- Hi-Tech Company Classification Process Clarified
- March 29, 2018
The situationThe Ministry of Interior and the Innovation Authority have further clarified how a company can become eligible to sponsor foreign workers under the Hi-Tech (HIT) Visa.Background• Eligibility. HIT visas are only available for visa-exempt nationals working for employers qualifying as a Hi-Tech company in certain industries in Israel.• Benefits. The HIT visa provides a faster application process as compared to standard B-1 visas. The HIT visa is adjudicated within six business days, whereas B-1 visas are adjudicated within three months.• Employer eligibility. Companies eligible to sponsor HIT visas must be:o Registered with the Israeli government; ando Operating in one of the following sectors: Manufacturing of pharmaceutical products; Manufacturing of computers and its components or electrical or optical components; Computer programming, computer consultation, or computer-related services; Research and development (excluding in social sciences); Manufacturing of aircrafts or spaceships and their components; or Information technology processing and data storage.• Companies not in one of the above sectors who seek to apply for a work permit as a Hi-Tech company should contact their immigration professional to determine if they can qualify based on other requirements.A closer look• Qualification process. The following is the process for a company to become eligible to sponsor foreign workers under a HIT visa:o Company submits an application under the HIT process for a specific employee with the Work Permit Unit in Israel;o Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) classifies the company based on its industry;o Company submits an online application for a HIT visa to the Work Permit Unit;o Work Permit Unit seeks approval from the Israeli Innovation Authority to designate the company as eligible to sponsor foreign workers under a HIT visa;o The Innovation Authority will contact the CBS for information regarding the company; ando Once the Innovation Authority designates the company as eligible, it will notify the Work Permit Unit.