Washington, D.C. Adhikari Law PLLC. The U.S. has started the implementation of the U.S. E-2 Investor Visa for Israeli nationals, beginning May 1. E-2 visa is a temporary (nonimmigrant) visa that can be used to develop, direct, or provide specialized skills to an enterprise in which the owner has invested a substantial amount of capital. With the implementation of this visa, Israeli investors now have the opportunity to invest in the U.S. economy and send qualified employees to the United States. Likewise, U.S. citizens will be eligible to apply for visas to invest in Israel.
To qualify for a Treaty Investor (E-2) visa:
· The investment must be substantial and sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise;
· The business must be a real operating enterprise;
· The investor must be traveling to the U.S. to develop and direct the enterprise;
· If the applicant is not the investor, he or she must be employed in a supervisory, executive, or highly specialized skill capacity.
All Israeli companies seeking E-visas for their owners or employees must apply at the Branch Office in Tel Aviv and establish that the trading enterprise or investment meets the requirements. The company and applicant have the burden of demonstrating fulfillment of requirements for Treaty Trader/Investor status under Foreign Affairs Manual. For both first-time applicants and renewals, the company must submit supporting documents, including the individual application for the employee, by mail.
If USCIS authorized a Change of Status to E for a person in the United States, that status is only valid as long as you remain in the United States. To obtain an E-visa, the company and applicant must submit a complete package by mail as per first time applicants.
Selected Required Documents:
· Cover Letter: This must be printed on company letterhead and outline the company’s qualifications for E-1 status. The letter must address all the requirements for E visa eligibility as defined by the Foreign Affairs Manual.
· Table of Contents: Identify the documents provided and their location in the binder.
· Completed Application: Form DS-156E Part I- Business Profile, and Part II -Staff. Please complete every question and do not write “see attached” in response to any question.
· Evidence that the company meets the ownership requirements:
o For public companies: a translated copy of the Company Registrar from the Israeli Ministry of Justice, detailing the shareholders’ names and percentage of stock ownership, and a statement from a CPA stating the amount of stock that is traded on any stock exchange.
o For privately owned companies: documentation of ownership.
o For companies that are ultimately owned by other Israeli companies or by a consortium: documentation identifying the ultimate shareholders by nationality (Note: To the extent that a certain percentage of a company’s stock is traded on the TASE, the nationality of the shareholders of that stock may be assumed to be Israeli.)
o For companies that have been incorporated in the U.S.: certificate/articles of incorporation, certificate of shares issued to shareholders, business license, and lease contracts. [In all cases, please submit a formal CPA letter indicating the nature of the company (branch, subsidiary, or partnership), its structure, the ownership distribution, and nationality of shareholders.]
· Proof of Israeli nationality: The nationality of an enterprise is determined by the nationality of its individual owners. Documents to prove nationality may include a valid passport of the owners of the ultimate parent company.
· Evidence that at least 50% of international trade is between the U.S. and Israel: A formal statement from the company’s CPA showing international imports/exports over the last year. The statement must include:
o Which countries the company imports from
o Which countries the company export to
o The volume of trade with each country
o The volume of returned goods
o The number of transactions with each country
· Evidence of substantial and continuous flow in goods/services:
o Invoices of purchases and sales for the last year
o Bank records
o Bills of shipment
· Evidence of the company’s financial situation:
o Most recent audited financial statement
o Most recent quarterly annual report
o Most recent U.S. tax return
· The file MUST include an Employee’s visa application:
o Completed DS-160
o Evidence of payment of the MRV application fee (payable on the Visa Information Service website)
o One photograph that meets the specifications
o Form DS-156E
o Employee’s Curriculum Vitae
o Letter on company letterhead explaining the reasons why the employee must be in the U.S. and a description of his/her responsibilities
o Photocopy of the bio page of the employee’s passport
· Visa application for dependents: for each family member
The documentation requirement and the process for E-2 visa is complex and generally requires a professional help. If you or your employer want to learn more about E-2 Investor Visa program or work visa for manager or executives do contact us at (+1) 888 820 4430 (toll free), or (+1) 202 600 7742, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: This is a blog post by Adhikari Law PLLC LC and should NOT be construed as a legal advice.