Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (527, 528, 531, 532)

Seán Fleming

Question:

527. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of applications received and approvals granted in each of the past five years in respect of the immigrant investor programme under the heading enterprise investment; the amount received under this heading in each year; the average time taken to process applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19615/19]

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Seán Fleming

Question:

528. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of applications received and approvals granted in each of the past five years in respect of the immigrant investor programme under the heading investment fund; the amount received under this heading in each year; the average time taken to process applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19628/19]

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Seán Fleming

Question:

531. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of applications received and granted in each of the past five years in respect of the immigrant investor programme under the heading endowment; the amount received under this heading in each year; the average time taken to process applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19649/19]

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Seán Fleming

Question:

532. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of applications received and approvals granted in each of the past five years in respect of the Immigrant Investor Programme under the heading real estate investment trusts; the amount received under this heading in each year; the average time taken to process applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19653/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 527, 528, 531 and 532 together.

The Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) was introduced in April 2012 to encourage inward investment and create business and employment opportunities in the State. The programme provides investors with the opportunity to invest in Ireland. Key to the programme is that the investments are beneficial for Ireland, generate or sustain employment and are generally in the public interest.

The table below provides details of the applications received and the numbers of approvals for each of the four options currently covered by the scheme over the past 5 years.

Enterprise Investment

Endowment

Investment Fund

REIT

2019

Applications

20

10

0

0

Approvals

0

0

0

0

2018

Applications

315

75

31

1

Approvals

27

12

15

0

Value of Approvals €

26,000,000

4,800,000

15,000,000

0

2017

Applications

228

46

50

1

Approvals

197

42

49

0

Value of Approvals €

197,000,000

18,700,000

49,000,000

0

2016

Applications

253

5

32

1

Approvals

197

5

31

1

Value of Approvals €

101,500,000

2,400,000

15,500,000

500,000

2015

Applications

55

1

3

0

Approvals

55

1

2

0

Value of Approvals €

27,500,000

500,000

150,000

0

With regard to processing times, these are generally within 6-9 months from date of application. This compares very favourably to international peers, some of whom decide on applications between 12-24 months.

During 2018, the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) introduced a number of enhanced control mechanisms to ensure the programme operates to the highest standards including personal and financial checks. While this has led to a temporary increase in processing times in this calendar year, I expect that decisions on a significant number of 2018 applications will be made in the coming weeks.

An independent external review of the IIP is under way and it is expected that the review will be concluded in the second half of 2019.