In mid-August the Israeli Knesset Interior Committee approved a bilateral treaty between Israel and the United States, allowing U.S. citizens to receive investor visas in Israel. This paves the way for the implementation of the E-2 visa process for Israeli nationals seeking to invest in U.S. businesses. The Israeli investment visa allows U.S. citizens to stay and work in Israel for as long as needed for the investment, along with any essential employees and family. The U.S.’s E-2 treaty investor visa would permit the same for Israeli citizens. While President Obama signed legislation for implementation of an investor treaty for Israelis in June 2012, its implementation has been delayed while the Obama administration works at finalizing the terms of the visa. The approval by the Israeli appears to be the last obstacle in the process. The decision comes despite ongoing issues over restrictions on Israeli citizens from receiving tourist visas until further notice. In April, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced an internal review into claims that hundreds of young Israelis were being barred from entering the U.S. for political reasons. An initial investigation found that the rejection rate of visa applications for young Israelis ages 21–26 had doubled, from 16 percent in 2009 to 32 percent in 2014. U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro stated that the visa crisis was close to coming to an end several days later.
It is anticipated that both governments will finalize procedures and U.S. federal agencies will begin to accept E-2 visa applications for Israelis soon.
Israeli nationals seeking U.S. visas based on international trade may apply under the E-1 trader visa category pursuant to the currently existing U.S.-Israel trade treaty.