11Work Visa for Foreign Industrial Workers
News item for employers of industrial workers: In May 2021, the Ministry of Economy and Industry published an experimental procedure that for the first time permits the employment of skilled foreign workers in Israel’s industry, without requiring employers to meet strict threshold conditions as has been the case until then. The procedure has a quota of only 2000 positions, which are divided into four groups of professions: industrial and manufacturing engineers / mechanical engineers; Practical engineers, mechanics and the like; Clerks and machine operators including welders and locksmiths; Workers in exceptional professions.
This is a very significant change and a really positive update for manufacturers in Israel because so far, employers who were interested in employing “simple” foreign workers, were required to meet very strict minimal requirements, and in many cases the application was denied for various reasons, with it being almost impossible to obtain work permits. Even if a permit was obtained, the employers had to meet the most stringent requirements. First, they were required to pay the employee a wage of no less than twice the average wage in Israel. According to the updated procedure, the employer is obligated to pay the employee a lower wage, which will be no less than 130% of the average Israeli wage (as of 2021, this is 13,699 NIS).
Other strict requirements of employers were a bank deposit guarantee of 40,000 NIS per employee, producing verified documents from abroad, presenting employment contracts and their verification by an Israeli attorney, among others. The difficulty of employing foreign experts severely hampered the ability to meet strict project deadlines and sometimes even thwarted execution of the entire project.
Unlike the older procedure, the current procedure does not require the worker to present an academic certificate, and instead the professional experience and training of the worker are sufficient conditions for obtaining a work permit, subject to the company’s professional need to employ the foreign worker.
The Ministry of Economy publishes deadlines for submitting applications for the issuance of permits, with updates available from our office. Permits can be extended subject to government quotas and in accordance with the Authority’s procedures, for a total cumulative period of up to 63 months. This procedure also allows employers to convert a foreign expert employment permit to an industrial worker work permit, and to transfer workers between employers, subject to the recommendation of the Ministry of Economy and in compliance with the procedure’s conditions. Obtaining an industrial work permit includes three steps: receiving a recommendation from the Ministry of Economy, submitting an application for a permit, and being issued a visa and a work permit with the Population and Immigration Authority.
This is a welcome move by the government, which aligns Israel with many countries in the world that allow permits to be issued to foreign professionals, without meeting draconian threshold conditions. Defining an intermediate level that allows the employment of ‘skilled’ workers, who are not defined as experts, will allow Israel to utilize foreign human capital, at reasonable costs. The only downside is the short period of time given to companies to apply for visas, which requires them to act as quickly as possible.
We have been working with the law firm of Iftach Hanan & Co. for some time in the field of applying for foreign expert work licenses in Israel. As a leading company in our field, we carry out many projects that require the purchase of advanced machinery and upgrading the production system in our factories on a regular basis, while utilizing the services of foreign experts.
From the moment we turned to Adv. Iftach Hanan, we realized that we were already in a different place- a sense of service, professionalism, availability, and providing an efficient and quick response to any problem, issuing work permits on tight schedules, and doing everything possible for the sake of the project. Real professionals, great job!
Elbit Systems - Cyclone Ltd., is engaged in the production and design of aerospace parts for the military and civilian market for the best aircraft manufacturers in the United States, and most of its activities are for defense exports.
I would like to thank you and the firm's staff for their fruitful cooperation, and for your thorough, efficient and professional service.
Your guidance in the process of applying for visas has proven itself, particularly against the background of COVID-19 and in light of the complexities involved both with the suppliers abroad and with the authorities in Israel. I enjoy working with you, especially because of the courtesy and sense of partnership for which I am grateful.
For about two years, our company has been using the services of the Iftach Hanan & Co. law firm for the purpose of applying for long-term and short-term foreign expert work permits.
In light of the complexity that currently exists with the authorities abroad and in Israel regarding the issuing of work permits and the immigration of foreign experts, Iftach Hanan's services have proven themselves more than once to be professional, courteous and fast.
Therefore, I would like to thank Iftach and his dedicated employees for the availability, personal attention, and accompanying services pertaining to the above.
We at Coral Energy provide services to a large number of Israeli and international companies.
In recent years, we have been working together with the Iftach Hanan & Co. law firm, which specializes in applying for work permits and work visas for foreign experts who wish to work in Israel.
Adv. Iftach Hanan and the staff in his firm are well versed in immigration law to Israel and in the field of commercial immigration in particular. Their services include responsiveness at any hour of the day, efficient and fast work, and quick and efficient problem-solving.
Throughout our time working together, Iftach and his team have proven their integrity and reliability, professionalism, willingness to work non-routine hours, and impressive results.
We strongly recommend that you contact the Iftach Hanan & Co. law firm when dealing with immigration issues and applying for work permits and work visas for foreign experts and workers.