Work Permits for Foreign Experts in Israel

    Work Permits for Foreign Workers in Israel

    Our firm specializes in providing legal assistance to Israeli and global corporations and companies in applying for permits and visas to foreign experts so they can work in Israel.

    In recent years, we have witnessed a significant increase in the employment of foreign experts in Israel. Among other factors, the increase is due to globalization and the need for transfer of skilled labor between countries. In addition, there is a significant increase in projects and mega-projects, both national and private. Sometimes, these projects are carried out by foreign companies and foreign experts who possess unique knowledge relevant to the project.

    In general, most of the foreign experts employed in Israel work in the fields of infrastructure, energy, gas and oil drilling at sea and on land, green alternative energy, high-tech, biotechnology, engineering, aviation, banking, communications, etc.

    These foreign experts utilize technology and knowledge that do not exist in Israel, or exist in Israel to a limited extent. In these cases, the work is carried out by foreign experts who posses the relevant knowledge, experience and unique skills.

    Practically speaking, employment of foreign experts in Israel is possible either by a foreign company or by an affiliate of a foreign company in Israel or by an Israeli company, in a case where the applicant for the employment of foreign experts is the actual employer who pays the foreign expert’s salary.

    The Entry Into Israel Law, the Foreign Workers Law, and the Foreign Experts Procedure No. 5.3.0041 constitute the legal authority for the employment of foreign experts in the country. The employment of foreign experts requires the employer to be issued a type B/1 work permit and a matching work visa. The procedure is a long bureaucratic process which consists of several steps.

    The schedule for applying for a permit and work visa varies depending on the type of permit. The duration of the process for being issued a yearlong work permit ranges from 6-8 weeks, depending on the identity of the submitting company and the workload of the Work Permit Unit which is tasked with issuing work permits. On the other hand, being issued a work permit for a period of up to 90 days in the expedited process only takes up to 6 business days, and allows employers who urgently need foreign experts to have their arrival in Israel approved on particularly short notice. 

    In light of the above, we recommend that you plan in advance and start preparations for permit and visa applications as early as possible.

    As a rule, employers may submit applications for extending a work permit by an additional year, although the work permit with all extensions cannot exceed a cumulative period of 63 months of work by the foreign expert on a B/1 work permit. Submission of a special application for extending beyond a period of 63 months is possible in exceptional circumstances if it can be proven that the continued placement of the foreign expert is a contribution to the Israeli economy. This process requires the preparation of a detailed application and attachment of references, and therefore it is recommended to consult a law firm specializing in the field of immigration to Israel.

    For short periods, such as an application for a period of less than three months in the non-expedited process, an application for extension may not be submitted, except in exceptional cases. Therefore, if there is any concern whatsoever that the project will be delayed beyond the original schedules, our recommendation is to apply for a longer work visa at the very beginning.

    Please note:

    Working in Israel without a valid work visa is a legal violation which may result in severe penalties, including: substantial fines (more than 5,000 NIS per business day), the arrest and deportation of the foreign expert (which may result in the possible impairment of the foreign expert’s ability to be employed in other countries), and even criminal proceedings against company executives in Israel and abroad.

    Referring to a law firm that specializes in Israeli commercial immigration law (and specifically in the immigration of foreign experts) will allow the visa applicant to be issued a work visa quickly and professionally, and will significantly increase the chances of obtaining desired results.

    Are you interested in employing foreign experts in Israel? Contact us today, and we will be happy to assist you in obtaining the necessary permits and visas!


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