By Daria Avksentiva, Senior Manager |

In Israel, individuals with prior criminal records may be deemed inadmissible and refused entry. This typically applies to employees entering Israel who have committed criminal offenses in the past. For foreign nationals visiting Israel for business purposes, border control authorities may identify any such history upon attempted entry. Similarly, during the consular processing of a B-1 work visa at an Israeli consulate abroad, any previous criminal activity may come to light. In such instances, the matter is referred to the Ministry of Interior in Israel for adjudication. The Ministry will then decide whether to approve or deny the work visa application at the consulate.

What Type of Crimes are Scrutinized

The Ministry of Interior has not published a definitive list of offenses that automatically disqualify an individual from obtaining a visa. Each case is evaluated on its own merits, considering factors such as the nature and severity of the offense, the elapsed time since its occurrence, and the potential risk posed to the public in Israel. Based on our experience, we have observed a zero-tolerance approach from the Ministry of Interior towards individuals with criminal records related to violent offenses, drug offenses, and sexual offenses.

What Can Be Done in Case of Denial Due to Criminal Record?

In case the B-1 work visa is being denied, it is possible to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility, known as a “waiver application,” which can potentially allow entry into the country despite the criminal history. Here’s a general overview of the waiver application process and the documents typically required:

Personal Statement: A detailed personal statement by the employee explaining the nature of his/her criminal offense(s), the circumstances surrounding the offense(s), any rehabilitation efforts he undergone, and why he believes  he should be granted entry for work in Israel despite his criminal history.

Evidence of Rehabilitation: This may include certificates of completion for rehabilitation programs, letters of recommendation from employers, community leaders, or other credible individuals who can vouch for the employee rehabilitation and good character.

Certified Copies of Criminal Records: the Employee will need to provide certified copies of all criminal records, including arrest records, court dispositions, and any other relevant documents related to your criminal history. It’s essential to obtain these documents from the relevant authorities in the jurisdiction(s) where the offenses occurred.

Financial Documents: Proof of financial stability, such as bank statements, employment verification, or other financial documentation, may be required to demonstrate your ability to support yourself during your stay in Israel.

Passport: A copy of a valid passport.

Passport Photos: Recent passport-sized photos according to the specifications outlined in the application instructions.

Any Additional Supporting Documents: Depending on the specifics of the case and the discretion of the adjudicating officer, the employee may need to provide additional documents to support the waiver application.

It’s important to note that each case is unique, and the specific requirements for a waiver application may vary based on individual circumstances and the nature of the criminal history. KTA also recommends conducting a thorough review of prospective employees’ criminal records prior to initiating the visa process. This proactive approach helps to mitigate delays in the visa process and ensures smooth project management.