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Nursing Worker Visa to Israel – July 2021 Update

Michael Decker
Michael Decker

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Israel’s policy regarding nursing worker visas creates a great deal of uncertainty. Especially these days, when the corona crisis is leading to frequent changes in government decisions, many foreign nursing workers find themselves under a real threat of deportation from Israel. A new law passed in July 2021 allows for a narrow window of opportunity in which the situation may be resolved for thousands of foreign nursing workers, as well as for the nursing patients who depend on them. What does the new law stipulate and for whom is it relevant? A lawyer from our firm specializing in labor law and in immigration to Israel explains the new rules on obtaining a nursing worker visa.

The lawyers at our firm in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv specialize in labor law and in immigration to Israel. Our firm provides foreign nursing workers, nursing patients, and employers with legal solutions and assistance concerning visas, work permits, workers’ rights, etc.

Foreign Nursing Workers, Nursing Patients, and Families of Patients – July 2021

As is well known, following the coronavirus pandemic, Israel placed significant restrictions on the entry and exit of foreign citizens. The guidelines on this are updated regularly and greatly constrain foreign citizens who are staying in Israel for work purposes. The most vulnerable population as a result of the above restrictions is foreign nursing workers, who constitute a major portion of all foreign workers in Israel, according to data from the Ministry of Interior.

Many foreign nursing workers who have been in Israel for a long time have only received a temporary extension of their visa. This temporary solution does not provide certainty about their ability to remain in Israel in the long run. This problematic situation affects not only the foreign nursing workers themselves, but also (and perhaps most importantly) their nursing patients. The uncertainty as to whether foreign nursing workers will be able to continue staying in Israel, as well as the restrictions on the entry of new nursing workers, creates a huge problem for tens of thousands of patients and their families. The peak of this problem was reached at the end of June 2021, due to a decision made earlier by the Ministry of Interior requiring workers to leave Israel by June 30, 2121.Nursing Worker Visa to Israel - July 2021 Update

A New Law That May Provide Solutions to This Issue

The new Israeli government has decided to find an immediate solution to the plight of foreign nursing workers, as well as patients and their families who depend on these workers. The incoming Minister of Social Equality and Minister of Interior recently announced a joint decision that may allow for the extension of the work visas of most foreign nursing workers who have been working in Israel for over half a year. The decision stipulates that, for the time being, visas of foreign nursing workers who have been working in Israel for at least six months shall be immediately extended.

Following the decision, a temporary order was issued amending the Entry into Israel Law. The amendment to the law creates a narrow one-time possibility to extend expired visas of foreign nursing workers who are employed in Israel. To do this, the law stipulates that foreign workers must submit, within three months from the date of publication of the law, an opinion letter by a qualified person who has met with the nursing patients and determined that termination of employment may cause the patients serious harm and that the conditions set forth in the law for extending the worker’s visa apply.

Despite the Decision, there is Still Much Legal Uncertainty

The above-mentioned new legislation provides a solution for many foreign nursing workers; however, some workers do not meet the legal conditions for a visa extension. In addition, the Population Authority, which is responsible for granting licenses to nursing workers, is inundated with requests, so extending your worker’s visa may take time. Accordingly, our recommendation is to contact an experienced lawyer with expertise in immigration and labor law in advance, who will take care of extending your worker’s visa and work permit and ensure that the worker remains in Israel.

Contact a Lawyer Who Specializes in Assisting Foreign Nursing Workers in Israel

In this article, we have explained the existing solution regarding nursing worker visas during the coronavirus pandemic, as of July 2021. If you need assistance or advice regarding the extension of nursing worker visas or any other matter concerning the employment of nursing workers, we will be happy to help you. Our firm specializes in assisting with nursing workers’ visas and legal status, and provides a legal solution for workers and for nursing patients and their families.

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