285. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when the remaining formal decision letters regarding applications to the immigrant investment programme will issue to applicants who applied in 2018; and if all outstanding investor applications from 2018 have been reviewed by the INIS evaluation team. [21360/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) was introduced in April 2012 to encourage inward investment and create business and employment opportunities in the State. The programme provides investors with the opportunity to invest in Ireland. Key to the programme is that the investments are beneficial for Ireland, generate or sustain employment and are generally in the public interest.
Successful applicants under the Immigrant Investment Programme and their nominated family members may be granted a residence permission in Ireland under Stamp 4 conditions. Stamp 4 conditions permit non-EEA nationals to work, study or start their own businesses in Ireland. Therefore, given the significant immigration benefits accruing and to ensure the highest degree of transparency and accountability for the programme, it is essential that all applications are subject to enhanced levels of due diligence processes in respect of both personal and financial checks to protect the State's interests.
The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department has introduced a number of enhanced control mechanisms which has led to temporary increase in processing times, as the new processes are bedded in. All applications from 2018 have been subject to detailed examination and final decisions on a significant number of those applications have been made with decision letters issued or about to issued on these applications. The remainder of 2018 applications are scheduled to be processed in the coming period.