By  Senior Adv. Itzik Laniado, Kan-Tor & Acco |

Since the outbreak of the Corona pandemic in February 2020, we have been exposed to a new reality in which we all wear masks when entering public space, and maintain a social distance of at least 2 meters.

Senior citizens are especially at risk of contracting the elusive virus. For more than half a year our lives have been exposed to new concepts that have become part of the public domain, “epidemiological investigation”, ” Chain Contingency”, “Herd Immunity”, and “Breathing Lockdown” are just some of the expressions added to our language and it now seems as if we have always lived with these expressions.

One of the most popular discussions during the months of May-June 2020 related to “motivating the economy”. This phrase was stressed by the Israeli government after allowing businesses (especially small and medium-sized firms) to reopen after the April  2020 lockdown.  It was the goal of the government to support businesses by encouraging customers to return and consume products in order to re-start the wheels of the economy.

Even before the pandemic, the government wanted to “motivate the economy”. Since its inception, the State of Israel has encouraged (and still encourages) “Israeli Labor”, i.e. to promote local labor and business. At the same time, as a result of the global economy, the Israeli government realized that to continue the growth, they must allow the employment of foreign nationals, bringing knowledge and know-how that does not exist in Israel..

During March 2001, the then Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Mr. Shlomo Benizri, set up a professional committee to examine the issue of employing foreign workers in Israel. Six months later, in July 2001, the Buharis Committee (named after its chairman, Mr. Yaakov Buharis) ruled that a foreign expert should not take the place of the Israeli worker but, alternatively, encourage employment in Israel of Israeli nationals.

According to the committee, the requirements for qualifying as a Foreign Expert are as follows:

1. The salary of the expert is at least double the average salary in Israel;

2. The expert has special knowledge, skills, and know-how that can be transferred to Israeli workers to replace him/her in due course;

3. The expert creates jobs in the Israeli economy, at a ratio of at least 1:10;

4. The expert has knowledge, experience, and know-how that does not exist in Israel;

5. Academic education and specialist knowledge;

6. The individual will engage in management and development roles.

There is no doubt that the approach of the Israeli government is balanced and proportionate, which on the one hand grants the “preferential right” to the Israeli worker, but at the same time allows the progress of the market in the era of economic globalization.

We look forward the availability of a vaccine for COVID-19 , and that the State of Israel’s economy will recover and return stronger than ever.

Kan-Tor & Acco law firm specializes in obtaining work visas for experts in Israel, and provides legal immigration services relating to relocation to Israel.