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Innovation Visa for Encouraging Entrepreneurship in Israel – Cohen, Decker, Pex & Brosh


Michael Decker

Israel is known as a very technologically developed country. The disk-on-key, the solar water heater, the Iron Dome air defense system, the Waze navigation app and many other innovative developments that millions of people use all over the world are all Israeli developments. In general, technological innovation is one of the most profitable fields of enterprise in Israel. Therefore, the Israeli Ministry of Economy, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Immigration and Population Authority and the Israel Innovation Authority, decided to start a new pilot project to create a new type of visa—the innovation visa. The purpose of the project is to encourage foreign technological entrepreneurship in Israel, thereby making Israel a technological power.

What Does the Program Offer? B/2 Innovation Visa

Innovation visaThe program offers foreign entrepreneurs in the field of technology a visa to reside in Israel, called “B/2 Innovation.” The visa offers a period of up to two years, during which the foreign entrepreneur may begin to establish an innovative project in Israel, in a track that includes professional and logistic support by the Innovation Authority. During the first stage of the process of obtaining an innovation visa to Israel, the entrepreneur must engage exclusively in the field of his venture throughout his stay. If the new venture is successful and develops into a product, the foreign-citizen entrepreneur may apply for an expert visa (type B/1 work visa). This wil provide him a residence and work permit in Israel while he devleops or even markets the product.

Innovation Visa – Target Audience

The purpose of the visa-innovation initiative is, first and foremost, to encourage entrepreneurs from abroad to come and develop a new product in Israel, and to offer a supportive track to help them enter the field. However, it should be noted that the new visa program is still defined as an experimental project, so the track proposed by the Innovation Authority will only be open to 12 applicants, provided they meet all the required conditions.

Steps for Obtaining an Innovation Visa to Stay in Israel

Visas to Israel are issued by the Population and Immigration Authority at the Israeli Ministry of Interior. However, before applying to the Population and Immigration Authority in order to obtain an innovation visa, the foreign entrepreneur must first obtain a permit to enter the track from the Innovation Authority. The requirements of the Innovation Authority for granting an innovation visa to Israel are:

  • The foreign entrepreneur (one person) is not an Israeli citizen or resident.
  • The proposed technological start-up idea needs logistic and professional support in order to turn into a product.
  • The entrepreneur has at least two years of experience in the field of the proposed innovative idea.
  • The entrepreneur has a business work plan explaining the potential of the idea and his requirements for developing it.

Important! Only after the foreign entrepreneur’s application to become an official entrepreneur has been approved by the Innovation Authority will he be able to apply to the Population and Immigration Authority in order to obtain the innovation visa to Israel in accordance with the Ministry of Interior’s procedure.

After the end of the  recommended period, if his idea is successful and turns into a product, the foreign entrepreneur may apply for a continuation visa (expert worker visa B/1). After obtaining a license to stay and work in Israel, the developer of the successful project may start the marketing proces, subject to the establishment of a corporation in Israel and entry into one of the tracks offered to him by the Innovation Authority.

Further info from Israeli immigration experts:

For more information on types of visas to Israel, check this article.

If you have questions about the procedure for obtaining an innovation visa to Israel, or if you are looking for advice on immigration to Israel, contact us:

Cohen, Decker, Pex & Brosh – Immigration Law Firm.

Innovation visa

 : 03-3724722



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