You must be aware of quite a few things before starting the foreign expert work visa to Israel process. Like most other countries, the state of Israel wants to keep the local jobs for Israelis. That’s why the Ministry of the Interior tries to approve a low number of B1 or as they are called – Expert Work Visa applications.
As a result, it can be rather challenging to bring your expert foreign worker to Israel. There are rigorous criteria the hiring company and expert worker must meet to get the B1 work visa approved. In case your foreign expert is also a partner in the business, they may obtain Israeli citizenship by investment. This opportunity is exclusively for American citizens.
Joshua Pex and his team provide foreign and local companies in Israel assistance in bringing expert workers to Israel. Our team will clarify and identify a way to meet the legal requirements set by the government for citizenship and residency. So your foreign worker’s visa application is approved with minimum hassle and full compliance. Contact us for a free consultation.
Expert foreign worker visa basics
The expert foreign worker visa in Israel has specific requirements and laws for the hiring company as well as the expert worker. If you’re the hiring company, it’s your responsibility to ensure your company and the expert worker comply with the B1 or expert foreign work visa criteria.
It’s important to note the expert foreign worker visa process goes through quite a few different committees and can be rejected at any time.
Also, the expert’s work visa is not permanent. The Ministry of the Interior grants the visa for one year at a time, with the option to renew up to 5 years.
The hiring company may request to extend the visa for a few more years but that depends on the hiring company and foreign expert compliance with the Israeli law. We’ll specify the requirements and application process in this article.
It’s important to note, expert worker visas exist for a specific category of Israeli work permits.
This particular permit lets local Israeli companies hire the services of the foreign expert worker if they can prove that they can’t find a local Israeli worker to do the job.
There is also an expedited process for obtaining a B-1 foreign expert work visa, in a short time, in order to complete urgent work in Israel. However, this visa is given for a maximum of 45 days. Also, by law, not all countries are included in this category.
If you wish to successfully obtain the B1 expert worker visa, the hiring company has to prove three things:
After the hiring company provides the evidence, we’ll go over the documentation requirements for each party. If you’re not sure how to provide this proof, feel free to reach out to our office for a free consultation.
What company can hire an expert foreign worker
One of the main reasons the foreign expert work visa exists is to help the companies in Israel grow. A growing company results in more jobs for Israelis. Many local companies turn to foreign experts to achieve growth because they couldn’t find the specific expertise they needed in Israel. Consequently, the State of Israel established the Foreign Expert B1 Visa procedure.
To start, the hiring company must meet these requirements:
- Be willing to pay the foreign worker a salary twice the market average
- Prove that they need the services of the expert employee
- Obtain verification from the Permits Committee of the Ministry of the Interior that the expert is needed
Note: The foreign expert visa is not available for all fields. The eligible areas of expertise include medicine, high tech, academia, industry, the arts, etc.
Who’s not eligible for an expert foreign worker visa?
There are a few essential criteria that the expert foreign applicant must meet to obtain their visa:
- The applicant cannot be in Israel on any other visa. The Israeli government does not convert permits/visas.
- The applicant is required to be outside Israel and begin the process through an Israeli consulate abroad.
- The applicant cannot be over the age of 60.
- The applicant cannot have first-degree family members in Israel – i.e., spouse, siblings, or parents, even if they are legal residents. (However, once the visa is granted the spouse and minor children do receive a visa to Israel also)
The procedure to obtain expert work visas in Israel
The issuance of an expert foreign worker visa has two steps:
- 1. The Department of Specialist Workers committee must approve the work permit.
- 2. The Ministry of the Interior ratifies and issues a B / 1 work visa, valid for one year.
Note: the visa must be renewed once a year and up to five years. An extension is possible in special cases only, when the foreign worker has a specific reason to stay longer in Israel.
Here’s an in-depth breakdown of the process, requirements, and documents needed to get your foreign worker visa approved.
Step 1: Applying with the department of specialist workers
To officially start the legal process to obtain your expert work visa, you, the Israeli hiring company, or a foreign-based company, who wishes to send a senior representative to Israel, must first apply with the Department of Certification. To apply successfully, you must meet the following conditions and submits the following forms:
- Complete the online Foreign worker employment application
- The company’s registration certificate.
- A copy of the 102 forms submitted by the hiring company to the National Insurance Institute for Israeli workers.
- A certificate stating that the employer is an active entity and that no ongoing concern has been registered during the past year. To be prepared by an accountant.
- A letter describing the reasons the foreign worker’s expertise is essential along with letters of recommendation supporting the letter. The employer will write the letter, and the attorney handling the request will edit it to ensure the letter meets the legal requirements.
- Proof of education and relevant experience proving the expertise of the foreign worker.
- Salary demand – as required, twice the average wage of the Israeli worker. As of January 2021, this number is 21,102 NIS per month.
- Pay the fee– pay the expert foreign worker application fee online in the amount of 1,200 NIS (as of January 2021).
Note: The approving committee, on behalf of the Department of Expert Foreign Workers, may still reject the application at their discretion whether the foreign expert or hiring company met the complete requirements mentioned above.
Step 2: Ratifying the application with the Ministry of the Interior
After successfully receiving the employment permit from the Department of Foreign Expert Workers, it’s time for step 2, where the Ministry of the Interior has to ratify the work visa. The Ministry of the Interior has the power to decide to confirm the permit or not.
Please note that when the work visa to Israel is printed for the first time, it’s sent to the Israeli consulate located in the foreign worker’s country of residence. Accordingly, the expert worker is required to enter Israel using the work visa.
If the expert worker arrives in Israel before getting the visa, there’s a good chance they will be denied entrance at the airport. Unfortunately, the expert worker will have to return to their country and obtain the B1 visa before re-entering Israel.
So we can’t stress enough the importance of complying with the expert work visa regulations and requirements in full. To recap, the expert worker should not be in Israel without the B1 visa stamped on their passport.
Documents required by the Ministry of the interior for the B1 work visa
Below you’ll find the complete list of all documents you must gather before applying with the Ministry of the Interior:
- A completed Expert Worker visa application.
- Permit approval from the department for expert workers.
- A copy of the foreign expert’s valid passport at least two years from the date of the application.
- Israeli size passport photo of the foreign expert worker.
- Marriage certificate, including birth certificates of minor children (to provide the expert’s family members residency visas.
- Criminal background check, that shows the foreign expert worker has no criminal background (Americans must bring an FBI document).
- An affidavit signed by the expert worker stating that they have no relatives currently living in Israel. Your attorney may verify the signature on a specific affidavit from the Ministry of the Interior.
- An affidavit signed by the foreign worker, in which they acknowledge they are to be employed by the hiring company in their specific area of expertise and they possess the required qualifications.
- Certificate of health insurance for the foreign worker, friends, and family.
- Payment for the expert work visa fee.
All foreign documents need to be authenticated by an Apostille, or at the Israeli consulate, and translated, if necessary.
The Ministry of the Interior will usually approve a permit issued by the Department of Expert Foreign Workers.
However, suppose the Ministry of the Interior has suspicions the expert worker might settle permanently based on a prior illegal stay in Israel or a criminal record. In that case, the Ministry may refuse the B1 work visa.
In any case, the ministry’s decisions are always subject to the authority of law in Israel, and only the courts have the final decision.
Legal advice for your expert work visa application
Joshua Pex’s law firm has a lot of experience solving immigration and work visa issues to Israel. We love helping Israeli and foreign companies hire workers with outstanding expertise. We’re happy to help you neet your goals today, contact us for expert service by phone or email.