Obtaining a visa for a foreign caretaker in Israel
What are the conditions for obtaining and extending an Israeli visa for foreign caretakers? Foreign caretakers in Israel must hold visas (B-1 work visas) for the entire period of their stay in the country. The Entry to Israel Act sets out the types of visas which the Interior Minister is permitted to grant to foreign workers. The law also includes several regulations limiting the duration of the visa and the types of work permitted under it.
Israeli Interior Ministry policy directs foreign caretakers to stay in Israel only temporarily and not settle here. However, the law sets out conditions which, if met, enable a foreign worker to extend their stay in Israel. In this article we summarize the various regulations, explain the process of obtaining the initial visa for a foreign caretaker, and describe the conditions under which the visa can be extended.
The Israeli lawyers at the law firm of Cohen, Decker, Pex, Brosh specialize in the laws applying to foreign workers and foreign caretakers. We provide our clients with solutions and assistance for such issues as arranging visas for foreign caretakers in Israel, obtaining and extending work and residency permits, transferring workers between patients, and providing legal counseling and assistance for workers and employers in this area.
What are the types of visas and residency permits under the law?
The Entrance to Israel Act determines the ways in which foreign citizens can enter and reside in Israel. The law and Interior Ministry regulations cover all issues related to entering Israel and residency permits (visas) for foreign citizens in Israel; whether for a tourist visit, studies or volunteering, as well as various types of work visas. You can read more about the various categories of visas to Israel on our website.
Extending a work visa and residency permit for a foreign caretaker
The law includes special arrangements for foreign caretakers. The Interior Minister is authorized to extend a foreign caretaker’s Israeli residency permit for a total of up to five years, with the initial extension not to exceed two years and each additional extension not to exceed one year. The application to extend the permit must be submitted to the Population and Immigration Authority, whose internal regulations set out conditions which foreign caretakers must meet. For example: the foreign worker must have an up-to-date insurance policy and no first-degree family member (parents, spouse, or children) residing in Israel.
Criteria for extending an Israeli visa for foreign caretakers
Once 51 months have passed from the foreign caretaker’s entrance into Israel, they must meet additional criteria to extend a residency permit. First, the worker must have resided in Israel continuously for at least a year before applying for an extension. During that year, the worker must have been employed by the patient for which the worker originally received the work permit. Second, a professional opinion is required by a certified party (social worker / doctor / nurse) concerning the caretaker’s connection to the patient. The opinion should state that if that specific foreign caretaker ceased working for the patient, this would cause the patient serious harm.
After 63 months or more of residency in Israel, a foreign caretaker is generally required to leave the country. There are, however, exceptional circumstances in which a humanitarian visa can be granted to a foreign caretaker. This is a complex issue, and therefore we have dedicated to it a separate article in this series.
What are the restrictions on foreign caretakers under the Entrance to Israel Act?
The Entrance to Israel Act includes additional restrictions on employing foreign caretakers. Under the law, someone who wants to employ a foreign caretaker must first arrange a work permit with the Interior Ministry. They must also obtain a certification of the foreign worker’s health status before they enter Israel. Without the work permit and medical certification, a foreign caretaker will generally not be granted an Israeli residence permit.
Contact an attorney specializing in employment of foreign caretakers
If you are employing or seeking to employ a foreign caretaker, or need legal advice and assistance regarding employment of a foreign caretaker, we will be happy to help. Contact the law offices of Cohen, Decker, Pex, Brosh, in Jerusalem or Petach Tikvah, to obtain legal information and assistance. We specialize in issues of immigration to Israel and the regulations pertaining to foreign caretakers and obtaining legal status for them in Israel.