Israel Work Permit (B-1) – Expert category
The following is an overview which details the process of how to obtain a working permit for any foreign employee, under expert category, entering Israel to conduct work.
- The general policy is that foreign employees, have no vested right to enter Israel for the purpose of employment. A foreign resident who wishes to perform work in Israel, regardless of duration, must first obtain a work permit (B-1) from the Ministry of Interior – Population, Immigration and Border Control Authority (PIBA), the department of foreign workers.
- Under the Law, a foreign worker is “a worker who is not a citizen or resident of Israel”. This is as opposed to an individual who merely visits Israel, even for business purposes.
- A foreign worker shall be deported from Israel if he/she works without a work permit and he/she will further be subjected to fines and possible imprisonment. In addition the employer will be prevented from sending other employees to Israel and will be subjected to criminal charge if he employs a foreigner under a tourist visitor visa or without the appropriate work visa.
- B-1 work permit is available under expert category, for two levels of experts
- Experts, managers or professionals with academic background.
- Experts with no academic background considered as experts and qualified workers.
- Acquiring a work permit, under expert category, entails completing a four-step process
- The first step involves receiving a recommendation from the Ministry of Interior – Population, Immigration and Border Control Authority (PIBA), the department of foreign workers – experts unit, to work in Israel. This is possible only after convincing the Ministry that the employee is an expert in his field, earning more than twice the average salary in the market and proving that there is no other local Israeli citizen who can perform the same task.
- The second step includes submitting a request with the Interior Office to invite the worker to Israel.
- The third step involves having the visa stamped in the worker’s passport.
- The fourth step involves the stamp of multiple entries, after entering the country
- Reviewing a working permit application usually take up to 90 days. Permits approved will usually be given for 1 year but they can be extended up to 5 years depending on the uniqueness of the worker in question.
- Under the law one cannot convert a tourist and business visitor’s visa (B-2) to a working visa (B-1) while the foreigner is in Israel. Therefore an employee who wishes to work in Israel is required to obtain a work permit before entering Israel.
- The Israeli Interior Ministry has started to conduct periodic inspections ensuring that companies comply with local law concerning the employment of expats in Israel. The inspections intend to make sure that foreign employees are lawfully being employed and have a valid B-1 working visa. Israel has specific rules for employing foreign employees including providing the employees with suitable accommodation and a salary that must be more than twice the average monthly salary in the Israel market.
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