The Israel Immigration Authority recently published a new, experimental, streamlined procedure for issuance of work visas for foreign experts, allowing the holder to work in Israel for up to 30 days over a 12 month period.

Previously, multinational companies that wished to send professionals to Israel to work with their Israeli R&D centers or strategic partners for short periods of time were required to apply for and obtain a work permit (from the Ministry of Economy) and then a work visa at an Israeli consulate abroad, all before entering Israel.

Under the new procedure, application for a work permit for an expert employee will be expedited, with full processing completed within 6 days in most cases.  Once the work permit is granted, the expert may enter Israel as a tourist, provided that he or she reports to the Immigration Authority within two business days of arrival, where the tourist visa will be converted to a work visa.

This new process should lessen the burden on multinationals or non-Israeli acquirers that require their expert employees to supervise operations in Israel, and it allows these companies to send their experts to Israel on an urgent basis.