The United States Senate has approved a bill allowing Israeli nationals to apply for an E-2 investor visa to the US.
This type of visa, permits foreign investors to temporarily live and work in close proximity to their investments in the US with their families.
The bill aims to attract wealthy Israelis to invest in the United States as it allows those developing and investing in the operations of a US business, to be eligible for an E-2 investor visa.
For decades, Israelis have only been eligible to receive an E-1 trader visa, which permits entry for nationals whose volume of such trade must be sufficient to justify the trader or their employees being in the United States to manage the trade, and must constitute the majority of the trader's international trade.
In order to be eligible for the E-2 Investor visa, an applicant must have invested or be actively in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital (over $100,000), in a new or existing US business and who is seeking to enter the US solely to develop and direct the US business.
The Israeli investors must also prove that their business will benefit the US economy and will also lead to job creation.
An E-2 visa can be renewed for two-year periods so long as the business exists. The visa allows for the business owners to transfer to the US employees from Israel, and to bring their families to the US. The investors seeking the visa must also declare that when their business in the US is finished, they will leave the country.
The bill was introduced in March by Senators Charles Schumer, Mark Kirk and Jon Kyl. Following the bill's approval, Israel was added to the list of 79 countries eligible for an E-2 investor visa.