An Israel Work Visa : The B/1 Israeli Expert Visa
The B/1 Israel work visa to Israel for foreign expert workers is a special Israeli work visa category. The foreign expert Israeli work visa allows Israeli companies to employee non-Israelis. However, the company must prove they need the foreign worker who possesses a special expertise and that local Israeli workers cannot do the job. The policy of the Israeli government is to cut back on the number of foreign workers in Israel so as to leave more jobs for Israelis. Therefore the Ministry of Interior has been issuing fewer expert work visas each year.
Nevertheless, an expert worker from abroad who has specific knowledge may help a local Israeli company grow, succeed and hire more local Israelis. As a result, the government has issued the procedure for issuing the expert work visa to Israel. An Israeli company that wants to hire an expert worker from outside Israel must take into consideration that they will be required to pay the foreign worker twice the average salary of an Israeli worker, plus get the approval of a Ministry of Interior committee that they really need the foreign worker for their company.
What Are the Areas of Expertise to Employ a Foreign Worker on a B/1 Israeli Expert Visa?
The Ministry of Interior procedure states that an Israeli company wishing to employ a foreign worker may hire an expert worker who will be paid twice the average salary in Israel or employ a manager or local representative of an international company (in which case the salary requirement does not apply). The areas of expertise which these workers specialize in are: academics, medicine, hi-tech, industry, arts, etc.
Who Cannot Receive a B/1 Israeli Expert Visa?
The Israeli laws regarding the Israel work visa for foreign expert workers state that a worker who is in Israel on any kind of visa may not switch the visa to the work visa. Therefore, the expert is required to be outside Israel to obtain the Israel work visa at the Israeli consulate abroad. Other than that, any worker above the age of 60 is not permitted to obtain the Israel work visa. Also, a foreign worker with first-degree relatives in Israel (spouse, parents, siblings) may not receive the Israel work visa, even if their family members are legally residing in Israel.
The Two Phases for Issuing a B/1 Israeli Expert Visa – Israel work visa
- The Department for Expert Workers issues a work permit.
- The Ministry of Interior office issues the B/1 expert work visa for one year.
Note: The B/1 expert work visa must be renewed once a year for the duration of five years (with some exceptions in which extensions may be granted) and is issued again only if the worker continues to meet the criteria mentioned below.
Requesting a Work Permit at the Department of Expert Workers
The office of foreign expert workers in Jerusalem requires that the Israeli company requesting the foreign expert work visa meet the following conditions and submit these documents:
- Employer affidavit form – online form requesting employment of a foreign worker to be filled out by the Israeli company wishing to employ the expert worker and receive the B/1 visa to Israel.
- Entity of employer document – company registration certificate.
- Certified copy of the 102 forms that were submitted to Social Insurance offices in connection with Israeli employees.
- CPA approval that the employing entity is in operation and that an ongoing concern warning was not registered against the entity during the previous year.
- Letter of explanation from the employing entity regarding the reasons that the expertise of the foreign expert worker is necessary, along with documents and recommendation letters that support the written request. You will need to prepare such a letter, and we can translate it into Hebrew and amend it to fit their legal requirements. Furthermore, you will need to gather as many recommendation letters as possible.
- Résumé and education certificates of the foreign expert worker requesting the B/1 Israel work visa.
- Salary requirement; twice the average salary of an Israeli, i.e. approximately 18,800 NIS (as of July 2015).
- Application fee of 1,200 NIS (as of July 2015). The B/1 expert work visa to Israel fee may be paid online via credit card.
Note: The committee regarding the approval of the B/1 expert work visa request has discretion to withhold granting the permit when the employee or employer does not meet all of the requirements listed above.
The Ministry of Interior and Issuing of the Israeli Expert Visa in a Passport
Once the work visa permit has been issued by the Department for Expert Workers, the Ministry of Interior (MOI) has the discretion to approve or reject the permit and issue the B/1 visa in the passport. If the worker is outside of Israel, the work visa may be sent to the Israeli consulate abroad, and the visa can be issued at the consulate.
Please note that the the first time the work visa to Israel is issued for a foreign worker who is coming to Israel on an expert work visa, the visa will always be sent to the Israeli consulate in the worker’s country of residence. The worker is required to enter Israel with the work visa. In the event the worker comes to Israel without the visa arranged in advance, there is a chance that their entry to Israel will be denied at the airport, and the worker will be asked to return to their country of residence and receive the work visa to Israel in their passport prior to entering Israel. Therefore, our recommendation is to make sure that the work visa to Israel has been properly arranged in advance in order to secure entry to Israel for the expert worker of the company.
These are the documents needed for issuing the B/1 work visa at the Ministry of Interior:
- MOI visa application form.
- Expert work visa permit.
- Copy of the foreign expert worker’s passport which needs to be valid for at least two additional years from the date of application.
- Passport picture of the invitee (Israeli size).
- Marriage certificate and birth certificates of children who are minors. They will need this in order to grant the foreign expert worker’s spouse and dependent children a visa.
- Affidavit stating that there are no near relatives in Israel. We will certify your signature on such an affidavit given to us by the Ministry of Interior.
- Certified affidavit by the employee wherein they recognize that they are entitled to be employed by the employer in the field of this expertise and that they have the qualifications to do so. We will send you to a notary with the relevant affidavit. This will cost several hundred shekels.
- Medical insurance approval for worker and family members.
- Expert work visa fee of 9,860 NIS.
Note: The Ministry of Interior office will usually approve a permit given by the Department of Expert Workers according to the Israel work visa procedure unless the applicant raises doubt regarding “fear of settlement” in Israel, has a criminal background, has illegally stayed in Israel in the past, etc.
Other than that, both the decision of the MOI and the Ministry of Trade and Commerce are subject to Israeli procedural law and may be overturned by the court if the decision has breached minimum legal requirements from government officials.
Our law firm, Cohen, Decker, Pex & Brosh, practices immigration law, immigration to the USA, immigration to Israel and more. We assist Israeli and foreign companies in relocating expert workers to Israel in order to achieve the goals of the company that require the expertise of the specific worker. If you are interested, see our articles addressing Israeli work visas for foreign managers and more on foreign experts.
Please contact us for more information regarding Israel work visa or immigration to Israel.