A video about the Ireland government’s new scheme offering financial incentives to citizens to move to their offshore communities is garnering attention on social media. In the video, it is claimed that non-residents are also eligible for financial assistance. Through this article, let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.
Claim: Indians are eligible for the financial assistance offered by Irish government for moving to one of its offshore islands.
Fact: While the Irish government is offering financial assistance to those who decide to relocate to sparsely populated offshore islands, under the newly introduced ‘Our Living Islands’ policy, it is only citizens of Ireland that are eligible to avail the financial benefits and the policy is not open to non-EU/EEA nationals who live outside of Ireland. While foreign nationals can move to these islands, they do not get any financial grant from the government and the residency requirements are the same as the rest of Ireland. Hence the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.
Aiming to rejuvenate around 30 sparsely populated offshore spots, Ireland’s government has recently unveiled a policy called the ‘Our Living Islands’. It is a 10-year strategy to create thriving communities that will flourish for generations, diversify the islands’ economies, make them more appealing to remote workers, and create career opportunities for residents. Under the policy, the government is offering financial support to those who decide to relocate to the abandoned properties of these islands. The detailed policy framework can be viewed here.
Those who aspire to live on an island must acquire and possess a property that was built before 1993 and has remained unoccupied for a minimum of two years. The money paid can only be used on building work, from structural improvements to redecoration.
However, only citizens of Ireland are eligible for the grant under Our Living Islands policy and it does not include any proposals to facilitate immigration or resettlement to Ireland’s offshore islands. While foreign nationals can move to these islands, they do not get any financial grant from the government and the residency requirements are the same as the rest of Ireland.
Following the announcement of the policy, misinformation like Indians are eligible to avail of the opportunity are doing rounds on social media. However, an official from the Embassy of Ireland to India, speaking to the media clarified that “please note that specific grant applications under the ‘Our Living Islands’ policy are only available to residents of Ireland with appropriate immigration permissions. The policy is not open to non-EU/EEA nationals who live outside of Ireland. Please remain alert to fraudsters looking to exploit misconceptions about this policy and be highly suspicious of anyone supposedly offering Irish ‘relocation visas.’ Always check official Irish government sources for visa information, particularly the Irish Immigration homepage.”
To sum it up, non-EU/EEA nationals are not eligible for financial grants from the Irish government to relocate to their islands.