Israel’s hi-tech, competitive and fast-moving economy is an increasing attraction for international companies, with an excellent strategic location on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean and south west corner of Asia with proximity to African markets.
Expansion into an overseas territory poses issues, among which are potential complications over obtaining work permits and visas. Organizing documentation and dealing with high-level bureaucracy, coupled with migrating staff across the world, would require a designated in-house department. Few companies have the time, the resources or want to invest in such an operation.
Bradford Jacobs have the resources … as a global payroll provider through our Employer of Record (EOR) and Professional Employer Organization (PEO) platforms. We can ensure all transferred employees comply with strict work permit and visa regulations.
There is another option … we recruit the staff in country without the need for visas. The result? Your company is up and running within days rather than months. Call us!
What types of Work Visas and Permits for Israel are there?
For many foreigners with a valid passport, a 90-day visa to visit Israel is automatically given on arrival. Before applying for a tourist visa, check to see if this is necessary. Paid work is not allowed though. https://www.visahq.com/israel/ https://www.touristisrael.com/do-i-need-a-visa-to-visit-israel/33066/
The Ministry of Interior sanctions visas under the Law of Entry which permits foreigners to access Israel for tourism, business, study, education, work and residency.
Those with a proven Jewish birth-right can apply for immigration under the Law of Return (Aliyah). https://www.gov.il/en/departments/units/employment_maya
Examples of relevant visas:
• B1 Work Visa: for professionals – work permit and employment visa.
• B2 Tourist/Visitor’s Visa: authorised for up to three months for tourists, visitors, business purposes or students studying Hebrew at a school or institute. Paid work is not allowed. For documentation see https://embassies.gov.il/chicago/ConsularServices/Pages/Visa-Applications.aspx
• A1 Temporary Resident: issued to those entitled to Aliyah
• Immigration Visa: From the Jewish Agency which controls immigration (Aliyah) to Israel
There are sub-categories of the B1 Work Visa depending on qualifications i.e. academic or professional; short term visas for qualified experts (Short Term Employment Process – STEP); Hi-Tech (HIT) visa and the 45-day SEA visa for foreign experts. Once a B1 visa has been issued, it must be carried at all times, including to work, as working in Israel without a visa is a criminal offence. https://newlandchase.com/countries/israel/
How to obtain an Israeli Work Visa
Applying for the B1 Work Visa depends on the type and length of work involved and qualifications. For short periods, only the visa is required, for longer periods a work permit is also required. These can both be applied for at the same time, from the country of residence at the local Israeli consulate.
Generally foreign workers will have an offer of employment and, if so, it is the employers’ responsibility to apply to the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor for the permit to work. https://www.gov.il/en/service/working_permit_for_foreign_workers
The permit is sent to the Ministry of Interior (MOI) and the application for the B1 visa can now be finished and issued. It can take up to 14 weeks to process. A High Tech Work Visa (HIT) can be fast tracked to around 10 days. This visa allows travel to Israel where application should then be made to the MOI for a multi-entry extended B1 stamp. This visa will be attached to the employer who submitted the work permit application.
How to apply for Work Visa/Work Permit in Israel
The application form for the visa can be downloaded and filled in by hand in either Hebrew or English and submitted with a photograph attached.
These are possible requirements for the B1 visa:
• Valid passport with two photographs
• Contract of employment signed by employer
• Approval from the Ministry of Interior (work permit)
• Evidence of good conduct from the police
• Medical examination certificate
• Airplane ticket for intent to travel
• Receipt as proof of paid fees
• Confirmation fingerprints have been taken
For more information, check out: https://mfa.gov.il/MFA/ConsularServices/Pages/Visas.aspx
Applicants will also need to pass the visa interview at an Israeli consulate or embassy.
On receiving the B1, foreigners can travel to Israel. During the validity of the visa, applicants must apply for an extension and multi-entry visa stamp from the Work Permit Unit (WPU) at the Ministry of Interior, generally for 12 months but must not exceed 63 months. Application for permanent stay can be applied for at a later date, provided there is good reason.
How much is an Israeli Work Visa?
The cost of an Israeli B1 visa is ILS176 (US$54, £34, €44) plus a submission fee.
Table of costs https://mfa.gov.il/MFA_Graphics/MFA%20Gallery/Consular%20forms/TableFees.pdf
Business Visa for Israel
There are many countries whose citizens do not require a visa to travel to Israel as one is granted upon arrival, so it is worth checking before applying. https://www.visahq.com/israel/ https://www.touristisrael.com/do-i-need-a-visa-to-visit-israel/33066/
For those foreigners who do require a visa to travel for business, they must apply for the B2 Visitors Visa (which is also for tourists) and allows for stays of up to three months for business meetings etc. but not for paid employment.
• Passport with at least 6 months validity after the period of visa plus a photocopy
• Two passport-sized photographs
• Visa form completed and signed
• Proof of reservation of airline ticket to and from Israel
• Proof of means of financial support while in Israel e.g. bank statements
• Fee payment: US$27, EU€£24, 19GBP
The fee is not refundable if the visa is rejected. There may be additional documents required by the Israeli consulate.
Israeli Visa for EU citizens
For tourist and business purposes, many countries’ citizens need not apply for a visa but receive one upon arrival for 90 days, which includes all European Union countries.
Work is not allowed and a B1 visa is needed for short term employment; for longer periods a work permit is also required. Cost €44. Generally a contract is offered by an Israeli company to start the process. Short term visas are also available for Hi-Tech specialists and foreign experts.
However, any EU citizen who also has Jewish heritage or has converted, under the Law of Return (5710 – 1950) has the right of immigration to Israel.
For more information about the process and paperwork: https://mfa.gov.il/mfa/consularservices/pages/visas.aspx
Israeli Visa for USA citizens
To travel to Israel for tourist and business purposes or to visit friends and family, American citizens need not apply for a visa for the first 90 days and will receive one upon arrival.
However, a B1 visa is required for short term employment and, for longer periods, a work permit as well. Cost of the work visa is US$54. There are a few sub-categories of the B1 such as the Hi-Tech visa: https://newlandchase.com/countries/israel/
Those USA citizens with Jewish heritage or have converted to Judaism are eligible to emigrate to Israel under the Law of Return (5710-1950)
For more information on the B1/work visa: https://mfa.gov.il/mfa/consularservices/pages/visas.aspx
Extra information provided by the US State Department regarding travel to Israel: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/IsraeltheWestBankandGaza.html
Israeli Visa for UK citizens
For travel to Israel for tourism, family visits or business matters for a period of up to 90 days, UK citizens can receive a visa upon arrival in Israel. https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/israel/entry-requirements
For work purposes, UK nationals will require an offer of employment or contract to start the work visa process (B1) and for longer periods of employment, a work permit needs to be applied for by the potential employer. Cost of B1 visa is £34. Check out sub-categories of B1 visa: https://newlandchase.com/countries/israel/
Also the paperwork and requirements can be found at: https://mfa.gov.il/MFA/ConsularServices/Pages/Visas.aspx
UK citizens that have Jewish heritage or have converted to Judaism are eligible to immigrate to Israel under the Law of Return (5710-1950)
Israeli Visa for Canadian citizens
A tourist, business or visitor’s visa (B2) is not required for Canadian citizens for up to 90 days. An entry visa is issued upon arrival.
However if looking for employment a B1 work visa is required for short term employment, and for longer periods a work permit should be applied for by a prospective employer before the B1 is issued. There are also special visa sub-categories for Hi-Tech specialists and foreign experts: https://newlandchase.com/countries/israel/
Those Canadian citizens that have Jewish heritage or have converted to Judaism are eligible to immigrate to Israel and come under the Law of Return (5710-1950)
Israeli Visa for Chinese citizens
In 2006, Israel and China signed a 10-year multi-entry agreement with regard to the Visitor visa (B2). This allows Chinese citizens to travel to Israel for tourism, business trips or family visits. Each trip is for up to 90 days, but with multiple entries this allows for a maximum of six months a year. A number of documents are required when applying. Cost is 176 Chinese yuan plus any submission fee. https://mfa.gov.il/MFA_Graphics/MFA%20Gallery/Consular%20forms/TableFees.pdf
The work visa for Israel is the B1 and is required for short term employment, and for longer periods a work permit should be applied for by a prospective employer before the B1 is issued. Chinese construction workers have a history of working in Israel. Details of who qualifies for the B1 visa should be available at local consulates in China also as to the documentation required.