What Israeli Entrepreneurs Need to Know about the New E-2 Visa

What Israeli Entrepreneurs Need to Know about the New E-2 Visa

The E-2 visa will pave the way for business opportunities to Israeli-owned newly established companies in the U.S., as well as companies that are already operating and expanding in the U.S.  In essence, the E-2 visa is designed for Israeli entrepreneurs who invest in the U.S. in order to establish a business or purchase an existing business that will generate jobs in the U.S.

An E-2 visa, also referred to as the “Investor Visa”, is a nonimmigrant work visa which permits a national of a qualifying country, such as Israel, to come to the U.S. temporarily, initially for up to 5-years period – if certain conditions are met.

It is important to consult with a U.S. immigration attorney and thoroughly evaluate whether this is the right immigration visa for each applicant to pursue and whether the required prerequisites terms can be properly satisfied.

  1. Here are some of the key conditions:
  • The U.S. company must ultimately be majority owned by an Israeli entity or a company.
  • All applicants for E-2 visa must hold Israeli citizenship.
  • The investment in the U.S. company must be substantialand subject to the discretion of the Consular Officer.
  • The investment must be a real investment in an operating enterprise – speculative or idle investment and uncommitted funds in a bank account or similar security do not qualify.
  • The investment may not be marginal – the funds invested must have the capacity to generate significantly more income than just to provide a living to applicant or it must have a significant economic impact in the U.S.
  • The investor must have control of the funds and the investment must be at risk in the commercial sense.
  • The applicant must be coming to the U.S. to develop and direct the enterprise (i.e., if the applicant is the principal investor) or he or she must be an executive or a manager or have specialized knowledge that is proprietary to the company.
  1. Where to apply and how long might the process take?

Unlike most other U.S. nonimmigrant work visas, the E-2 visa is adjudicated at the U.S. Embassy in Israel by the Consular Officer.  As such, the E-2 visa application materials must be prepared, arranged and submitted directly to the U.S. Embassy, which will review the application and advise when an interview appointment can be scheduled.  The U.S. Embassy is currently advising that it expects the initial review to take 2 to 3 weeks, but in most countries, this process usually takes between 4 and 6 weeks.

  1. Can family members join the applicant?

Spouses of the principal applicant and unmarried children under the age of 21 who wish to join the principal applicant can apply for E derivative visas at the same time as the principal applicant or at a later date by preparing and filing the materials required by the U.S. Embassy in Israel.

A key advantage is that the spouse of a principal E-2 visa holder can work in the U.S. However, only after entering the U.S. using the E-2 derivative spouse visa and then filing an application with USCIS for work authorization and obtaining an Employment Authorization Card, which will permit the spouse to work for any employer in the U.S.

Contact one of our experienced immigration lawyers in New York today at (718) 407-0871 or online at https://www.prizant-law.com if you need help with E-2 Investor Visa or any other solutions to your immigration problems.

 

Contributed by Svetlana Prizant, an Award Winning New York Immigration Lawyer

Call or visit Prizant Law at:

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