Israel B-1 Work Visa Process
A valid passport and an entry visa, depending on the nationality of the visitor, are necessary for entry into Israel for business.
As a rule, nationals of the European Union, the United States, Canada, Japan, and certain other countries are admitted to Israel without an entry visa for a period of up to 90 days. No employment of any kind is permitted during this period. Extensions of this initial 90 day period may be approved by the Ministry of Interior (hereinafter: “MOI”) for a maximum stay of six months.
The term “business trip” is not specifically defined in Israeli law. Nonetheless, it is clear that if the purpose of the proposed travel to Israel entails productive work of any kind, a work permit must be obtained. This is regardless of the expected duration of the individual’s stay in Israel.
An individual seeking to travel to Israel on business, who is a national of a country that is not on Israel’s visa waiver list, must obtain an entry visa from the Israeli consulate with jurisdiction over his place of residence. Israeli law generally provides for only one type of visa category for both tourists and business travelers: The B-2 visa.
For business travelers, B-2 procedure normally includes 3 separate bureaucratic steps: (1) Submission of a visa application with the MOI; (2) Issuance of the B-2 visa at the relevant Israeli consular post abroad, prior to entry into Israel; and (3) Extension of the B-2 visa at the MOI after arrival in Israel, if necessary.
First Step: Visa Application
Israeli consulates normally require that business travelers from non-waiver countries be officially sponsored by an Israeli company. A company provides such sponsorship by filing an application with the MOI. The application must contain a detailed description of the proposed visit, and also provide complete details relating to the prospective visitor, including educational background, professional experience, accommodation arrangements, etc. Processing times for work permit applications currently range from 2-4 weeks.
If the application is approved, the MOI will issue instructions to the relevant Israeli consulate to issue the B-2 visa.
In some cases, depending on the individual’s nationality, a special security clearance will be required prior to the approval of the application. Security clearance process currently ranges from 2-8 weeks.
Second Step: Consular Processing
In accordance with the instructions issued by the MOI (as discussed above), the Israeli consulate will issue the B-2 visa in the individual’s passport. The visa will generally be valid for a single entry of up to 90 days only.
Third Step: Visa Extension
Following entry into Israel, an application to extend a stay on a B-2 visa may be filed at the local MOI. Extensions may be given for up to an additional 90 days. Applications should include, among other things, an explanation regarding the need for the extension, and a detalied description of the activities planned during the requested extension period.
To view the full list of countries exempted/ required to obtain B-2 Visitor Visa please click HERE.