What is the change? The Israeli government has signaled its readiness to offer a new B-5 investment visa for Americans investing in Israel.

What does the change mean? The new visa would create a reciprocal arrangement in which Israeli investors will be offered E-2 visas for entry into the U.S. in exchange for a similar visa opportunity for American investors in Israel.

  • Implementation timeframe:This summer.
  • Visas/permits affected:The American E-2 visa and the new B-5 Israeli visa.
  • Who is affected:American and Israeli businesses with investments in each other’s countries.
  • Impact on processing times:To be determined.
  • Business impact:The arrangement should create new opportunities for investment in both countries.
  • Next steps:Israel will issue regulations for the new visa.

Background: Last year, President Obama signed legislation to add Israel to the list of countries that are eligible for the E-2 non-immigrant investor visa in the U.S., allowing investors and their employees to live in the U.S. for up to two years. A reciprocal plan for American investors in Israel was formulated by an inter-ministerial committee and approved by the Israeli government March 30, but implementation has been delayed.

The American-Israel Chamber of Commerce recently sponsored a seminar at which a representative of the Ministry of the Interior stated that Israel anticipates issuance of the regulations this summer. It would be the first Israeli work visa that would allow employment authorization for dependent spouses. It would be valid for one year and may be extended upon a showing of job creation in Israel.

BAL Analysis: The new reciprocal visa arrangement should benefit American and Israeli companies making investments in each other’s countries.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Israel. For additional information, contact your BAL attorney.

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