European Immigration


There are by now 28 member states in the European Union.
The “Startup Visa” is a temporary residence permit provided by numerous European countries to invite entrepreneurs who are interested to invest their funds in a Start up entrepreneurship and receive permanent residency stay afterwards. The following developed European countries apply the “Startup visa route” and if you follow the route successfully you could end up with European Citizenship.

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Republic of Ireland  (Eire)

Capital - The capital and largest city is Dublin, which is located on the eastern side of the island.

Global Wealth - Ireland ranks among the top ten wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita, and as the tenth most prosperous country in the world according

to The Legatum Prosperity Index 2015.

Immigration policy - Ireland has been a member state of the European Union since 1973 but is not part of the Schengen Area. Citizens of the United Kingdom can freely enter

the country without a passport due to the Common Travel Area, which is a passport-free zone comprising the islands of Ireland, Great Britain, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands

Economy - Ireland's economy was transformed with the creation of a 10% low-tax "special economic zone", called the International Financial Services Centre (or "IFSC"). 

Irish Work Visa Options  

Start-Up Entrepreneur Programme (STEP)The Start-up Entrepreneur Programme was introduced by the Irish Government in 2012 to allow for innovative entrepreneurs to apply for permission to establish their business and reside in Ireland on a full-time basis. 

The STEP allows non-EEA nationals with a proposal for a high potential start-up in the innovation economy and funding of €50,000 to be given residency in this State for the purposes of developing their business.

A High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) is defined by the Minister for Justice as a start-up venture that is:

  • Introducing a new or innovative product or service to international markets.

  • Capable of creating 10 jobs in Ireland and realising €1 million in sales within three to four years of starting up.
  • Led by an experienced management team.
  • Headquartered and controlled in Ireland.
  • Less than six years old.


No initial job creation targets requirements are included in the programme.
A non-EEA national may apply for residency status as an individual, or he/she may also apply for residency status for themselves and their spouse/ partner and children under the age of 18.  Where family members are granted residency under the Start-up Entrepreneur Programme, as long as the applicant fulfils the criteria for residence status under the Programme, that status will automatically be maintained on their spouse/partner and minor children living in Ireland.
Successful applicants and their family members will initially be granted residence in Ireland for two years,  which will be renewable for a further three years. After 5 years of residence, participants under the programme will be eligible for long term residence in the State.
Successful applicants will be granted a multiple entry visa for Ireland for the same duration as their residence permission in order that he or she can reside in Ireland and travel freely to Ireland for the duration of the permission.
You can find detailed information on Enterprise Ireland's activities in support of high potential start-ups at www.enterprise-ireland.com/en/Start-a-Business-in-Ireland/Startups-from-OutsideIreland/

Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP)

The Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) is open to non-EEA nationals who commit to an approved investment in Ireland. 
The Immigrant Investor Programme requires a minimum investment of €1m, from the applicants, own resources and not financed through a loan or other such facility, which must be committed for a minimum of three years.
Investors should note that the Irish Government has no responsibility for the performance of an investment. Investments are a private matter between the parties concerned and it is the responsibility of the investor, as in any business decision, to assess the potential success of their venture. You are required to transfer the appropriate funds to your preferred investment option only after your application has been approved by the Minister for Justice and Equality.
Residence Permission will be granted initially for a two-year period, and following a review by the Minister for Justice, will be extended for a further three-year period.
Approval of an application under the Immigrant Investor programme is not an endorsement of a particular project. What it means is that the investor has been approved and the investment is of a nature that meets the objectives of the Immigrant Investor Programme. 

Submission of Applications

The Immigrant Investor Programme will open for applications in 2020 as follows:

  • 17 February 2020 - 21 February 2020
  • 20 April 2020 - 24 April 2020
  • 22 June 2020 - 26 June 2020
  • 31 August 2020 – 4 September 2020
  • 26 October 2020 – 30 October 2020

Applications will be accepted during these periods only.

Naturalisation- Irish Citizenship

The laws governing citizenship in Ireland are set out in the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Acts 1956 to 2004 as amended.

These laws direct that a person can acquire Irish citizenship on one of the following ways:

  • Citizenship by Birth: for persons born on the island of Ireland before 2005 or for those born after 2005 provided that certain criteria are fulfilled;

  • Citizenship by Naturalisation: by fulfilling the statutory requirements of Section 15, 15A, or 16 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956  (as amended), including a specified length of residence in the State. Such applications are at the discretion of the Minister for Justice and Equality;
  • Citizenship by Descent: Citizenship can be acquired through descent for applicants born abroad, through a  parent, grandparent, or great grandparent born in Ireland or through Foreign Birth Registration.


Citizenship By Birth

The law governing entitlement to citizenship by birth in Ireland is set out in the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended. Of particular relevance is Section 4 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 2004, which inserts into Section 6A of the 1956 Act a new section, entitled “Citizenship of children of certain non-nationals”. The provisions of this section set out the entitlement of persons born to non-nationals in the State to be eligible for Irish citizenship from birth. Those children who meet the specified criteria are entitled to an Irish passport from birth.

The law is summarized as follows on the INIS website:

A person born on the island of Ireland after 1 January 2005 to parents, at least one of whom was an Irish or British citizen or entitled to reside in the State or Northern Ireland without any restrictions on his or her residence, has an entitlement of Irish citizenship. Otherwise, a person born on the island of Ireland after 1 January 2005 is entitled to Irish citizenship only if, during the four-year period immediately preceding the person’s birth, one of the parents has been resident* on the island of Ireland for a period of not less than three years and neither parent was entitled to diplomatic immunity in the State.”

Naturalisation - Irish Passport through Irish citizenship

Naturalisation is the process whereby a non-Irish national can apply to become an Irish citizen.
An application for a certificate of naturalisation will be considered under the provisions of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956 (as amended).
The Act provides that the Minister for Justice and Equality may, in her absolute discretion, grant an application for a certificate of naturalisation provided certain statutory conditions are fulfilled.

Applicants should be aware that the granting of Irish Citizenship through naturalisation is deemed to be a privilege and not an entitlement.

The requirements for Naturalisation are as follows:

  • You must be of full age (i.e. eighteen years or older);

  • You must be of good character;
  • You must have had a period of one (1) year’s continuous reckonable residence in the State immediately before the date of the application and,
  • during the eight (8) years preceding that, have had a total reckonable residence in the State amounting to four (4) years. (Total amounting to five (5) years reckonable residence);
  • You must intend in good faith to continue to reside in the State after naturalisation;


Citizenship by Descent

Citizenship through descent is the process by which a person can acquire Irish citizenship through his/her parents/grandparents/great grandparents. 

DRSI Law will assist the client to gain all his certificates from the relevant General Registry Offices.  

The entitlement to acquire citizenship by descent is summarised on the INIS website as follows;

“If either of your parents was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth, you are an Irish citizen, irrespective of your place of birth (unless one of the special conditions relating to birth outside Ireland applies; these are described below). If the parent through whom you derive Irish citizenship was not alive at the time of your birth but would have been an Irish citizen if alive at that time, you are also an Irish citizen. You derive citizenship through an Irish parent whether or not your parents were married to each other at the time of your birth.

If you were born outside Ireland to an Irish citizen who was himself or herself born in Ireland, then you are an Irish citizen.

If you were born outside Ireland to an Irish citizen who was himself or herself born outside Ireland, and any of your grandparents were born in Ireland, then you are entitled to become an Irish citizen and can do so by having your birth registered in the Foreign Births Register maintained by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs. 

An applicant for citizenship through descent becomes an Irish citizen from the date of their registration on the Foreign Births Register and can apply for an Irish passport once they receive their certificate of Foreign Births Registration.

DRSI Law shall collect and file the Citizenship by descent cases and advise upon the eligibility of the family members, and assist in respect of the foreign birth registration applications.