Ireland has emerged as a preferred migration destination among Hong Kong’s high net worth families and professionals. This is evidenced by the more than 300% increase of applications from HK between 2019 and 2020 according to official statistics from the country. With an exceptional standard of living, world class education and the flexibility offered by the country’s Immigrant Investor Programme (“IIP”), The Irish Diaspora Loan Fund (“IDLF”) saw demand increase significantly during the corresponding period. IDLF, one of the approved products under the programme, saw the number of approved applicants increase by over 300% during 2020.
The IIP was established in 2012 to allow individuals and families from outside the European Union to obtain residency in Ireland in exchange for making an approved investment in the Irish economy. Eligible applicants must have a legally accumulated minimum net worth of EURO2 million and make a EURO1 million investment in a product approved under the programme. In 2020, the IIP received over 400 applications from around the world with a growing percentage coming from Hong Kong.
Deepening the endorsement for choosing Ireland is the Human Development Report 2020 released recently by the United Nations that shows Ireland is second only to Norway for overall standard of living according to its annual ranking of 189 countries measured.
Kim McNair, IDLF’s Regional Manager for Asia stationed in Hong Kong, said: “Ireland’s world class education system is particularly attractive to families in Hong Kong. Eligible applicants are not required to immediately relocate their entire families once approved, allowing them greater flexibility to plan long term for what is one of the biggest decisions in their lives – relocating to a new country. The majority of IDLF’s eligible applicants from Hong Kong are professionals in the financial, medical and legal sectors, meaning they are established in their careers and may not be in any rush to relocate. Under the IIP, once approved for permanent residency, an applicant needs to reside only one day in Ireland each calendar year. This gives successful applicants peace of mind to stay in Hong Kong for as long as they choose, avoiding disrupting their professional lives.”
Mr. McNair highlighted: “Ireland remains the only English-speaking country in the European Union, delivering high quality English secondary and tertiary education in a system similar to and connecting seamlessly with its English counterpart. That means in addition to the numerous world-leading secondary and tertiary education institutions within the Irish system, students and graduates from Ireland enjoy high compatibility with schools and universities in the UK, the US as well as Europe and other English-speaking countries.”
A very common option for approved applicants is that the primary applicants stay in their country of origin, continuing their career and business endeavors while sending their children to Ireland to receive a high quality English language education that can easily lead to an international career. Pathways like this allow the approved applicants flexibility and plenty of time to plan better for further education for their children; accommodation arrangements best suited to their needs; and career or business opportunities for when they settle down, making for a smoother transition with the benefit of longer term planning.
Ireland is undeniably one of the most developed and livable countries in the world. In the UN’s 2020 Human Development Index Ireland ranked second only to Norway when economic, education and health factors are all considered.
The measure puts Ireland ahead of countries including Germany (6), Sweden (7), Australia (8), and the UK (13), and is a significant improvement compared with the country’s first assessment when the index was first drawn up in 1990. Overall Ireland’s Human Development score has increased 23.5% since 1990, a much faster rate of improvement than comparable countries, according to the measure.
As an IIP approved product, IDLF successfully processed several dozen applications, with INIS issuing them approvals for permanent residency under Stamp 4 in 2020. According to Mr. McNair, applications have continued to come in and be processed over the course of 2020, despite the United Kingdom relaxing its migration requirements for holders of British National (Overseas) passports, attributable to Ireland’s unique advantages for investors, along with the security and support IDLF offers their clients. IDLF’s investors understand that the pathway to Irish citizenship is particularly attractive as Irish passport holders have the unique advantage of working and residency rights in all EU countries and the UK.
In addition to the planning flexibility and security of investing in the IIP through IDLF, Ireland’s dynamic economy creates a welcoming environment for new talents from the finance, medical and technology professions. This should be reassuring to those hoping to develop successful careers upon arriving in the country.
IDLF’s status as an IIP approved and Central Bank of Ireland regulated product gives investors an unmatched level of confidence when considering transparency, security and the safe return of their investments. IDLF’s low risk approach to the fund’s commercial activities gives investors peace of mind their permanent residency will be secured while their hard earned capital is in safe hands.
IDLF’s investors see the product as the safest option in the marketplace with approvals granted before actually making the investment, implying a 100% approval rate. IDLF is the only IIP product regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and its loan assets enjoy first legal charge against the underlying property assets, which is significantly safer than equity investments in development projects as in those forming the core of other products.
IDLF Sub fund 1 is set to close in June 2021, when it reaches its cap of EURO70 Million. The fund is currently working with a portfolio of hotels and nursing homes with a pipeline of social housing projects under consideration for the coming months. These sectors are those approved by the Irish Department of Justice for the IIP due to their alignment with government policy and potential for regional economic development. IDLF has recently established a physical presence in Hong Kong led by Mr. McNair to provide more attentive services to interested potential applicants and applications in process, along with support for those who have completed their investments with IDLF and need guidance preparing for a transition to life in Ireland.
About Irish Diaspora Loan Fund
Irish Diaspora Loan Fund (“IDLF”) is a low-risk investment fund authorised and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. It offers the opportunity for foreign investors to invest in Ireland in return for long term residency status.
IDLF is an asset-backed mutualised debt fund which offers the highest level of security for investors seeking to access the Irish Immigrant Investor Visa Programme. The fund ensures maximum protection of investor funds, by following a conservative, low-risk loan investment policy. It issues innovative finance to a portfolio of Irish businesses which will each increase employment levels development throughout the lifetime of the investments.
Its board of directors includes seasoned, successful business and finance leaders and a former Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland. Website: www.idlf.ie