Newstalk disclosed that the Irish government granted residency to over a thousand millionaires worldwide, and most applicants are Chinese citizens. Wealthy foreigners must meet certain investment conditions for permanent habitation and citizenship.

According to the report, 1,400 global millionaires have invested in Ireland for immigration, of which 94 percent of the success are Chinese citizens.

In contrast, only about 1 percent of investors are from the U.S., with nine from Vietnam, five from Saudi Arabia, and four from South Africa. There are also three tycoons from Russia, but after the start of the Russian-Ukrainian war, the Ministry of Justice no longer accepts applications from Russian citizens.

The investment immigration program requires applicants to have good character, no criminal record, a net worth of at least 2 million EUROS, and invest in one of the four eligible investment options.

According to Ireland’s Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP), between 2018 and 2021, 93 percent of people who were granted Irish citizenship were Chinese.

Similar to Ireland, many European nations grant residency or citizenship to entice investment. However, in recent years, there have been increasing calls for stringent background checks, particularly regarding inquiries into the applicants’ families and the funding source.

Al Jazeera revealed in 2020 that China was the second-largest buyer of Cyprus’s “golden visa” program, acquiring more than 500 EU passports. 

Well-known tycoons such as property developer billionaire Yang Huiyan , state-owned enterprise China Resources Power President Tang Yong , and several provincial members and representatives of the National People’s Congress are among them. 

Legislators or affiliated parties have criticized member states for insufficient background checks on applicants. They fear passport-by-investment schemes could be a backdoor for criminal gangs or government officials to launder money or evade taxes.

Sign up to receive our latest news!

By submitting this form, I agree to the terms.