US Capitol building 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Jim Bourg)
WASHINGTON – A bill introduced in the US House of Representatives Thursday would
enable Israelis to apply for investor visas to help establish and grow their
Israelis would be eligible for the visa if
they develop and direct the operations of a business in which they have invested
– or are in the process of investing – a substantial amount of capital in the
The visa would last for two years and could be indefinitely extended
as long as the applicant still met its terms.
Until now, Israelis have
been unable to apply for the E2 visa because of US limitations on which
countries are eligible – something only legislation can change, according to the
office of Howard Berman, ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs
Though the legislation does not specify what constitutes a
“substantial amount of capital,” the State Department has applied a proportional
formula that looks at whether the investment is enough to ensure the
establishment and growth of a business and includes some investment risk assumed
by the investor, according to Berman’s office.
A companion bill also
exists in the Senate.
“Israel is one of our closest allies in the world
and a significant investor in the US economy,” Berman, who introduced the House
measure, said in a statement. “My legislation will encourage Israeli business
leaders to invest in the United States and lead to the creation of jobs for