To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the steps he has taken to ensure that funds under the immigrant investor programme are fully drawn down and verified before visas are granted; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
I take it that the Deputy's reference to visas refers to a permission to reside in Ireland rather than a permission to travel to Ireland. A visa would normally be placed in a person's passport by an Irish consular official outside the State to allow that person to travel to Ireland for a stated purpose. It may be necessary to issue a visa to a potential investor prior to the completion of the investment in order that the person travel to Ireland to complete the legal and other requirements of the investment and to register for permission to reside here.
However, as of 1 January 2019 my Department introduced new control measures to allow for the verification of the investment prior to the granting of a residence permission. A successful applicant is now invited to make their investment and on completion of this process and on the provision of evidence of the investment they will be granted a residence permission. An applicant is given 90 days in which to complete their investment. Failure to do so will result in the application being deemed withdrawn.
Prior to 2019 the applicant was required to provide this evidence when they were registering for their permission to reside. They had to provide a letter from their legal representative confirming the investment was made, a letter from the beneficiary stating that they had received the investment and documentary evidence based on the investment type e.g. a share certificate from the investment fund confirming the investment.
All Parlamientary Questions I make and their answers can be viewed in this section