Israeli Business Visas for Chinese Citizens – Everything You Need to Know
In the last decades, China has become a powerful country economically and is, in fact, one of the world’s largest economies. In light of this, in 2013, Israel decided to strengthen its economic cooperation with China. Among other things, Israel also decided to experimentally include a business visa from China to Israel, particularly to make it easier to do business between the countries. In this article, Advocate Michael Decker, an Israeli immigration lawyer based in Jerusalem, will explain the process of Israeli business visas for Chinese people who wish to visit Israel for business purposes.
The Fundamental Change
Thus far, a business person asking to come to Israel for a short period on business without a salary (such as investment research, business negotiations, conference meetings, etc.) can do so under a regular B/2 visa (tourist visa to Israel). In order to strengthen China’s business in Israel, it has been decided to improve the visa’s procedure and its benefits. The name of this new visa type emphasizes its distinct status, a B/2 visa – business visitor.
Like the B/2 Israeli tourist visa, the stay period in Israel is three months. But, unlike a regular tourist visa, during the conditions check to receive the B/2 visa for the business visitor, there will be an interview with the visa applicant and the consulate clerk. According to the visitor’s needs in Israel, the consul can extend the business person’s stay for up to 12 months maximum. In addition, the business visitor’s visa includes an option to leave and return to Israel without limit until the end of the period, and there is no limitation on how many visas a Chinese business visitor may receive per year.
The Application Procedure
In order to apply for the visa, the Chinese business visa applicant is required to approach one of Israel’s representatives in China with the application form and all of the relevant papers. There, the Israeli consular service workers will check if the applicant qualifies, and they will be added to the consular system. In case some relevant information is missing, the applicant will be required to submit these additional documents within 30 days. Handling the application can only start after all documents are received.
Once the application is submitted and the applicant’s details have been verified and confirmed by the consul and the general appendix, then the Chinese business peron seeking to travel to Israel will be defined as a “business visitor,” and they will be invited for an interview in the consulate. After the interview the consul can recommend the stay period in Israel according to the business needs. Should the visa be approved, the Chinse business person will be allowed to stay in Israel for three months or for a term recommended by the consul.
The business visa from China to Israel is not intended for permanent stay in Israel; therefore, at the end of the stay period, the business visitor will be required to leave the country. Should they want to extend their stay over what was recommended, they will have to apply for another entry permit only after leaving Israel. Another person, such as an Israeli lawyer, can also help apply for another entry permit.
IMPORTANT: A visitor from China that is already in Israel will not be able to apply from here, but only at the Israeli Embassy in China.
Conditions for Application
The conditions for applying for a business visa from China to Israel are as follows:
- Confirmation of a clean record and a general health confirmation (“the yellow book”).
- Statements that the Chinese applicant does not intend to work in Israel, a guarantee to leave Israel on time, and statements on their stay in Israel (including previous stays), and the business matters they came to Israel for.
- Chinese citizenship and a national Chinese passport valid for 18 months.
- The company the business person works for has existed for at least 18 months prior to the application.
- The purpose of the visit must be related to advancing the company’s business in Israel. Note that a worker of a company which deals with manpower or whose purpose for entering the country is negotiating manpower will not be approved on this Israeli business visa for Chinese business people.