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Dozens of investors get Irish residency for pumping money into the economy

As many as 400 jobs have been created as a result of the Immigrant Investor Programme.

A TOTAL OF 79 investors have been granted residency in Ireland in return for creating employment or pumping money into the economy.

Dozens have taken up on the Government’s two schemes in this area.

As many as 400 jobs have been created as a result.

The Immigrant Investor and Start-Up Entrepreneur Programmes, launched in 2011, seek to attract high-value foreign investors into Ireland.

However, opposition parties have warned that the scheme should not become ‘a free passport in return for cash’.

Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín, who questioned the Minister for Justice on the schemes recently, said that anyone looking to make an investment in Ireland should be given the necessary visa to do so, but residency shouldn’t be automatically guaranteed.

Tóibín added that it’s important for any investment to be focussed on jobs.

“It’s really important that jobs supposedly created by the schemes are measured properly about 18 months down the line,” he told, “If you can’t measure, you can’t manage.”

The Deputy warned against reducing the minimum investment amounts.

Under the Immigrant Investor Programme, applications from outside Europe can gain residency here under a range of different investments, ranging from an immigrant bond worth €1 million, to an endowment of €500,000.

So far, 49 applicants have been accepted, two were refused, and six are currently under consideration.

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice said: “Projected investment under the Immigrant Investor Programme is approximately €41 million.”

Under the Start-Up Entrepreneur Programme, 18 applicants were turned away for not meeting the criteria. A total of 30 have been successful.

Migrants can pitch a business idea in the innovation economy to the State (once they have funding of €70,000), and can be given residency in this State for the purposes of developing their business.

Funding of €300,000 was previously required.

The Department’s spokesperson added:

“It is not possible to provide details of particular types of projects or schemes as this may lead to applicants or companies being identified.”

Applications have been approved with respect to a number of different sectors including investment in Irish enterprises, endowments and under the Start Up Entrepreneur Programme in High Potential Start Ups notably although not exclusively in the area of information technology.

Read: Ireland really is the best small country in the world to do business* >

More: Is attracting more foreign companies to Ireland really a recipe for growth? >

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