What is the change? Israel’s Ministry of Interior has published regulations outlining eligibility requirements and application processes for U.S. nationals seeking B-5 Investor or related visas.

What does the change mean? The regulations will allow investors, senior managers and essential employees to apply for visas to manage investment enterprises in Israel. Visas will also be available to dependent spouses and minor children. Investments must be substantial, must benefit the Israeli economy and must support Israeli jobs growth. Applications will be accepted at any of four Israeli consulates in the U.S.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.  
  • Visas/permits affected: For U.S. nationals: B-5 Investor Visas, B-51 visa for senior management/essential skills employees, B-52 visas for dependent spouses of the principal visa applicant and B-53 visas for dependent minor children of the principal visa applicant.
  • Who is affected: U.S. nationals applying for B-5 investor visas and their dependent family members. B-51 visa for senior management/essential skills employees. 

Additional information: The U.S. and Israel implemented an agreement May 1 to provide investor visas to nationals of each other’s countries. Israel’s Ministry of Interior recently published details about eligibility requirements and the application process.

Petitioners must meet both investment/enterprise and personal eligibility requirements to qualify for the visas. The investment in question must be made by a U.S. investor or a corporation that is at least 50% owned by a U.S. national or a group of U.S. nationals. The investor must be actively investing a substantial amount of capital in a new or existing for-profit Israeli enterprise, and the investment must be expected to contribute to the Israeli economy and provide employment for Israeli nationals. The petitioner must be a U.S. citizen and must be a senior manager or essential employee who will stay in Israel to help direct the enterprise.

The regulation creates the following visa categories: B-5 investor visas, B-51 visas for senior managers or essential skills employees, B-52 visas for dependent spouses and B-53 visas for dependent minor children (under 21 years old).

Applications must include supporting documentation and evidence on the investment, including, in most cases, detailed business plans and the role the visa applicant will play in the investment. Additional documents may be requested after the initial submission. In-person interviews will be conducted at the consulate where the application is submitted. The application will then be sent to the Ministry of Interior in Israel and will be reviewed by The Industrial Cooperation Authority, at the Ministry of Economy and Industry and the Ministry of Finance. An inter-ministerial committee will make a recommendation to the Ministry of Interior, which will make the final decision. Initial visas will be valid for two years, extendable by one-year increments in Israel.

Analysis & Comments: The reciprocal visa program is designed to encourage trade and investment between the U.S. and Israel. The new B-5 Investor Visas provide a new path for U.S. investors, managers or essential employees looking to relocate to Israel.

Source: Deloitte LLP. Deloitte LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC303675 and its registered office at 1 New Street Square, London EC4A 3HQ, United Kingdom.