House passes Israeli visa bill

The House of Representatives approved a bill that would add Israel to the list of countries eligible for nonimmigrant investor visas in the United States.

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Howard Berman (D-San Fernando Valley) and approved 371-0, would grant Israelis the ability to acquire the E-2 visa if similarly situated U.S. citizens are eligible for nonimmigrant visas in Israel.

The E-2 visa permits Israeli investors to live and work in the United States. to be closer to their investments.

“With passage of this bill, Israeli investors are one step closer to expanding their businesses to the United States and creating jobs for hardworking American workers,” Berman, the senior Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in remarks on the floor.

A similar bill is under consideration in the Senate.

Seventy-nine countries, from Britain to Montenegro to Iran, are party to longstanding treaties with the United States that allow their citizens to apply for E-2 status. — jta