An American based family who had agreed to purchase a business venture in the Milford area has been forced to abandon the project due to red tape in the Department of Justice.
It has emerged that to comply with visa regulations to take up residence here the family, as non EU citizens would have to produce evidence of an investment in the region of €300,000.
The family with strong Irish roots had agreed the purchase of a locally owned business for an estimated figure believed to be €150,000.
And they have reacted to the requirement of €300,000 with total disbelief.
The Tirconail Tribune reports that a representative for the family has now accused the Judicial Immigrations Department that while trying to insure that those who come to Ireland do not pose a burden financially to the State, are in fact hurting more of Ireland’s citizens in the process.
Cllr. Ian McGarvey who met with the investors while in America as Mayor of Donegal was instrumental in them coming to Donegal with a view to purchase a business.
Cllr. McGarvey has said he is shocked that this genuine venture has collapsed and he is of the opinion that many others in America of Irish origin but do not comply with the EU citizenship proviso are being prevented from coming here.
He intends to raise this issue at the next meeting of Donegal County Council in Lifford at the end of January.
The premises involved is a well-known landmark, said Cllr. McGarvey and with the current owners due to retire he fears that an opportunity to save the facility and create jobs has been lost.
However, said Ian McGarvey, since the American family members are not EU citizens they found themselves with an insurmountable situation and despite long and tedious negotiations no progress whatsoever has been achieved. This demand for €300,000 is seen a residency guarantee and is operated by the judicial immigration department in Dublin. It is well out of the reach of many Irish emigrants hoping to relocate here in Donegal.
A representative for the family told the Tribune: “The investment schemes set by the judicial immigration department are reserved for multimillionaires and not for merely successful professionals. Today’s exchange rate would require an investment of $360,835.27 in American Dollars, in order to begin to fulfill their requirements. As you know, our investment in the business near Milford is well below that figure. And the other schemes offered are way beyond any reasonable consideration.
When you look at the huge number of business properties on the market presently, in the range we were looking at, you will see what we have been talking about. Many of these properties have been on and off the market for over three years. Some have gone out of business as result due to no suitable Irish buyers, leaving more people out of work, and out of money.
While others, though showing positive cash flow with good to average returns are in the same boat as the aforementioned businesses that most folks do not have the financial resources to complete the transaction. These businesses too will eventually follow in the footsteps as mentioned.
At the figures we were looking at we would have had enough funds to sustain our extended family for at least four years, without income from the business we were pursuing. In addition to hiring part time staff with wages equal to current standards. Not to mention, providing and improving service to the community where these businesses operated.
In our extensive travels across Ireland it was sad to see so many derelict and run down business properties and homes, even though some were not at the top of tourist destinations, they did offer convenience to the many residents of those given areas. The town we stayed at south of Letterkenny had it’s own areas of blight that took away from what was a beautiful town.
The Judicial Immigrations Department while trying to insure that those who come to Ireland do not pose a burden financially to the State, are in fact hurting more of Ireland’s citizens in the process.
It is sad that a family like ours, with dreams and vision, who desire to make Ireland our permanent home are restricted due to what most would consider outrageous investment requirements. Many of these businesses perhaps were at that €300,000.00 price a few years back but due to a dismal economy brought about by bureaucratic red tape have fallen to the point where they are today.
We have never been afraid of investing in higher risk ventures We are cautious where to invest, but just because a business we are interested in is under performing, does not equate to certain failure,” added the family spokesman.