FAQ – Foreign Expert Workers to Israel
“FAQ – Foreign Expert Workers” to Israel addresses many issues about foreign expert workers travelling to Israel, with links to more detailed articles on the topic. All issues related to foreign expert workers and their visas fall under the auspices of the Israeli Ministry of Interior.
You can also see this video in which we presented on the subject:
Everything you need to know about foreign workers to Israel below.
What are the main immigration regulations regarding foreign expert workers in Israel?
The main regulations and guidelines regarding foreign expert workers in Israel were established by the Buchris Committee recommendations in 2001 from which the criteria used to determine whether or not foreign workers may enter the country are derived. Generally, foreign expert workers and the companies hiring them must meet at least two criteria for the Buchris Committee recommendations in order to qualify for the appropriate work permit and B1 visa.
For more information on the Buchris Committee and the immigration regulations for foreign expert workers in Israel, please see our article: Information on the Israel Buchris Committee.
What is the application procedure to obtain a foreign expert work visa?
In the event that a company desires to hire a foreign expert worker and can prove that the worker meets the criteria set out by the Buchris Committee, then they can apply for a B1 Israeli work visa for the foreign expert. Individuals who are over the age of 60 or have first-degree family members in Israel are ineligible to apply for this visa.
First, the Israeli company that seeks a foreign expert must submit the relevant paperwork to the Department for Expert Workers. If the Department for Expert Workers approves the B1 work visa permit for one year, the Ministry of Interior will then either approve or reject the request.
In order to apply for a B1 visa for a foreign expert worker, the foreign expert must not be in the country. They must wait for the application approval and pick up the visa at the nearest Israeli consulate to their place of residence.
For more information on the application procedure to obtain a foreign expert work visa, please see our article: Israeli Work Visa for a Foreign Expert.
How to prove foreign expert worker credentials?
In order to be considered a foreign expert, an individual must have particular expertise in an area in which too few Israelis have the knowledge to fill the same position. In order to prove that a person is a foreign expert worker, the organization seeking to hire the foreign expert must submit the necessary paperwork to prove that the foreign expert worker has a certain level of specialization.
For more information on how to prove that a person is a foreign expert worker, please see our article: Employment Permit for an Expert Foreign Worker in Israel.
How do I submit a good application with the correct documents?
When applying for a foreign expert work visa, it is important to submit a good application with the correct documents in order to avoid unnecessary hassles, delays, and rejections. A good application includes all the necessary documents with precise and detailed information answering all of the questions.
For a detailed explanation of the application procedure and a list of the documents required please see our article: Israel Work Visa.
What are some tips to get my B1 visa approved the first time?
You must submit a letter describing the company and why they need a foreign expert worker. This letter must be written in Hebrew and submitted on the company letterhead with the logo on it. It is helpful to include as many recommendation letters as possible in the application process. The application fee must be paid online, but the application should be physically submitted. We highly recommend doing this in person.
How long does it take to get a B1 visa?
There are various timelines to obtain an Israeli work permit for foreign expert workers. It can range from six days to six months depending on the type of process one is seeking: an expedited process (6 days), a normal process (about 45 days), and an extension process (about 6 months).
For more details on the different types of processes, please see our article: Work Permits to Israel – How Long Does It Take?
Are B1 visas necessary for visitors to Israel who enter for business negotiations?
Foreigners coming to Israel for negotiations or other work-related activities may not enter Israel as tourists, even if their country has a visa-waiver policy with Israel. Even if the business is a foreign company operating in Israel, the foreign expert worker must have a B1 permit. This is true whether the person is coming to give a lecture, consult, make repairs to equipment, or conduct negotiations.
For more information on B1 visas for short term expert workers and possible exceptions, please see our article: Israeli Expert Work Permit vs. Negotiations.
What is the three-month expert permit?
When a foreign expert worker is required only for a short period of time, you may apply for a three-month B1 visa. The advantage is that this type of visa does not require that you pay the worker double the average salary in Israel (unlike the long term visa). However, note that this visa is for a single entry, cannot be extended, and does not provide a visa for the foreign worker’s family.
For more information on three-month B1 visas, please see our article: Three Month Expert Worker Permit.
Can I expedite the process of receiving a B1 visa for a foreign expert worker? If so, how?
If a foreign expert worker is required only for an urgent and temporary task, and a 45-day visa is sufficient, you may be able to apply through the expedited procedure. From the moment the application is submitted, the Israeli Ministry of Interior is required to issue the requested permits (if approved) within six days. The worker must be from a country that has a visa-waiver agreement with Israel.
For more information on the expedited procedure for receiving a B1 visa for a foreign expert worker, please see our article: The Expedited Procedure to Obtain an Israeli Foreign Expert Worker Visa.
Can I obtain a visa for a foreign expert worker’s spouse and children?
If a foreign expert worker is legally married to their partner and has a marriage certificate, their spouse and children can be added to the B1 visa request. If the request is approved, the spouse and children will be granted a one year B2 tourist visa. If a foreign expert is coming on a short-term or expedited visa for temporary work, it is unlikely that their family members will be able to receive a visa to come with them.
For more information on the B1 visa, see our article: Israel Work Visa.
Are there any differences in B1 visas for local vs. foreign companies?
The procedure for requesting a B1 visa for a foreign expert worker is identical whether the company is local or foreign. The only difference is that foreign companies are eligible to request an exemption for the visa fee (which can be around 10,000 NIS) for up to two senior executives in the company.
For more information regarding the differences between local and foreign companies applying for B1 visas, and regarding the request for a visa fee exemption, please see our articles: How to Get an Israeli B1 Visa Approved and Israeli B1 Visa Tips from a Lawyer.
How can a B1 visa for a foreign expert worker be extended?
The Israeli B1 visa is usually valid for one year at a time. This visa must be renewed annually, usually for up to five years. However, you can apply to extend the visa further if you can convincingly argue why that is necessary. Such an extension would need to be approved by a special committee.
For more information on extension applications for B1 visas for a foreign expert worker, please see our article: B1 Expert Visa Extension.
What is the nispach gimel that must be attached to a foreign expert worker’s visa application?
The nispach gimel (“appendix C”) is a letter from a CPA (accountant) that must be attached to the visa request for a foreign expert worker. The nispach gimel must include detailed proof the foreign expert worker will be paid at least twice the average salary in Israel. Also, when applying for the annual visa renewal, you must prove the foreign worker is being paid double the average wage in Israel.
Are there any special requirements for tour agencies that wish to apply for a foreign expert worker’s visa application?
A tour company that wishes to apply for a foreign expert worker’s visa must first obtain a letter of approval from the Ministry of Tourism. This can be a difficult process to navigate, and these companies can benefit from the assistance of an expert lawyer in the process.
For more information on tour companies and the B1 expert visa, please see our article: Tour Company Visa in Israel.
What is the procedural difference between applying for a visa for a foreign expert worker with academic credentials vs. a foreign expert who does not have academic credentials?
In general, it is more difficult to obtain a work permit for a foreign expert worker who does not have academic credentials, but there are cases in which it is possible (e.g. in the case of professional athletes, artists, etc.) The academic credentials of the expert academic worker will undergo particular scrutiny since that is what proves their particular ability to meet the company’s needs. A non-academic worker will need to provide their training certificates that prove their non-academic but expert credentials.
For more information on academically trained vs. non-academically trained foreign expert workers, please see our article: Foreign Expert Academic Worker in Israel.
Contact Us – FAQ – Foreign Expert Workers to Israel
Our law office specializes in Israeli immigration law and all issues related to visas in Israel. If you have more questions that this article, FAQ – Foreign Expert Workers to Israel, does not address or you seek assistance with a foreign expert worker visa to Israel, please contact us. Advocate Joshua Pex specializes in Israeli immigration law and obtaining visas for expert workers to Israel.