Citizens of Israel who desire to make significant monetary investments or open and build their businesses in the US will at long last, by May 1, qualify to apply for the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, once the negotiations between the two countries are concluded.
With an E-2 visa, nationals of any of the treaty countries — which are currently more than 80 countries excluding Israel — can get a US visa by first investing a significant amount of capital into a business based in the US.
The May 1 launch date is at the moment not confirmed, but there's a likelihood that the US authorities will approve it in the coming days.
For how long is this visa valid?
The E-2 visa
has a maximum issuance validity of 5 years, but qualified investors are only allowed an initial stay of 2 years maximum. The visa can then be extended for up to 2 years for an unlimited number of times. If the investor has employees and family members who are dependents, they may be eligible to be placed under the same non-immigrant classification.
The US expects that all treaty countries reciprocate this visa. It is actually a necessary condition as US citizens are already eligible to apply for and obtain Israel's B-5 Investor Visa
The Israel-America Chamber of Commerce CEO, Oded Rose, revealed that the US approved this visa when President Barack Obama was still in office, but due to a lot of reasons, it hasn't received its final signature up till now. Rose's firm, together with the Interior Ministry, ran a joint promotion of the legislation.
According to her, this visa is actually new and special and has been added to the bilateral trade agreement of 1985 existing between these countries. There are up to 40 countries which have a free trade agreement with America and which also covers this visa. She complained that so far, citizens of Israel have been denied access to it.
Once the visa scheme is approved, applicants — including companies or individuals — will have to go to the US Branch Office in Tel Aviv to apply.
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