The Door Swings Both Ways for U.S. and Israeli Investors


By: Layli Eskandari Deal

In June 2012, Congress passed a law which authorized E-2 Investor visa classification for Israeli nationals provided that Israel’s government would establish a similar status for U.S. citizens. After a long regulatory change process, U.S. citizens can now apply for and obtain the B-5 Israeli Investor visa. In response, the U.S. government has made available the E-2 Investor Visa to Israeli citizens. The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv will start accepting E-2 visa applications on behalf of Israeli investors on May 1, 2019.
The E-2 Investor Visa is a temporary 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. To qualify for a Treaty Investor (E-2) visa:

  • The individual or the company has the nationality of the treaty country (at least half of the company must be owned by Israeli nationals).
  • The investment must be substantial and sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise beyond just providing a minimal living for the investor and their family.
  • The business must be a real operating enterprise.
  • The investor must be traveling to the U.S. to develop and direct the enterprise.
  • If the applicant is not the investor, he or she must be employed in a supervisory, executive, or highly specialized skill capacity.

The E-2 visa will provide a much-needed alternative visa category to Israeli entrepreneurs and Israel’s flourishing hi-tech sector.
For additional information related to this topic and for advice regarding how to navigate U.S. immigration laws, you may contact Layli Eskandari Deal of the law firm of Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP at (770-551-2700) or