E-2 Visa Available for Israel Starting May 1, 2019
The U.S. Department of State has announced that a treaty investor agreement has finally been signed between Israel and the United States.
Starting May 1st, 2019, Israeli citizens can apply for an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel. Additionally, Israelis already in the U.S. on another nonimmigrant visa would be able to change their status to E-2, including for their spouses and dependents in the U.S. The E-2 Visa program for Israel will be particularly useful for Israelis wishing to set up businesses or make investments in the United States, as well as for Israeli-owned U.S. companies that want to hire and bring Israelis to work in the U.S.
The E-2 Visa program for Israel is great news for Israeli companies and start-ups, which have had to resort in the past to H-1B skilled worker visas and L-1 intracompany transfer visas. The process for those visas has become more difficult. Additionally, the H-1B petitions have significantly outnumbered the H-1B visas available, and the L-1 requires one year of employment abroad before being transferred to the United States. The E-2 eliminates many of the hurdles found with other types of visas.
To qualify for an E-2 Visa or classification, the investor must:
- Be a national of a country that the U.S. maintains a qualifying treaty with;
- Have invested, or be in the process of investing, a “substantial” amount of capital in a U.S. entity, or be an essential employee of a qualifying entity; and
- Show at least 50% ownership of the business by treaty nationals.
The company and applicant must demonstrate fulfillment of requirements for Treaty Trader/Investor status. Please reach out to us with any questions regarding the E-2 Visa program and the new E-2 Visa requirements for Israel.