There are many types of visas to the United States. A popular one for foreign businesspersons is the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa. This allows foreign nationals to invest in and own a business in the US and receive a work visa which can be renewed without limit. However, only foreign nationals who are citizens of a country that has a treaty with the US for this type of visa are eligible for one. Two years ago legislation was passed in the US adding Israel to the list of eligible countries. For the law to be implemented, Israel had to agree to reciprocity for Americans interested in investing in Israel. Just over a week ago, the Israeli government finally agreed to such a plan. What this means is that Americans who invest in and/or open an Israeli company can receive temporary residency in Israel. This is a very significant change in law, and one that opens many opportunities for our law firm.
Israelis have already contacted me for information about opening a business in the US. I actually received my first paying business client last week. Baruch Ha Shem (praise the Lord)! But I believe our firm also can attract many Americans who normally could not qualify for a work visa to Israel. Israeli immigration law is limited to providing residency and citizenship to Jews or those of Jewish heritage. This is provided for through the Law of Return, which dates back to the early years of the modern state. The only real exception to this is immigration through the Law of Citizenship, which provides immigration to non-Jewish spouses, minor children and, in some cases, parents of Israeli citizens. Even in these cases, there are strict limits. The very tight limits on immigration are to ensure that Israel remains a predominantly Jewish nation. This is the main reason as to why Israel has been very reluctant to offer residency to thousands of African refugees currently residing in the land. While work visas have been available to certain foreign nationals, they too are very limited.
What gives our firm an edge with potential American investors is that I’m one of the few Israelis who are familiar with the E-2 visa process. Once the regulations are published for investors to Israel, we can market ourselves as experienced practitioners, which would include establishing a business in Israel, registering it and handling the visa process to Israel. One of my partners is already an expert in visas and immigration to Israel. As an example, there are many Christian Zionists who would love to reside in Israel but who are now limited to 3 month tourist visas. The new law would permit them to reside here and work here, at least to those who could comply with whatever the investor visa requires. For a comparable US visa, there is no set amount for an investment, but generally it is understood that an investment of about $100,000 is what is needed to be eligible for such a visa. Please pray for our firm and me to attract these potential clients. Our law firm’s website is www.lawoffice.org.il.
As many may recall, our machatunit (mother of our son-in-law Judah), Katya Morrison, passed away last October after a 1 ½ year battle with leukemia. It was a devastating loss of a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, mentor and friend to many. On Friday Stacy and I attended a ceremony called an unveiling. This is a ceremony where the headstone is placed and unveiled. In the US the ceremony usually occurs around the 11th month following the date of death to mark the end of the Jewish mourning period. In Israel it’s traditional to perform the ceremony after 30 days (the end of the period of intense mourning). In Katya’s case it was after 5 months. The ceremony, like the funeral before it, was led by Eitan Shishkoff, the leader of Ohalei Rachamim (Tents of Mercy) Congregation near Haifa. He read a few Scriptures, did some of the traditional prayers and shared a few thoughts. A few others prayed out loud. Moshe (Katya’s husband) concluded the ceremony by reciting the Kaddish, a very old Aramaic prayer that is said in memory of the deceased.
But the most amazing part of the ceremony was the aftermath. Most of the graves around Katya’s had head stones and were completely covered by concrete blocks. In her case the grave was uncovered and dirt was on top. I thought it strange and couldn’t figure out what was going on. Also, different folks had brought plants with them and had set them near the grave. I also thought that a little strange because at most Jewish graves visitors leave stones as a means of attesting to their visit. After the ceremony the people that brought plants, including some of Katya’s grandchildren, began planting the plants onto her grave. Then, I got it – I’ve never been the most observant person in the world. Katya loved plants and was always planting something in her yard. This was a way to memorialize her and to remember that her life is still nurturing others’ lives even after death. I’ve included two pics. The Hebrew says her name, her life span and then a very apropos quotation from the Book of Proverbs, “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’" Please pray for Moshe, her husband, her children and their spouses and her grandchildren. It’s been a very tough loss.
Trip to the States
We’ll be in the States from June 18-July 21, although it appears Stacy may stay behind until mid-September L to watch our granddaughter in California as her dad, Judah, works at a grape harvest as part of his education in wine-making. Our schedule looks the following:
June 18-23 – Texas (Houston, Dallas, San Antonio)
June 23-30 – California, mainly Sacramento
June 30-July 16 – Richmond, VA
July 16-20 – Chicago
If you’re interested in scheduling me to speak and/or Stacy to play, please let me know. Also, if you know of someone coming to Israel during this period and needs a place to stay, they can stay for free at our house. We need someone to watch the kitties.