House set to expand work visas for Israel

E-2 visas are available for countries that have a significant amount of U.S. investment. They allow foreign nationals to enter the U.S. for up to two years at a time for work related to their U.S. investment, and they can be renewed for up to two additional years at a time.

While allowances for these types of visas used to be included in trade agreements, that practice ended in 2003. Since then, Congress has been required to act to put new countries on the list of those eligible for E-2 visas.

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Under Berman's bill, Israeli citizens would be able to receive these visas as long as "similarly situated U.S. nationals are eligible for similar nonimmigrant status in Israel."

E-2 visas are not capped under U.S. law, nor are E-1 visas, for which Israel is already eligible. E-1 visas are given to countries that have a significant trade relationship with the United States, and allow foreign nationals to visit the United States to help manage that trade.

House Republicans are planning to vote on Berman's bill under a suspension of House rules, which will require a two-thirds majority vote.

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