U.S. Rep. Howard L. Berman, Ranking Member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced the bill H.R. 3992 today allowing Israeli nationals to apply for an E-2 investor visa to the United States.
"My legislation will encourage Israeli business leaders to invest in the United States and lead to the creation of jobs for American workers," said U.S. Rep. Howard Berman, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. "Israel is one of our closest allies in the world and a significant investor in the U.S. economy. The E-2 investor visa program will strengthen the vital U.S.-Israel relationship, boost the American middle class, and help grow the economies of both countries."
Joining Congressman Berman as original co-sponsors of H.R. 3992, are Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Immigration Policy Subcommittee, and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
E-2 Visa Background Material
An E-2 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that permits foreign investors to temporarily live and work in close proximity to their investments in the U.S. The Senate companion bill, S.921, was introduced by Sens. Schumer, Kirk and Kyl. In the House, joining Mr. Berman as original co-sponsors are Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Immigration Policy Subcommittee, and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Background on Investor Visas: There are currently two categories of nonimmigrant investor visas: E-1 visas for treaty traders and the E-2 for treaty investors. Both classes of visas require that a treaty exist between the U.S. and the applicant's country. An E-1 treaty trader visa allows a foreign national to come the U.S. for the purpose of conducting "substantial trade" between the U.S. and the applicant's country. An E-2 treaty investor can be any applicant who comes to the U.S. to develop and direct the operations of a business in which the applicant has invested, or is in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital. These E-class visas are based on the principle that foreign direct investment into the U.S. spurs economic growth.