Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Congressman Howard L. Berman's bipartisan bill, H.R. 3992, to spur international investment in the United States and create jobs. Specifically, the bill would allow Israeli nationals to apply for an E-2 investor visa to the United States, adding them to a list of over 75 countries already eligible for E-2visas.
"With passage of this bill, Israeli investors are one step closer to expanding their businesses to the United States and creating jobs for hardworking American workers," said Rep. Berman. "Israel is a trusted friend and a special ally, and this legislation expands business opportunities that will provide economic benefits for both countries. This legislation further strengthens this bond, generating increased Israeli investment in the U.S. economy while helping create jobs in the San Fernando Valley and elsewhere."
The bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 371 - 0.
A bipartisan companion to Congressman Berman's bill is making its way through the U.S. Senate and sponsored by Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY), Mark Kirk (R-IL) and John Kyl (R-AZ).
Background on E-2 Investor Visas
E-2 visas are temporary visas available to foreign nationals who must be a national of a country with which the United States has a treaty. To qualify for thevisa, a foreign national must come to the U.S. in order 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. The E-2 visa isbased on the principle that foreign direct investment into the U.S. spurs economic growth.
Currently, nationals of over 75 countries are eligible for E-2 visas -- from Albania to the Ukraine. In fiscal year 2010, over 25,000 foreign investors were granted E-2 visas.