By Senior Advocate Ravit Bachrach, Kan-Tor & Acco
Recently, a government company from China received hundreds of works permits through our office for skilled workers to employ them in the construction project in the field of energy, which is expected to last five years.
This is a complex project, with an estimated cost of NIS 2 billion, in which unique equipment and technology that does not exist in Israel are used. Projects of this type require skilled foreign workers who have the special knowledge and know-how that is required to operate the unique mechanization and equipment coming from abroad, where without their work in Israel, the project cannot be completed.
To allow the employment of these skilled employees, The Ministry of Interior has issued in 2017 the Procedure for Employment of Foreign Workers in Unique Technologies and Mechanization which do not exist in Israel. This does not include expert employees paid at expert rates.
Who can apply for Unique Technologies and Mechanization visas in Israel?
This procedure is designated for mega projects in the field of infrastructures such as ports, trains, and power plants, in cases where the work can only be performed by foreign workers possessing unique knowledge and expertise in the field.
What are the benefits of this process?
- There is no requirement for hi salaries.
- The permit can be obtained for the entire duration of the project, unlike experts that receive permits for 1 year which need to be extended annually, based on the Ministry’s discretion.
According to the procedure, a company that is interested in employing foreign workers in a project involving unique technologies and mechanization and which can only be performed by foreign parties is required to submit a written application, at least 6 months before the project’s commencement day.
This application is very challenging and will need to include a detailed project description, the relevant contracts between the Israeli and foreign companies for the work in Israel, and confirmation of the expected employment of a local Israeli workforce. The applications will also need to emphasize the expertise, qualifications, skills, and knowledge of the applicants.
The application will be reviewed by a special inter-committee for Special Projects that include 3 Ministries: Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Labor, and Ministry of Construction and Housing.
Therefore, to increase the chances of approving the application for the requested permits – it is recommended to consult an attorney with experience in issuing work visas to foreign workers who also specializes in issuing permits for complex construction and infrastructure projects, who knows the criteria and considerations and present the relevant documents and formulate a substantiated application.
Submitting an application that is not detailed and without all the supporting documents will lead to the receipt of a reduced number of work permits, and even to the rejection of the application as a whole.
Kan-Tor & Acco law firm specializes in obtaining work visas for experts in Israel, will be able to assist and advise in the process and be a proud partner for the success of the project.