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Government freezes 'golden visa' scheme for Russians who invest €500,000 in Ireland

The Immigrant Investor Programme is available to non-EEA nationals

Russian President Vladimir Putin (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Clodagh Meaney

The Government have frozen their "golden visa" scheme for Russian citizens who invest more than €500,000 in Ireland.

The decision was made as part of sanctions imposed on Russia amid their invasion of Ukraine.

As part of the Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) non-EEA nationals can secure visas to move to Ireland on the basis of long-term investment of money in a project that has been approved for that purpose by the Department of Justice and other Government stakeholders.

Ireland is not the only EU country to freeze such a scheme for Russian citizens, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Malta have all paused similar investment programmes.

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee confirmed that the programme was no longer available to Russia.

“Only a very small number of applications under the IIP have been made by Russian citizens since the inception of the scheme in 2012 and none have been approved in recent years.”

“I have recently instructed that no further applications from Russian citizens will be accepted into the Immigrant Investor Programme,” she added.

To secure a visa, non-EEA nationals must invest a minimum of €1 million in an Irish enterprise or approved investment fund, invest €2 million in any Irish REIT that is listed on the Irish Stock Exchange, or donate €500,000 to a project which is of public benefit to the arts, sports, health, culture or education in Ireland.

“Even if successful under the IIP, applicants would have to meet the normal criteria for naturalisation as set out in the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 as amended, in the same way as any other non-national seeking citizenship,” the Justice Minister explained.

Other sanctions introduced by the cabinet include travel bans, freezing assets, restrictions on trade, and suspension of Russian broadcasting.

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