Beginning May 1, 2019, Israeli nationals will, for the first time, be able to submit E-2 treaty investor visa applications to the US Embassy – Israel, Tel Aviv Branch. (This is in addition to the E-1 treaty trader visa that Israeli nationals could already apply for.) Also, those eligible Israeli nationals already in the United States with legal non-immigrant status can file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, to request a change of status to E-2 classification, or a qualifying employer can file the petition on their behalf. Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age of treaty investors and employees who are already in the United States may also seek to change status to E-2 classification as dependents by filing Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.
The E-2 nonimmigrant classification allows citizens of countries with which the United States has a treaty of commerce and navigation to be admitted to the United States when they are investing substantial capital in a U.S. business. E-2 status is also available to certain employees of such investors or qualifying organizations.
Benefits of the E-2 visa include:
- Allows the Israeli national to establish, develop, and operate their own business(es) in the U.S.
- No set required minimum investment.
- The spouse of the E-2 visa holder can apply for work authorization in the U.S. Dependent spouse and children under age 21 may attend school in the U.S.
- An E-2 visa is usually issued to an employee for a period of up to five years. Applications for extensions have no limit as long as the business meets the qualifications (and the trade and commerce treaty between the U.S. and Israel has not been canceled).
- There is no annual limit on the number of E-2 applications that can be approved. Therefore, it is possible to apply for and receive an E-2 visa throughout the year, for any number of qualified employees, as required.
- There is no requirement for an academic degree, seniority or exceptional skills: Qualified employees in E-2 status are not required to have an academic degree or have work experience in the company (but the employee must possess the skills necessary to perform the specific job). Therefore, an Israeli employee can be recruited and placed in the U.S. immediately after his/her recruitment to the company.
For more on the E-2 treaty investor visa, contact our experienced corporate immigration attorneys at David Hirson & Partners, LLP. Contact us through our website or by calling our office: +1-949-383-5358.