The Ministry of Interior published regulations relating to the employment of foreign experts in high-tech and cyber companies.
- The process can only be applied to foreign nationals of a visa waiver program.
- Online submission of working permit application.
- The work permit will be valid for up to 1 year (extension will be allowed up to 5 years and 3 month).
- Processing time stating 6 working days.
- The company needs to be eligible as a High Tech company. The approval is subject the Innovation Authority discretion.
- Entry to Israel of the applicant will be allowed immediately after approval of the work permit, without the need to undergo consular processing.
- B-1 Work visa will be required to be processed in the employee’s passport, at the Ministry of Interior in Israel, within 2 work days of entry into Israel.
- Previous stays in Israel of the applicant will be reviewed by the Ministry of Interior upon visa processing, to determine full compliance with immigration law and regulations during past visits (over stays, illegal work etc.)
- The regulations requires less documentation to be provided by both employer and employee.
- The prevailing wage requirement remains to be at least double the average salary in Israel, currently NIS 19,604 per month.
Employment Authorization for Spouse (EAS B-1 work visa for Spouse)
- The new process applies only to spouses of HIT visa applicant, that is expecting to work in Israel for more than 90 days.
- The High Tech Company may submit a request for EAS visa: Employment Authorisation for Spouse, for a parallel duration as the HIT employee.
- The EAS visa, type B-1 “General work visa” will allow the spouse to work for any employer in Israel, without a requirement for a prevailing wage.
- Visa process will be made at the Ministry of Interior.
- Visa Process will require both applicant and spouse to physically be present at the Ministry of Interior.
Classification of Company Eligibility
The categorization of the companies is done by the Central Bureau of Statistics upon the company’s initial registration with the Company Registrar in Israel. This is confidential State information, and is not published anywhere. A special form will be needed to be signed to allow the Innovation authority requesting the company classification from the Central Bureau of Statistics.
According to the Innovation Authorities Regulations, the following will be reviewed by them in order to determine if the company qualifies as a “Hi Tech” company for the purposes of the HIT visa regulations:
A. Is the Sponsoring Company registered in Israel?
B. In the 3 years prior to application submission: did the company receive from the Innovation Authorities any of the following:
1. Monetary funding, or
2. Tax exemptions, or
3. Approval as an R&D company for public listing in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
If any one of the above was received from the Innovation Authority, the company will be regarded as eligible as a “High Tech” Company.
If none of the above are met:
C. The Innovation Authority will examine the company’s field of industry and operation, and the company will be eligible if they are involved in any one of the following fields:
1. Manufacturing of pharmaceutical products, or
2. Manufacturing of computers and its components or electrical or Optical components, or
3. Computer programming, computes consultation, Computer related services, or
4. Research and Development (not including social sciences), or
5. Manufacturing of aircrafts or space ships and their components, or IT processing and data storage.
If the company meets one of the above criteria, the company will be regarded as eligible being regarded as “High Tech” Company.
If none of the above is met:
D. Does the R&D costs of the company exceed 7% of the overall sales turnover in the previous calendar year or at least 15% of its employees are R&D employees.
If this criteria is met, the company will be eligible for classification as a “High Tech” Company.
KTA will assist its clients and any potential clients in pre-assessing the company eligibility for the HIT process.