The US passed new legislation that would add Israel to the list of countries eligible for E-2 temporary foreign investor visas. Currently, there are 76 countries eligible for a US E-2 non-immigrant investor visa. Countries include: Albania, the UK, Australia, Ireland, and Germany, and the Ukraine. In fiscal year 2010, over 25,500 nationals from these countries including their dependents were granted E-2 visas.
Under the new bill, investors from Israel would be allowed to live and work in the US initially for a period of two years, and could then apply for extensions in two-year increments.
In order to be eligible for the E-2 Treaty Investor visa applicants must:
- Be a national of a country that the US has a treaty of commerce and navigation with;
- Have invested, or be actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a new or existing US business;
- Be seeking to enter the US solely to develop and direct the US business. This is established by showing at least 50 percent ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control through a managerial position.