By Itzik Laniado, Senior Advocate, Kan-Tor & Acco
The current COVID-19 crisis, both in Israel and around the globe, started as a local health issue in a relatively small province in China in December 2019, and quickly evolved into a global health pandemic. The virus disregards physical borders, nationalities, or citizenships
While each country has chosen to deal with the crisis in its way (some in full closures, some keeping the economy open, hoping to reach “herd immunity”, and some in the mild closure system names in some places as “Accordion” according to raise on infection rates. As the crisis is not the domain of one country or another, it seems that John Lennon’s vision
“Imagine there’s no countries”
comes to live Infront our eyes – even if that was not exactly the poet’s intention …
It is evident and well reflected in the activities of the various Israeli consulates responsible for issuing entry visas to Israel in the applicant’s passport. Naturally, each consulate adapts its activities to the policies pursued by the host country during the COVID-19 period. For example, the Israeli embassy in India has completely stopped operating for about two months, Same approach was taken by the Israeli consulate in Austria. The Israeli embassy in Spain, on the other hand, was partly opened through the COVID 19 crises (although the consulate was closed to visitors, it allowed applying through the mail, i.e. delivered by post/courier. Some consulates as China-Guangzhou and Finland-Helsinki (only partial list) operated as normal.
Due to the lack of clarity and global policy, updated research, and updates are needed daily by the KTA team to allow the best advice to our clients.
Due to the unstable situation globally at the Israeli consulates, we often recommended making use of the SEA 45 days work visa, which allows the entry and work of foreign experts in Israel without a need for consular processing. This SEA work visa for 45 days process is relatively short (up to 14 days process). The visa allows the foreign experts to work in Israel for short periods of up to 45 days per calendar year).
The Israeli government also recommended this SEA 45 workdays visa path due to the understanding that such entries of experienced personnel are required for the operation of the Israeli economy.
It seems that these days, although the entry of foreigners into Israel is restricted and well examined on a case by case, it is still possible to demonstrate that the entry of the foreign expert for a short duration is critical for the continuity of the particular business and the economy. The Israeli Government will allow this entry without consular processing, whose operation is not stable during the pandemic and subject to host country policy.
Kan-Tor & Acco is the leading immigration law firm in Israel. Our firm provides work visa services mainly to Israel and the US.