Immigrant Investor Programme

‘Cash for visa’ scheme raised €1.25 billion but was fraught with controversy

Immigrant Investor Programme had been under review for years due to concerns over volume of Chinese applicants and possible fraud, before government moved to close it down

Simon Harris, who is standing in as Minister for Justice, took the proposal to close down the IIP to cabinet. Picture: PA

Simon Harris caught everyone by surprise last week when he announced he was shutting down the state’s immigrant investor programme (IIP). But the decision had been coming since the end of January, when Harris had been presented with a final review of the programme by officials at the Department of Justice.

It was the culmination of a long process. In fact the programme, which allowed wealthy individuals to make investments in Ireland in exchange for ...