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Investors Visa in Israel for Americans – Important Information

Michael Decker
Michael Decker

The Investors Visa in Israel for US citizens as explained by Israeli Immigration Lawyer, Advocate Michael Decker. In order for an American investor to obtain the Israeli B-5 investor’s visa, they must invest in an economically viable Israeli business. The investor must possess ownership of at least 50% of the business or operative control of the venture. Operative control can be established through a directorial / managerial business capacity or through other means.

In light of the above, we would suggest that the best way to simplify the process is to have the investor register a local company in Israel. The investor can directly posses ownership in the company in question. The company can also be owned by proxy – if the investor owns or controls a US company, the new Israeli company can be established by / owned / a subsidiary of the US company.

The investor’s visa in Israel is based on a mutual agreement that is currently only relevant to USA nationals.

Accumulative Conditions Necessary for the Investors Visa Procedure:

An application for the B-5 investor’s visa requires several accumulative conditions:

  • The investor must possess ownership of at least 50% in the relevant business venture, or operative control of the business venture through a directorial / managerial business capacity or through other corporate means, or in any other way.
  • Prior to submitting the application, the investor must already possess certain funds or investment capital. In other words, they must have in actuality harnessed capital resources of a significant scope to benefit the business venture, capital resources which will be sufficient for the successful operation of the business venture. The scope of said funds must indicate that the Investor has taken a financial risk in connection with the business venture, and serve as proof of the investor’s irrevocable commitment to the business venture.

The amount of the investment will be assessed proportionally to the total value of the business venture.

  • The business venture must comply with all relevant legal regulations Israel. If the foreign investor is unfamiliar with Israeli business law, a competent Israeli law firm can ensure this is the case.
  • The business venture must create economic growth in the Israeli market and create jobs in Israel.
  • The business venture must be an active venture and not a marginal venture. There is no objective criteria for an “active venture”, but workers employed and financial turnover are an important factor.

A “marginal venture”‘s operational scope will provide a living for the investor and his family members only. The exception is a project which includes a real possibility for significant contribution to the Israeli economy within a reasonable time period. In this regard, a reasonable time period is considered to be a period of up to five years.

The Investor May Invite Additional US Workers to Israel:

Investor’s Visa in Israel for Americans - Important Information According to the Regulations of Entry into Israel, 1974, and depending on the scope of the business, and its contribution to the state of Israel, the advisory committee (an interdepartmental committee comprised of officials from various government offices), may also approve visas for:

A Senior Manager – a US citizen who has been approved to direct/manage the business on behalf of the investor.

Employee with Special Qualifications – a citizen of the USA who provides special qualifications or skills that are essential for the efficient and successful operation of the Business Venture.

Essential employee – a senior manager or an employee with special qualifications who is employed by the investor or by a company owned by the investor.

Special Visas for Spouse and Children of the Investor or Other US Workers:

The family (spouse and children) of the investor and the aforementioned workers are also eligible to reside in Israel. Spouses who posses the B-52 visa are eligible to work in Israel.

                                             The investor and any approved invited workers will obtain a B-5 type permit and visa.

  • The spouse of an investor or an essential expert will obtain a B-52 type permit and visa.
  • The children of an investor or an essential expert will obtain a B-53 type permit and visa.

The Initial Application at an Israeli Consulate in the United States:

The initial application for the permit in accordance with the provisions of this procedure shall be submitted only at one of the Israeli Consulates in the USA that employs an attache of the Ministry of Economy and Industry. Said consulates are in Washington DC, New York, Houston, Chicago, and San Francisco.

The application can be sent by post or submitted in person.

An acceptable application is submitted with no missing documents and information.

After the application is accepted, the investor or the essential employee will be invited to the consulate for an interview. The interview will be conducted by the consul and the attaché of the Ministry of Economy and Industry.

After the interview, all the documents that were presented shall be sent to Israel via diplomatic mail. The documents will include the evaluation of the application by the consul and the attaché of the Ministry of Economy and Industry. The Foreign Investment and Industrial Cooperation Authority for the Ministry of Economy and Industry will also provide a summary of the application.

It would be wise to have an expert lawyer join this initial interview.

Receiving the investors visa – Israeli B-5 visa

The initial B-5 investors visa approval shall be provided at the Israeli consulate in the USA, before the foreign subject enters Israel.

The consulate will issue the visa and residency license sticker according to the category and duration of the permit that the committee has approved and in accordance with the entry into the AVIV system.

It will be made clear that the actual B-5 permit will be issued only with the arrival of the invitee to Israel. The permit will be issued at the border crossing by the border control officer.

The permit will appear on the transfer card (gate-pass) granted to a foreign subject upon entry into Israel.

It should be emphasized that the applicant is not obligated to appear in person at the consulate a second time.

Once the application was approved, the applicant may come to the consulate to receive permit and license sticker and have them affixed to their passport. Alternatively, they can submit their passport to one of the consulates to have them affixed without being present in person. Said passport will be sent back to the applicant’s official address.

The initial permit will be valid for 2 years (24 months).

Investors Visa Extensions – How long does the B-5 visa last?

A request for a permit extension has to be submitted three months prior to the expiration of the Permit.

The application for the extension can be applied in any of the local interior ministry offices in Israel.

If the application for the extension was filed within one of the relevant interior ministry offices in Israel, the material submitted will be transferred to the Foreign Investment and Industrial Cooperation Authority in the Ministry of Economy and Industry for further action.

The Minister of the Interior will make the decision on whether to approve extending the permit.

If the application was approved, the investors visa will be extended for a period of up to two years.

In practice, when extending the permit at the consulate or at one of the local interior ministry offices, the permit will be granted for one year only, but the extension procedure shall be expedited pursuant to the recommendation of the advisory committee to extend it for two years.

The extension can be made by proxy without the applicant’s presence when applying at one of the interior ministry offices.

If the visa holder is abroad, they can submit the application for extending the visa through an Israeli consulate in the US.

It will not be necessary to repeat the request for further confirmation from the Minister of the Interior for the second year extension.

After the extension request has been approved, a multiple-entry visa will be granted for the duration of the approved permit at the consulate or at one of the local interior ministry offices.

The B-5 investor’s visa can be extended for more than 63 months.

Necessary Documents and Information for Investor’s Visa:

Following are the documents which are needed in order to get started:

  • Incorporation / acquisition / partnership documents from Israel (which we will be able to provide you with);
  • Deceleration by the venture regarding management and control of the venture in Israel;
  • A rental or purchase agreement for an office in Israel;
  • Shareholders’ identity (copy of passports);
  • Proof of submission of financial reports by the Israeli company (and by a foreign company if the Israeli company is owned by the foreign company);
  • Impressive resume;
  • A professional business plan, which a professional law firm in Israel could assist with. The plan has to be prepared in accordance with the guidelines of the relevant policies for the investment visa;
  • A detailed explanation regarding the amount of the investment, and the dates were by the investment deposits were made;
  • An FBI background check + Apostille stamp for each potential visa holder;
  • The applicant is required to produce birth certificates + Apostille stamps, and a marriage certificate + Apostille stamp if they want their spouse and / or children to join them;
  • Filled application form.

Summary – Contact an Investor’s Visa Expert Lawyer in Israel:

Our immigration lawyers within our Law Offices have much experience with relocation of expert workers and investors and other type of migration visas to various countries in the world (including the UK, Portugal, USA and Canada)/

As you can see from the information above, it would be very wise and prudent to advice with an expert immigration lawyer in Israel for the purpose of obtaining an investor’s visa in Israel.

Contact the leading immigration lawyers within our Law Offices for further info on the investors visa to Israel.

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