Israeli Citizenship By Investment
This article will address a topic we are often asked about, Israeli citizenship by investment. Israel is not a country that allows immigration through investment; however, if you are a US citizen, the B/5 visa allows an investor and their family to obtain residence in Israel, which is the closest parallel to citizenship by investment.
This B/5 investment visa category is relatively new and was first implemented in May 2019. This option to receive Israeli residency emerged as a result of a reciprocal visa agreement between Israel and the United States. Under this agreement, Israelis can obtain an E/2 investment visa, which would allow them to obtain legal status in the US. Likewise, US citizens can come to Israel with a B/5 investment visa, allowing them to obtain legal status here.
This is a wonderful option for US citizens who are not eligible to immigrate to Israel (make aliyah) but who still want to settle in the country. When might this be a good option? If an Israeli marries someone from the US, if the family in the US is not Jewish or eligible for immigration, under the B/5 investment visa, there is a possibility to bring the family to Israel. This could allow siblings, older children from other marriages, or parents, among others, to come and obtain status in Israel.
The B/5 Visa — Israeli Citizenship By Investment Parallel
The first and most important aspect of obtaining the B/5 visa is an investment. People often ask us how much they need to invest. The Israeli Ministry of Interior regulates this, and it does not set a specific amount, but it is significant. Essentially, in order to obtain a B/5 visa, the investor must purchase a minimum of fifty percent of a business that is contributing to the Israeli economy and that employs a number of Israelis. It is possible to bring in foreign expert workers to help with the management or work in the business, but it must primarily employ Israeli citizens.
Family Members of the B/5 Visa Holder
Obtaining a B/5 investor visa to Israel allows the investor, as well as US citizen foreign expert workers, to bring their spouse and children (under the age of 21) to Israel under the B/52 and B/53 visas respectively. These visas allow the family to live in the country, enroll in schools, and work in Israel, either in the business of the investor or elsewhere in the Israeli labor market.
It is important to note that this visa and its privileges do not include access to national or health insurance; these must be purchased privately during the duration of the family’s residence in the country.
Duration of the B/5 Visa
The B/5 visa generally lasts for two years. After this time, it can be renewed on an annual basis, usually up to five years. However, so long as the business is active and contributing to the Israeli economy, the B/5 visa can be renewed beyond the five-year mark.
Our law offices have over 30 years of experience in immigration law. Advocate Joshua Pex frequently works with clients to help them with all their visa needs. Please contact us for legal assistance.