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How a Law Firm Can Navigate and Optimize Investment Immigration Programmes

Janina White

11 Nov 2023

Investment immigration programs, such as Residence by Investment (RBI) and Citizenship by Investment (CBI), have gained significant traction worldwide. With over 100 jurisdictions offering these schemes, individuals and businesses seek legal expertise to navigate the complexities of these programs. This article explores the role of law firms in assisting clients through the intricacies of different schemes and provides a summary of popular programs for comparison.

*This article is the second chapter in a series of articles on RBC / CBI programmes and it is based on extract from Janina White's Essay prepared for STEP qualification and awarded a Distinction grade. You can request a copy of this Essay by email

Law firms play a pivotal role in guiding clients through the intricate web of requirements associated with RBI and CBI programs. Here are key ways in which legal professionals can provide valuable assistance:

  • Legal Compliance: Law firms ensure clients adhere to the legal frameworks of each jurisdiction, helping them avoid pitfalls and legal complications.

  • Documentation Support: Completing the necessary documentation accurately and efficiently is crucial. Law firms assist in compiling and submitting the required paperwork, minimizing the risk of delays or rejections.

  • Due Diligence: Conducting thorough due diligence is essential to avoid potential risks. Law firms assist in vetting investment opportunities, ensuring they align with the client's goals and comply with program requirements.

  • Programme Selection: Each program has unique features. Law firms help clients choose the most suitable option based on their investment preferences, residency goals, and long-term plans.

  • Legal Representation: Having legal representation is vital, especially in cases of disputes or unexpected challenges. Law firms act as advocates for their clients throughout the application process and beyond.

Comparison / examples of Popular RBI/CBI Programs

1. United States: EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

  • Investment Options: Commercial enterprises creating at least 10 full-time jobs.

  • Investment Amount: $900,000 (Targeted Employment Area) or $1.8 million (non-TEA).

  • Processing Time: 2-3 years (varies depending on regional center and application backlog).

  • Path to Citizenship: Eligible for permanent residency (green card) immediately; citizenship after five years of continuous residence.

2. Portugal: ARI - Residence Permit for Investment Activity

  • Investment Options: Real estate, scientific research, arts and culture, or business investment.

  • Investment Amount: Varies from €250,000 to €1.5 million, depending on the chosen option.

  • Processing Time: 3-6 months.

  • Path to Citizenship: Permanent residency after five years, citizenship after six years of continuous residence.

3. Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Programmes

  • Investment Options: Real estate, government bonds, or national development funds.

  • Investment Amount: Varies from $100,000 to $400,000, depending on the country and investment option.

  • Processing Time: 3-6 months.

  • Path to Citizenship: Direct citizenship upon approval.

In conclusion, law firms play a pivotal role in ensuring the success of clients navigating RBI and CBI programs. Their expertise in legal compliance, due diligence, and documentation support is invaluable. As the landscape of investment immigration programs evolves, staying informed and consulting legal professionals becomes even more critical for a seamless and successful experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Legal compliance is crucial for a successful RBI or CBI application.

  • Law firms provide essential support in documentation, due diligence, and program selection.

  • Thorough comparison of program features is necessary for informed decision-making.

  • Legal representation ensures clients are protected throughout the application process.

Staying updated on program changes is vital, emphasizing the need for ongoing legal counsel.

Investing in a law firm's expertise ensures that individuals and businesses can navigate the complex world of investment immigration programs with confidence and achieve their residency or citizenship goals.

Janina is a solicitor registered in England and Wales, and the Republic of Ireland, and a member of the American Bar Association. Her extensive legal expertise spans Corporate Law, Sanctions, and Corporate Governance. Beyond law, Janina is a Chartered Company Secretary and showcases a passion for global cultures, evident in her fluency in eight languages. Advising multinational giants, her unique blend of legal acumen and cultural insight sets her apart, offering readers a rich, global perspective on her subjects. Janina is also a private investigator and a member of the Association of British Investigators and she is actively using the investigative techniques (including the use of the Artificial Intelligence, OSINT and HUMINT)  in her legal work.

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