Effective May 1, 2019, Israeli citizens are finally eligible for a Treaty Investor (E-2) visa to live and work in the United States. The E-2 visa permits Israeli citizens to start or buy business in the United States.
Israelis who wish to apply for E-2 visas must submit application materials by mail to the U.S. Embassy’s Branch Office in Tel Aviv. If the treaty investor is currently in the United States in a lawful nonimmigrant status, he or she may request a change of status to E-2 classification by filing an application with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS).
To qualify for an E-2 visa, an individual must, among other things:
- • Invest a “substantial” amount of capital;
- -The investment must be at risk and the funds must not result from criminal activity.
- -No set dollar figure constitutes a minimum amount of investment to be considered “substantial” for E-2 visa purposes. Generally, the lower the cost of the enterprise, the higher, proportionately, the investment must be to be considered substantial.
- • Have at least a 50-percent ownership interest in the enterprise or have operational control.
Certain essential employees of the E-2 visa holder or the E-2 company may also be eligible for this classification. Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age may accompany or follow E-2 visa holders and apply for work authorization once in the United States.
Qualified treaty investors and employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of two years. Requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to two years each. There is no maximum limit to the number of extensions an E-2 nonimmigrant may be granted. All E-2 nonimmigrants, however, must maintain an intention to depart the United States when their status expires or is terminated.
If you have any additional questions about your eligibility for an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, please contact Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan.