THE Government is offering wealthy migrants from outside the EU the chance to invest in Ireland and Irish businesses in return for securing visas to stay here.
Yesterday the Government approved plans for two initiatives aimed at bringing investment in from the migrant community.
The two schemes, which Justice Minister Alan Shatter hopes to launch in March, will help migrant entrepreneurs and investors from outside the EU who will create or save jobs here in exchange for permission to live in the State.
The 'Immigrant Investor Programme' will see participants and their immediate family allowed to enter the country on multi-entry visas and to remain here for up to five years.
In return the Government wants them to invest in a specially created low-interest government bond, or make capital investment in an Irish business or property. Endowments in culture, sporting education or health will also be considered.
"The level and duration of financial commitment required from the investor will depend on the nature of the investment but will generally range from €400,000 for endowment-related investments to €2m in a new government bond to be devised by NTMA in conjunction with the immigration authorities," Mr Shatter said.
The 'Start-up Entrepreneur Programme' meanwhile will see migrants with a "good business idea" and funding of at least €70,000 given residency in this State for the purposes of developing their business.
No initial job creation targets will be set but projects will be evaluated by the State before deciding to accept the proposal.
Mr Shatter said: "Immigration systems are often associated with border control but that is only one part of the picture.
"Immigration systems can assist in job creation and we need to think of migrants not just as workers but as people who can create employment for others," he added.