The Irish Immigrant Investor Programme, from the start of 2018 until May 2019, received 452 applications. However, they only approved only 54 main applicants in this timeframe.

The Irish Immigrant investor program has no shortfall in applicants; numbers have increased every year since the scheme opened in 2012 and the 422 applications received in 2018 marked a major high leading to six years of growth. One of the obstacles appears to be the slow processing within the system.

While between 2012 and 2017, program authorities dealt with the influx of applications in a well -timed manner, processing work seems to have slowed down considerably. 88% remain unprocessed, of the 452 applications received in 2018 and 2019.

Being questioned in Parliament regarding the program’s present processing times, Justice Minister Mr Flanagan attributed the difference between the number of applications received and applications processed to an ongoing review process.

Flanagan said that, during 2018, the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) introduced a number of sophisticated controls to make sure the programme operates at a high standard including personal and financial checks. He expects that decisions on a significant number of applications, will be made in the coming weeks, while leading to a temporary increase in processing times.

He also commented that processing times average between six and nine months which, he observed, compares favorably to many other international organisations who he says take 1-2 years to decide and went on to say he is unaware of any residence by investment programs that take two years to process applications. IMI is home to an incredibly comprehensive database on investment migration, that the Minister responsible for the Irish program would make these claims in Parliament could be concerning.

Applicants have noted a slowing down in the efficiency of processing applications with investors filing only 30 applications in the first quarter of 2019 – none of which have been approved so far –equal only 120 applications annually.  Put simply, Ireland is looking at a 72% year-on-year drop in program revenue this year unless authorities return to processing at an acceptable rate soon.

Astons is a leading global immigration advisory firm with offices in London, Moscow, Dubai, Cyprus and China and offers residency & citizenship investment solutions in the UK,  EU & the Caribbean.

For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation, please contact Astons at [email protected]  or call +44 207 292 2977.