Immigration Categories

A brief description of corporate immigration categories by assignment type follows. The appropriate immigration category or status for your employees will depend on their specific details and on your company. The most common category for corporate transfers in our experience is B1 Work Permit. For details on non-typical categories not listed below (investors, special programs), please contact your representative.

  • New Hires/Transfer – B1 Work Permit issued for one (1) year. Assignee must hold the relevant expertise or very high ranking position. Can be extended up to sixty-three (63) Months in total.
  • Short Term Visit Visa – B 2 Visitor’s Visa.
  • SEA B1 – 45-day Short Employment Authorization – Allows for a maximum of forty-five (45) cumulative work days in a year. Intended for countries that are free of entry visa requirement. Processing is done within six (6) work days. No extension is allowed within twelve (12) months of expiry. Application to change the visa status (i.e. 12 month work permit) is permitted only upon the assignee’s departure.
  • STEP B1 – 90-day Short Term Expedited Process (STEP) – Allows for a maximum of ninety (90) calendar days. Intended primarily for short term installations, technicians etc. Average processing of two (2) to three (3) months. No extension is allowed within twelve (12) months of expiry.

 

Typical Process Overview

The following process overview is applicable to B1 Work Permits. Approximate overall processing time from the time the first step is submitted to the time the employee is legal to work in Israel is approximately two (2) months.  However, note that lead time for document gathering at the start of the process should be factored in, as should processing time for completion of post arrival formalities. In Israel, the document gathering stage of the process is particularly labor intensive, as many documents must be legalized and translated. We can assist with this if required. See the “Application Materials” section below for further details. Average processing time for each individual step is noted below.

Step One: Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Labor
Processing Time:
Approximately sixty (60) days

The first step in the visa process is to obtain the favorable recommendation of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Labor (Foreign Employees Administration – FEA). Officially, the FEA is required to approve or disapprove the application within twenty-one (21) work days of application. Should any corrections or additional documents be required, the FEA may take a further thirty (30) work days to reply. Overall, it generally takes between sixty (60) to ninety (90) days to receive the decision of the Foreign Employees Administration, approving or disapproving the grant of the required work permits.

Step Two: Ministry of the Interior
Processing Time: Approximately forty-five (45) days

Should the approval of the Foreign Employees Administration be granted, the next step is receiving approval from the Ministry of the Interior. This step takes up to forty-five (45) days. The Assignee may not be in Israel during the Ministry of Interior application period– about three (3) weeks’ time. If the assignee is already in Israel, he will need to exit the country during the application period.

Step Three: Israeli Consulate Abroad
Processing Time: One (1) week

The assignee will visit the Israeli consulate abroad to receive a visa allowing him or her to enter Israel during a thirty (30) day period. If the assignee does not use this visa within thirty (30) days, it will expire.  The next step is to enter Israel and receive a one-year work visa stamped on the employee’s passport.

Step Four: Ministry of the interior
Processing Time: One (1) week

The passport will be taken by an Emigra Worldwide’s local Representative in order to finalize the process and receive the multi-entry visa.

Typical Documents Obtained

By following the application process described above for a B1 Work Permit, the following immigration documents will be obtained. Typical validity is noted next to each document name. For details on the renewal process, please see the next section, “Renewal.”

  • Work Permit valid for one (1) to two (2) year and can be further extended.
  • B1 Work Visa valid for one (1) year and can be further extended.
  • Multiple Entry Permit valid for one (1) year and can be further extended.

Renewal

Renewal is possible for B1 Visa and Work Permit.  Renewal processes take two (2) to three (3) months; please allow a three (3) week lead time for document gathering.

Deregistration

To ensure that assignees leave Israel after the expiration of their permission to stay and to keep tabs on the number of foreign workers in the country, the government of Israel requires all applicants to complete the following deregistration process upon departing the country:

  1. Company applies for de-registration (if required).
  2. Upon applying for de-registration of the employee, the Host Company can get back some of the fee paid to the Ministry of Interior. The Ministry of Interior shall decide on the matters of the refund, and processing time of the refund can vary.
  3. In the case the assignee has left prior to his visa expiry, it is possible to request a partial refund of Government fees, however the authorities shall decide on the matters of the refund.

Dependents

Dependent immigration status approval depends on the immigration status of the principal applicant. Where the principal applicant is in Israel under a B1 Work Permit, the following rules apply for dependents:

  • Minimum age (spouses): No minimum age, although ages under eighteen (18) are likely to require further review by the authorities.
  • Maximum age (children): No.
  • Unmarried partners: Will require a review by the Ministry of Interior. Additional proof will be required (proof of partnership, letters, certificates etc.)
  • Same sex partners: Will require a review by the Ministry of Interior. Additional proof will be required (proof of partnership, letters, certificates etc.)
  • Non-traditional dependents (e.g. parents): Not allowed. Can apply for regular B2 (tourist) visas.
  • Work authorization granted? No, the Dependents visa will be granted for the same valid dates of the principal applicant’s work permit, however it is solely at the discretion of the authorities.  The visa allows for the dependents to stay and study in Israel but not work.

Application Materials

Application materials vary depending on the immigration category being applied for and on the specifics of the case. We will advise you in detail regarding your specific case; however, general application materials for a B1 Work Permit are noted below.

  • General application materials include: current resume (C.V.), birth and marriage certificates, police clearance certificates, corporate tax documents, corporate registration certificates, accountant confirmation letters, and Visa application forms.
  • All documentation must be submitted in English or Hebrew and some documents must be legalized. We can assist with the translation and legalization requirements

Business Visitors

  • Name of visa granted: B2 [typically thirty (30) days, single entry for ‘entry visa required’ countries, up to three (3) months, multiple entry for others].
  • Duration of stay: Thirty (30) days to three (3) months.
  • General activities permitted: Conferences, business meetings and discussions.

 

Change of Status

Not permitted.

Salary and Payroll

Salary and payroll requirements vary depending on the immigration category and on the specifics of the case. In Israel, there are minimum salary requirements in place. Additionally, payroll location will affect the immigration process.

For the regular B1 (12+), a minimum monthly salary of twice the average market salary in Israel is required (current sum is a minimum of 18,668 ILS per month or above, this is subject to change). The minimum salary cannot include extras such as bonuses, housing, medical insurance, stocks, options, overtime or shifts work extra payments.

The immigration authorities are entitled to require a higher minimum rate for specific positions at their discretion.

Please contact your representative for more details for your specific situation.

Qualifications

Qualification requirements will vary from case to case and depend on the immigration category under which the application is made. However, in general, the immigration authorities do expect to see a university degree. In some situations, a strong case may be made for applicants without a degree provided their level of experience and industry specific qualification is high and company must explain why the assignee is required and no local alternative can be found. Please contact your representative for more details.

Red Flags

In our experience, the following points are important to note at the start of the process. If any of the below situations apply to you, contact your representative immediately for further detailed advice.

  • Absence of degree.
  • Applicant of countries with no formal relations to Israel (Arab countries) will require further reviews and security check and can expect the process to be delayed by one (1) to two (2) months.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

The government of Israel takes immigration non-compliance very seriously. Penalties for non-compliance may include fines, deportation, and imprisonment.

Employee Penalties:

If assignee does not meet the visa requirements (i.e. visa expired etc.) he or she can face deportation and potentially be barred from entering Israel for up to ten (10) years.

Employer Penalties:      

CEO/Company signatory can be subject to legal actions and imprisonment of up to one (1) year. Fines will depend on the work period, salary and work conditions, but can reach tens of thousands (ILS) or more.

For more details, please contact your representative.

Bilateral Agreements

No specific bilateral agreements. Although, with select countries there exists a mutual no-entry visa requirement to allow for B2 tourist/business visa status up to ninety (90) days per each 180 days (Schengen, etc.).