E-2 visa program could expand, include applicants from Israel

In this era of smart phones, web meetings and sprawling interconnectivity, it is easier than ever to manage or be a part of a business that does not operate in your country. This globalization is breaking the notion that running a business overseas may not be feasible, and thankfully the United States has visa programs that embrace this notion.

The E-2 Visa program allows immigrants to live and work in the U.S. on a temporary basis, granting a two-year term in the country. The employment immigration program is also called the Treaty Investors visa and is available to people in nearly 80 countries around the world.

One member of the U.S. House of Representatives is looking to expand the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa program by allowing Israeli nationals to be part of the employment immigration plan. The representative who created the E-2 bill cited Israel’s strong presence in the U.S. economy. He said Israel is a “significant investor in the U.S. economy” and added that the bill will “boost the American middle class and help grow the economies of both countries.”

“My legislation will encourage Israeli business leaders to invest in the United States and lead to the creation of jobs for American workers,” he said.

There are three qualifications that must be met to apply for an E-2 visa. The first is that the U.S. must have a commerce and navigation treaty with the applicant’s country. The applicant must also establish that he or she has a 50% ownership stake in the company, that they hold a managerial position in the enterprise and that their sole reason for seeking an E-2 visa is to develop and direct the business.

The last item of eligibility for an E-2 visa is that the applying party has invested or is in the process of investing a “substantial amount of capital” into the business. That qualifier has not yet been fully defined under the new bill, but it a formula might be involved to set the rule.

Visa applications can be completed in a more efficient manner with the support of an attorney, especially with our immigration laws in flux. Discussing the opportunity to gain temporary U.S. status through an employment immigration program with a lawyer can expedite the process and give you the knowledge necessary to complete your E-2 visa and run your business to the best of your abilities.

Source: Workpermit.com, “US bill would allow Israelis to apply for E-2 Treaty Investor visas,” Feb. 18, 2012