Chinese investors top the list for permit programme
2018-09-01 14:23:42 -
World News


By Chinedu Onyejelem


China Heads the nationalities of those granted full Irish residency in return for investing millions in this country between 2012 and 2016, Metro Éireann has learned.

Figures released by the Department of Justice show that 453 people invested €209.65m in different schemes under the Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) over that five-year period – the vast majority of it in the final year.

According to Government’s interim evaluation of the IIP, Chinese nationals accounted or “around 90 per cent of all applications. These are followed by the USA at just under two per cent.

“This is largely similar to other international programmes such as Portugal where around 80 per cent of investors are Chinese and in 2016 for the US (EB5 scheme) where around 78 per cent of applications are from Chinese citizens,” the report adds.

The investments give the 453 foreign nationals, their spouse and children access to residency in Ireland, but it is not known how many of them have taken up residency.

“There is a very low minimum number (one day per annum) of days that an applicant must reside in Ireland due to the programme,” the report says. “Many approved applicants may only spend a couple of days a year in Ireland and thus the costs associated with providing public services are not applicable.”

Most of the IIP investments were made in enterprise (€138m), which carries highest risk, followed by mixed investment (€35.15m), investment funds (€17.5m), investment bonds (€14m) and endowments (€5m).

In a high-level analysis of current benefits to the economy, the report says that the enterprise scheme was of “likely economic benefit but difficult to quantify the exact amount”, while lower-risk mixed investments had “minimal or possibly negative economic benefit” to the economy. Endowment was reported as having the “largest economic benefit” as well as the most significant cost to investors.

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