U.S. investors in Israeli business to be eligible for special Israeli visa

The new program will take effect on May 1 and will be mutually applied to US investors in Israel and Israeli investors in the United States.

April 29, 2019 00:13
2 minute read.
US passport

US passport [Illustrative]. (photo credit: INGIMAGE)


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WASHINGTON – US citizens who will invest in Israeli business would be eligible for a visa that would allow them to reside and work in Israel temporarily to manage and develop a business venture. The Israeli embassy in Washington announced Tuesday that the new program will take effect on May 1 and will be mutually applied to US investors in Israel and Israeli investors in the United States.

Elad Strohmayer, Spokesperson for Israel’s Embassy in Washington, told The Jerusalem Post that there is no specific threshold for investment and that visa request will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Strohmayer reiterated, however, that the idea is to see a significant investment in a business and not a contribution to NGO. The investor needs to be an owner of at least 50% of the company.

The application may be submitted to the consul in any of Israel’s official diplomatic missions in the United States that hosts a commercial attaché attached to the Ministry of Economy and Industry: Washington, New York, Houston and San Francisco. After receiving the relevant documents, Strohmayer explained, the investor will visit Israeli consulate for an interview.

The consulate will send all the document to the Ministry of Economy along with a professional recommendation. The application will be considered by an inter-ministerial committee, which will submit its proposals for the approval of the Minister of the Interior.

 “The announcement represents a significant milestone for businesses and companies alike. The investor visas in both countries will ease restrictions and encourage economic activity between the two countries,” Strohmayer added.

At the same time, Israeli investors may submit an application for a US investor visa at the United States Branch Office in Tel Aviv, the site of the former embassy. The E-2 visa allows a national of a treaty country, currently more than 80 states, to enter the US when investing a substantial amount of capital in an American-based business.

While an E-2 visa can be issued for a maximum period of five years, qualified investors are allowed a maximum initial stay of two years. Extensions in increments of up to two years may then be granted an unlimited number of times. Employees and dependent family members may also be eligible for the same non-immigrant classification.

“The US Embassy in Israel is pleased to announce the implementation of the US E-2 Investor Visa for Israeli nationals, beginning May 1,” the embassy said in a statement two weeks ago.

“The E-2 visa is a temporary [non-immigrant] visa that can be used to develop, direct or provide specialized skills to an enterprise in which the owner has invested a substantial amount of capital.”

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