Employment permit for an expert foreign worker in Israel
An employment permit for an expert foreign worker in Israel will be issued by the Ministry of the Interior, provided the company interested in the expert’s services proves said expert possesses certain necessary skills that cannot be found in the Israeli workforce. In addition, the employing company will be required to obtain an employment permit from the Ministry of the Interior, which will grant the foreign worker a valid work visa in Israel for one year at a time, up to a period of 5 years.
However, the company may request to extend the foreign worker’s stay for additional years. Apart from this, there are other regulations that the foreign worker, as well as the Israeli company must comply with, and this article will present them in detail, along with the other documents necessary to obtain an employment permit.
Our law firm provides assistance to Israeli and foreign companies in bringing foreign workers to the State of Israel. We will be able to clarify all the various laws and requirements, according to which your company will be entitled to employ foreign workers who are considered experts in their field.
Employment permit for an expert foreign worker in Israel
Information for a business owner (company or business) who is interested in hiring a foreign worker recognized as an expert in a particular field:
A visa for the employment of a foreign worker who is an expert in Israel is called a B / 1 work visa.
A work permit for the employment of a foreign worker in Israel, who is considered an expert in his field, exists in a specific category of Israeli work permits. The permit allows Israeli companies to hire the services of a foreign worker, in accordance with the conditions and regulations required by law.
Israeli companies interested in the services of a specialist foreign worker must prove that the foreign worker possesses specific expertise and is able to perform expert work that local Israeli workers do not have the training, knowledge or professionalism to perform. The existing policy of the State of Israel is to reduce the number of foreign workers in the country, in order to leave a larger number of jobs for Israelis. Therefore, the Ministry of the Interior attempts to reduce the number of visas issued for foreign expert workers every year.
Employment permit for a foreign worker – for expert workers who contribute to the Israeli economy
An expert foreign worker from abroad is an expert who possesses special knowledge, may assist a local Israeli company that employs him to grow economically and employ a higher number of local Israeli workers. Therefore, the State of Israel has established a procedure for issuing an employment permit to an expert foreign worker in Israel. According to this procedure, any Israeli company wishing to employ the services of an expert foreign worker must take into account that it will be required to pay the foreign worker twice the average salary that would be paid to an Israeli worker. Furthermore, the company is required to prove that it needs the services of an expert employee. The employer is required to obtain approval from the Permits Committee of the Ministry of the Interior, which decides that the expert employee is indeed needed by the company.
In what areas can Israeli companies employ a foreign worker?
The policy of the Ministry of the Interior stipulates that an Israeli company applying for the employment of a specialist foreign worker may hire their services, under the obligation to pay the foreign worker twice the average salary in Israel, or as an alternative, to employ a local manager or representative from an international company. Fields of expertise of foreign workers in Israel are medicine, high-tech, academia, industry, the arts, etc.
Who does not meet the criteria for an expert foreign worker employment permit?
The State of Israel law regarding work permits for expert foreign workers stipulates that a person currently residing in Israel within the scope of any permit authority will not be able to convert it into a work permit. For this reason, the applicant is required to be outside Israel in order to begin the process of obtaining a work permit in Israel through the Israeli consulate abroad. In addition, a person over the age of 60 is not entitled to a work permit in Israel. Also, an expert foreign worker with first-degree family members in Israel – i.e. spouse, siblings or parents – cannot obtain a work permit in Israel, even if their relatives are legally residing in Israel.
Employment handling procedure – application for a permit to employ an expert foreign worker in Israel
Issuance of a visa for expert foreign worker services involves two separate steps:
- The employment permit is issued by the Department of Specialist Workers.
- The Ministry of the Interior issues a B / 1 work visa, valid for one year.
Note: the visa must be renewed once a year, for the first five years (there are exceptions in which it will be possible to obtain a permit extension for another year). Renewal of the work permit will be allowed if the foreign worker continues to meet the above requirements.
Submitting employment application approval in the Department of Expert Foreign Workers
The Department of Certification for the Employment of Expert Foreign Workers requires that the Israeli company applying for the employment of an expert foreign worker meets the following conditions and submits the following forms:
- Foreign worker employment application form – completion of an online application form by the Israeli company, which applies to employ the foreign expert and to obtain a B / 1 visa for Israel.
- The company’s registration certificate.
- A copy of official approval of 102 Forms, submitted by the employer to the National Insurance Institute for Israeli workers.
- An accountant certificate stating that the employer is an active entity and that no going concern note has been registered for it during the past year.
- A letter of information describing the reasons why the foreign worker’s expertise is essential, along with forms and letters of recommendation supporting the written application. The employer will write the letter, and the attorney handling the request will edit it, so that the letter meets the legal requirements.
- Certificates showing the education and experience of the foreign worker over the years.
- Wage demand – as stated, twice the average wage of the Israeli worker. That is – about 18,800 NIS per month (as of January 2020).
- Fee price – 1,200 NIS (as of January 2020). The application fee for hiring an expert foreign worker can be paid online via credit card.
Important note: The approving committee, on behalf of the Department of Expert Foreign Workers, may dismiss the application for approval, regardless of whether the employee or employer meets the full requirements mentioned above.
Issuance of a work visa in Israel to a foreign expert worker by the Ministry of the Interior
At the second stage, after receiving the employment permit from the Department of Foreign Expert Workers, the Ministry of the Interior has the authority to determine whether to ratify the permit and print a B / 1 work visa attached to the passport. If the foreign worker is at that time outside of Israel, it will be possible to send the work visa to the Israeli consulate abroad, in order to print the work visa. Please note that when the work visa to Israel is printed for the first time and issued to a foreign worker who arrives in Israel with a foreign expert worker visa, the visa will be sent to the Israeli consulate located in the foreign worker’s country of residence. Accordingly, the employee is required to enter Israel with the work visa.
In the event that the worker arrives in Israel before obtaining the visa, there is a chance that their entry into Israel will be denied at the airport, and the worker will be required to return to their country, and obtain the Israeli visa before entering Israel. Therefore, our recommendation is to ensure that the work visa is properly arranged in advance, in order to ensure free and dignified entry into Israel.
Documents required for the issuance of a B / 1 work visa at the Ministry of the Interior
- Ministry of the Interior visa application form.
- Approval of the transaction from the department for expert employees.
- A copy of the foreign expert employee’s passport, which is required to be valid for at least two years from the date of application.
- Passport photo of the foreign worker (Israeli size)
- Marriage certificate, including birth certificates of minor children. This is to provide the employee’s family members with a visa.
- Affidavit of the worker stating that they have no relatives in Israel. The attorney handling the request may verify the signature on a specific affidavit from the Ministry of the Interior.
- Signed affidavit of the foreign worker, in which they acknowledge that they are scheduled to be employed under the employer in the specific area of expertise and possesses the required qualifications.
- Certificate of health insurance for the foreign worker, friends and family.
- Payment of expert work visa fee.
Important Note: The Ministry of the Interior will usually approve a permit issued by the Department of Expert Foreign Workers, as required for a foreign employee invitation procedure. The Ministry of the Interior may refuse to issue a type B work visa if the specific worker raises doubts and suspicions regarding settling permanently in Israel, or in case of illegal stay in Israel prior to submitting the application, a criminal record, etc. In any case, the decision made by the Ministry of the Interior as well as the Ministry of Economy and Industry is subject to the authority of law in Israel, and the court can change the decision, if it was made in violation of minimum legal regulations by government officials.
Immigration to Israel lawyer – work visa for a specialist foreign worker
Our law firm deals with immigration issues to the countries of Israel, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Austria, Bulgaria and more. We help Israeli and foreign companies hire workers from abroad who are considered to have an outstanding background and specific expertise in the fields of high-tech, medicine, etc. We will be happy to be at your service by phone or email.