No more Russians and Chinese: Ireland ends ‘golden visa’ program

No more Russians and Chinese: Ireland ends 'golden visa' program
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Written by Harry Johnson

‘Golden Visa’ scheme granted Irish residence to non-EU nationals in return for investment in Ireland’s economy

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The government of the Republic of Ireland announced that it is ending the Immigrant Investor Program (IIP), also known as the ‘Golden Visa’ scheme, that granted Irish residence to non-EU nationals, in return for investment in Ireland’s economy.

So-called ‘golden visas‘ are used by countries worldwide to attract foreign investment. However, some see the practice as posing risks in terms of security, money laundering and tax evasion. Dublin’s decision to end its program comes a year after the UK canceled its own similar scheme, citing national security concerns and the program’s increasing popularity among Russian nationals.

According to the official statement from Ireland’s Department of Justice, IIP applications will no longer be accepted by the Republic of Ireland starting today.

“It is important that we keep all programs under review including any implications for wider public policy, such as the continuing appropriateness and suitability of this program for cultural, social and economic use,” Ireland’s Justice Minister Simon Harris said, announcing the end of the program.

Established in 2012, the Immigrant Investment Program offered residence to investors from the countries outside of the European Union (EU), with a personal wealth of at least €2 million ($2.1 million) if they invested a minimum of €1 million in Ireland for at least three years.

According to the Irish government’s data, IIP has approved about €1.25 billion in non-EU investment since its inception 11 years ago.

Ireland’s IIP was dominated by wealthy applicants from Russia and China. Lately, because of Russia’s international isolation due to its aggression in Ukraine, Chinese accounted for some 1,458 of the 1,547 applications approved through June last year. According to Irish media reports, this fact led to justice department officials recommending that new applications be halted.

According to Minister Harris, IIP applications that were submitted prior to February 15 will however continue to be considered.

There are roughly 1,500 applicants currently awaiting a decision. Projects that have already been approved under the program will also be unaffected.

WHAT TO TAKE AWAY FROM THIS ARTICLE:

  • “It is important that we keep all programs under review including any implications for wider public policy, such as the continuing appropriateness and suitability of this program for cultural, social and economic use,” Ireland’s Justice Minister Simon Harris said, announcing the end of the program.
  • Established in 2012, the Immigrant Investment Program offered residence to investors from the countries outside of the European Union (EU), with a personal wealth of at least €2 million ($2.
  • The government of the Republic of Ireland announced that it is ending the Immigrant Investor Program (IIP), also known as the ‘Golden Visa’.

About the author

Avatar of Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson has been the assignment editor for eTurboNews for mroe than 20 years. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is originally from Europe. He enjoys writing and covering the news.

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