIP provides a wealth of opportunities for investors looking to expand their horizons and take advantage of all the benefits that Ireland has to offer.

Whether you are looking to secure a better future for yourself and your family, or simply enjoy the many benefits of Irish PR, the Irish Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) is the perfect choice for you. So why wait? Start your IIP journey now with Bartra today and take the first step towards a better future.

Click here to learn more about the IIP or to contact us.

Note: Bartra only have a small number of available slots for the IIP-approved investment projects.

Irish Developer Bartra To Repay Over €90 Million To Immigration-By-Investment Clients – Projects Delivered on Time and on Budget and Sold to Institutional Investors

(Hong Kong, 30 September 2022) – Bartra, one of Ireland’s leading real estate developers, has announced the repayment in 2022 of €93 million to investors who invested in social housing and nursing home projects with Bartra via Ireland’s immigration investment programme. The repayment is being made following the successful completion and sale of a number of social housing and nursing home projects to institutional investors in line with the business plans for these projects.

The construction of Bartra’s social housing and nursing home schemes is funded by investors participating in the Irish Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP). The IIP was introduced by the Irish government in 2012 and uses the immigration system to incentivise foreign investment into critically needed infrastructure such as social housing and nursing homes. The programme is managed by the Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) Unit, a dedicated department within the Irish Department of Justice.

The key benefit of the IIP for many investors is the prospect of residency rights in Ireland within a short timeframe. It typically takes six months for approval and Ireland does not require investors to spend any more than one day per year in the country to maintain their residency. Due to Ireland’s strong and robust economy, high-quality education system, and excellent accessibility to its EU and UK neighbours, the IIP is currently growing at a fast pace, particularly in Asia. According to the Irish Ministry of Justice, from 2016 to 2021, there were 2,226 IIP applications with most investments made into the Enterprise option (61%).

Bartra provides social housing and nursing home IIP investment opportunities under the Enterprise investment route for high-net-worth families who are interested in emigrating to Ireland.

“Both of these asset classes are priority investment areas for the Irish State and Bartra has a strong track record of delivering projects in line with business plan and repaying investors. The total successful repayment amount of over €90 million to be made this year will mark one of the largest IIP repayments in history from a single Irish developer.” Daniel Hinds, Bartra Wealth Advisors Chief Operating Officer commented.

Daniel Hinds

Hinds added: “Bartra Wealth Advisors was established to provide one-stop-shop Irish immigration services. With our unique business model and the backing of our parent company, we are able to support clients throughout the investment and immigration process, from immigration consulting and applying for qualified IIP programmes to landing services and ensuring investments are repaid. To date, Bartra has maintained a 100% application approval rate, 100% renewal rate and 100% repayment rate.”

Bartra intends to continue to raise funds from the IIP to develop bundles of social housing and nursing home projects on sites it owns, providing full visibility to IIP investors on the nature of the projects that they are investing in.

Batra launched its social housing business to focus on the provision of much-needed family homes and has completed three projects to date, with three more under construction. The company has established a dedicated social housing team, which is tasked with identifying development sites suitable for social housing where Bartra can deliver attractive investment opportunities to investors. Andrew Ennis, Director of Investments and Structuring at Bartra, 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 tenants 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.”

Social Housing Bartra

Bartra invited an IIP client who received his investment principal to visit a social housing project in Poplar Row, Dublin.

In the healthcare sector, Bartra builds, manages and operates projects from start to finish, providing premium clinical care services for residents. Led by Declan Carlyle, Bartra’s Healthcare division delivers a nursing home portfolio with superior elderly care facilities designed to meet the Irish government’s highest standards as imposed by the Health Information Quality Authority (HIQA). Bartra intends to build more much-needed healthcare homes in Ireland, in proximity to major hospitals and transport hubs, to service an ever growing elderly population cohort.

And as nursing homes qualify as essential infrastructure, institutional investors with long-term investment horizons are contributing to elderly care projects as part of their investment portfolios. Selling the healthcare developments to institutional investors is also part of Bartra’s development exit strategy to repay their IIP investors. Last month, Bartra sold a portfolio of nursing homes to Belgian Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Aedifica for approximately €161 million. The portfolio, which has capacity for 617 residents, consists of two brand new nursing homes located in Loughshinny (Skerries) and Northwood (Santry), an HSE transitional care unit in Beaumont (Artane), and the forward purchase of Clondalkin Lodge nursing home, which is currently in development.

How to choose the right Irish Immigrant Investor Programme

Obtaining Irish permanent residency status through the Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) has become increasingly popular among affluent individuals and families. According to the Department of Justice in Ireland, more than 260 people pledged a total of €185.6 million to secure residency status through the IIP in 2020, which brought the total investment up to more than €1 billion since the IIP’s official launch in 2012.

The IIP is fast, simple and exceptionally flexible. It only takes 4-6 months for applicants to receive approval and there are no language or level of education requirements, nor is there an upper age limit. It also only requires investment after approval is received. Additionally, the residency requirement, meaning the required time to stay in Ireland to maintain residency status, is only one day per calendar year, which allows investors to obtain residency without moving to Ireland or becoming a tax resident there. All this explains why hundreds of high net worth individuals are applying for Ireland’s investment visas.

In our recent blog How to assess risks of immigration investor programmes, we listed some of the most prevalent risk factors from a broad perspective. If you have decided to go for the Irish IIP, here are some extra tips to guide you through the risks of each investment option and different IIP projects.

Understand Your IIP Investment Options

According to the Department of Justice, the IIP offers the following investment options:

  • Enterprise Investment: a minimum of €1 million invested in an Irish enterprise for at least three years
  • Investment Fund: a minimum of €1 million invested in an approved investment fund for at least three years. Such funds must be approved and regulated by the Central Bank
  • Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs): a minimum of €2 million in any Irish REIT that is listed on the Irish Stock Exchange, for at least three years
  • Endowment: a minimum of €500,000 (or €400,000 where five or more applications are received) philanthropic donation to a project of public benefit to the arts, sports, health, culture or education in Ireland

While all four investment options qualify for residency status, their cost and risk vary.

The endowment route is safe as no further financial obligation is required once the donation is made and it has the lowest investment amount. However, it’s important to remember that the investment is a charitable donation and cannot be recovered by the investor at a later date – there is no return on investment (ROI). Additionally, investors should be cautious that the donation is approved by the local authority or qualifies for the IIP by being of benefit to arts, sports, health, culture or education in Ireland. Recently it was reported that the Department of Justice is investigating claims of serious irregularities in IIP donations where funds earmarked for charity projects were diverted elsewhere.

IIP risk factors_volatility

Investing in real estate investment trusts (REITs) and investment funds can both be profitable. However, the former requires an investment of €2 million. Repayment to fund investors is dependent on market conditions and fund performance, while management charges are also a consideration. Investors should understand what assets and sectors the fund invests in, and the fund’s performance either on asset value or profit. After all, market volatility is inevitable, and there are economic variations and regulatory changes, thus return is not always guaranteed. Investors should note that the Irish government has no responsibility for the performance of the investment, which is regarded as a private matter.

Enterprise investment is the preferred investment option as it has a clear-cut exit strategy and some projects provide a considerable ROI. In 2019, 70% of the total IIP approvals were via the enterprise investment option.

Unlike investing in REITs or investment funds, the €1 million enterprise investment into Bartra will be fully returned at maturity, regardless of market conditions, and the projects that derive income from the government are more resilient and more risk averse. Bartra’s nursing home projects also offer a guaranteed 4% interest per year. At maturity of the 5-year investment period, nursing home investors will receive an additional €200,000 on top of the €1 million investment. The programme offers a secure path to Irish residency within 4-6 months along with extra returns.

Click here to learn more about Bartra’s enterprise investment options.

Choose The Right Projects For Enterprise Investment

The IIP is designed to facilitate productive investment into Ireland. Therefore, the Department of Justice has specified that investments in commercial property for leasing or renting will not be considered eligible under the enterprise investment option. Particular preference will be given to investments in social infrastructure such as social housing and nursing homes. As Ireland is on course to become an immigration hotspot for HNWIs, the market is flooded with immigration companies offering Irish immigration services as well as enterprise investment projects, for which social housing projects are the majority. When considering enterprise investment for real estate projects, mitigating risk can be done by asking a few simple questions:

  • Who is the developer of the projects and what is the scale of their portfolio?
  • Do they have a successful project completion track record and experience running social housing and nursing homes?

To mitigate risk, investors should perform due diligence to solidly evaluate the developer. Again, the Irish government has no responsibility for the investment performance. Investors will suffer losses if the developer or enterprise defaults or fails to fulfil their contractual commitments. A proven track record also indicates a developers’ ability to manage their business during economic downturns and adversity.

  • How do these IIP projects derive income?
  • If the projects offer high annual interest, do the figures make sense given the nature of the business?

Investors need to understand that the objective of IIP-funded projects is to provide more social infrastructure; they are not high profit-driven businesses, therefore investors should not expect to receive a high return on investment. For social housing, for example, the majority of income is derived from the Irish State, which can be in the form of a Long Term Social Housing Leasing Scheme or other leasing schemes. For nursing homes, although they are privately run and subsidised by the government, operation costs plus the business nature mean such initiatives are not highly profitable commercial setups and an investment return from such projects of between 0-4% would make sense. For any rates higher than that, investors should be cautious.

  • Are these projects located in much-needed areas, such as Dublin?
  • Are these properties new-build, second hand, converted or refurbished developments?

Aside from operation profits and government subventions, understanding the value of the asset is equally important. Valuations vary across developments, with new-builds in much-needed areas having the highest value.

Investors should review the assumptions in a project’s exit plan, such as the anticipated sale price. By cross-referencing with a market study or other available data, it’s easy to see whether assumptions are reasonable.

Bartra Group is the on-the-ground team in Ireland responsible for sourcing and delivering successful investment projects for our IIP investors. We target areas where we believe there is the least risk to our investors. Bartra’s latest social housing project, Poplar Row commenced construction in July 2020 in a city centre location which offers excellent public transport links. Our social housing projects have signed a 25-year Enhanced Lease Agreement with the local authority at 95% of market rent. Click here to view our IIP portfolio.

Bartra has all the skills in-house needed to complete these complex developments, including legal, financing, construction, taxation and planning, removing almost all risks to our IIP investors. Our skill set also includes the operational skills required for nursing homes and social housing from clinical care to property management.


Immigration is a once-in-a-lifetime decision that should be carefully considered and diligently prepared for. Proper risk management is what leads to profitable investing and an enjoyable immigration process.

We pride ourselves in our streamlined services, quality projects and success rate in helping clients obtain residency. To date, Bartra has helped hundreds of families immigrate to Ireland while maintaining an application approval rate of 100% and a 100% renewal rate. Contact us now to learn more about our programme.

Ireland’s Eclectic Sporting Scene

Ireland’s neighbours might be best known for football and cricket – sports that dominate in Britain, but Ireland is home to a wide range of outdoor activities that aren’t commonly seen in the rest of the world. While Ireland’s prowess in rugby is renowned, lesser-known sports, such as Gaelic football, hurling and camogie make the country’s sporting scene stand out.

Ireland’s largest sporting organisation is the Gaelic Athletic Association, which promotes Gaelic games that include most of the nation’s distinctive sports, including Gaelic football, hurling, handball, rounders and camogie. As of 2018, GAA was Ireland’s most popular sport, followed by soccer, then rugby, with athletics, tennis, golf and swimming coming in joint fourth place.

We’ve rounded up some of Ireland’s most popular sports below, to reveal a little more about these intriguing games and what spectators can expect if they see the sport in action.

Gaelic Football

Gaelic football appears to have first been played in Ireland in 1802. With origins in the traditional football that was played across Europe, the distinctive Gaelic version was codified by the GAA in 1887, and while also based on the ancient Irish game of caid, it has similarities to rugby.

Gaelic football is played between two teams of 15 on a rectangular grass pitch – not so different to rugby in both respects. However, the Gaelic football pitch is slightly larger and the ball in play is round like a football, instead of oval as in rugby. This ball may be kicked or ‘hand passed’, which means that it is struck with a closed fist using the knuckle and thumb. Tackling is limited relative to rugby, though shoulder to shoulder contact is permitted, as is slapping the ball out of an opponent’s hand. The aim is to get the ball over or into the goal, which consists of two posts with a crossbar (narrower and lower than in rugby), but also with a net, effectively combining rugby posts with a football net. A ‘point’ is scored by kicking the ball or fisting – when a closed hand strikes the ball – it over the crossbar. Below the crossbar a ‘goal’ is scored, which is worth three points, but a ‘goal’ only counts if the ball is kicked into the net.

An amateur sport, Gaelic football is mainly domestic with no national Gaelic football teams, so it’s rare that you’ll be able to watch a game outside of Ireland.


Played by men, hurling is a team sport that has some elements in common with Gaelic football, including the field and the goals, though its roots lie in shinty, a game predominantly played in Scotland. There are also similarities to both hockey and lacrosse, particularly given that hurling is a stick and ball game. It is, however, played using a ‘hurley’ (a stick made of ash) and a ‘sliotar’, a small ball that is slightly bigger than a tennis ball and is comprised of a cork core encased in leather, similar in appearance to a baseball. For the teams to score, this ball is hit over the crossbar for one point or into the net (past a goalkeeper) for three points.

In terms of rules, the ball can be caught in the hand and carried, though not for more than four steps, and it can be struck in the air, or hit on the ground using the hurley. It can also be kicked or slapped with an open hand. To carry the ball further than four steps, the ball must be bounced or balanced on the end of the hurley and may only be handled twice while in the possession of one player. Helmets and faceguards are compulsory for all players, particularly given that hurling is considered one of the fastest field sports in the world.

Greatly loved, hurley plays a big role in popular culture, often featuring in film, music, and literature. It has also been listed by UNESCO as an element of Intangible Cultural Heritage. While it is played by the Irish diaspora around the world, spectators will most likely catch a game in Ireland – and should look forward to the experience. Financial Times journalist Simon Kuper wrote after watching the 2020 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final that hurling is “the best sport ever and if the Irish had colonised the world, nobody would ever have heard of football.”



Similar to hurling and with the game of shinty also at its roots, camogie is essentially hurling by adapted to suit women. It is less physical than its counterpart for men with a slightly smaller ball and shorter games – 60-minutes instead of hurling’s 70-minute games. Yet just as fast and exciting as hurling, camogie is a similarly popular spectator sport that is much loved both within Ireland and by Irish communities overseas. It has also been listed as an element of Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.



Despite the popularity of Gaelic sports in Ireland, the nation is probably most proud of its rugby team, which competes successfully on the world stage. In 2019, Ireland ranked number 1 in the Men’s World Rugby Rankings and currently sits in sixth place as of February 2021, behind South Africa, New Zealand, England, France and Australia.

Rugby is a sport that is only gaining in popularity globally, particularly in Asia following the hosting of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan last year, where Ireland reached the quarter-finals. A number of international rugby tournaments take place, including the popular World Rugby Sevens Series, a variant of the game where teams of seven play seven minute halves, instead of the usual 15 playing 40 minute halves. The Hong Kong Sevens, which was founded in 1976, is the premier event of this competition.

Barta has an exclusive partnership with Connacht Rugby, one of four professional provincial rugby teams in Ireland. Bartra supports the funding of the redevelopment of a new stadium and indoor training centre at Connacht’s existing home, The Sportsground in Galway. Investors willing to make an IIP application via the Endowment route can choose to fund Connacht Rugby.

Investors interested in the IIP often choose the Enterprise route, where through Bartra investors can enjoy 100% capital return and, when investing in nursing home projects, also reap a 20% return over a five-year investment period. However, investing in Connacht Rugby through the Endowment route is an alternative, where a minimum of €400,000 is invested benevolently in an appropriate public project that benefits arts, sports, health, culture or education in Ireland. Connacht Rugby is one such project – and it’s an Endowment option particularly suited to rugby or sports fanatics.

Tax 101 – a simple tax guide for immigrants to Ireland

Ireland is an attractive destination for immigration. As an English-speaking EU member state with a world-class education system, transparent and fair State structures, plenty of foreign investment, Ireland is seeing a rise in the number of high-net-worth foreigners seeking Irish residency.

Whether you are planning to move to Ireland permanently or you plan to obtain residency without moving thanks to the flexibility of the IIP, it is important to know what specific tax obligations come with your situation, and if there are actions you may need to take to get your tax affairs in order.

Planning your finances before you become liable for Irish taxes and understanding global income tax can save you a significant amount of money. Taxes can be expensive and burdensome, but there are ways to minimize your tax liability in a legal way.

Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Inheritance Tax and other taxes

An individual can only be regarded as an Irish tax resident for a given tax year if he or she spends 183 days or more in Ireland during the tax year, or 280 days or more in Ireland in the current tax year and the previous tax year combined. In other words, given the flexibility of IIP, which requires a minimum stay of just one day in a year, investors spending less than 183 days a year who are domiciled outside of Ireland would not be liable to Irish tax. It is worth noting that investors who stay in Ireland for more than 183 days in a tax year, as long as their earnings are not remitted into Ireland, they may not fall within the Irish income tax net. 

There are a variety of different taxes that individuals interested in Irish residency should be aware of. In our video series Immigration Insights with Bartra Wealth Advisors, Jay Cheung, Bartra’s Marketing Director spoke to Kenneth Yeung, a senior accountant and tax advisor from China Consulting Consortium about matters around income tax, capital gain tax, property tax and inheritance tax. Kenneth is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and has been providing accounting and tax services to Chinese residents in the UK and Ireland for the past 30 years. To understand more about Irish tax, watch the episode now.

Income Tax

Personal tax varies and can be complicated. The reference guide below provides basic Irish tax information. Investors should always obtain independent tax advice. Worth noting is that in Ireland there are a large number of exemptions available depending on your type of income and whether the recipient of the income is resident in a country with which Ireland has a double tax treaty.

Income tax rates and rate bands

Irish Tax Eng

All individuals whose gross income exceeds the minimum threshold of €13,000 per annum are liable to pay the Universal Social Charge (USC). And most employers and employees (over 16 and under 66 years of age) pay social insurance (PRSI) contributions into the national Social Insurance Fund.

Personal income tax rates in Ireland are in line with other developed countries. For example, looking to Europe (the top rates), the income tax rate in Germany is 42%; the UK is 45%; France is 45%; Portugal is 48%; and the Netherlands is the world’s highest at 52%. Outside Europe and considering popular immigration countries, the rate in the US is 37%; 33% in Canada; 45% in Australia. China’s tax rate is 45%.

Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

The CGT rate in Ireland is 33% for most gains. However, there are other rates for specific types of gains:

  • 40% for gains from foreign life policies and foreign investment products
  • 15% for gains from venture capital funds for individuals and partnerships
  • 12.5% for gains from venture capital funds for companies

Again, for investors who spend less than 183 days a year in Ireland, they may not be taxable for either income or capital gains from other countries. 

Inheritance Tax

The thorn in the side of many an inheritance is the tax and in Ireland inheritance tax, or Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT), is a hefty 33%. A child is entitled to inherit a certain amount (up to €310,000) tax-free, after which 33% is charged.

Other taxes

For those looking to run a business in Ireland, Corporate Income Tax and Value Added Tax (VAT) are the most important to know. In Ireland, corporate tax is 12.5%, one of the lowest in Europe and the normal VAT rate is 23%.

Tax Couple

Case study I: In what circumstances would I obtain Irish residency from the IIP and, although not domiciled in Ireland, still be liable to Irish income tax?

There are two types of income: employment income and investment income.

Employment income – you will be liable to Irish income tax on Irish employment income in full and non-Irish employment income to the extent that either your duties relate to Irish workdays or you remit your income relating to non-Irish workdays to Ireland.

Investment income – you are liable to Irish income tax on investment income from Irish sources. Investment income from other countries will not be taxable as long as the income is not remitted into the State. The remittance basis for a non-Irish domiciled individual continues regardless of residence/ ordinary residence status.

Case study II: When investing in nursing home projects, there is a 20% return from the 1million investment (4% per annum) upon maturity of the 5-year investment horizon. Is this 20% taxable to Ireland?

If you reside outside of Ireland and are not spending more than 183 days in Ireland, the 20% investment return from nursing home IIP projects is non-taxable to the State.


Bartra’s Northwood Nursing Home, completed and opened in Spring 2020, is home to 118 single occupancy private ensuite rooms.

Case study III: How would setting up a trust or having Life Insurance help with tax planning?

Some clients are keen to establish an “immigration trust”. The trust may hold cash deposits, shares in private and public companies, bonds, real estate and other types of investments, and provides an opportunity for immigrants to earn foreign investment income on a tax-free basis in the trust for a long period of time.

Clients may wish to consider using a trust for inheritance tax planning. As stated above, children are entitled to inherit up to €310,000 tax-free, after which 33% tax is charged. The assets in a trust are held in the name of a trustee but go directly to the beneficiary, who has a right to both the assets and income of the trust. Transfers into a bare trust may be exempt from inheritance tax.

Immigrants may also benefit from having a life insurance policy or a life insurance trust as the death benefit is typically tax-free. Beneficiaries generally don’t have to report the payout as income, making it a tax-free lump sum that they can employ freely, and potentially use to pay any required inheritance tax in order to receive the assets.


In conclusion, as is evident from the above, immigrants to Ireland can be subject to different tax treatments depending on how their wealth is structured. Great tax benefits can be achieved provided tax planning is in place. However, tax laws may change over time, so it is advisable to revisit your tax plan to avoid being unintentionally caught by any new tax laws and regulations.


Disclaimer: Information correct as of 19 February 2021. Bartra Wealth Advisors and its affiliates provide individualised services in relation to immigration. All information provided to investors and clients is with such purpose in mind. Should investors have any enquiries about any specific legal, tax or financial planning matter relating to their personal circumstances, Bartra Wealth Advisors recommends that investors seek independent professional advice. Although every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information and contents of the materials, which are obtained from sources believed to be reliable, Bartra Wealth Advisors does not represent, warrant or guarantee the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, reliability or suitability of the information or contents for any particular purpose.