August 09, 2012

Israel’s Ministry of Interior (MOI) has issued an internal announcement to its staff requiring that, in addition to a copy of the B-1 applicant’s passport identification page, all B-1 applicants must supply a second form of government-issued photo identification in order to have their approved B-1 visa notifications forwarded to Israeli consulates.

What’s Changed?

Prior to end of July 2012, the MOI only required B-1 work permit applicants submit a copy of their passport identification page to suffice as proof of nationality.

Recently, Israel’s Interior Minister Eli Yishai has issued press releases calling for tighter border control and immigration enforcement. The MOI’s newest internal regulation requesting a secondary government-issued identification document will be required as of the end of July 2012 and will apply to all newly-filed and pending B-1 work permit applications.

(Please note that at this time, accompanying family members applying for B-2 status will not be required to submit secondary identification.)

As the MOI has not yet has not yet included this new identification requirement in its procedural regulations, what the MOI considers as “valid” government-issued ID will be on a highly discretionary basis. Traditional forms of government ID such as a driver’s license or a national residence card are expected to be accepted by the MOI.

B-1 applicants should note that while a secondary ID is not required at the initial filing of a B-1 work permit application, failure to provide this document will result in the MOI withholding transmission of the B-1 work visa authorization to the Israeli consular post. The MOI will review these situations on a case-by-case basis.

In addition, it is recommended that all B-1 work permit renewal applications also be submitted with a secondary form of government-issued ID.

Reminder: B-1 Status Has a Lifetime Maximum Limit

As a general practice note, Pro-Link GLOBAL would like to remind companies that B-1 work authorizations for all assignees will have a lifetime maximum limit of only five years and three months.

Once a B-1 visa holder enters Israel, the count towards the maximum limit will commence from the first date of first entry. The count is not tolled for any time spent outside of Israel.

Only in very exceptional circumstances (e.g., national interest cases, universally-recognized exceptional skills and talents) will the MOI considering extension of B-1 status beyond five years and three months.

ACTION ITEMS FOR EMPLOYERS

The new secondary identification requirement may not affect most assignees from most first and second-economy countries. However, assignees who are nationals of emerging economy countries may be unable to secure secondary identification due to prohibitive cost, inability to navigate complex and unrealistic bureaucracies or the home country’s government does not offer secondary photo ID’s.

Companies considering assignments to Israel should be aware of increasing national security and border enforcement concerns. Therefore, for those applicants who are unable to provide a secondary form of government-issued ID, it is recommended to review the applicant’s specific situation with an Israeli immigration supplier to ascertain if the MOI will process a B-1 consular notification.

Glenn Faulk, Senior Manager, Knowledge Management, has written this alert in coordination with our Israeli KGNM-Liam Schwartz and Associates.

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader

This content is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or final guidance for any immigration matter. Readers are reminded that a country’s immigration laws and requirements may change with little to no advance public notice. Questions regarding specific immigration matters should be addressed to your Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist.