Despite the ongoing Israeli visa crisis, recently the Israeli government has finally decided that it will accept the terms and conditions of the E-2 reciprocal visa status for American investors in Israel. Both the United States of America and Israel have taken the final step on finalizing Israel as a participant in the E-2 Non-Immigrant Investor Visa program. This program is designed to allow foreign business investors to invest in the US economy, and vice versa to Israel. The E-2 visa will allow citizens of Israel, as well as any essential employees and family to live and work in the US so that they may manage and oversee their investments. There are approximately 80 countries that are already business partners with the United States through the E-2 visa such as: all countries within the European Union, Mexico, Canada, Japan, South Korea, even Israel’s neighbor, Jordan.
This ongoing decision has been nicknamed a visa crisis because of the delay that Israel has put on the E-2 implication. Back in 2012, President Barack Obama signed legislation that authorized Israel to be added to the list of countries that are eligible for E-2 nonimmigrant investor visa to America. Although the United States and Israel have a strong economic relationship the source of the delay laid in Israel creating an equivalent visa. Two years after the United States approved the legislation the Israeli government finally approved the visa legislation on august 13, 2014. The Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar stated “The investor visa approval is expected to contribute to Israel’s economy and create jobs for the citizens of Israel in the future”. Sa’ar also stated that the agreement will open new avenues for investments within the Israeli-American economy. Israel was finally on board with the idea but they needed time to iron out some details to the legislation since they did not have a visa category that paralleled with the United State’s E-2 visa. After much consideration the Israeli government decided it will implement the B-5 visa which contains terms that are equivalent to the United State E-2 investor visa. Israeli entrepreneurs have been waiting for this non-immigrant visa for investors since 2012 but the finalizing of the Israeli B-5 visa was the last and final step.
As result of the E-2 visa, it will now be made to nationals of Israel. Ratifying the United States and Israel bilateral E-2 visa, the change will encourage economic growth in both countries and strengthen their political relations. The investors that are looking to come to America must be coming with direct intent to develop the business they intend to provide. Investors must remain in the United States to develop, direct and oversee the business they are invested in. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services states that they also “must show at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device”. The E-2 investor visa is also intended for those who are considered a necessary employee, employed in a supervision position. This visa does not apply for those who have an ordinary skill or for unskilled workers. The workers must provide a highly skilled specialized skill.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website states that the qualified E-2 investor visa holders will be allowed a maximum initial stay of two years. They may request for extension and will be granted increments of up to two years each if approved. The great news is that there is no limit to the number of extensions to the E-2 non-immigrant visa.
The only thing left is for the countries to publish the agenda and announce the date in which the applications must be submitted by. The government officials have estimated this to be in about 3 months.
Whether you are an entrepreneur, investor, essential employee, skilled employee, or the family of an E-2 Treaty investor, here at VisaPlace we are qualified to help you. All of our cases are handled by competent and experienced immigration professionals. Our professionals consists of lawyers, licensed paralegals and consultants who work for Niren and Associates. Our company is an award winning immigration firm that adheres to the highest standards of client services. Our lawyers are all trained to be very responsive and they know how to deal with government officials effectively in order to maximize outcomes for all visa applications.
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