€142m invested in immigrant scheme
The Government's Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) has resulted in an investment of €142m after applications for the programme soared last year to record levels.
That is according to figures provided by Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald who confirmed that applications approved last year totalled 273 - more than a fourfold increase on the 65 applications made in 2015.
When the programme was introduced in 2012, the original level of investment required from applicants was €1m but this was reduced to €500,000 to stimulate interest in the programme.
Minister Fitzgerald said that since 2012, the IIP has received 450 applications, with 40pc of those received between July and November of last year.
"This upsurge in applications was considered by the independent evaluation committee who recommended the restoration of the minimum investment threshold to its original level," she said.
In a written Dáil response to Deputy Hildegarde Naughton, the Minister added: "This change has had no adverse effect to date on the value of applications received in respect of the 2017 application process.
"An economic evaluation of the programme has commenced."
The IIP was launched in April 2012 and is open to non-EU nationals who commit to an approved investment in Ireland.
The programme is premised on the key requirement that applications are beneficial for Ireland and good for job creation.