Working as a Foreigner in Israel

Between ancient history and cutting-edge innovation, Israel stands out as a dynamic destination for foreign professionals seeking more than just a job.

Working as a foreigner in Israel opens the door to an enriching and professional journey. Coming from overseas, you have the unique opportunity to immerse yourself in a vibrant culture, all under the warm Mediterranean sun.

Positioned at the heart of the Middle East, as a foreign worker, you’re offered a mix of history, culture, and modern technology. So, whether you’re drawn to the historical depth of the nation, the bustling tech scene of Tel Aviv, or the palm trees- working in Israel goes beyond employment.

Obtaining a B/1 Employment-Based Visa

Are you interested in bringing your professional skills to Israel? The B/1 Temporary Work Visa is a general work permit applied for by your employer that caters to a range of professionals, including scientists, high-tech workers, artists, and other specialized experts. It’s the key to legally engaging in work activities during your stay. This visa provides the necessary authorization for employment within Israel’s diverse and dynamic professional landscape.

The B/1 Application Process & Requirements

Obtaining an Israeli B/1 work visa involves meeting specific criteria to ensure compliance with Israel’s employment regulations. Here are the essential requirements:

  • Your application must be submitted by an employer
  • Your application must be approved by the Ministry of Interior
  • A formal visa interview process in order to proceed to the next steps
  • Present a verified certificate of good conduct proving your good legal standing
  • Undergo a medical exam at a clinic or hospital
  • Provide biometric information, such as fingerprints and a photo
  • Fill out the work permit visa application for Israel
  • Attach two recent passport-sized photographs
  • Present a letter from the future employer confirming the job offer
  • Upon your arrival, customs officials will validate your visa for 30 days. It’s important to apply for an extension before this period ends to ensure your stay can be extended up to a year, with the freedom to leave and re-enter Israel as needed

Getting a B/1 Visa & Costs

The B/1 Visa process begins with your Israeli employer, who plays a pivotal role in applying for your work permit, a prerequisite for obtaining the Visa. This effort between you and your employer ensures that all legal and bureaucratic requirements are met.

While your employer in Israel is responsible for submitting the application, the total cost for the visa, which has a minimum validity of 6 months, is 9,675 ILS as of 2/24 (about 2,740 USD). This is in addition to a submission fee of 1,190 ILS as of 2/24 (approximately 337 USD).

B/1 Work Visa for Specialists Engaged in Short-Term Assignments

In today’s world, the need for specialized expertise often leads professionals to engage in short-term assignments in Israel. Recognizing this, the Israeli government offers the B/1 Work Visa for Specialists Engaged in Short-Term Assignments. This visa facilitates the entry and temporary stay of professionals who plan to contribute their skills and knowledge to Israeli enterprises for periods of up to 3 months.

Short-Term B/1 Visa Requirements

For experts on short-term assignments of up to 3 months, the B/1 Visa requirement includes:

  • Compliance with Israel’s standard minimum wage laws
  • Submission of a current CV or resume
  • Academic qualifications, translated into Hebrew and certified f not originally in English
  • A passport valid for at least 1 year and 6 months from the start of the application date
  • A power of attorney
  • Filled and signed completed application forms
  • 3 recent passport-size photographs
  • A police clearance certify cat from the last 6 months
  • A medical clearance certificate from the last 3 months

Short-Term B/1 Visa Duration & Extensions

The application process for this visa typically takes 2 to 3 months. For those needing to work in Israel for up to 45 days, a separate short-term employment authorization under the B/1 Visa category is available.


B/1 Work Visa for Specialists Engaged in Long-Term Assignments

The B/1 Work Visa for Specialists Engaged in Long-Term Assignments is for those in both academic and non-academic sectors, facilitating the entry of experts who plan to engage in work that spans more than 3 months, offering an opportunity to immerse in Israel’s professional environment.

Long-Term B/1 Visa Requirements

For specialists working in academic or non-academic roles for more than 3 months, the B/1 visa is required. To obtain this, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Earn at least double the Israeli minimum wage, which is about 5,571.75 a month (as of 4/23)
  • Provide a detailed CV or Resume
  • Show academic qualifications. If these are not in English, they must be translated into English or Hebrew and certified by an Israeli notary
  • Submit a copy of your passport that remains valid for at least one year and three months from the start of the application process
  • Grant a power of attorney
  • Fill out and sign the necessary application forms
  • Include three recent passport-sized application forms
  • If family members are joining, provide marriage and birth certificate (for children under 18) with an apostille
  • Acquire a medical clearance certificate issued within the last three months

Long-Term B/1 Visa Duration & Extensions

Specialists can typically work and reside in Israel for up to 5 years and 3 months from their employment start date. The visa application process usually takes about 2-3 months.

B/1 Work Visa for High-Tech Employment

The B/1 Work Visa for High-Tech Employment streamlines the entry of foreign workers into Israel’s renowned cyber and high-tech sectors. Designed specifically for those who aspire to be at the forefront of technological advancements, this visa category simplifies the process of joining Israel’s high-tech community, setting the stage for a journey filled with innovation and discovery.

B/1 Visa Requirements for High-Tech Employment

For foreign nationals aiming to join Israel’s cyber and high-tech sectors, the B/1 work visa offers a streamlined option. To take this route, the following criteria must be met:

  • Meeting a higher salary threshold (equivalent to at least double the average minimum wage, which is about 5,571.75 a month (as of 4/23)
  • Submission of a CV or resume
  • Relevant academic or training certificates, with non-English documents translated into Hebrew
  • A copy of your passport valid for a minimum of 6 months
  • Completed and signed visa application forms
  • 2 recent passport-sized photos

B/1 Visa for High-Tech Duration & Extensions

The processing time for this visa is approximately 10 business days. Keep in mind that application forms for B/1 Visas must be filled out by your employer.

Self-Employment Visas

For visionary entrepreneurs and freelancers eyeing Israel as their next business frontier, the journey to self-employment within this innovation powerhouse unfolds through unique visa pathways. Recognizing the role of foreign innovators and specialists in enriching its tech ecosystem, Israel has tailored specific visa options to facilitate this venture.The Innovation Visa, or Start-Up Visa, stands as a cornerstone for those aiming to launch groundbreaking projects in the world of technology. Among these, aimed at those with specialized skills, is the high-tech Expert Visa.

How to Obtain a Self-Employment Visa in Israel

To secure a self-employment visa in Israel, foreign nationals and exceptional talents are invited to participate in the Innovation Program, which allows for a 2-year residency. This initiative, supported by the Innovation Authority’s Tnufa program, is designed for foreign entrepreneurs eager to engage with Israel’s innovation ecosystem.

Participants gain access to 1 of 12 designated Landing Pads, which provide a platform to develop projects within Israel’s technological and business infrastructure. These landing pads offer support, including furnished workspaces and essential business services, facilitating a seamless integration into the local innovation landscape.

The 12 available landing pads include:

  • Tel Aviv Global Hosted by the Tel Aviv Municipality, the main focus is on urban entrepreneurship, driving Tel Aviv’s development and global business initiatives
  • Samurai Incubate Inc. A private incubator and investment fund that nurtures technology start-ups
  • TechForGood An international organization promoting start-ups with solutions for social, environmental, and global challenges
  • The Trendlines Group – Supports innovative companies in medical, agricultural, and food technologies
  • MATI Haifa – A development center enhancing Haifa’s economic landscape through tech and business entrepreneurship
  • The Hebrew University of Jerusalem – An entrepreneurship hub fostering new initiatives while aiding start-ups
  • Lighthouse Innovations – Offers a collaborative space for innovators, providing essential support for project development
  • The Hive Ashdod by Gvahim – A non-profit organization that aims to integrate Olim into the Israeli job market, supporting those with higher education
  • Alon MedTech Ventures – Focuses on life sciences and medical device start-ups while offering a variety of services
  • Terralab Ventures – Invests in early-stage Cleantech, MedTech, and other innovative sectors
  • The Kitchen FoodTech Hub – A food-tech incubator addressing food production challenges with seed and pre-seed investments
  • Initech Digital Product Development – A software house offering a wide array of technical services to start-ups

Self-Employment Visa Duration & Extensions

Following the initial phase, your employer must apply for an Expert Visa if your entrepreneurial project matures into a formal business entity. This visa offers an extended stay, allowing you to live in Israel and engage directly in your start-up activities for up to 5 years.

Expert Visa Application Process

Transitioning from a visionary entrepreneur to a recognized business leader in Israel’s dynamic market involves a strategic pathway, notably through the Expert Visa application process. This visa serves as a bridge for those whose innovative ventures have matured into fully-fledged businesses, offering a chance to extend their journey within Israel’s fertile technological landscape.

Steps for Transitioning from an Innovation Visa to a Business

If your entrepreneurial venture evolves into a fully established business, an Expert Visa could become a valuable asset. This will grant you the opportunity for an extended stay in Israel. The process involves several key steps for entrepreneurs transitioning from an Innovation visa to establishing their business in Israel:

  • Establishing Your Business – Initially, entrepreneurs with an Innovation visa are tasked with forming an Israeli company. This step is foundational for developing their tech project within Israel
  • Application for Incentive Program – Following the establishment of their business, innovators must apply to one of the Innovation Authority’s incentive programs, seeking approval to propel their project forward
  • Awaiting Approval and Recommendation – Successful applicants will be informed and provided with a formal recommendation. This document is essential for the subsequent application phase
  • Visa Application Through PIBA – Equipped with the necessary documentation, including the formal recommendation, entrepreneurs are then required to apply for the Expert visa via the Population Immigration and Border Authority (PIBA), marking the final step in formalizing their business venture in Israel

The B/5 Israel Investor Visa

For American investors, the B/5 Israel Investor Visa is a unique opportunity to engage in business ventures within the country.The B/5 Israel Investor Visa offers U.S. citizens the opportunity to invest and reside in Israel, managing their business ventures directly. This visa, designed for investors, skilled employees, foreign managers, and their families, provides a pathway to indefinite residency, fostering economic contributions and job creation within Israel.

B/5 Israeli Investor Visa Eligibility & Criteria

  • Eligibility – The B/5 visa is exclusively available to U.S. citizens who have made or are planning significant investments in Israeli companies. It is designed to accommodate multi-entry and long-term stays, offering investors the flexibility to manage their ventures on the ground.
  • Investment Criteria – Unlike other investor visa programs, Israel does not set a rigid minimum investment amount. Instead, the Ministry of Economy and Industry evaluates the potential economic impact of each investment, considering factors such as job creation, technological innovation, and contribution to the Israeli economy.

Ownership & Employment Considerations

  • Ownership Requirement – To qualify for the B/5 visa, investors must hold at least a 50% stake in an operational or soon-to-be-launched Israeli company.
  • Hiring Foreign Talent – Investors must demonstrate that the expertise required for certain positions is not readily available in the local job market, justifying the inclusion of foreign managers or skilled employees in their Israeli operations.

The B/5 Investor Visa Application Process

To kickstart the application for a Start-Up visa, applicants must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Innovative Concept – Applicants must present a viable technological idea aimed at product development, showcasing the potential for significant market impact.
  • Funding Plan – A solid funding strategy is essential, covering the financial needs for the duration of the stay in Israel and ensuring the project’s sustainability.
  • Business Plan – A detailed plan highlighting the start-up’s growth potential, including market analysis and strategy, is crucial for demonstrating the venture’s viability on a global scale.
  • Landing Pad Acceptance – A formal acceptance from one of Israel’s designated landing pads for foreign entrepreneurs is required, providing a supportive ecosystem for developing the start-up.

Required Documentation

Applicants must submit a comprehensive set of documents to the Innovation Authority, including:

  • A completed application form
  • A photocopy of the passport
  • Proof of valid medical insurance
  • A certificate of a clean criminal record
  • An up-to-date CV
  • Academic qualifications and certificates

Visas for Foreign Journalists

Israel offers a specialized visa process tailored to the needs of international media professionals, ensuring they can report on the ground with the necessary legal backing. This process is characterized by its flexibility, accommodating both long-term correspondents and those on shorter assignments.

Initial Entry and Temporary Journalist Card

Upon arrival in Israel, foreign journalists start their journey as tourists, a preliminary step that allows them to enter the country without immediately finalizing their work visa arrangements. The first official step in transitioning from a tourist to a working journalist involves obtaining a Temporary Journalist Card. This card is a prerequisite for applying for the B/1 Visa at the Ministry of Interior, a process that typically unfolds over 2 to 3 weeks from the moment of entry.

This procedure ensures that journalists can begin their reporting duties with minimal delay, providing them with the legal framework necessary for journalistic activities. The Government Press Office (GPO) plays a main role in the accreditation process, offering two types of cards depending on the duration and nature of the journalist’s stay.

Long-Term GPO Cards

Designed for journalists who consider Israel their base for operations, these cards are valid for up to 12 months and require a B/1 work visa. Eligibility depends on active engagement in news media and affiliation with a GPO-compliant news organization.

Freelancers must demonstrate a binding contract that meets specific financial thresholds to qualify, ensuring they are professionally supported throughout their stay.


Visiting Journalist GPO Cards

Catering to journalists on short-term assignments, Visiting Journalist Cards are tailored for stays of up to 3 months. Eligibility requires proof of professional engagement in news media and either employment by or a contract with a GPO-recognized news organization, facilitating access for journalists covering specific events or stories.

Work Visa for Scientists

The Scientist Work Visa in Israel represents a targeted initiative to attract top-tier academic talent to its shores, specifically designed for those in the realms of research and academia. This visa caters to lecturers and researchers equipped with at least a master’s degree who aspire to contribute to institutions accredited by the Council for Higher Education (CHE).

The Application Process

Starting the application process for a Scientist Work Visa involves a few critical steps, each designed to ensure that candidates are well-prepared and aligned with Israel’s academic standards:

  • Recommendation Letter from the University – This letter should detail your intended role, the nature of your research or teaching assignment, and the value you will bring to the institution.
  • Proof of Medical Insurance Coverage – Ensuring that you have adequate medical insurance is not only a visa requirement but a practical necessity. Coverage should be comprehensive, safeguarding your health throughout your stay in Israel. Typically, the hosting institution facilitates this insurance.


Scientist Visa Duration & Extensions

The Scientist Work Visa initially allows for a stay that can extend up to 63 months, offering a substantial period for deep engagement in research and academics.

Extensions are possible, allowing projects to evolve or expand over time. This flexibility ensures that scientists can see their research through to completion or engage in new opportunities that arise during their time in Israel.

Post-Doctoral Researcher Visa

Embarking on a post-doctoral research journey in Israel opens up a world of academic exploration and innovation within one of the most vibrant research environments globally. The B/1 Post-Doctoral Research Visa is specifically designed for scholars who have completed their Ph.D. and are looking to contribute to Israel’s rich tapestry of research and development.

B/1 Visa Requirements for Post-Doctoral Research

This visa facilitates an immersive academic experience, allowing for a stay that may extend up to four years, subject to meeting the following criteria:

  • Holding a Ph.D. degree
  • Receiving confirmation from the Council for Higher Education (CHE) regarding the university’s accredited status
  • Obtaining a formal recommendation from the hosting university
  • Presenting a signed declaration from the university confirming exclusive employment
  • Possessing medical insurance, generally facilitated by the university
  • Completing and submitting a health declaration form

Family Visa Options

Navigating the journey to work in Israel is not just a solo venture; it often involves the consideration of family and the desire to keep loved ones close. Recognizing this, Israel’s visa policies include provisions for family reunification, ensuring that professionals moving to Israel for work do not have to leave their families behind.

For those staying longer than 3 months, their partners and children can obtain B/2 courtesy visas, granting them temporary residence for a period equivalent to the primary visa holder’s stay.


The Application Process

It’s advisable to apply for family visas concurrently with the main work visa application. Notable, spouses of high-tech employees are eligible for an EAS B/1 work visa, allowing them employment rights in Israel. Applications for B/2 visas for foreigners can be submitted at Israeli embassies in the applicant’s country of origin.