By Nashwa Azzam, Esq., Associate, U.S. Dept. |

If you are interested in working in the U.S. you must apply for a work visa. Depending on the business structure and the employment requirements, there are a number of work visa options available.

Israelis are highly driven entrepreneurs and are especially innovative as evidenced by the number of start-up companies. For this reason, the most relevant visa type for Israelis is the E2 Visa.

The E2 visa is an investor visa requiring the following:

1.      The investor/applicant must hold Israeli nationality;

2.      The company must be Israeli – meaning that at least 50% of the U.S. enterprise is Israeli owned;

3.      The investment in the U.S. entity must be “substantial” and traceable.

4.      The applicant for the E2 visa must be heading to the U.S to develop and direct the U.S. entity, or serve in an executive or supervisory capacity; or hold skills which are essential to the efficient operation of the U.S. organization.

Other temporary work visas available to Israelis include:

  • E-1 (Treaty Trader): Aimed for the Israeli national who, upon relocation, will continue to facilitate substantial trade (in services, goods or technology) between the U.S. and Israel.
  • L-1 (Intra-company Transferee): A manager, executive, or specialized knowledge employee that has been employed for at least 1 continuous year in Israel within the last 3 years, with a company that has a qualifying relationship (i.e. subsidiary, parent, affiliate, or branch) with the U.S. entity. The visa applicant will also need to be employed in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity by the U.S. company.
  • H-1B (Academic Specialty Occupation): Applicant must have at least a relevant Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent and highly specialized knowledge in the relevant field.
  • O (Extraordinary Ability or Achievement): Applicant has extraordinary ability or achievement in science, art, education, business, athletics, or motion picture/television, and has been nationally or internationally recognized.
  • P (Artist or Entertainer): The visa is for a group of artists or entertainers going to the U.S. to perform.
  • J-1 (Exchange Visitor Program): Visa based on an approved program by the US Department of State that is available for: students, nurses, professors, teachers, and business hospitality applicants.
  • Q (International Cultural Exchange Program): Visa based on the exchange of culture/traditions from applicants home country.


For a detailed explanation of each visa type, the requirements, and whether you may qualify please contact Cindy Azoulay, Partner ( or Nashwa Azzam, Associate ( U.S. Department, Kan-Tor and Acco.

NOTE: With limited exceptions, due to COVID-19, the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv Branch are currently not processing routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visas. Kan-Tor & Acco will keep clients informed of any new changes through our client alerts.