Ireland continued issuing high numbers of first residence permits to non-EU citizens in 2022, according to new data from Eurostat, even amid ongoing COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
Ireland granted 85,793 first residence permits last year, a 146% increase compared to 2021. This growth rate was the 3rd highest in the EU, behind only Czechia and Malta, demonstrating Ireland’s sustained appeal as an immigration destination.
Chinese citizens made up one of the largest groups receiving Irish residence permits. A key factor is the popularity of Ireland’s Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP), which offers a pathway to residency. Although the IIP closed to new applicants in early 2023, valid applicants submitted before the deadline can still proceed for approval. Ireland’s Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee, has also confirmed they continue processing IIP cases.
In 2022, the IIP remained a top route for high-net-worth families securing EU residence, with 1,316 applications received. By the end of May 2023, the Ireland government received 1,492 applications for the IIP, reflecting its enduring popularity.
The IIP provides multiple advantages for investors and families seeking long-term Irish and EU status. A key benefit is the IIP’s flexible residency terms. After obtaining Stamp 4 status, investors only need to physically spend one day per year in Ireland to maintain residency rights. The IIP also offers a clear route to citizenship after meeting five years of residency requirements, detailed here.
Despite pandemic challenges, Ireland has maintained its open approach to non-EU migrants, especially high-net-worth individuals or families, using schemes like the IIP to establish long-term Irish and EU residences.