B-5 Investor Visa
Israel and the United States have had a strong, dynamic, commercial, and economic relationship for many years. It is the government’s decision to introduce an investor visa in Israel for U.S. citizens.
B-5 is an investor’s visa which provides an opportunity for qualifying US entrepreneurs to enter and work in Israel in order to develop and direct their Israeli business. The B-5 can be used to start a business or buy an existing business. Key employees of the qualifying company, who are also US nationals, can also be eligible for derivative status.
General Information about the Treaty and the Israel and US Trade
In 2013, the exchange of commerce between the U.S. and Israel – mainly commerce manufactured by the chemical industry, such as machinery and mechanical equipment – reached approximately $27 billion. In 2017, the exchange of commerce between the U.S. and Israel – mainly commerce manufactured by the chemical industry, such as machinery and mechanical equipment – reached approximately $66 billion.
The government’s bill to introduce an investor visa in Israel was passed on March 30, 2014, and will enable American investors who have, or wish to make a significant investment in a business or entrepreneurship (that holds the potential of contributing to the Israeli market), to work in Israel and develop their investment.
The total sum of direct foreign investments in Israel during 2016 stood at $11 billion. Over $2 billion was invested in Israel by Americans in 2016, and the U.S. is currently at the top of the list of countries that invest in Israel. Comparably, Israel has been the source of $10 billion invested in the U.S., and as such, is ranked as one of the top 20 countries that invest in the U.S. Throughout the past decade, the direct foreign investments from Israel to the U.S. stood at approximately $60 billion. Israel invested in the U.S. almost as much as China did, and in 2010, was one of the top 20 countries whose direct investments in the U.S. were highest. Israel was even ranked higher than countries such as Brazil, India, Russia, and Taiwan.
Hundreds of Israeli companies operate in the U.S. in a variety of different industrial sectors, including production, research, development, and professional services through subsidiary companies and/or business partners. The investor visa enables investors and their employees to transfer and work in Israel to develop their investment. To receive a work permit or an extension of the permit, the investor will need to prove that the investment is active and that the company is developing in such a way that will contribute to the Israeli economy.
The U.S. and Israeli governments have only continued to strengthen their cooperation and ties after approving the law that enables Israeli citizens to apply for the investor visa (E-2) in the U.S. After approval from the Knesset’s Internal Affairs Committee, Israel is currently writing the procedures that would allow a U.S. citizen and his / her employee who is essential to this investment in Israel, as well as the family of the U.S citizen to begin applying for the investor visa in Israel. The U.S. citizens will have the ability to apply for the Israeli investor visa in the free trade areas (Washington, Chicago, New York, Houston, and San Francisco), after which it will be reviewed by an inter-office committee made up of representatives of the Population Immigration and Border Authority, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Finance.