Israel Visas, Work Permits and Migration
Israel’s hi-tech, competitive, and fast-moving economy has carved itself a reputation for being the place for new companies to excel. The ‘Start-up Nation’, as it is known, is an increasingly attractive proposition for international companies, with an excellent strategic location on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean and southwest corner of Asia with proximity to African markets.
Expanding into a new country or hiring a workforce abroad can lead your business to great profits, but unfamiliar laws and regulations can counteract your company’s goals and plans.
What Types of Work Visas, and Permits for Israel are there?
Around 100 countries are visa exempt for visiting Israel for leisure or tourism. Their nationals just need to present their passports, with six months validity after duration of stay, and they will be allowed entry; at which time they may or may not have a visa-free notice stamped in their passports. This allows for short stay trips of three months.
All other activities require one type of visa or another. Before applying for a tourist visa, check to see if this is necessary.
Around 140 countries’ nationals will require a visa to enter. The Ministry of Interior (MOI) sanctions visas under the Law of Entry which permits foreigners to access Israel for tourism, business, study, education, work, and residency. These visas should be applied for through a local embassy or consulate in the home country or country of residence.
In 2022, Israel is to introduce an e-Visa. This will simplify the process and allow those foreigners who wish to visit for tourism, business purposes or transit, to apply online. Now a Visitor Visa (B2) is required for short stays (90 days).
Those with a proven Jewish birth right can apply for immigration under the Law of Return (Aliyah).
Main Categories of Visas
Israel has four long-term A-Visas and two B-Visas for limited stays. There are also immigration visas. Visas allow people to enter Israel legally for various reasons:
- A/1 – Temporary Resident: issued to those entitled to Aliyah
- A/2 – Student Visa
- A/3 – Clergyman
- A/4 – Families of visa holders of A/2 and A/3 visas
- B/1 – Work Visa: for professionals/foreign nationals for paid work. And is a temporary residence permit. An employment/work permit is also required for most categories of the B/1 visa.
- B/2 – Tourist/Visitor’s Visa: authorized for up to three months for tourists, visitors, business purposes or students studying Hebrew at a school or institute. Paid work is not allowed.
- Immigration Visa: From the Jewish Agency which controls immigration (Aliyah) to Israel.