A Treaty Investor Agreement has been signed between the United States and Israel which allows Israelis to apply for an E-2 investor visa either for themselves or their Israeli employees. The visa will be issued based on one of the following: 1) an investment in an active commercial business; 2) the applicant is in a managerial position; or 3) the applicant has specialized knowledge which is crucial for business activity.
This visa has special significance for the employees and businesses that “fell between the cracks” of the USCIS Immigration system by now allowing applicants who do not meet other visa's specific work or education requirements to obtain a work visa.
E-2 Visa Requirements
The E-2 visa is granted only after actual investment has been made in the U.S. or the purchase of an existing business. The investment must be a real investment in an operating enterprise – speculative or idle investment and uncommitted funds in a bank account or similar security do not qualify.
What is considered a "commercial business"?
The term "commercial business" includes a wide variety of businesses. These are companies like start-ups, restaurants, and any retail business. The business must be funded by an Israeli citizen, and the employee must also be an Israeli.
How much to invest?
The investment in the U.S. company must be substantial. The definition of “substantial capital" is not included in the law as a defined monetary value. Therefore, the law does not require a minimum amount of investment. The absence of the determined amount comes from the fact that each business is unique and stands on its own, and therefore each business requires a different investment. To clarify, "substantial capital" investment is an investment required to cover all costs of establishing a business, and developing it to the point when the business can operate.
Interested in learning more about E-2 Visa?
The attorneys at our firm specialize in consular proceedings taking place in Israel. Since the E-2 process is taking place in the U.S. embassy in Israel, there is great importance in understanding the embassy's unique requirements. As part of the services provided to you for the E-2 visa, an expert attorney will accompany you throughout all stages of the visa process, including during the interview at the Embassy.
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