Almost 7 years ago (June 2012), Congress passed Public Law 112-130 which authorized E-2 visa classification for Israeli nationals provided the Israeli government established a similar status (reciprocity) for United States nationals. For the last several years, Israel has been in the process of making regulatory changes and U.S. citizens can now finally obtain a B-5 Israeli Investor visa. It is very likely that the United States will approve a May 1, 2019 start date for the long-awaited Israeli E-2 visa.
The key requirements for an Israeli 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 Israeli nationals).
- 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. In practice, this means an active commitment of at least $150,000-$200,000 invested and receipts for at least $100,000. The business must be real and operating and not some idea with money in the bank. You need actual premises, a website, and receipts for the investment expenditures. Having a U.S. employee or two is also helpful. The visa is really about creating 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. This means the investor must be qualified and able to run the company. The good thing here is one can hire a very qualified Israeli with essential skills and transfer them immediately.
- 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. This is key because one cannot open a small falafel stand that makes enough to support the individual. But if one has a plan to open several falafel stands and a good business plan, call us.
Once the U.S. provides the final approval, the E-2 visa application can be submitted to the U.S. Embassy/Branch Office in Tel Aviv for review (current processing time of two to three weeks). Applicants are then required to attend an in-person interview.
E-2 visa applicants have the option of in-person attorney representation inside the Embassy for the first scheduled E-2 visa interview. For more information about E-2 visa processing in Israel, please feel free to contact us at 1-800-VISA-LAW or by email or SKYPE to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.