The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa is, perhaps, one of the most powerful visas available to entrepreneurs and firms. It can facilitate the transformation of a modest U.K business into a global brand and market leader by providing exposure to the largest free-market economy in the world and can revolutionize the earning capacity of the E-2 applicant. For that reason, the E-2 visa is one of the most sought after visas of its kind internationally.

Qualifying Criteria

In order to qualify for the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, an applicant must satisfy the following criteria:

  1. The applicant (either a company or an employee of the firm) must be a national of a country which has engaged in a Bilateral Treaty of Commerce with the U.S.
  2. The applicant must seek to enter the U.S for the purpose of directing the operations of an enterprise in which they have invested, or are actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in the United States.

The Availability of E-2 Visas to Israeli Nationals   

Unfortunately the availability of the E-2 visa to Israeli nationals has been subject to successive delay over the past five years, which has been a source of frustration for prospective investors of both countries alike.

In June 2012, President Obama signed legislation implementing a Bilateral Investment Treaty with Israel. Under the terms of the Treaty, the Israeli Government was required to introduce a reciprocal visa for U.S investors, wishing to invest in Israel. Regrettably, the requirement for reciprocity has been the source of much delay.

The Israeli Knesset approved the reciprocal agreement allowing for the creation of a new B-5 visa for U.S investors wishing to invest in Israel on August 13, 2014. Since then, there have been extensive negotiations between the U.S and Israeli Governments, concerning the issue of reciprocity between the U.S E-2 Treaty Investor Visa and the Israeli B-5 Visa.

Happily, in January 2017 the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce reported that the U.S. and Israeli governments have finally reached an agreement on the terms of the U.S E-2 visa and the Israeli B-5 visa. The U.S. Department of State has indicated that it believes E-2 visas will be available for Israeli nationals by the fourth quarter of 2017.

 

Alternative Routes to U.S Investment for Israeli Nationals in the Meantime

The lack of availability of E-2 visas for Israeli nationals has, in recent years, posed an obstacle to investment in the U.S by Israeli firms.

In some cases, it has been possible to surmount this issue, through alternative means. For example, the U.S. Embassy in Israel continues to accept applications for E-2 Treaty Investor Visas submitted by Israeli nationals, who hold dual nationality with another country with a Bilateral Treaty of Commerce with the U.S. However, this option is not available to Israeli nationals without dual nationality or dual nationals whose second nationality does not have the requisite Bilateral Treaty of Commerce with the U.S.

Conclusion   

Although the availability of E-2 visas to Israeli nationals has been subject to extensive delay over the years, we are pleased the issuance of E-2 visas to Israeli nationals finally appears to be on the horizon.

At Davies Legal, we offer a wealth of expertise in all aspects of business-related immigration, including E-2 Treaty Investor visas. We are well-versed in all of the legal, evidential and procedural requirements and are able to identify and address any potential weaknesses in your application in advance of submission, in order to maximize your chances of success. Call now to discuss your case with an experienced U.S immigration attorney and take the first step towards maximizing your firm’s market exposure and achieving your firm’s true potential.

Published: 30th April 2017