February 2015

This summary is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered an authoritative guide on how to obtain work authorization in Israel. The intent is to give the reader a general overview of the process only. Procedures and requirements may have changed since the writing of this article. For current and detailed information regarding the topics below, as well as documentary requirements, processing times, post-arrival and departure requirements, penalties for non-compliance, allowances for accompanying family members, and any other information pertaining to your specific needs, please contact your Pro-Link GLOBAL immigration professional.

Overview

BUSINESS VISITOR

Permitted Activities – Business visitors must generally limit their activities to the following:

• Attending business meetings or discussions;
• Making sales calls to potential clients provided that the visitor represents a commercial entity outside of Israel;
• Attending seminars or “fact-finding” meetings.

Type of Business Visas – The B-2 business visa is the typical visa issued to business travelers. Note that certain nationals may enter Israel without the need of a business visa (visa-exempt nationals).

Basic Requirements

1. Intention of a genuine visit for business and not for paid employment;
2. Valid passport;
3. Evidence that there are no restrictions on his or her traveling to Israel;
4. No intention to permanently reside in Israel;
5. A ticket for onward travel from Israel;
6. Proof of funds.

Estimated Processing Times – This varies by diplomatic post and country.

Maximum Time On Visa – This visa allows business people to make a short business visit to Israel for up to three (3) months during the visa validity period. Visas cannot be extended in country.

Typical Documents Required – All travelers need to present the following documents to officers in immigration clearance:

• a valid passport or other acceptable travel document and in some cases;
• a valid visa or authority to enter Israel.

EMPLOYMENT AUTHORIZATION

Basic Requirements – The principle visa category for temporary employment in Israel is the B-1 Work Visa for Foreign Experts. This is a category for employers to sponsor approved skilled workers to work in Israel on a temporary basis. To qualify as a corporate employee, the foreign employee should be a highly-skilled professional, earning a salary of at least twice that Israeli average wage, or be arriving in Israel to serve in an executive, managerial, or personal trust capacity.

Process Overview – The process for obtaining a B-1 Work Permit for Foreign Experts is as follows:

1. Work Permit application – filed with the Ministry of the Interior’s Population and Immigration, Authority (PIA);
2. Consular Authorization – issued by the local office of the PIA and sent directly to the Israeli Consulate General who will be issuing the visa;
3. B-1 Entry Visa application – filed in person by the employee at the applicable Israeli Consulate General. Accompanying dependents will also file their B-2 Dependent Visa applications at this time if they are nationals of a non-visa waiver country;
4. Multiple Entry Visas – obtained within 30 days of the employee and accompanying family members’ arrival in Israel.

Note that different processes apply for people of the Jewish faith (“Aliyah”) or B-1 Work Permit under the Law of Return.

Estimated Processing Time – 12-15 weeks

Validity periods – B-1 Work Visas are valid for up to twelve months, depending on length of assignment. Renewals of are possible.

Family Members – Dependents of B-1 Work Permit holders are not granted permission to work in Israel.

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