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Changes to the Ireland Golden Visa programme impacting Chinese Investors

As of Wednesday, 15 February 2023, the Irish government will not accept any further applications to the popular Ireland Golden Visa programme for wealthy Chinese investors. Notably, this decision was made in response to an overall review of the programme’s benefits to the country.

The Ireland Golden Visa Programme

The Golden Visa programme in Ireland allowed foreign investors to obtain residency by investing at least €1 million in Irish businesses or property. In effect, the programme was highly popular with Chinese investors, who accounted for over 80% of all applications. However, the Irish government has decided to end the programme, stating that it was not in the country’s best interest.

Impact on wealthy Chinese investors

The closure of the Ireland Golden Visa programme has left many wealthy Chinese investors scrambling to find alternative routes to obtain residency in Europe. Essentially, with other popular European countries such as Portugal and Greece also making changes to their Golden Visa programmes, the options for wealthy Chinese investors are becoming limited.

Alternatively, Malta stands out for enhancing its offering through the Malta Permanent Residence Programme. Specifically, this programme offers a no-investment option, only requiring an initial minimum commitment of €100,000, and offers permanent residency from the start, eliminating the need to renew the permit every few years.

The benefits of Golden Visa programmes

Golden Visa programmes offer several benefits to foreign investors, such as access to the European Union and the ability to travel freely within the Schengen area. Additionally, they provide an attractive alternative to traditional immigration routes, which can be lengthy and bureaucratic.


In conclusion, the closure of the Ireland Golden Visa programme has sent shockwaves through the world of wealthy Chinese investors. Primarily, as the options for obtaining residency in Europe become limited, it highlights the need to quickly lock in a residency option from one of the reputable countries and to take caution on the ever-changing requirements when investing in these programmes.