After many years of negotiations, the E-2 visa category is finally available to Israeli nationals, starting on May 1, 2019.
The U.S. Embassy in Israel made the announcement on their website, and already has detailed instructions for visa applications. This is an important announcement for the Israeli high-tech sector and the U.S. economy because it opens new possibilities for Israelis wishing to create start-ups in the U.S. or open subsidiaries in the U.S.
Israelis have been eligible for E-1 Treaty Trader status since 1949. E-1 status requires that the majority of the trade of the company is between the US and Israel, and that the trade be substantial.
In contrast, E-2 status does not require any continuing business between the US company and the treaty country. E-2 status is available to nationals of treaty countries who enter the US as managers/executives, or with "essential skills" and will be employed by a US company that is at least 50% owned by treaty nationals. A common misconception is that the E-2 visa holder must herself be the investor. This is not the case. E-2 visa holders fall into two general categories:
1. Treaty nationals who are creating a new US business or buying an existing business.
2. Treaty nationals who are entering the US to work for a company that is owned by people of the same nationality. For example, a German person coming to the US to work for a German-owned company could get E-2 status, assuming she met all other requirements.
For more information about E-2 visas (one of my favorites), contact Elaine Martin, Immigration Lawyer. Se also this link: http://www.martinvisalawyer.com/uploads/3/8/6/0/38600843/e-2_info_sheet.pdf
USCIS notice on Israel E-2 here.
Ms. S. and her husband wanted to invest in a hotel/housing business in an under-served part of the United States. Ms. S. had created a US company, investigated opportunities and invested a small amount of the start-up costs.
After starting the visa application process themselves, the couple contacted Elaine Martin to file an E-2 package with the consulate in Toronto.
We had very little time to prepare the application before the clients hoped to enter the US. In addition, there was no business plan and a complicated source of funds trail. Elaine Martin worked with a third party to create the business plan (requiring multiple rewrites), researched the local business needs by contacting local government officials to discuss the housing shortage, prepared a detailed spreadsheet tracing the funds, and compiled the E-2 package to conform to the consulate's strict requirements regarding format and size.
On November 14, 2019, Ms. S and her husband were thrilled to be approved for the E-2 visas in Toronto.
The Martin Law Office wishes the couple many years of success and looks forward to seeing the new business expand and grow!
Elaine Martin has been practising US and global immigration law since 1997. She is an immigrant herself (from Ireland), so has a special understanding of the legal and emotional challenges involved in relocating to a new country.