Israel’s capital market, jostling with investors, venture capitalists and capital-owned companies, is flourishing. As a result, more and more companies are aiming to list themselves on the Nasdaq.
“This is a major investment and must be closely studied,” says lawyer Zvi Kan-Tor, who, together with Amit Acco, co-founded and now manages Kan-Tor & Acco, a law firm specializing in global corporate and immigration law. “Entering the market without first learning its ropes is like a footballer striding onto a basketball court, declaiming: ‘Sport is sport!’”
Kan-Tor & Acco, Global Corporate Immigration Law, was early in recognizing globalization processes, and set about creating a comprehensive legal framework for companies seeking to take their first steps overseas. Its attorneys have helped draft regulations and laws that continue to shape commercial mobility in Israel. They are regularly consulted regarding the latest legislative changes, and are experts in those of the US.
“Work visas and immigration issues have long been prominent in the domestic politics of nations,” says Kan-Tor. “In today’s global market, this has greatly increased. So, if you want to expand your company, it’s vital to remain current in these areas, always alert to what is coming.”
Kan-Tor & Acco’s US department is staffed by three US-certified attorneys and a team of hardworking paralegals, all expert in the procedures involved in obtaining the visas that enable skilled workers and experts from around the world to live and work in the US.
Flattening the Learning Curve
Globalization has increased both the need and the desire for worker mobility. This has, in turn, increased the legislative complexity and requirements for doing so. “Israel initially grappled with significant questions regarding the migration of foreign workers,” says Kan-Tor. “This escalated after the events of 9/11, which of course had significant impacts on both the law and the processing of US visa applications. Then came the pandemic, which, in this context, was essentially more of the same, but with greatly diminished possibility of global cooperation.”
Security, terrorism and health issues have thus cumulatively resulted in stricter criteria for obtaining work visas and for adhering to them, with significant penalties for companies (from their local managers to their foreign workers) who break the law. “We’ve learned a lot,” says Kan-Tor. “The technological revolution has smashed boundaries, and mobility of experts has become a crucial part of how large companies everywhere operate. The sensitivity of the US authorities to errors on application forms or in procedures is felt at every stage of the visa process.”
Whereas the State of Israel has only one type of work visa, the US has dozens of types and subtypes, each with different criteria that must exactly correspond with those of the corresponding applicant on the other side — the Israeli manager, company or employee. “US lawyers are often less familiar with other countries’ business environments, so applicants consult professional American lawyers like those in our firm, who are physically here and well versed in the area,” says Kan-Tor. “Crafting the visa applications of individuals and companies with the correct emphases and within the stern guidelines is their expertise.”
The firm’s primary specialty is American visas - H, E, L , and O. Each category is extremely specific. The H1-B visa, for example, is for a specialty occupation. The L visa is for intracompany transferees in managerial,executive, or specialized knowledge positions in companies located outside the US. The E visa permits movement of investors and traders to the USA under existing commerce treaties. The O nonimmigrant visa is for individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, athletics, movies or TV.
There are also subcategories, such as the E2 investment visa. “This is for those wanting to develop a business venture in the United States, in which they plan to make a significant investment of capital,” explains Kan-Tor. “To obtain it, an Israeli citizen must be in a managerial or supervisory position or possess unique knowledge. We accompany firms as they prepare the business model to present to the authorities.”
These are just a few examples. There are visas for experts, for those particularly successful in their field, as well as for senior executives, for the spouses and families of relocating workers and many, many more. Professional advice is needed, says Kan-Tor, to select the optimal type of visa and to file an application that meets all eligibility requirements.
“Each visa type has its advantages and disadvantages, with its eligibility requirements differing according to employee, employer and position,” he says. “Professional accompaniment saves significant time, and prevents serious and unnecessary mistakes. Instead of hapless applicants learning the process by trial and error, we flatten the large learning curve.”
Kan-Tor & Acco houses 12 specialized teams that cover all areas related to worker mobility between Israel and the United States and further afield. These include Israeli visas for high-tech workers and infrastructure experts from around the world, as well as visas for Israelis to the US and beyond.
“We’re committed to giving our clients dedicated, high-quality service, and this is what we do every day,” concludes Kan-Tor.
Partnered with Kan-Tor Law & Acco Law Office