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In What Fields May Foreign Workers Be Employed In Israel?

Michael Decker

Dongdiet & Nellie

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Foreign workers in Israel are contracted in various jobs and employment fields. Besides manufacturing fields such as construction, agriculture, restaurants, and hotels, the field of nursing workers in Israel consists mainly of foreign workers. Similarly, many foreign experts come to work in Israel due to their special expertise in their field of employment. It is important to know that the laws and regulations are different for workers in different industries. Below we demonstrate this on a number of main industries in which foreign workers are employed in Israel.

Our law firm, which has branches in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, specializes in labor law and in the laws of immigration to Israel. We provide comprehensive professional legal solutions for foreign workers and their employers in a variety of areas. We offer various legal services such as obtaining work visas for foreign workers, representing clients vis-à-vis the various authorities and courts in Israel, and providing legal advice and assistance to foreign workers and their employers throughout their employment period in Israel.

Foreign worker jobs

In What Fields of Employment and At What Jobs May Foreign Workers In Israel Be Employed?

As explained above, foreign workers are employed in a variety of industries in the Israeli economy. The law in Israel does not completely restrict the industries in which foreign workers may be employed. However, in many industries, Israeli workers are preferred or quotas are set for the number of foreign workers that may be accepted to work in a certain field or profession. In addition, special rules apply to each field of employment, which workers and employers in the field should know. Below we elaborate upon several fields and branches of employment, as well as main types of jobs for which foreign workers come to Israel.

The Nursing Industry

While other industries include both Israeli and foreign workers, a significant portion of nursing workers today are foreign. Accordingly, many rules have been stipulated for workers in this field. A prominent example of this is the issue of ending the employment of workers when the nursing patient dies or is permanently hospitalized at a medical institution. This issue is unique to the nursing industry, and it requires the solution of offering severance pay to such workers and the option to receive a permit to work for other patients. Another central issue is the issue of payment for overtime work when workers live at the home of their patient. You can read here about the legal problems that this may cause.

There is a significant shortage of foreign nursing workers in Israel, in relation to the high demand among nursing patients and their families. Over the years, several legal solutions have been found to solve this problem, the most prominent of which is to apply for an extension of the nursing worker’s work permit for humanitarian reasons so that they may continue nursing their patient. Also, during the coronavirus pandemic, a very significant difficulty arose in inviting new nursing workers to Israel, so a special law was enacted to allow for the extension of foreign workers’ work visas. This law is elaborated upon in another article on our website.

The Hotel Industry

Another industry with a significant number of foreign workers is the hotel industry. The main area of occupation for foreign workers in this industry is housekeeping. There is great demand for hotel housekeepers in Israel, due to the large number of hotels. To provide a solution for this demand, it was decided to allow hotel owners and managers in Israel to request foreign housekeepers. However, the Ministry of Tourism has set strict criteria and quotas for the maximal number of workers in the industry. Accordingly, the process of issuing work visas in this industry is not simple. Although it is possible today to request foreign workers online, there are many threshold requirements that must be met for the application to be approved.

Besides foreign hotel housekeepers, there are also other occupations in the hotel industry in which foreign workers are employed. These include masseurs, chefs, entertainment staff, and other occupations. Workers in these occupations may sometimes be invited as foreign experts. In other cases, it is possible to invite foreign workers who are already staying in Israel with a work permit by registering them as hotel industry workers. In these cases, too, it is possible to submit an online application to invite the workers. To read more about the hotel industry, see another article published on our website.

Foreign Experts

The field of foreign experts actually includes many branches of employment. Companies, academic institutions, and even government ministries often need foreign experts with unique knowledge and skills. The field of experts differs from other cases in which foreign workers are needed in that experts are usually invited for specific projects, not continuous employment. Therefore, the law stipulates various validity periods for foreign expert visas.

There are short-term visas that are valid for between one month and 90 days, cumulatively or continuously. There are also foreign workers who come to Israel as managers of foreign companies operating in Israel, or who work at high-tech or cyber companies. You can find detailed information about the various types of foreign expert visas and the ways to obtain them in another article published on our website.

Foreign Diamantaires

The diamond industry in Israel is flourishing and, therefore, foreign diamantaires often come to Israel. To invite them, a special application must be submitted, and a permit must be received to employ them from the Supervisor of Diamonds at the Ministry of Economy. The application must include, inter alia, proof of the invited foreign diamantaires’ expertise and their professional experience.

A unique characteristic of the diamond industry in Israel is that, in contrast with other industries, employers and companies that invite foreign diamantaires are exempt from providing them with various social benefits (such as residence). The reason for this is that these diamantaires are usually wealthy people who do not need social benefits for their stay in Israel. However, to understand exactly what benefits you are required to provide to the foreign diamantaires in each case, you should consult with a lawyer who specializes in labor law and in immigration to Israel.

Contact a Lawyer Who Specializes In Immigration to Israel and In the Field of Foreign Workers

This article explained about some prominent types of jobs and employment industries in which foreign workers are employed in Israel, and demonstrated the unique legal aspects of employing workers in the various industries. For any further questions you may have, you are welcome to contact our law firm. An immigration lawyer from our offices in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv will be happy to provide you with a comprehensive legal solution based on practical experience with and knowledge of the foreign worker field. You can contact us through the phone numbers and email address listed below.

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