December 10, 2014
As discussed in our immigration blog on this website, the Israeli Knesset has approved the E-2 treaty visa with the United States. The details of the treaty are currently being worked out and we expect that in a short period of time, Israeli citizens may be able to live in the United States using the E-2 visa.
In June 2012, President Obama signed into law a bill granting Israeli citizens the right to eligible for the E2 Treaty Investor visa in the United States. However, the implementation of this visa category will not be effective until the terms and conditions of the final agreement are determined between the two countries. This website will announce the final agreement as soon as the E2 investor visa is available to Israeli nationals. As of today, Israeli citizens are not eligible for treaty investor visas (E-2) but we anticipate that this will be available very soon.
Israel and the United States already have an E1 treaty trader visa available for eligible Israelis, spouses and their children.
The E2 visa allows foreign citizens to open a business in the United States. Many countries have entered into treaties with the U.S. intended to permit investors to freely travel to their respective countries with the understanding that they will not immigrate. The E-2 is specifically for treaty investor, spouses, and children. The treaty is designed to promote trade and investment between the U.S. and Israel, thereby encouraging good relations. The main advantage of the E-2 visa is that there is no set minimum investment required so long as the visa holder owns a legitimate business operation and either has or will employee U.S. citizens. The investment must be in an operating business; merely buying property or stocks and bonds does not qualify.
The E2 visa is typically for a two year stay. The stay can be extended in 2 year increments for as long as the company proves that it is still functioning and financially viable. For more information about the E2 visa status and other business related visas, see the article on this website at http://www.tuckerludin.com/practice-areas/immigration/doing-business-in-the-u-s/ .
If you are an Israeli national interested in investing in the U.S. the immigration lawyers at Tucker & Ludin would be pleased to assist you. Please call us for a consultation.