By Amit Acco. Partner |

This article aims to provide detailed guidance on two commonly asked questions related to visiting Israel under a B-2 visitor visa and the circumstances under which a foreign national requires a B-1 expert work visa for specialized work. Additionally, we will address the consequences and implications if an individual engages in illegal employment within the country.

While there is no clear legal definition of what constitutes “actual work,” border control and on-site inspections are empowered to make determinations. Generally, it is understood that work involving hands-on use of tools or hands-on design are considered actual work. The following are examples* of when a work visa will be needed.

1.      Carpenter building a house or furniture

2.      Mechanic repairing machinery

3.      Chef cooking in a restaurant kitchen

4.      Electrician installing or repairing electrical systems, including computer hardware

5.      Fixing or installing plumbing fixtures

6.      Construction worker building a structure

7.      Welder joining metal pieces together

8.      Agriculture employee planting and harvesting crops.

9.      Software “hand on” programming or training, installation, design

* These are just a few examples of activities that involve physical work and direct manipulation of materials, tools or equipment. There are many more examples depending on the specific industry or job.

In certain situations, simply being present in a construction site, clean room, laboratory, or other non-public area may be considered work, as these places are not typically open to the public. It is important to understand that the determination of whether an activity constitutes work depends on the specific circumstances and the discretion of border control and on-site inspections.

If an individual from another country enters Israel and the border control authorities suspect that their purpose of entry is for employment rather than a mere business visit, they may face the possibility of being denied entry into the country. In such a scenario, the person will be sent back to their home country either on the same day or within a few days, while being held in a detention center during the waiting period.


Israel has strict immigration laws that must be adhered to in order to maintain compliance. As an employer or individual working with foreign nationals in Israel, it is important to understand and follow these laws to avoid criminal penalties and fines.

One of the most important aspects of immigration compliance in Israel is obtaining the proper B-1 work visas for foreign employees. This includes obtaining a work permit for foreign employee, as well as a visa for them to enter the country. Employers must also ensure that the foreign employee’s work permit is up to date and that they are not working in violation of the terms of their visa.

In case where a foreign national is discovered engaging in work activities without a valid work visa for Israel, they may be at risk of deportation. Both the employee and the employer bear the responsibility of disproving any allegations of unlawful employment or attempts to work in Israel without the required B-1 work visa, which can often prove to be challenging in numerous instances.

Another important aspect of immigration compliance in Israel is ensuring that foreign employees are paid the same wages and benefits as Israeli citizens, provide adequate housing and medical insurance. Employers must also provide safe and healthy working conditions for their foreign employees, as outlined in Israeli labor laws.

In addition to these requirements, employers must also maintain accurate records of their foreign employees’ work and immigration status. This includes keeping track of the employee’s work permit expiration date and ensuring that they are renewing it in a timely manner. Employers must also notify the relevant authorities of any changes in the employee’s work status, such as if they are terminated or change jobs.