On June 8, 2012, President Obama signed into law legislation (H.R. 3992) that adds Israel to the list of more than 75 countries whose nationals are eligible to receive E-2 nonimmigrant visas as investors. The measure is contingent on Israel providing reciprocal nonimmigrant status to U.S. nationals in Israel.
The E-2 “treaty investor” visa allows an individual, who is a national of a country with which the United States has an appropriate treaty of trade and commerce, to come to the United States for the purpose of developing and directing the operations of a U.S. business enterprise in which he or she has invested a “substantial” amount of capital. The legislation will allow Israeli nationals to expand their businesses in the United States. Supporters of the new law maintain that this will facilitate job creation and spur economic growth.