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Translating a professional certificate for work purposes in Israel

Michael Decker
Michael Decker

Stuart Safft

I am delighted to report that my wife and I have just obtained our Israeli citizenship. We will be forever grateful for all of the help, guidance and support which Ariel Galili of Decker, Pex & Co. provided through this process.
I am a Jewish, 80-year-old American, and my wife is not Jewish. We had started the process on our own back in November 2020 via the Jewish Agency and Nefesh B’Nefesh, but soon became entangled in the delays and often-changing regulations due to Covid-19. The pandemic also caused delays in obtaining the required apostilles for various documents from various state agencies and the US State Department.
We found Decker, Pex & Co. On the internet and began working with Ariel in late November 2021. Ariel did a superb job of leading us through the process, helping us to understand which documents were essential, which would most likely be required, and which, though included on the list of required documents, were rarely required. He helped us several times to understand what was likely and unlikely to occur as “the next step.” Helping us manage our expectations was extremely useful to us.
Besides his knowing the laws, regulations and procedures, Ariel also made us feel that he was truly interested in helping us to successfully work through this process in as smooth, timely, and frustration-free manner as possible.
My wife and I strongly recommend anyone planning to go through this process seriously consider hiring Decker, Pex, Ofir & Co. and, specifically, Ariel Galili.

Many foreign workers must translate their professional certificates in order to work in Israel. This is true for employees in a number of fields, including nursing workers and foreign experts invited to Israel, as well as other industries such as the construction and hotel industries. It is important that the certificate be translated in accordance with legal requirements and the relevant regulations in each case. Sometimes, in addition to translating the document, it will also be necessary to have it officially authenticated. In what cases must professional certificates be translated and what does the process involve? This article provides an explanation by attorney Michael Decker, a partner in our firm, a certified notary public and an expert in Israeli immigration law.

Our firm, with offices in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, specializes in Israeli immigration law. We provide comprehensive and professional legal services in the field of foreign workers, in addition to providing various notary services. Our law office deals with, among other things, work visa applications for foreign workers, translating and verifying official documents for foreign workers, and providing legal counsel to foreign workers and their employers throughout the employment period.

Professional certificate translation

Why are professional certificates important for obtaining an employment permit in Israel?

Foreign workers in Israel can be divided into two main groups: professional workers and non-professional workers. Make no mistake — this does not mean that non-professional workers perform their work unprofessionally. It simply means that non-professional foreign workers do not have specific professional qualifications relating to the work for which they are coming to Israel. Examples of this can be found in the construction, agriculture and hotel industries, where many of the foreign workers do not have professional certificates relating to their work in Israel.

On the other hand, there are also professional workers in these industries, such as engineers, medical massage therapists, chefs, and so on. In these cases, the workers’ professional backgrounds will almost certainly need to be proven. However, when the Population and Immigration Authority examines Israeli work visa applications, it cannot verify the credibility of foreign-issued certificates and documents written in foreign languages if they are submitted in the original language only. Therefore, it is important to provide official translations of workers’ professional certificates ahead of time, as well as certificates of studies and other existing documents which can attest to their professional experience. We will hereby elaborate on which professions require this and how the translations can be done.

Which professions require foreign workers to have professional certificates?

Many industries require foreign workers to prove their professional background. Nursing workers will generally be required to prove they have medical qualifications and past experience in nursing work in order to receive an Israeli work visa. Similarly, foreign experts, such as engineers, diamond experts, etc., will also have to present proof of their qualifications and professional experience. Moreover, in some cases, providing professional certification will not be a basic requirement, but will still be needed to obtain a foreign worker visa. Examples of this are professional workers in the hotel industry, such as masseuses and cooks, as well as restaurant owners who wish to invite a foreign chef to work for them.

How are professional certificates translated?

The type of translation required largely depends on the type of document to be translated. Translations of professional certificates issued by private institutions are different from certificates issued by academic institutions or government entities. Usually, certificates from government entities and academic institutions will not only need to be translated, but also authenticated by an official in the country where the document was issued (apostille). The above mainly relates to cases in which an employer wishes to bring in professional foreign workers such as engineers, doctors and nurses.

In other cases, an official notarized translation of the certificate can suffice. An issue often rises in this regard if the notary public, whose signature verifies that the document was translated correctly, is not fluent in the language in which the document was issued. As of today, the Ministry of the Interior requires that notarized translations be verified by a legally certified notary public who is fluent in both the source language and the target language. It is important to make sure that the documents are translated by a qualified individual, since submitting documents that do not meet the standards of the Ministry of the Interior may lead to the foreign workers being refused entry. We explain in detail about notarized translation in another article published on our website. In order to understand which translation is required for your document, we recommend consulting an attorney specializing in Israeli immigration law.

Notarized translation services and legal assistance from an attorney specializing in immigration law

In this article we explained the cases which require notarized translations and how the translation process is done. As we explained in detail, this process requires a thorough understanding of the required actions, fluency in various languages, and more. In order to find out to act properly in your case, you can contact our law firm for any questions and assistance. An attorney and notary public specializing in immigration law, with experience in handling foreign workers and their employers, will be happy to provide you with comprehensive legal services in this matter and on various other issues as well.

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