In a written answer to Parliamentary questions, published last week, Ireland’s Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee, divulged full-year 2021 data on the country’s Immigrant Investor Program, which showed – among other data – that the program had raised more than one billion euros by the end of last year.
Ireland’s IIP received 258 applications from main applicants in 2021, a year during which it approved 265 applications. That brings the aggregate number of applications received since the program opened in 2012 to 2,249 and the total approval figure to 1,431 (hinting at either exceptionally high rejection rates or – more likely – an intractable backlog).
Accounting for nine out of ten approvals, Chinese applicants remain the dominant investor group, contributing two orders of magnitude more program participants than the second-biggest applicant group; Americans.
More than half of all approved applicants in the program's decade-long history have qualified through the EUR 1m Enterprise investment category, about a quarter through Endowments (charitable donations typically amounting to half a million euros), 15% through investment funds, and 4% through the Bond and Mixed Investment option. Only six approved applicants have ever qualified via the REIT category.
In terms of capital (investments or donations) raised through the program over the last decade, fully 61% has come through the Enterprise option, about a fifth from Investment Funds, and 14% from Endowments.
Combined program investment amounted to EUR 186.1 million in 2021, virtually unchanged from last year's EUR 188 million.
The 2021 aggregate investment amount sufficed, as we predicted it would 11 months ago, to push Ireland's IIP past the EUR 1 billion total investment milestone.
Ireland thus becomes the 6th European golden visa to raise more than a billion euros through its program.
It took Ireland a great deal longer than its peers to breach that landmark figure; a full nine years of operation, compared to four years for the golden visas of Latvia, the UK, and Greece, three years for Spain's golden visa, and just two years for Portugal's.
If you like data-driven articles like this one, you'll love the IMI Data Center, the world's largest collection of investment migration statistics, with more than 350 graphs and charts on dozens of IM programs and markets.
Christian Henrik Nesheim is the founder and editor of Investment Migration Insider, the #1 magazine - online or offline - for residency and citizenship by investment. He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, documentary producer, and writer on the subject of investment migration, whose work is cited in the Economist, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, and Business Insider. Norwegian by birth, Christian has spent the last 16 years in the United States, China, Spain, and Portugal.