By Yoav Noy, Partner |
The Israeli Consulates around the world have returned to operating normally, after a long partial strike. The immediate outcome is that the consulate will now issue work and visitor visas (for non-waivered nationals). As a result, the Ministry of Interior will not continue to issue “Entry Permits” that replaced the need for obtaining an “Entry Visa” during the strike.
Reverting to the pre-strike process, a business visitor from a non-waivered country must process a pre-entry B-2 visitor visa at the Israeli consulate. A waiver from consular processing for B-1 work visas will remain optional, subject to the Ministry of Interior’s sole discretion.
Employers and employees should take into consideration longer processing times for visitor and employment visas at the various consulates.
The strike was part of an industrial action being taken by the Foreign Ministry in Israel, with limitations on the provision of some consular services provided. During the strike, the consulates stopped issuing passports and all visas to Israel. In addition, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Israel delayed apostille services in some cases. The Israeli diplomats argued (and many agree with them) that they have been underpaid and treated poorly by the state. The Diplomats demanded that they receive proper compensation for their hard work, illustrated no better than by the admirable work many have done in recent weeks along the borders with Ukraine.