• Expedited Application Introduced for Foreign Workers at Hi-Tech Companies
  • March 20, 2018
  • At a Glance

    Israel has introduced an expedited visa application option, the Hi-Tech Visa (HIT), for foreign nationals travelling to Israel to work in an Israeli-registered company, operating in the Hi-Tech industries. A spouse of the principal on a HIT visa can also obtain work authorization by obtaining an Employment Authorization for Spouse (EAS).

    The situation

    A new expedited application process has been created for foreign nationals travelling to Israel to work in an Israeli-registered company operating in the high-tech and cyber industries.

    A closer look

    • Scope.
      • Eligible nationalities. The process is available for visa-exempt nationals only.
      • Eligible sponsors. The process is available for host entities incorporated in Israel and classified as Hi-Tech Companies with the Innovation Authority.
        • Becoming a Hi-Tech Sponsor. To qualify as Hi-Tech Companies, interested companies can apply to sponsor a foreign worker. Their eligibility will be assessed as part of the first HIT application and will be reviewed at regular intervals.
      • Validity. The work authorization will be valid for one year initially and can be renewed up to a total duration of 63 months.
    • Benefits.
      • Expedited processing. Israeli Hi Tech companies applying on behalf of foreign nationals under the HIT expedited application process will submit an application with the Ministry of Interior. Work authorization is expected to be adjudicated within six working days.
      • Starting work upon arrival. Upon approval, foreign nationals can travel to Israel and immediately start working. Foreign nationals must apply for a B-1 Work Visa at the Ministry of Interior within 2 business days of entry.
    • Spouses
      • EAS. If principal HIT applicants are expected to work in Israel for more than 90 days, spouses will be eligible for an EAS. The dependent requires a separate application to be submitted by the Hi-Tech Company sponsoring the principal HIT applicant. The work authorization is valid for all employers with no salary threshold other than that it must be above the Israeli minimum wage (currently NIS 5,300 per month gross for a full-time job).

    Impact for employers

    The HIT process allows Israeli companies to be better equipped to attract foreign talent as well as to bring talent into the country more quickly and with more certainty.

    Impact for foreign nationals

    Eligible foreign nationals and their spouses will benefit from much shorter processing times and spouses will benefit from their ability to work in Israel.

    Looking ahead

    Kan-Tor & Acco Law Firm is seeking further clarifications on the new regulation, particularly in relation to the Spouse EAS visa process description. Fragomen will keep you informed on developments.