Mark Lanning


Mark is the director of the immigration team.

He assists clients regarding all forms of US immigration matters as well as investment immigration to countries such as Malta, Cyprus, St. Kitts and Nevis, etc. During a 10 year diplomatic career with the US Department of State, he served overseas assignments in Guangzhou, London, Taipei, and Hong Kong. Working as a Consular Officer, he adjudicated tens of thousands of US immigrant and non-immigrant visa cases.

Mark has been quoted in the media numerous times (including Ming Pao, Hong Kong Economic Times and Hong Kong Economic Journal etc) in relation to various immigration-related issues.

Track record



Assisted numerous CEOs and entrepreneurs to overcome refused US visa cases.

Advised Asian families on simultaneous investment immigration to countries in both Europe and the Caribbean.

‘Investment minimum of applying for U.S. green card to increase’, ‘【移民】美國綠卡申請門檻提高’, Hong Kong Economic Journal - August 2019

‘Understanding Optimal Options Before Making a Decision on Investment Immigration’, ‘投資移民 先了解適合方案’, Hong Kong Economic Journal, 信報財經新 - 20 July 2016, co-author

Hong Kong Select USA Committee

American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong

The American Chamber of Commerce in South China


As a non-attorney, I bring a different and perhaps more practical perspective…

Prior to joining Withers, I served for nearly 10 years as a US diplomat, with Visa Officer assignments in China and the UK. Along the way, I was also fortunate to be able to pick up Chinese and Russian language skills.

As a non-attorney, I bring a different and perhaps more practical perspective to our private client work. I enjoy working with our private client attorneys to not only help devise the right strategy for the client, but also to think about the execution and logistical steps in order to achieve our clients’ goals in the most efficient manner.

I greatly enjoy helping individuals or families to achieve their immigration objectives. I think of immigration as a journey: when you are able to help a client settle in a new country, or obtain citizenship or residency through an investment immigration program, there is a great feeling of satisfaction when the final result is achieved.

I am most inspired when we are able to help clients overcome previously refused visas. It’s always surprising to see CEOs, entrepreneurs, and other highly-successful individuals refused visas. Having worked in the government previously, I believe it’s sometimes a problem of miscommunication. Nevertheless, I’m glad to say that more often than not we have been able to help resolve such situations, which I think is a value-add for both the client and for the country they are trying to move to.



  • English
  • Mandarin
  • Russian





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