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Congress approves visas for Israeli investors

Friday - 5/25/2012, 11:33am  ET

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - Congress has passed legislation adding Israel to the list of more than 75 countries eligible for temporary visas given to foreign nationals who invest in U.S.-based businesses.

The Senate approved the measure by voice vote on Thursday, sending it to President Barack Obama for his signature.

E-2 investor visas are given to foreign nationals who come to the United States in order to develop businesses in which they have invested.

Rep. Howard Berman, sponsor of the bill that passed the House last March on a 371-0 vote, said Israel is a global leader in such areas as defense technologies, medicine, agriculture and clean energy, and its investments would create American jobs.

The California Democrat said that between 2000 and 2010, direct investment from Israel totaled $58.5 billion.

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