The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) has sought assurances from the Irish government regarding the fate of its applications under the now-defunct Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP). The FAI expressed its concerns in a letter addressed to the Department of Justice, expressing unease about the status of existing applications to the Immigrant Investor Program.
The IIP, akin to the Golden Visa programs seen in various countries, allowed affluent foreigners to gain residency by meeting specific criteria and making financial contributions to Ireland. However, the program was abolished in February this year following a review by the Minister of Justice, Simon Harris. The Minister's decision was prompted by reports of the program's alleged involvement in unlawful activities such as money laundering and corruption. Minister Harris stated, "Taking all of this into account and informed by both internal and external reviews, I have recommended that it is now time to close this program to new applications."
In its letter to the Department of Justice, the FAI emphasized the positive impact of the program in supporting the sports sector in Ireland. It contended that the program attracted investors who were willing to contribute to sports and training facilities in the country. The FAI noted that several procedural issues had arisen concerning final applications, and it hoped that these existing submissions would receive the same due process and consideration that had been extended before the scheme's closure.
A spokesperson from the Department of Justice stated that applications submitted under the program at the time of its closure remain under consideration. This comes as the program saw nearly 500 applications at the time of its discontinuation, with projects approved under the scheme before February remaining unaffected.
The FAI recently outlined its strategies for the next 15 years, emphasizing the need for €863 million to upgrade infrastructure and facilities across the country. The request for government assurance regarding pending applications is a reflection of the broader implications of the IIP's closure on various sectors in Ireland.
By fLEXI tEAM