By Amit Acco |

The Israeli government has updated its policies regarding Ukrainian nationals staying and working in Israel in light of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The Ministry of the Interior has announced that Ukrainian citizens affected by this conflict can apply for an automatic extension of their B2 visitor visas, which will allow them to remain in Israel. However, there are certain restrictions in place regarding their ability to work in Israel while staying in the country until the conflict is resolved and the Israeli government changes its policy.

In this article, we will provide a concise summary of the new policy to make it easy to understand for those impacted by these changes:

Permit to Stay

The Minister of the Interior has decided to grant an extension to type B/2 (tourist) visitation licenses for Ukrainian citizens who were legally present in Israel on the day when the war began, or those who arrived subsequently. This extension will remain valid until July 31st, 2023, and thereafter the policy will undergo a review based on the most recent information available.

Can the Ukrainian national work?

Regarding the issue of working while staying in Israel, the government has made a decision regarding asylum seekers, as defined in section 3 of the relevant procedure.

If such an individual holds a license under section 2(a)(5) of the Entry into Israel Law, 1952, their employment will be not be allowed in the following cities: Or Yehuda, Azor, Eilat, Ashdod, Bnei Brak, Bat Yam, Givatayim, Herzliya, Holon, Jerusalem, Kfar Shamariahu, Netanya, Petah Tikva, Kiryat Ono, Ramat Gan, Ramat Hasharon, and Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Employers in these cities will be subject to inspection and prosecution if they employ Ukrainian nationals.

However, certain industries have been exempted, allowing Ukrainian nationals to work in these cities. These industries include construction, agriculture, institutional nursing, and hotels and restaurants (subject to certain conditions).

The Conflict: in Not allowed to Work but No-Enforcement: Is it legal to work or not?

The government has stated that asylum seekers cannot work legally in the country but will not enforce this policy against employers. What does it mean? Is it legal to employ them?

it means that although it is technically illegal for asylum seekers to work, the government has decided not to take action against employers who hire them subject to the geographical and occupations conditions set above.

There are several reasons for this conflict, such as a shortage of workers in certain industries and geographical areas, as well as the government’s recognition that asylum seekers may need to work to support themselves while the state of war in the Ukraine remains.