Concern about Mercan/IAS

Hello all,

My wife and I were getting close to investing for the GV through Mercan, but first we asked our attorney in Lisbon to review the deal before we moved forward.

The attorney red-flagged the “Legal Service Agreement” from IAS (International Atlantic Services), which handles all the immigration processes and paperwork on behalf of Mercan. Regarding the agreement, he said:

“I would like to point out that one of the documents is “Legal Service Agreement” is entered into by a company that is not a law firm and as such the document is illegal and the activities of such company are also illegal and fully prohibited.”

Has anyone else encountered this?

Has anyone here used Mercan and IAS and successfully received their first and/or subsequent residency cards?

There seems to be a complete dearth of information in this forum about what has actually happened to applicants AFTER they have transferred funds to Mercan. I can’t find a single post addressing this.

Any comments much appreciated.

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“Illegal” seems an awfully strong word. That said, IAS is not a legal firm per se, they are a GV consultantcy. You’re not giving them POA, you’re just saying you will use them as advisors in the process. They use fudge words like “assist” and “implement” - which is fair enough. I would be skeptical if you signed a POA naming IAS as opposed to licensed lawyers, but I’ve only seen the IAS agreement not the POAs etc.

The mercan stuff’s being discussed elsewhere off this forum at this point, I think. Many people seem to be going through the process though.

I would note that Mercan for me at least offered 4 different firms and if you wanted to choose your own you could. They don’t really care.

(I talked to Mercan for a while. I decided to do something else for financial-viewpoint/strategy reasons not because I mistrusted the mercan path.)

Thank you, Jeff, for your comments. Very helpful.

I agree with you about the nature of IAS, that they offer consulting and not rather than legal services, per se. I am hoping to get further clarification soon from my attorney about his strong reaction.

I’m not finding current discussions about Mercan anywhere else, including ex-pat groups on Facebook. Any suggestions on where to look?

Thank you.

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This was my experience as well. When we were speaking with Mercan, they were fine with us using our own lawyers - who in fact we had already retained at the point we were considering Mercan. Like Jeff, we decided on a different investment.


Hi Mark,

A little bit late reply, but maybe still relevant for you. There is an active community for current and potential Mercan investors. You can join the group here.

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Thanks very much, Hanna. I’m a member of the group, and it has been very informative.


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Hi Hanna! I would love the link to the Mercan group, if that’s still active.

Hi Amanda! I sent you a PM.

Hi Hanna,

I would love the link also. I am working with Mercan now. Thanks.

Hi Terry,

You can join the community group here.