The E-2 treaty investor agreement signed between the United States and Israel came into effect on May 1, 2019. Israeli nationals who are interested in investing in the United States can now apply for the E-2 visa. USCIS has also announced that starting on May 1, certain Israeli nationals who are lawfully present in the United States may request a change of status into E-2 treaty investor classification. Israeli nationals who are currently already in the country in a lawful nonimmigrant status can file a Form I-129 to request the change. Spouses and unmarried children of investors can file a concurrently Form I-539 to also change status.
The State Department announced that E-2 visas for Israeli nationals are valid for a maximum of 24 months at a time. This means the longest the E-2 visa can be issued is 2 years, at which point the investor will have to apply to renew at a consulate or with USCIS. Reciprocity of a visa, the length it is valid for, varies widely depending on the county. The longest an E-2 visa can be valid for is 5 years, and the shortest are 3 months. E-2 visas can be renewed indefinitely as long as the business meets requirements.
For citizens of a treaty country, an E-2 visa is a convenient way to obtain a visa to enter, work, and live in the United States. The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa is a non-immigrant visa where investors can purchase an existing company or start up a brand-new company and continue to renew the visa as long as the company is maintained. For more information about E-2 visa requirements, please click here.
It was announced back in March 2019 that a trade agreement between Israel and the U.S. has finally been finalized. Israel has been an E-1 treaty Trader visa treaty country with the United States since 1954. An E-1 visa is a Treaty Trader Visa and allows nationals from certain countries to live and work in the United States to engage in international trade between the U.S. and their home country. The process of Israel becoming an E-2 treaty country started back in June 2012. Negotiation between the United States and Israel were plagued by delays as both sides were dissatisfied with the reciprocal visas and was further delayed by the change in presidency. Now, after 7 years of negotiations, the E-2 visa will be available for Israeli and United States citizens who are interested in living in the other country.
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