The United States Embassy in Israel announced a new agreement permitting Israeli citizens to apply to the E-2 visa starting this month. Through the treaty, Israel follows 80 other countries listed under treaty investor status.
The E-2 treaty investor program permits any national of a country with a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States to apply to be admitted into the United States as a capital investor. Those permitted the E-2 non-immigrant classification may enter the United States to invest in businesses. This program expands trade agreements between the US and its allies by allowing foreign investment in U.S. business. To be eligible for the program, investors must hold at least 50% stake of the developing business. The E-2 program additionally expands to employees and organizational associates of primary investors who serve as essential personnel to the U.S. business.
The agreement between the U.S. and Israel will boost commerce. The Israeli Tech industry, in particular, has shown interest in expanding in the U.S. market and investing in new startups. According to Forbes, “around 15% of all venture capital investment in cybersecurity goes to Israel, and a recent report from the Israel Venture Capital Research center and ZAG-S&W firm showed that $1.44 billion raised in high tech capital in Q3 of 2017, with the average financing round at $10 million.”The agreement, years in the making, began during the Obama administration in 2012. However, the federal government does not begin a E-2 program with a treaty country until a similar investment exchange program exist with the agreement party. Therefore, given delays in the government of Israel, the Israeli program launched only last year. While years in the making, this agreement should bring booming business to the United States given the successful growing start-up economy in Israel.