Israel E-2 Investor Visa is Finally a Reality
Beginning May 1, 2019, Israeli citizens who make a substantial investment in or set up a business in the United States will be eligible to apply for an E-2 investor visa, either with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or directly with the U.S. Consulate in Tel Aviv. Negotiations on an E-2 investor visa with Israel and the U.S. had been in the works since 2012, when former President Barack Obama signed a bi-lateral investment treaty with Israel. The implementation of the E-2 visa lagged because Israel had not created a complimentary law for U.S. citizens to invest into Israeli companies and obtain work authorization. Israel's parliament created the B-5 visa for American entrepreneurs this past year.
The key requirements for an E-2 treaty investor visa application include:
- The individual or the company has the nationality of the treaty country (at least half of the company must be owned by nationals of the foreign treaty country).
- The individual or the company has made or is in the process of making a substantial investment (relative to the total value of the company) in a business in the United States. The business must be real and operating. The business must have the capacity to create American jobs.
- The individual is either the principal investor, who will direct and develop the enterprise, or an executive, manager or employee with special skills essential to the company.
- The investment has the present or future capacity to generate more than enough income to provide minimal living for the investor and his or her family, or has a present or future capacity to make a significant economic contribution.
Israeli nationals have been eligible to apply for the E-1 visas, which involves a business that primarily trades products between the U.S. and Israel, since 1954. The E-2 visa is a welcome addition for Israeli entrepreneurs seeking to invest in the U.S.
For more information on the E-2 visa or any other business related immigration questions, please contact Elizabeth Chatham, Renée Mueller Steinle, Volha (Olga) Andreyeva, Brad Sandler or the Stinson contact with whom you regularly work.