• Short Employment Authorization Visa Program Reopened; Documentary Requirements Revised
  • April 9, 2015
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • Foreign nationals are again eligible to apply for the Short Employment Authorization (SEA) visa program, following its suspension in December 2014, according to an announcement by the work permit unit and the Ministry of the Interior. Temporary trial period regulations have been published and will remain valid until June 30, 2015, after which further changes to the program may be implemented.

    Like the prior SEA visa, the new SEA visa allows nationals of countries that are part of the visitor visa waiver program to stay in Israel for up to 30 days in a twelve-month period.

    Trial Period Regulations

    The new application for the SEA visa includes slightly different documentary and process requirements than the previous SEA program.

    Application documents include personal and travel information, a company affidavit and a Power of Attorney (both which require authentication in certain circumstances), among other documents. Diplomas are now required, which may prolong document preparation times.

    A separate application must be submitted prior to each entry. Applications are expected to be processed within three to five business days.

    SEA Work Permit Issuance

    Upon approval of the SEA visa, applicants will be issued a single-entry work permit that will allow immediate travel to and work in Israel without the need to visit an Israeli consulate. Government fees based on the duration of the assignment have been introduced to cover the cost of the work permit. Within two working days of entry into Israel, foreign nationals must apply for a B-1 work visa.

    Restricted Nationalities

    Nationals of China, India and Turkey, among others, who are required to obtain visitor visas at an Israeli consulate prior to entry, are still not eligible to apply for SEA visas.

    What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

    Eligible foreign nationals should benefit from the reintroduction of the SEA visa program since it provides shorter processing times and fewer documentary requirements than other work visas in Israel.