It’s been a long time coming, but Israeli investors will finally be able to obtain E-2 Treaty Investor visas to start businesses in the U.S. starting on May 1, 2019.
E-2 Investor Visas for Israelis
The E-2 Investor Treaty between the U.S. and Israel was signed by President Obama back in 2012. However, for the program to go into effect, Israel needed to implement a program for U.S. investors to get visas to make investments in Israel. This did not happen until 2018.
Now, the U.S. Embassy in Israel has announced that Israeli entrepreneurs will be able to apply for E-2 investor visas to establish businesses in the U.S. starting on May 1.
You can stay up-to-date with the waiting times in the Visa Bulletin and other immigration news by subscribing to our Free E-Mail Newsletter.
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This will have a significant effect on the hi-tech industry in the U.S. As the book “Start-Up Nation” documents, Israelis create more start-up companies and obtain more patents than do citizens of much larger countries in Asia and Europe.
The Chair of the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce’s Visas Committee stated: “As someone who has followed for years the process of legislating for work visas in general and the E-2 visa in particular, there is no doubt that this is the right solution for the hi-tech sector and Israeli entrepreneurs. This visa has a variety of benefits that do not exist in other temporary work visas, including no requirement for an academic degree or experience, minimum wage or business seniority. In addition, the visa grants a work permit in the US to partners and allows residence outside the US.”
Benefits of E-2 Investor Visas
There are a number of significant benefits available to E-2 Treaty Investors:
- You do not need any particular academic degree to qualify for E-2 status;
- E-2 visas may be extended indefinitely;
- Your spouse and children also qualify for E-2 status;
- Your spouse can get an EAD work permit;
- It is relatively easy to extend your E-2 status;
- There are no quotas for the number of E-2 visas which are issued annually;
How to Qualify for an E-2 Investor Visa
You must invest a “significant” amount of money in a business in the U.S. What is considered significant depends on the nature of the business. For the past 30+ years, we have advised our clients to invest a minimum of $100,000 into the business, and this amount has always met the criteria for a start-up business or for the purchase of an existing business or franchise in the U.S.
Your investment cannot be “marginal”. You must create jobs for American workers, not just for members of your immediate family.
In addition to the primary investor, E-2 visas are available to “essential employees” who are involved in a supervisory, executive or highly specialized skill capacity for the business.
E-2 Investor Visas: Additional Resources
- E-2 Visas for Treaty Investors
- E-2 Treaty Investors (USCIS)
- Treaty Traders and Treaty Investors (State Department)
- List of Countries with E-1/E-2 Treaties