All expats who wish to work in Israel must first apply for an Israel work permit, known as the B-1 visa. Obtaining work and travel visas in Israel is not easy; you must be diligent, committed, and coordinated to get one.
In Israel, there are two main ways to obtain a work and travel visa.
- From your potential boss
- Through your spouse/partner (no marriage certificate is necessary)
Applying for your work and travel visa in Israel through your employer
Whether from the UK/US, expats can receive a work and travel visa in Israel if they have a job offer from an Israeli company. Only a work visa is needed for those who plan to work in the country for less than 30 days. This visa is for lecturers and those who will only be in Israel for a limited period. Expats who plan to work in Israel for more than 30 days will need a work visa to gain entry and a work permit to stay and work legally in the country. Expats must obtain work visas and work permits in their home country.
An employer will assist you in obtaining a work and travel visa in Israel. This can be a more difficult path and is determined mainly by the circumstances of the expat.
First and foremost, you must find work with an organization that will apply for the visa on your behalf. This can be difficult because many employers would not accept applicants who do not have a visa.
Certain skills are in high demand in the country, and expats who can demonstrate these skills will have an easier time obtaining a visa.
Those who obtain a work visa through their employer are legally bound to that business, so they will no longer have a visa if they lose or leave their job. If this occurs, expats must notify Israel’s Ministry of Interior, which will issue a temporary visa valid for up to a month as they search for a new sponsor.
The hiring process in Israel is notoriously long, taking up to six months. This can make it difficult to find a new sponsor before the temporary visa’s validity period expires.
Applying for a work and travel visa in Israel through your spouse
Expats may also apply for a visa with the help of their partner or spouse. This is a simpler process, and the visa allows expats to work anywhere they want and in whatever industry they want.
The following is the procedure for applying for a work and travel visa in Israel:
- Acquire documents from home country.
- Visit the Ministry of Interior in Israel in the local area and collect the appropriate forms
- Gather other necessary documents and letters.
- Submit application.
- Complete application interview.
- Pay visa costs on receipt of visa.
The documents needed vary from country to country, but most consulates need the following:
- A valid passport
- A completed application for a visa to enter Israel
- A certificate of medical examination
- A declaration of fingerprint collection
- A certificate of good conduct
- Two passport-sized photos
- A signed document from the employer that they intend to recruit the expat
If you apply for a work visa with your spouse/partner as the sponsor, you will be required to provide evidence of your partnership. You can send photos, emails, bills, hotel reservations, plane tickets, or anything else that shows you are a couple. You’ll also need declarations of your relationship with friends and family.
You’ll need a lawyer to authenticate your documents and seal your application form before submitting it.
The visa is valid for a period of one year. If you want to renew your visa, you must apply one month before it expires.
Tips to getting a work and travel visa in Israel
- Get organized
Don’t show up to the visa office with a jumbled mess of documents. Organize the papers in a folder, grouping official documents, declarations, photos, and so on. While you will not be submitting the archive, the authorities will be unimpressed if they see you shuffling through mounds of paper.
- Don’t be concerned if you don’t have everything you need.
You can still apply the application if you don’t have a specific document or letter, such as a rental agreement signed by both partners. If all other documentation is in order, the authorities will approve the application.
- Be patient but persistent.
Expect a long and arduous process, no matter how well organized you are. Prepare for several trips to the Misrad Hapnim, hours in the waiting room, and frustratingly unhelpful staff. It will make your life much easier if you have a Hebrew speaker with you.
- Match your stories.
If you are applying for a work visa with your spouse or partner, you will be interviewed separately after your application has been processed to ensure that your stories match. It’s important to double-check that the information given by both spouses or partners is accurate.
- Check your visa
It is recommended that after receiving the visa, you double-check everything, including the dates, type of visa, and names. Be aware that if you want to leave Israel at some point, you will need an entry visa as well as a work permit. Both applications should be submitted at the same time.
Here is a comprehensive guide to obtaining a work and travel visa in Israel. We hope it was helpful in resolving all of your problems.