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.

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.

Joe Biden’s Irish roots and what this may mean for US-Ireland Relations

The small town of Ballina in County Mayo on Ireland’s west coast lies at the mouth of the River Moy and can count among its notable residents Mary Robinson, Ireland’s first female president, who served from 1990 to 1997.

Lately, its inhabitants have had something to celebrate and the town has been awash with flags and fanfare. This is because Ballina is also the ancestral home town of the new President of the United States, Joe Biden.

In the early 19th century, Biden’s great, great, great grandfather, Patrick Blewitt, called Ballina home. That was until 1851 when, spurred by the Irish potato famine, he cast his sights on America and headed West, settling in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Almost a century later, in 1942, Biden was born in that very city. Yet Biden has maintained an affinity for Ireland and in 2016 made a trip to Ballina where the warmth of its residents was on full display as thousands lined the streets to greet him. Biden embraced Ballina’s people – and made contact with relatives who still reside there.

Cityscape of Ballina Ireland

Biden’s visit also served to inspire many in Ballina, reminding them that anything is possible. Not only has Ballina spawned the nation’s first female president, but it can now count the President of the United States of America among those the town is proud to call its own.

In a letter from the President of Ireland to Joe Biden on 20 January, Michael D. Higgins wrote to congratulate the new President of the United States and referenced an Irish proverb: “Is ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine”, which means, “we live in each other’s shadow and in each other’s shelter.” He added that “It reminded me that we are all interconnected, we are all interdependent, we all have an effect on each other on this fragile planet that we share.”

Higgins went on to say, “The US has been a true friend to Ireland in so many ways. Your own friendship and support for so many years has been invaluable. Ireland, of course, has made its most valuable contribution to your great land by providing so many of our daughters and sons. The descendants of some turned out to be rather fine Presidents!”

For Biden is not the only American President with Irish roots – others include Barack Obama, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon, Woodrow Wilson, and famously John F. Kennedy, to name a few. The inauguration of Joe Biden means that 23 of the 46 US Presidents have Irish ancestors, it’s an impressive 50%.

Yes Biden is among the most outward in his affection for Ireland; he has embraced his Irish roots and Catholic faith. He has quoted Irish poet Seamus Heaney often – in the 2008 presidential primaries, as vice-president and, most recently, on winning the election he released a campaign video where he reads from Heaney’s The Cure at Troy, pitching himself as the person to mediate social healing.

Map of Ireland

US-Ireland Relations

And his love for Ireland may bode well for the nation and for US-Ireland relations. Biden is known for being against Brexit and while on the campaign trail he often mentioned that any future trade deal between the US and the UK would be dependent on the latter’s respect for the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which brought decades of conflict in Northern Ireland to an end. Yet the Irish border was something of a sticking point in Brexit negotiations, with the UK government reneging on an agreement with Brussels to respect the agreement and the open border. Biden raised the issue early on, stating that he did not want a guarded border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. And following the Brexit agreement in December, the decision has been made to maintain an open frontier.

Economically Biden appreciates that the United States is important for Ireland for investment and job creation. The nation is a magnet for US tech and pharmaceutical giants thanks to its low taxes and well-educated, English-speaking workforce. Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Facebook, Google, Apple and Twitter are among those with significant business operations in Ireland.

Many believe that Biden’s Irish roots will help relations between the US, the UK, and Ireland, particularly with regards to each’s relationships with Europe, especially as Ireland remains a member of the EU. And it certainly seems to promise a good relationship between the US and Ireland, which Ireland’s growing influence diplomatically will only enhance. Ireland boasts embassies in every country in the EU and is one of the biggest spenders in Washington when it comes to foreign lobbying. In June 2020 Ireland won a seat on the UN Security Council, while in July Irish Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe became leader of Eurogroup.

Additionally, Ireland’s prime minister receives an automatic invitation every year to the Oval Office for St. Patrick’s Day – the only world leader to enjoy such a privilege – and has done since 1956. This arrangement could make Taoiseach Micheál Martin the first head of government to meet with the new president if the meeting goes ahead in March.

Ahead of that scheduled meeting, Martin extended an invitation to Biden to Ireland in return, who replied “try and keep me out,” jokingly emphasizing his love for his homeland. But it goes beyond just love – there’s a respect there too. As Ambassador Mulhall at Ireland’s embassy in Washington has said “It’s a good thing that we will have a president who has this kind of depth of understanding of Irish affairs, which is bound to be beneficial to us.”

(Part 2) Brexit and beyond: 8 things to know about the future of the UK and Europe

In our previous article, we discussed four important things to be aware of post-Brexit. But the UK-EU deal presents opportunities, too.

From 1980 to 2020, Europe’s five largest economies have consistently been France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. However, as COVID-19 has raged through Europe and the UK has departed from the European Union, many EU nations are facing deep recessions, with the economy of the EU forecast to contract by a record 7.4% in 2020.

Meanwhile, Ireland’s star has been rising. Ireland remains a strong and committed member of the EU post-Brexit. Politically, it is taking its place among the nations of the world. On a per-head basis, Ireland has a good claim to be the world’s most diplomatically powerful country. In July 2020, the 19 finance ministers of the eurozone elected Irish finance minister Paschal Donohoe to be the president of their influential Eurogroup, putting Ireland in a powerful position as the EU debates ways to deal with the economic fallout of the global pandemic. In October, the EU appointed Ireland’s Mairead McGuinness as the new commissioner in charge of financial services. Ireland also won a place on the UN Security Council, securing one of the ten rotating seats to join the five permanent members that include the US, UK, Russia, France and China.

Economically, Ireland remains a popular choice for investors looking to access the European market. With a low corporate tax rate of 12.5% (among the lowest in Europe) and favourable tax system, Ireland is a highly sought-after location for foreign investment and businesses. While the Global Financial Crisis caused a contraction in Ireland’s economy, which had been flourishing for the decade prior, it has regained its stability and for the past six years has been one of the strongest developed countries in Europe. And in terms of quality of life, Ireland ranked joint second with Switzerland, beating Sweden, Germany and the UK.

With a Brexit deal now agreed between the UK and the EU, Ireland appears to be the land of opportunity, particularly when it comes to global competitiveness. Here are four important elements to consider:

1. Business and employment

The Irish Government has continued to demonstrate its commitment to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) by establishing a business environment that is conducive to FDI activity and Ireland remains a location of choice for many of the world’s leading companies. Indeed, more than 1,100 companies, including many of the world’s leading brands, have decided to place Ireland at the hub of their European operations. Additionally, 70 individual investments related to Brexit, with more than 5,000 associated jobs, have been approved since the UK’s EU referendum in June 2016, according to Ireland’s Foreign Investment Agency, IDA Ireland’s 2019 figures.

Dublin Docklands

Cityscape of Dublin Docklands and river Liffey with modern buildings and barge on river. To date companies that have announced investments in Ireland connected to Brexit include Barclays, Morgan Stanley, TD Securities, Wasdell, Delphi/Aptiv, Simmons & Simmons, S&P Global, Thomson Reuters, Equilend and Coinbase. And Dublin remains the most popular destination for financial services firms to relocate to post-Brexit according to EY’s Brexit Tracker.

Besides the financial sector, Ireland is home to 9 of the top 10 global pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Roche and Novartis. It is also the base for many US Tech titans; IBM was the first US tech firm to set up in Ireland in 1956, with Google, Microsoft, Intel, Apple and Facebook moving in more recently. Last year, Apple celebrated 40 years of continued investment and reinvestment in Cork.

“For US companies with ambitions to be global players, Ireland is a natural fit for their international operations,” said Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland. According to IDA, 245,096 people were directly employed in the multinational sector in Ireland in 2019, representing about 10% of the Irish labour force.

Although the US remains Ireland’s largest overseas investor, investments into Ireland from China have surged in recent years. According to the Rhodium Group, FDI from China into Europe declined in 2019, but the opposite was true for Ireland. Figures from Baker McKenzie show that investment from Chinese companies rose 56% in 2019 through various M&A deals and expansions, meaning the world’s second-largest economy is becoming increasingly important to Ireland. Among these, Huawei announced a €70 million ($76.7 million) investment into research and development in Ireland in 2019, while in 2020 TikTok announced its plans to build €420 million ($500 million) data centre in Ireland.

The presence of foreign/international companies helps to create strong job markets which are crucial to immigrants. With more job opportunities in professional sectors, immigrants and any graduate children do not have to sacrifice their professional career and remuneration. With an increasing number of multinational firms, this could see the country open up.

2. Favourable market environment

The EU’s Single Market environment, together with the adoption of the Euro and support from the combined power of 27 Member States, have strengthened the Irish economy and allowed it to flourish. Ireland is now a nation with a modern economy based on free trade, foreign investment and growth.

It also has one of the most favourable tax regimes in the world, attracting hundreds of foreign companies. This is strengthened by the government’s long term commitment to its 12.5% corporate tax rate.

Dublin Ireland-October 2019

Language is vital for communication. And English is now the global language of business as well as being spoken at a useful level by some 1.75 billion people worldwide – or one in four people. Multinational companies are increasingly mandating English as the common corporate language. For two decades, English has been the ‘lingua franca’ of EU institutions in Brussels, used by EU policymakers to communicate about laws regulating subjects like energy, security and trade. After Brexit, Ireland will be the only Member State where English is spoken as its first language.

Ireland may have EU membership, a favourable tax system and a global first language, but it’s keen to offer more to boost its growth and productivity. The nation is currently updating its rules around private funds to encourage more alternative investment managers to use the country as a base for their European operations. The rules have been designed to appeal to private fund managers based in the UK who will lose the “passporting” rights that have allowed them to sell investment products across the EU pre- Brexit. Ireland is already Europe’s second-largest fund centre with more than 560 international managers using the country as a domicile from where they can sell their products across Europe and Asia, and this will only increase its appeal. Managers that establish Irish investment limited partnerships will be granted more flexibility when establishing private equity, private credit, venture capital, infrastructure, renewable energy and real estate funds under legislation which was approved in December 2020 in the Dáil, the Irish parliament. The reforms are expected to create several thousand jobs and new income streams for service providers. Currently, more than 16,000 staff are directly employed in Ireland’s fund industry including portfolio managers, administrators, trustees, auditors, compliance, legal and tax advisers.

3. Freedom of movement – UK and EU

Ireland remains a vital member of the EU and continues to benefit from the union’s economic and political stability. As EU citizens, Irish nationals can continue to live and work freely in any EU Member State and Irish citizens continue to enjoy other privileges, such as access to the European Health Insurance Card that provides them with healthcare while traveling throughout the EU. Students belonging to Irish institutions have access to the Erasmus+ programme and the right to study in the EU. Other perks for Irish nationals include waived mobile phone roaming charges when traveling within the EU.

Ireland will be the only bridgehead into both the EU and the UK following Brexit. The Common Travel Area (CTA) is a long-standing arrangement between the UK, the British Crown Dependencies (Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man) 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.

Thanks to its strategic relationships with the EU and the UK, and the freedom of movement that these provide, many international companies see Ireland as an important gateway to both the UK and Europe.

4. The popularity of Irish residency and citizenship

As Brexit sees the UK and EU go their separate ways, EU nationals residing in the UK must now apply for settlement, while UK citizens residing in the EU must follow suit and obtain resident permits. But there’s an exception – the Irish. And for this reason, Irish residency and citizenship are becoming increasingly attractive.

Flags of Ireland and United Kingdom with a EU flag

In particular, the Irish Investment Migration Programme is gaining popularity among wealthy individuals, not just because of its links to the EU and UK, but also due to its safety and simplicity. Compared to other Golden Visa programmes in Europe, the Irish Investor Immigrant Programme (IIP) outshines its peers. When investing in enterprises under the IIP’s investment options, the required holding period of 3 years is low compared to other European investment migration options (Greece, for example, requires an indefinite holding period), while the exit strategy is simple and straightforward without the need to liquidate investments; you simply get your money back. The IIP also only requires investment after approval, and unlike in other countries where the investment is required in real estate, investments in the IIP are hassle-free when it comes to exiting with no need for property management firms to rent out properties for ROI, nor the need for brokers to find buyers once the holding period is over. IIP makes the Irish immigration process simple, clean and efficient. To find out more, read about the Irish Investment Migration Programme on IMI.

Obtaining Irish residency in the most durable bridge between two of the strongest economies in the world, the EU and the UK, following Brexit, and is undoubtedly a wise move for international investors. This is something which the IIP sets the stage for in 2021. And we believe that interest in the IIP will only increase as businesses and affluent individuals recognise the personal and professional advantages of maintaining a foothold in Europe, and foresee strong demand from China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, India and the UAE, as well as interest from South Africa, Canada and the UK.

To find out more about our IIP, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Missed Brexit and beyond Part 1? Click here to read.