Since Israel has become known internationally as a ‘start up nation’, many companies require that foreign experts and/or senior officers from different countries arrive in Israel for reasons related to working in Israel.
At times, those companies needs arise from the needs of companies who purchased them within the scope of an “exit” or otherwise, where they need to post senior officers and/or fill the existing void in the Israeli market with foreign experts who possess the knowledge and expertise needed that does not exist in Israel, but there are also cases where the need for foreign experts is due to the country’s needs and other cases where the reason is the international trade relations existing between the companies.
Therefore, the Ministry of Interior (hereinafter: the “Ministry”) recently created a special track for foreign experts and senior officers. Within this scope of this track, the Ministry issues work and stay visas for the foreign experts and/or senior officers, for the duration of one year. It is possible to extend the visas for an overall period of 5 years and three months.
It is important to note that those same foreign experts/ senior officers must meet certain criteria in order to be a candidate for this track, which amongst other things include:
The above and other considerations will be examined by the relevant factors when the final decision concerning each and every candidate shall be granted by the Ministry and in accordance with its discretion. It should be stressed that the Ministry has broad powers with respect to the subject matter, and as such, the Ministry may demand that an employer provide a guarantee in order to ensure the foreign expert’s departure (correct as of March 2016, the guarantee is 36,000 Shekels per worker).
In addition, it can request for the employer to open a bank account in Israel for the foreign expert, where the foreign expert’s salary will be wired. In the event that the Israeli employer will request an extension of the visa for the foreign expert, the Ministry can request bank account statements for the previous year in order to ensure that the employer did indeed pay the foreign expert in accordance with the procedures.
After successfully concluding the procedure of filing the application for a foreign expert/ senior officer, the embassy located in the foreign expert’s native country will issue for the foreign expert a temporary one time entry visa (up to one month) into Israel. After entering the borders of Israel, the petitioner will be required to arrive at the Ministry of Interior in order to file a type M visa (Multiple Entries) through which the petitioner can leave and enter in Israel, to the extent that he desires, during the course of his employment and stay in Israel.
As we noted above, this procedure meets the requirements of the Israeli law regarding foreign experts and senior officer who are not Israeli residents. In general, the procedure should take approximately two months from the date of the initial filing of the application to the Ministry.
The Ministry of Interior (hereinafter: the “Ministry”) permits an employer who requires an expert for a limited time to file a special application in accordance with the “foreign experts” procedure for a fixed period of up to three months. Within the framework of this application and as a preliminary requisite to file the application, the employer must present to the Ministry documents which attest to the foreign expert’s education from an academic institution or regarding his professional qualification as required for the relevant project.
Below you will find the details of the procedure in brief:
Many companies, and in particular those companies whose activities entail advanced technologies and operations in the field of High –Tech, require foreign experts for a specific project, such as for installing a machine that was manufactured overseas and is such that only the manufacturer knows how to assemble and install it.
For this purpose, the Ministry of Interior (hereinafter: the “Ministry”) allows for the filing of an application to employ a foreign expert for up to 45 days, in the accelerated track. The clear advantage with the accelerated track is that it is quick. In other words, it is possible to receive an employment visa within 8 business days. As aforementioned, the accelerated track is mainly designated for a specific solution of problems which may arise in any technological environment, including faults and breakage of the manufacturing machines.
An additional advantage with the accelerated track is that in this framework, an Israeli employer is required to provide a very limited amount of documents, affidavits and documents which can attest to his qualifications and verification of the foreign expert in order to execute the project imposed upon him, which significantly reduces the time required to file the initial application for the receipt of the visa.
In addition, upon the receipt of working visa from the visa department (in contrast to the regular track), the foreign expert can immediately arrive in Israel and begin his work, without him having to arrive to the Israeli Embassy in his native country. After the foreign expert arrives in Israel, he will be required to urgently transfer his passport to our office, and we will immediately contact the authority in order to complete the process.
It is important to note that the foreign expert shall not be permitted to commence his work until the aforementioned process has been completed and the temporary working and stay visa appears in his passport. It is important to note that in the event there is a need to divide the period, in other words the expert must arrive, for example, three times for 15 days each time during the course of one calendar year, it is possible to do so. Nevertheless, each time there is a need to refile the application in the subject matter.
It is important to note that the accelerated track was designated only for countries which have an exemption for entry visa for tourists, including: the United States, European Union member states, Japan, Australia, etc. Therefore, foreign experts from nations which require entry visas as a tourist, including China and India, cannot use this accelerated track.
In addition, by its mere nature, a visa received within the framework of the employer’s application in the “accelerated track” cannot be extended. Also note that filing an application in the accelerated track entails the payment of the fee which is calculated in accordance with the number of days it is necessary to for the foreign expert to stay in Israel.
Therefore, in the event that you need an attorney who specializes in laws related to foreign workers and specialists and that can submit the necessary documents on your behalf, prepare the relevant applications, contact the Ministry of Interior and accompany you to meetings with them, we suggest that you set up a consultation meeting, where your specific needs will be discussed. Once we know more about your specific situation, we will be able to advise on what the most suitable course of action for your specific situation may be.