E-2 Treaty Investor Option for Israeli Citizens Beginning May 1, 201926 Apr 2019
Effective May 1, 2019, citizens of Israel will be able to access the E-2 (treaty investor) visa category. The United States and Israel had signed a qualifying treaty in June 2012. However, the E-2 visa program for Israeli citizens could not become effective until Israel finalized a reciprocal investor visa program for U.S. citizens.
Overview of E-2 Visa Program
The E-2 visa is only available to a foreign national who is a citizen of a country that has a qualifying bilateral treaty with the United States. Further, there needs to be a “substantial” investment in the U.S. enterprise, and the entity must be at least 50 percent owned by the applicant or by nationals of the same treaty country as the applicant. The E-2 visa allows the investor to enter the United States in order to develop and direct the company’s operations. The E-2 visa category can also be used by executives, supervisors, and essential personnel of the U.S. entity. More details on the program are available in the MurthyDotCom NewsBrief, Overview: E Visas for Traders and Investors (20.Feb.2012).
E-2 Unavailable to Citizens of Many Key Nations, Including India and China
As noted above, the E-2 category is only available to foreign nationals who are citizens of a country that has a qualifying treaty with the United States. Unfortunately, some of the countries whose nationals would provide significant benefits by investment in the U.S., most notably India and China, are not currently parties to any such treaty.
The E-2 visa category provides a good option for qualifying entrepreneurs. The Murthy Law Firm welcomes this development for Israeli citizens, and encourages the U.S. government to work to expand eligibility to this visa category to citizens of India and other countries with fast growing economies, as there can be a mutual benefit to both the United States and those countries.
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