We would like to draw your attention to an important new procedure issued on January 26, 2015, by the Population and Immigration Authority (the “Immigration Authority”).
The existing practice, by which foreign experts could arrive in Israel and be employed for a period of up to one month, has been cancelled and in its place, the Immigration Authority has published a new procedure on an experimental basis, which allows an expedited process for entities which require foreign experts to be invited to Israel for up to 30 days in aggregate, during a period of 12 months commencing from the first entry of the foreign expert to Israel (the "New Procedure"). The New Procedure will be valid until June 30, 2015, unless otherwise determined by the Immigration Authority.
The New Procedure will only apply to persons who hold a foreign passport from a country which is included in the Entry into Israel Order (Visa Exemption), 5734-1974.
This type of work permit and visa is suitable where a foreign expert is needed in Israel for a short period and for a temporary assignment, such as advising, supervising, repairing equipment supplied by a non-Israeli company, lecturing, providing instructions, or other matters which require special “know how” or expertise from the foreign expert.
An application for a 30 day visa under the New Procedure can be submitted by a local Israeli company, a partnership or an individual authorized by the authorities to conduct business (i.e. not through a company). A foreign company, which does not have a branch or representative office in Israel, is required to issue a power of attorney, signed before a notary public and certified by an Israeli Consul or an Israeli Embassy, empowering the applicant to deal with the permit and visa application on behalf of such a foreign company. The Immigration Authority may require that the relevant local company will submit an equivalent application.
According to the New Procedure, once submitted, the application to the permit unit of the Immigration Authority will be processed within 6 days, if possible. Upon the permit being issued, the foreign expert will be allowed to enter into Israel on a B2 tourist visa. On arrival to Israel, the applicant is required to attend at the local branch of the Immigration Authority in order for a B1 work visa to be issued to the foreign expert.
The Immigration Authority may decline an application for various reasons, such as, if another foreign expert previously invited by the same entity did not comply with the conditions set out in the permit issued to him/her (for example if the Immigration Authority suspects that the foreign expert stayed in Israel on a tourist visa during the time when he/she should have been in possession of a work visa).
The foreign expert will be allowed to re-enter Israel under a foreign expert permit (whether in accordance with a permit of one month, three months or one year), only after a full year has elapsed since he/she previously entered Israel on a B1 visa issued under the new procedure.