How Can Non-EEA Nationals Invest and Start a Business in Ireland? Part 2 of 3


Start-up Entrepreneur Programme (“STEP”)

The Start-up Entrepreneur Programme (“STEP”) was established by the Irish Government to stimulate investment in the innovative economy.

Purpose of the programme

Non-EEA investors (and immediate families) who invest €50k (min) in a High Potential Start Up (HPSU) via the STEP scheme can apply for residency for up to 5 years. In addition a 12 month immigration permission is available for: - Entrepreneurs attending HPSU incubators/innovation bootcamps in Ireland to assist preparation of a STEP application - Students who graduate with advances Science/Technology/Engineering and Maths degrees in Ireland and wish to prepare for a STEP application

HPSU’s businesses are defined as:

  • Innovative and export focused
  • Capable of creating 10 jobs in Ireland
  • Realising €1,000k in sales within 3/4 years
  • Led by experienced management team
  • HQ’d and controlled in Ireland
  • Less than 6 years old 

Key Requirements for Applicants

  • A comprehensive business plan to support the business proposal
  • Statement of character from relevant authorities
  • Proof of funding of €50,000 from one or a mix of the sources below;
  • Their own resources
  • A business loan
  • Business Angel/Venture Capital funding
  • Grant from an Irish State Agency

Application Process

Non-EEA nationals seeking residency under the scheme should contact the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service and complete an application form. A non-refundable application fee of €350 is required.

What Questions Do You Have?

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