Final hurdle cleared for reciprocal investor visa programs

9 Jan 17

ISRAEL, UNITED STATES

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? The Israeli government has agreed to reciprocal terms with the U.S. on investor visas.

What does the change mean? The decision clears the way for Israel to offer investor visas to U.S. nationals under terms that are similar to those of the U.S. E-2 treaty investor program for which Israeli citizens will be eligible.

  • Implementation time frame: Israeli authorities plan to announce regulations in March.
  • Visas/permits affected: American E-2 treaty trader investor visas; Israeli B-5 investor visas.
  • Who is affected: Israeli and U.S. nationals.
  • Business impact: The visa programs will attract investment between the two countries.

Background: The two countries have been in discussion over the visas since 2012, when the U.S. moved to make Israelis eligible for investor visas but required reciprocal rules. In 2014, Israel also approved a decision to offer investor visas to Americans, but implementation stalled because Israel was required to make changes to its regulations in order to parallel the U.S. rules. The Israeli government has now accepted the changes required by the U.S. and is poised to implement the visas once procedures are in place.

The U.S. E-2 treaty investor visas allow certain foreign nationals to enter the U.S. for purposes of making a substantial investment in a bona fide new or existing business in which they have at least 50 percent ownership or control.

BAL Analysis: In the coming months, interested investors can expect procedures to be published and a start date to be announced for the visas.

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

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