New U.S. Immigration Option Available to Israeli Citizens – E-2 (Treaty Investor) Visa
Requirements for an E-2 (Treaty Investor) Visa
A E-2 Treaty Investor Visa is available to a foreign national from a qualifying treaty country who has invested a substantial amount of capital in a real and operating enterprise in the U.S. – the U.S. E-2 Investment Enterprise.
The E-2 “Investor” can be an individual or a foreign entity. The E-2 “Investor” must be able to document that the capital was lawfully acquired and that the investment is at “true risk” in the true commercial sense (ie. subject to loss and unsecured against the assets of the U.S. enterprise) in the U.S. E-2 Investment Enterprise. Capital can include funds, value of goods/equipment purchased for the entity, intangible property, etc. Investment amounts can include fees incurred to professionals to commence operations, marketing (website portfolio), purchase of existing business/assets, U.S. payroll expenses, etc.
E-2 Visas allow owner-operators to reside in the U.S. full time, if they choose to do so, for the duration of their E-2 Visa. However, E-2 Visa holders can choose to simply intermittently enter the U.S.
A Principal E-2 Visa holder can also have their spouse and children (unmarried, under age 21) obtain their derivative E-2 visas as well. A Spouse of a Principal E-2 can seek an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from USCIS, which upon approval, allows the spouse to work in the U.S. for any employer during its validity. Children may attend school, but are not allowed to work in the U.S.
E-2 Visas are also better suited to those Israeli citizens seeking to pursue new business opportunities in the U.S. – on a small scale as well as a large scale – through investment in the U.S. While Israeli citizens previously have had E-1 (Treaty Trader) Visas available, the E-1 visa is for those Israeli nationals/entities engaged in substantial international trade with the U.S.
The U.S. Embassy in Israel has just recently published an overview of the process to apply for the E-2 Visa in Israel which includes a breakdown of the information/documents required to establish eligibility, preferred structure of E-2 Visa Application packet, as well as an overview of their E-2 Visa Application process.
E-2 Visa Applications for Israeli citizens will be processed at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv. The Embassy requires that the complete E-2 Visa Application be mailed to them in advance of scheduling the interview. They are currently reporting a review time between 2-3 weeks. Once they have completed their review, they will advise the E-2 Applicant to schedule their visa appt. to personally appear at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv. If the applicant is successful at the interview, the applicant’s passport, with E-2 visa, will be returned to them in approx. 10 days. There is no reciprocity fee for the E-2 Visa for Israeli citizens.
Once a company has received initial approval for registration through the first applicant, subsequent applicants are allowed to schedule their visa appt. and present their supporting/qualifying documents at the interview.
We are excited for our Israeli clients to be able to pursue this new vehicle to strategically pursue opportunities in the U.S. market.
Disclaimer: The information in this post is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from our firm or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.