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Dáil Éireann debate -
Tuesday, 21 Apr 1998

Vol. 489 No. 6

Written Answers. - Passports for Investments Scheme.

John Gormley


612 Mr. Gormley asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he will provide a complete list of those granted Irish passports under the passports for investments scheme since the scheme's inception; the names of the Ministers who granted those passports; the investments, if any, made as a result or condition of getting the passports; and whether those granted passports were investigated for criminal links. [9125/98]

The responsibility for the issue of passports is a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Foreign Affairs. I assume the Deputy is referring to the number of persons who obtained naturalisation linked to investment in the State.

Notice of issue of all certificates of naturalisation is published in Iris Oifigiúil in the prescribed manner and this has been done in respect of the 143 persons naturalised under the investment-based scheme. However, it has not been the practice to identify persons naturalised under the provisions of the scheme separately from other persons naturalised, nor has it been the practice to identify the companies involved. Investments totalling in excess of £90 million have been made under the scheme.

Since the first persons were naturalised under the investment-linked scheme in 1989, all Ministers have granted certificates of naturalisation to persons under the scheme.

It had been practice since the first applications were received under the scheme in 1988 to accept police certificates of character and-or bank references (in addition to the statutory requirement to furnish the names of three Irish citizens who would give references) as evidence of character. Information concerning references furnished by individuals who applied in the period 1988 to 1994 are set out in my reply to Parliamentary Question No. 348 of 24 March.
All persons who applied since 1995 have been obliged to furnish police certificates of character from their country of origin and, if required, from the police in any country where the applicant had resided or carried out business or maintained substantial investments.
Further inquiries related to the character of the applicant were carried out in relation to several applications, where these were deemed necessary.