At McEntee Law, we regularly prepare E-2 visa applications for investors and business owners from E-treaty countries around the world – from restauranteurs to startup technology entrepreneurs.
As of May 1, 2019, Israel will finally join the list of treaty countries making the much-anticipated E-2 visas available to Israeli nationals. President Obama originally signed legislation that added Israel to the list of countries eligible for E-2 treaty investor status in June 2011. However, since that time, there was a standstill in proceeding with E-2 visa issuance. Thankfully, due a recent bilateral agreement, that impasse has been resolved.
The E-2 visa is an excellent option for individuals from treaty countries who wish to either start or purchase a pre-existing business in the U.S. To qualify, the applicant must be a national of an E-2 treaty country and make a substantial investment in a bona fide enterprise in the U.S. There is no specific investment amount required, and the amount varies by industry.
The applicant must also show that they plan to enter the U.S. to develop and direct that enterprise and show that they own at least 50% of the business. Importantly, E-2 businesses can also bring over staff on E-2 employee visas once the staff have the same nationality and meet certain other requirements.
An E-2 visa can be initially granted for a 2-year or a 5-year period with a 2-year admission period on each entry and indefinite extension assuming the business and the visa applicant continue to meet E-2 requirements. E-2 visa holders can also bring spouses and children, and the spouse can apply for independent work authorization.
Given the flexibility and desirability of the E-2 visa, this new development is bound to attract a lot of interest from Israeli nationals.
E-2 visa applications require extensive documentation and guidance from an attorney who is familiar with the process. If you are interested in learning more about the E-2 visa as an option, our experienced team is here to help. Please reach out to us through our contact form.