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Through Ireland’s Golden Visa Scheme, 1,511 of China’s super-rich have become ‘Irish.’

Dublin: Through Ireland’s golden visa scheme, 1511 Chinese millionaires have obtained residency in ten years. The vast majority of them obtained visas within the last five years. In 2012, the Department of Justice established the Emigrant Investor Program (IIP) to attract wealthy individuals from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) to Ireland.

Over a ten-year period, the government approved a total of 1,613 applications under this scheme. 1,511 (94%) of these applicants were wealthy Chinese. There were 31 Americans and 12 Vietnamese among the other applicants. Following the war in Ukraine, Russian applicants were excluded from applying. Through this scheme, the government collected 1.2 billion euros.

Despite the fact that 11 other countries have similar programmes, Ireland’s IIP is gaining traction. This year, over 800 applications have been received, and over €132 million has been invested. This represents 27% of all applications received in the last decade. Since 2016, the investment amount for obtaining a visa has been doubled. And yet, this is the situation. It is expected that we will receive twice as many applications this year as the previous year.

This is Ireland’s IIP.

The main requirement for the IIP is that the applicant have a personal wealth of more than two million dollars. Applicants must invest at least one million euros in Ireland over a three-year period. Alternatively, contribute 500,000 euros (400,000 in the case of group investment) to a project that benefits the general public in the country. Family members of IIP visa holders are also permitted to stay in Ireland. You only need to visit Ireland for one day a year to apply for residency.

The visa is initially granted for two years and then renewed for three years. Following that, a five-year residency can be obtained. After the first two years, the residency can be extended for another three years at no additional cost. You can also apply for naturalisation to become an Irish citizen if you have lived in Ireland for four of the five years.

Criticism of back roads to get EU citizenship

Meanwhile, the Golden Visa and Golden Passport schemes have been chastised in the European Parliament for providing backdoor routes to EU citizenship. Concerns about corruption, money laundering, and tax evasion have prompted calls for the EU to harmonise Golden Visa rules. Concerns about the manipulation of EU residency rules. The European Parliament (EP) called for stricter rules on the schemes earlier this year.

According to the European Parliament resolution, such schemes pose greater risks than passport schemes. Therefore, the verification in this area should be tightened up. It should also be taken into account when granting residency to any applicant. The EP stated that residency applications should not be considered solely on the basis of verifications performed by non-state agencies and other intermediaries.

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