By Amit Acco, Partner |

All companies operating in Israel are required to be registered at the Registrar of Companies. In order for a foreign company to operate a business in Israel, whether it is an Israeli branch office or a subsidiary company, it needs to register at the Registrar of Companies. Please click here for more information regarding how to register a company in Israel.

However in many cases, a foreign company is required to send some of their employees to Israel for temporary short person, for various reasons: R&D phases, installation of machines, a commission of machinery, ands on job and hands on training. In such cases we are often asked if a foreign company that is not registered in Israel can apply for work permits for their employees that are being dispatched to Israel.

The answer is that work permit and visa applications for foreign experts (expats) can be issued for a foreign company that is not duly registered in Israel. However, the process is more lengthy, challenging and complex than normal application that is submitted by Israeli companies that needs to employ a foreign national.

The following information will demonstrate to complexity involved in submission of an application on behalf of a foreign company versus Israeli company.

  • Document gathering: for example company affidavit will have to be notarized and apostille and sent to our office before submission. This is not required for local Israeli entity.
  • Data and Documents: The company will have to provide more data and information for the company which is not necessary for Israeli companies, as the government have the data for these companies any way.
  • Project information: The foreign company will have to provide more data regarding the project they do in Israel.
  • Eligibility for visa types: Foreign Hi-Tech company is not eligible for all types of visas, for example the Hi-Tech visa. Thus, Israeli registered hi-tech companies may have the advantage of only 7-10 days processing time and eligibility for the spouse to apply for a work visa (EAD).
  • CPA (Accountant) letter challenges: Extension of visa requires local Israeli CPA review of the salaries paid to the foreign national, while auditing the company salary books and the over-time hourly book, per employee. When there is no Israeli registered company, there is normally no local Israeli CPA that can easily provide this information. There are solution in place to resolve this, which requires a collaboration between Israel CPA and foreign CPA for the company. From our experience, this collaboration takes its toll in terms of time and efforts.
  • The Ministry Of Interior have its discretion to require the company to deposit funds to guarantee the timely departure of the employees from Israel. In recent survey Kan-Tor & Acco conducted, we have found that 62% of the request for deposit to be made as a condition for the issuance of the permits, were from Foreign companies. This is due to the luck of significant enforcement measures ability towards foreign companies, as opposed to Israeli based companies.

Despite the above, it is important to emphasise that the Israeli authority do allow such applications to be submitted, as part of the strategic understanding of the importance of opening the market to foreign companies. It is also worth mentioning that between 2010 – 2021, 17% of our permits visas for foreign experts issued by Kan-Tor & Acco are for foreign companies without local entity.

For more information: apostille israel | b2 israel visa