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E-2 Investor Visas for Israel Are (Finally) On Their Way

In 2012, President Obama signed the treaty allowing Israelis to obtain investor’s visas in the U.S.  However, the treaty was not formally agreed upon and signed by the Israeli government until now.  On March 30, 2014, the Israeli government in its weekly meeting approved the reciprocal investor’s visa treaty for American Investors.

E-2 Investor Visas allow people, from a select group of countries, to enter the United States and work on a “substantial” investment within the country. While the visas need to be renewed every five years, they can last for a potentially unlimited period of time. However, they are not meant to serve as a path to immigration, and showing intent to immigrate could hurt the chance for an extension. The visas are useful for entrepreneurs who have a great deal of money, no other visa options available, and no intent to become a citizen of the United States

According to a government official responsible for pushing this issue forward, “Following government approval, we’ll need to amend prevailing regulations and draft procedures, but I hope that these steps will be completed as soon as possible.”  This means that once the procedural terms are defined by Israel for Americans investing there, the treaty will take full force and effect and Israelis will be entitled to obtain investor’s visas in the U.S.

There have been a number of false alarms for more than a decade that have excited potential investors. After U.S. approval in 2012, the burden has been on Israel, who struggled with having little precedent for this type of agreement. If the Israeli government can indeed complete this process soon, Israelis may be entitled to apply for E-2 investor’s visas to the U.S. in the next few months.

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