In recent years, Ireland has emerged as a top immigration choice for high-net-worth (HNW) families and individuals, says Jeffrey Ling, regional director at Bartra Wealth Advisors.
“Ireland is not only a beautiful green island with a moderate climate, clean fresh air and abundant natural resources, it is also one of the most open economies in the world with a large and vibrant international business sector. It is a member of the European Union and the only country in the EU whose first language is English,” Ling says of its perks.
—Jeffrey Ling, Bartra Wealth Advisors
The country, which ranked joint second place with Switzerland, in the United Nations Human Development Index for 2020, is actively encouraging investment immigration through its IIP programme, which Ling describes as “simple and extremely quick, with processing times averaging between four and six months.’
It also offers multiple options for potential investors including, enter-prise investment of 1 million euro ($1.21 million) in an Irish enterprise, investment fund option in the value of 1 million euro, Real Estate Investment Trust investment of 2 million euro, or a 500,000-euro philanthropic donation to a project which is of public benefit to the arts, sport, health, culture or education in Ireland.
“As well as offering investors more flexibility in their investment options, the IIP allows applicants to add their spouse and dependent children below the age of 24 to their application. And unlike many residency-by-investment programmes, the IIP does not require long periods of residency for the applicant to maintain their residency but instead requires them to stay only one day within Ireland per year,” Ling says.
For clients with families to consider, the IIP programme offers access to the country’s top educational facilities, and “top-tier” businesses in the job market in Ireland.
“Branded Europe’s Silicon Valley, Ireland is among one of the few countries in Europe that has a rapidly-growing employment rate in recent years,” says Ling, noting this increase was a result of “the attractive corporate tax rate of 12.5 percent, which pulled many of the world’s largest financial institutions, technology companies, and pharmaceutical firms to set up their European headquarters there.”
According to Ireland’s National Skills Bulletin 2019, the country requires talent in the fields of technology and IT, science and engineering, finance, healthcare, and construction.
“The means that people who have been working in these indus-tries would have the opportunity to continue pursuing their careers there,” says Ling. “Many students consider that when choosing their place of education, and Ireland is rapidly leading the list in regards to opportunities post-gradua-tion. The country has attracted titans of various industries to its shores, such as Amazon, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Apple, the creator of the first COVID vaccine Pfizer, and many more.”
Despite Brexit, the UK and Ireland have a joint agreement under the Common Travel Area (CTA), which provides associated rights between the two countries, “such as the right to work, study, vote in certain elections, access social welfare benefits and health services, and travel freely between the two jurisdictions endures,” Ling says, noting for investors, the IIP provides their children with “the luxury of choice; they may pursue their studies in the UK or Ireland without the hassle of dealing with student visas.”
Other attractions for the IIP programme include those that are looking for a low-tax environment.
“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,” Ling notes. “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,” he adds.
For those interested in pursuing the option, applications are typically approved within four to six months.
“The IIP has no limit on applica-tion quotas,” says Ling, who adds that approvals are based on meeting the fundamental requirements and fulfilling background checks.
“Applicants will only make their investments once their application is approved, further eliminating finan-cial risks for them. Once the applicants received their Stamp 4 Visa which is equivalent to PR status, we provide one-stop-shop services on the ground with our local partners, such as airport pick-up service, city guide, site inspection trip, butler service, education consultant, legal consultant, tax consultant, prop-erty consultant and insurance service, to cover the needs of our clients from all aspects,” he adds.
While the immigration process can at times be stressful, and full of ambi-guities, Ling says the IIP cuts through many of the typical issues.
“At present, investment immigra-tion programmes of other English-speaking countries either have prob-lems with long application windows, processing times and limited quotas, or problems with visa rejection rates. This might impact on children’s educa-tion and people’s plans of career devel-opment or retirement in the destination country,” he explains.
“Another advantage of the IIP is that requirements are comparatively lower. For instance, no language requirements, interviews, or medical examinations are needed when applying. Successful appli-cants would only need to stay in Ireland for one day each year to retain their permanent residence status, providing the added flexibility that Asia ‘astro-nauts’ may need to take care of their families and businesses,” Ling adds.
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