• Hi-Tech Company Classification Process Clarified
  • March 29, 2018
  • The situation

    The 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; and
    o 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; and
    o Once the Innovation Authority designates the company as eligible, it will notify the Work Permit Unit.