There are unique business relationships between the State of Israel and the United States. It follows that there are some unique issues when it comes to business immigration during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
We have reported on immigration issues generally following the pandemic-related shut-downs. These include:
- Travel restrictions from certain countries;
- Changes in business immigration processing at the Department of Labor and USCIS/DHS;
- Implications for companies laying off and furloughing sponsored workers on visas.
In terms of Israeli immigration to the U.S. during the time of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the United States and Israel have signed a treaty permitting investors from each country to enter the other country for purposes of overseeing investments.
Additionally, Israeli investors may obtain E-2 visas for qualified treaty investors and employees, as well as their dependent family members. Extensions may be granted in increments of up to two years, with no maximum limit.
Given the flexibility of the E-2 visa and Israel’s strong position in the hi-tech sector, this visa may potentially be used to advance Israeli business interests and streamline entrepreneurial ventures in the United States.
While the U.S. consulates that issue visas are temporarily closed and travel is generally restricted from many parts of the world, it is still possible to travel from Israel to the United States.
Individuals from Israel who want to explore business options in the United States are still permitted to enter the United States to do so. Once the Consular services at the U.S. Embassies and consulates re-open, application for the E-2 investor visas will once again be accepted. Should an Israeli investor wish to begin the process of obtaining an E-2 visa, the petition and supporting documentation may still be prepared at this time.
The recent proclamation by the Trump Administration suspending certain immigration into the United States released on April 22, 2020, has little impact on Israeli investors. The proclamation was aimed at immigration that would impact U.S. job recovery. E-2 investors by the very nature of the visa create jobs for U.S. workers.
For more information and updates on the developing COVID-19 situation, visit GT’s Health Emergency Preparedness Task Force: Coronavirus Disease 2019.