The Knesset Internal Affairs and Environment Committee, headed by MK Miri Regev, approved on Wednesday a decision allowing US citizens to receive investor visas in Israel on the one hand, and for Israeli citizens greater access to USA E-2 investor visas on the other.

Through a reciprocal agreement with US officials, the move allows US citizens to obtain visas to invest and conduct business in Israel, and vice versa. The visa pact is aimed at encouraging economic growth in both countries and strengthening relations between the two.

The Israeli investment visa allows US citizens to stay and work in Israel for as long as needed for the investment, along with any essential employees and family.

In June 2012 US President Barack Obama signed legislation that adds Israel to the list of countries eligible for non-immigrant investor visas in the United States.

The legislation grants Israelis E-2 investor visas, allowing them to live and work in the US in order to be closer to their investments. The legislation also grants visas to the Israeli investors` families and their essential employees.

The implementation of the legislation is conditioned on the passing of similar legislation in Israel.

The Israeli legislation stipulates that the Internal Affairs Minister will be the only one who is authorized to issue the investor visas, unless he/she authorizes someone else to grant such visas on his/her behalf.

During the meeting, the committee also decided to exempt Botswana nationals from entry visas. Israel regards Botsawa as a friendly country.