U.S. Expands Treaty with Israel for E-2 Investor Visas
With all the news about DHS prosecutorial discretion, it’s easy to forget that the Obama administration has made other advancements that impact existing immigration laws. After passing both the House and Senate, President Obama signed legislation on June 11, 2012 expanding E-2 Investor Visas to Israeli nationals. The terms and conditions to this agreement have yet to be finalized by both countries but we should anticipate seeing them soon. (The list of current treaty countries eligible for E-1 or E-2 visa classification is available on the Department of State’s website. (The list needs to be updated to include the latest legislation.))
This news is particularly timely, preceding the recent announcement by Facebook of its purchaseof Face.com, an Israeli facial recognition software company, for $55 to $60 million.
Israel has been developing its reputation as a technology hub for many years, currently boasting more than 4,000 technology start-ups, despite the small size of the country. According to theBBC, more than $884 million was invested in 2010 by venture capitalists. With a bit of legislative and legal assistance, those investments can now be redirected to the U.S. to boost start-ups here. What does this mean for our readers who are business immigration practitioners? Those who are well-versed in preparing complex treaty visas for foreign traders and investors have another reason to celebrate this recent piece of legislation, which expands the pool of foreign investors in the United States.
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