Work Permits for Foreign Experts of up to 90 Days: The Expedited Process

    Work Permits for Foreign Experts of up to 90 Days: The Expedited Process

    The Population and Immigration Authority has published an update to the expedited procedure in applications for the employment of a foreign expert, so that it will be extended to a period of up to 90 days per year (Procedure No. 5.3.0040). This important update is intended to alleviate the bureaucratic difficulties involved in hiring foreign experts, and will allow many employers to bring in foreign experts on very short notice, for short durations of time.

    Until recently, foreign experts who have come to Israel from waiver countries have been allowed to stay in the country for up to 45 days in a calendar year. Now, the procedure has been expanded and it will be possible to obtain such permits for a period of up to 90 days a year.

    This procedure is relevant to all sectors in the economy and in particular to companies engaged in technical services such as installation of machines and production lines, repair of machines, supervision, consulting, etc.

    This expedited procedure results in a work permit being issued within a few days, and the foreign expert is allowed to enter Israel with only the work permit that was issued in advance while the foreign expert was outside of Israel. In accordance with this procedure, a matching work visa is issued in the passport of the foreign expert at the Ministry of the Interior no later than 48 hours from the foreign expert’s entry into Israel. When applying for this permit, it is important to confirm that the foreign expert’s passport is valid for at least six month.

    In any case, it is not possible to extend the duration of the work permit beyond 90 days. Therefore, in cases where a project will not be finished (or may not be finished) within 90 days, we recommend applying for a visa of longer duration ahead of time. Additionally, it is recommended to speak with lawyers who specialize in commercial immigration to Israel in order to appraise the situation and to carry out preliminary planning which will allow the project to be carried out in the most efficient and least disruptive way possible. 

    This procedure allows splitting the 90 days defined in the permit and visa for a number of separate employment periods during the year, but for the purpose of receiving an additional permit in that year if the 90 days in the permit are not exhausted, a new work permit must be submitted for each additional period. In any case, if the foreign worker is interested in switching employer or industry, he must leave Israel and submit a new application.

    The expedited procedure for employing a foreign expert (for a period of up to 90 days) who is a citizen of a country with an exemption for visitation visas is relevant only for a citizen of a country with an exemption from a B/2 visitation visa. This includes North America, Japan, South Korea, and countries in Western Europe. Foreign experts from other countries cannot take advantage of this expedited procedure.

    A foreign expert employed under this procedure must be paid Israel’s minimum wage.

    The steps in the expedited procedure for obtaining a foreign expert work permit and visa:

    Step 1: Submitting an application for a work permit in the Population, Immigration and Border Crossing Authority’s Work Permits Unit in Jerusalem.

    Step 2: The foreign expert is allowed to enter Israel with the work permit he was issued and to begin work immediately. 

    Step 3: Issuing a work permit in the foreign worker’s passport at the Ministry of Interior within 48 hours of his arrival in Israel.

    Step 4: Extending the work permit’s validity to the desired duration upon the foreign expert’s arrival in Israel’s airport, and applying for a multi-entry visa at the Ministry of Interior. 

    The steps above relate to the standard and orderly procedure- however, depending on different circumstances and evolving policies, the steps in the process may be shortened or lengthened, and at each stage a requirement for additional documents, reports and relevant information for the Authority may be received. In addition, most of the procedures involve the payment of government fees.

    Please note: It is possible that for foreign experts without a higher academic education, the company will be required to deposit a bank guarantee in the amount of 20,000 NIS per employee.

    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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