Yoav Noy, Partner |

The Ministry of Interior has recently published a new temporary regulation that will allow for the employment of foreign workers in the industry sector for a trial period limited until June 8, 2021.

The new temporary regulation allows Israeli employers in the industry sector to apply for work permits and work visas for foreign employees in certain designated preferential occupations. The temporary regulation allocates a quota of a maximum of 2,000 employee permits.

The designated occupation list is divided into 4 main groups:

  • Group 1: Industrial, manufacturing, and mechanical engineers.
  • Group 2:  Multiple listed occupations including but not limited to: electrical/practical/mechanical/field service engineers and technicians, forklift operators, welders, locksmiths, blacksmiths, and metalworkers.
  • Group 3: Multiple listed occupations including but not limited to: inventory clerks (warehouses), machine operators and furniture carpenters.
  • Group 4: Other occupations that are not specified on the preferential occupation list may also be permitted on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Ministry of Economics (“MOE”).

The new temporary regulation requires that employers pay a prevailing wage which is lower than the prevailing wage required for Foreign Experts.

  • For Group 1:the minimum required wage will be 17,205 NIS gross per month
  • For Groups 1-4:the minimum required wage will be 13,699 NIS Gross per month.

There is a specific quota of permits allowed for each sub-group of designated permitted occupations. Applications for a work permit under the temporary regulation will be first reviewed and adjudicated by the MOE. Upon approval by the MOE, an additional application must be submitted to the Work Permit Unit, which will issue a work permit.

This new regulation is limited to applications for foreign employees from the United States, most EU countries, Australia and  Singapore, and certain other specified countries.

Employers must comply with additional requirements for employment of foreign workers which are set forth in the regulation. The work permits will only be issued to foreign workers who are directly employed by the Israeli employer (local payroll).

TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE. Applications to the MOE  may only be submitted to the Ministry of Economy until June 8, 2021. Israeli employers who may need temporary foreign workers should contact their KTA client manager immediately.