Israeli businesspeople and company representatives can now apply to stay in the United States for a lengthy term, after President Barack Obama added Israel to the list of countries whose citizens are eligible for an E2 Treaty Investor visa Monday.

The E2 Visa is for individuals who come to the US to conduct substantial trade, develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which they have invested, or who are in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital. Visa holders must apply for a renewal every two years, but there is no limit as to how many times they can renew.

The US is easily Israel’s number one export destination, accounting for yearly purchases of about $20 billion in a range of fields including chemicals, medical devices and communications equipment. Israelis injected a total of $58.5b. into the US economy from 2000-10, making Israel one of the top 20 countries investing in the US during that period, according to the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry.

Israeli-American bilateral trade will be boosted by the E2 decision, Israeli commercial attaché to Washington Ohad Cohen said, adding that investments are an integral part of the capacity to conduct business between nations.

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