ISRAEL – Short Term Work Authorization Pilot Program Implemented

What has changed

Israel’s Ministry of Interior has introduced a immigration pilot program that will run from January 26, 2015 until June 30, 2015. Under the new program, citizens of countries currently with visa-free entry privileges for Israel may now request short term work authorization. This short term employment authorization will be available for up to 30 cumulative days within any 12 month period.

Who is affected?
What to expect

  • Citizens of countries currently eligible for visa-free entry to Israel who wish to perform short term work activities in the country.
    • A list of visa-free nationalities may be found on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, here.
  • Companies seeking to employ foreign nationals for short term work activities in Israel.

Under the pilot program citizens of countries with visa-free entry privileges for Israel may obtain short term work authorization from the Ministry of Interior, with most decisions rendered within six (6) business days. This change will allow companies to rapidly deploy key personnel to Israel to perform work activities.

Previously, applications processes like the B1 work visa could take up to 90 days to complete. While foreign employees will be limited to 30 cumulative days in any 12 month period, the rapid turnaround time for this short term employment authorization will be welcome news to many employers.

Furthermore, employers will not be required to provide the extensive documents and information typically required of other visa processes for Israel (e.g. minimum salary, legal and financial forms, etc.).

It is important to note that the days of authorization will be counted from the date of first entry into Israel, rather than from the date of issuance for the visa. Travelers who exit Israel before a cumulative stay of 30 days may return to exhaust the remaining time available on their short term work authorization.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • Examine whether the short term work authorization now available to select nationalities would benefit your/your employees’ planned travel to Israel
  • Begin planning to request short term work authorization from the Ministry of Interior for your/your employees’ travel to Israel.
  • Note the cumulative duration of 30 days authorization during any 12 month period and plan accordingly.
  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide attorney or representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your clients.

The information above was provided by Emigra Worldwide, our global network partners, and relevant government authorities. The information herein is for general purposes only and not intended as advice for a particular matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work.