E Visas to the U.S. for the Employees of Israeli Importers

Israeli Importers and Israeli Companies who deal in Import from the United States may qualify for E-1 Visas to send necessary employees to the United States to continue their trade with the U.S.

Many people contact my office for the purpose of obtaining work visas or resident visas to the United States.

The Klarfeld Law Offices are quick to explain to applicants that although there are many visa categories from which to choose, if for work, if for study or if for other reasons, not everyone qualifies for any of the categories. Many times an applicant will inquire about one category for which he or she does not qualify, but after answering a few questions, a different category might be found available under certain circumstances.

Israeli Companies or Individuals who Import from the U.S. may be qualified for the E-1 Visa if the Import or Trade is significant and continuous and if the majority (or at least 50%) of their International Trade is with the United States. Just to be clear, a one-time import of a jet airliner for millions of dollars will not qualify for the visa, but dozens of annual transactions in much smaller amounts might.

In order for an Importer/Company to qualify for the E-1 Visa, it must demonstrate that a Trade Treaty exists between the U.S. and the Israel, that the Importing Entity is (ultimately) Israeli Owned or can show at least 50% Israeli Ownership, and that the Trade is continuous and significant. Furthermore, it must prove that the employee that the Company wishes to send to the U.S. is both Israeli and qualified to perform the task of carrying on the requisite Trade between the two countries. The Trade must be commercial and may be in Commodities or in Services in order to qualify.

The whole process

The process for obtaining an E-1 Trade Visa is relatively quick (as opposed to other visa categories). The process is initiated at the Consulate in Tel Aviv, where all the necessary applications and supporting documentation is submitted and where the visa interview later takes place. It is not recommended to initiate a process abroad for the simple reason that the Consulate, in any event, has the final word on whether or not to issue a visa and the Consul may not take kindly to applicants who entered the United States for one declared purpose and then ultimately requested an alternate status to prolong their stay in the country. Since the Consul is located in Israel it is best qualified to review a case based on local documentation, and, it is the Consul who has the ultimate discretion to approve or deny a visa.

The E visa Applicant must show intent to return to the home country once the Visa expires, although the E visa can be extended.

For more information on E Visas for Israeli Importers Contact Us