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Jan 4, 2017

The Israeli E-2 Visa is Finally Moving Forward

Matthew Galati

An important new source for foreign investment immigration is now about to take hold. News broke in the New Year that the Israeli government will finalize regulations permitting reciprocal immigrations, the final substantive roadblock for the E-2 Visa’s implementation.

By way of background, in June 2012 President Obama signed legislation implementing a bilateral investment treaty with Israel that required the latter to provide reciprocal immigration status for American investors. The Knesset did not approve the reciprocal agreement until August 2014. However, the Israeli government needed to complete regulations for a new investor visa for Americans (Israel’s B-5 Visa), which were finalized this week. The regulations will need to be published and applications opened for submission, which many have estimated to take approximately 90 days.

The Web Site for the U.S. Embassy in Israel continues to bear the following message:

Treaty Investor Visa (E-2)

The E-2 visa category for Israelis is not yet in effect.  The Embassy will issue a press release as soon as the E-2 Investor Visa is available to Israeli nationals.  However, the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv accepts applications submitted on behalf of Israelis who hold dual citizenship with countries that maintain a treaty investor with the United States.

Presently, Israeli nationals may only receive E-1 Treaty Trader visas based on a treaty that went into effect in 1954. As a result, many investors commanding businesses that were not able to meet the stringent E-1 trade requirements have been unable to receive a nonimmigrant visa.

This is certainly welcome news to start 2017 and provides optimism for many of our clients who have been patiently waiting for over four years. We will continue to monitor implementation of the E-2 visa for Israelis and provide updates once the embassy in Tel Aviv begins accepting applications.

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