E2 Visa for Israeli Citizens: Update November 2012 Serious Delays!

We have been waiting anxiously for updates on the processing of the E2 Treaty for Israeli Nationals, so far no news from the Israeli side.

Recently the Law firm of Mintz Levin inquired with the US Embassy in Tel Aviv and here is a report from their end:

Recently, Mintz Levin inquired with the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv about the status of plans to implement the E-2 visa. Specifically, we requested a projected timeframe for E-2 visas to become available for our Israeli citizen clients, many of whom are waiting to file E-2 applications. The response we received indicated that the Embassy is clearly taking steps internally to be in a state of preparedness to issue E-2 visas as soon as the law is implemented. However, the news is mixed: there is a delay within the Israeli government. Specifically, the Embassy is waiting for the Israeli government to specify the reciprocal treatment to be offered to Americans seeking a comparable visa. According to the Embassy, this requires government coordination between the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Trade and Labor and possibly the Ministry of Justice.

With an Israeli election in January 2013, we anticipate further delays with the implementation of the E-2 visa. In addition to security concerns and recent rocket attacks inside Israel, the upcoming election may delay the implementation of the E-2 visa. The representatives of the Israeli government agencies involved in presenting a reciprocal visa to the American government may be replaced after the election. While we hope that the current government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will prioritize the implementation of a reciprocal investment visa for Americans, the Israeli government is preoccupied with a delicate cease-fire with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Thus, we may be waiting for some time for E-2 visas to become available, unless the Israeli government takes swift action this month to create a reciprocal visa category.

We have conducted a similar inquiry in August and at that time the Embassy informed us that they are also are waiting for guidance and will update the public once filing may be possible.

We have been getting calls from clients stating that there are rumors about the possibility to change status to the E2 visa inside the United States. This is not possible as the Treaty has not been ratified yet. Be careful from offers to file change of status to the E2 visa for Israelis at this time. Keep following our site for updates.