• Insights

Update on work visas for foreign experts in Israel

Written by
Herzog Fox & Neeman, Israel’s leading law firm.
A number of important changes to the rules for employment of foreign experts have recently taken effect.

The B1 foreign expert visa allows employers in Israel to temporarily employ foreign workers who have unique skills or knowledge that is not available in the Israeli labour market. This visa is subject to strict requirements regarding expertise and salary. The Population and Immigration Authority has made several recent changes to the rules and procedures for the expert visa.

Digital application procedure

As part of the efficiency plan adopted by the Population and Immigration Authority, a new procedure has entered into force which requires digital entry of applications for entry visas and licenses as well as payment of fees.

In keeping with this new procedure, after a permit to employ a foreign worker is issued, the employer submits the application for an entry visa and work license online.
The application will then be forwarded to the permit unit at the Population and Immigration Authority for examination, and after it is approved, an invitation letter addressed to the relevant Israeli consulate or embassy abroad will be issued.

After the foreign expert enters Israel, he or she will be issued a digital certificate which must be kept together with his or her passport. It is no longer necessary to send the passport physically for a visa to be added to the passport.

Update to Average Salary

To qualify for the foreign expert visa, the expert must be paid at least twice the average monthly salary for an employee in Israel. As of 1 January 2023, the average salary is 11,730 NIS per month. Therefore, beginning with salaries for January 2023, an employer is required to pay a foreign expert, on expert wages, a minimum base salary (i.e. salary before overtime or other additional payments) of NIS 23,460 per month.

Fee Changes

Fees for work permit applications, visas for entry to Israel, and work licenses have been updated to the following:

  • Fee for a work permit application for a foreign expert: NIS 1,300
  • B1 working license fee per year: NIS 10,340
  • B1 working license fee per day (relevant for shorter periods, up to six months): NIS 51.7
  • B1 general fee: NIS 185
  • Multiple entry/exit visa fee: NIS 185

Update Regarding Increased Enforcement

In accordance with the procedures of the Population and Immigration Authority, fees for a work license for an expert from a country exempt from the requirement to obtain an entry visa prior arrival to Israel and who will be present in Israel for a period of up to 90 days must be paid within two business days of the date the foreign expert arrives in Israel.

We have recently seen several cases in which the Population and Immigration Authority carried out proactive inspections to check if the above requirement had been fulfilled.
In cases where they found that the employer did not pay the fee for the working license, the authority demanded financial guarantees and personal commitments from that company’s CEO that the violation would not recur.

Taking into account the transition to digital payment, we recommend paying the working licenses in advance, as far as and to the extent possible, before the foreign expert’s arrival in Israel.

For more information about foreign workers

Roi Hayun
Partner - Israel
Herzog Fox & Neeman