April 23, 2014

E-2 Visas for Israelis: Security Concerns and Upcoming Elections May Delay Implementation

The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv has not yet issued guidance to the public on the availability of E-2 visas for Israeli citizens. Nearly six months ago, President Obama signed legislation that would add Israel to the list of countries eligible for non-immigrant investor visas to the United States. The legislation, which was spearheaded by Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), would grant E-2 investor visas to Israelis, allowing them to live and work in the U.S. to be closer to their investments. As of today, there does not appear to have been any movement in implementing this important legislation. The overriding issue is the fact that the Israeli government must create a reciprocal visa for Americans investing in Israel. Given recent events in Israel, the E-2 visa does not appear to be a priority.

Recently, Mintz Levin inquired with the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv about the status of plans to implement the E-2 visa. Specifically, we requested a projected timeframe for E-2 visas to become available for our Israeli citizen clients, many of whom are waiting to file E-2 applications.  The response we received indicated that the Embassy is clearly taking steps internally to be in a state of preparedness to issue E-2 visas as soon as the law is implemented. However, the news is mixed: there is a delay within the Israeli government. Specifically, the Embassy is waiting for the Israeli government to specify the reciprocal treatment to be offered to Americans seeking a comparable visa. According to the Embassy, this requires government coordination between the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Trade and Labor and possibly the Ministry of Justice.

With an Israeli election in January 2013, we anticipate further delays with the implementation of the E-2 visa. In addition to security concerns and recent rocket attacks inside Israel, the upcoming election may delay the implementation of the E-2 visa. The representatives of the Israeli government agencies involved in presenting a reciprocal visa to the American government may be replaced after the election. While we hope that the current government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will prioritize the implementation of a reciprocal investment visa for Americans, the Israeli government is preoccupied with a delicate cease-fire with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Thus, we may be waiting for some time for E-2 visas to become available, unless the Israeli government takes swift action this month to create a reciprocal visa category.

©1994-2014 Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. All Rights Reserved.

About the Author

Douglas Hauer, Immigration Attorney, Mintz Levin Law Firm

Douglas is a Member in the firm's Immigration Practice and also practices in the Israel Business Group. His practice focuses on business immigration law, related government investigations, family-based green card sponsorship processes, EB-5 investor visa filings, and corporate immigration policy development.

He has represented multinational corporations in the financial services, technology, management consulting, hedge fund, specialty chemicals, insurance, defense, and engineering sectors. He has in-depth experience counseling corporate clients on the immigration...


Boost: AJAX core statistics

Legal Disclaimer

You are responsible for reading, understanding and agreeing to the National Law Review's (NLR’s) and the National Law Forum LLC's  Terms of Use and Privacy Policy before using the National Law Review website. The National Law Review is a free to use, no-log in database of legal and business articles. The content and links on are intended for general information purposes only. Any legal analysis, legislative updates or other content and links should not be construed as legal or professional advice or a substitute for such advice. No attorney-client or confidential relationship is formed by the transmission of information between you and the National Law Review website or any of the law firms, attorneys or other professionals or organizations who include content on the National Law Review website. If you require legal or professional advice, kindly contact an attorney or other suitable professional advisor.  

Some states have laws and ethical rules regarding solicitation and advertisement practices by attorneys and/or other professionals. The National Law Review is not a law firm nor is  intended to be  a referral service for attorneys and/or other professionals. The NLR does not wish, nor does it intend, to solicit the business of anyone or to refer anyone to an attorney or other professional.  NLR does not answer legal questions nor will we refer you to an attorney or other professional if you request such information from us. 

Under certain state laws the following statements may be required on this website and we have included them in order to be in full compliance with these rules. The choice of a lawyer or other professional is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. Attorney Advertising Notice: Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Statement in compliance with Texas Rules of Professional Conduct. Unless otherwise noted, attorneys are not certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, nor can NLR attest to the accuracy of any notation of Legal Specialization or other Professional Credentials.

The National Law Review - National Law Forum LLC 4700 Gilbert Ave. Suite 47 #230 Western Springs, IL 60558  Telephone  (708) 357-3317 If you would ike to contact us via email please click here.