You may obtain a work visa if you have a job offer from an Israeli business. If you are going to work in Israel for less than 30 days you will only need a work visa. (This visa is for paid performers, lecturers, and other workers who will only be in Israel a short time.) If you plan to work in Israel longer than 30 days you will need a work visa for your initial entry and a work permit to stay and work legally in Israel. All work visas and permits must be obtained while in your country of residence.
Both you and your employer must submit forms to the Israeli government to obtain your work visa. Your Israeli employer applies to the Ministry of the Interior for your work visa, and you must submit documents to an Israeli consulate. Exact documentation requirements are different for every country, but most consulates will ask for these basic documents:
- valid passport
- completed application for a visa to enter Israel
- certificate of medical examination
- declaration of taking of fingerprints
- certification of good conduct
- two passport-sized photos
- signed document from employer stating they intend to hire you
Upon arrival, a customs official will put a visa stamp in your passport which will be valid for 30 days.
The Ministry of the Interior grants work visa extensions while you are in Israel. An extension is essential if you are permanently working in Israel. Holders of work permits should apply for work visa extensions within 30 days of entering Israel. Extensions are valid for a year and allow you to enter and exit Israel.
Spouses and children of work visa holders may obtain temporary residence visas. These are B2 courtesy visas and are usually valid for the same period of time as a work visa. Apply for these visas at the same time as a work visa.
Work permits for stays of more than 30 days
Obtaining a work permit is a long process and deals with multiple branches of the Israeli government. Each of these branches will want to see documentation, so make copies of all your documents. Applying for permits requires multiple steps, and you must renew your permits annually.
To receive an Israeli work permit, you and your employer must apply to different branches of the Israeli government. Have copies of all travel documents, educational certificates and employer contracts, and make sure your employer also has those documents.
Your employer acts as an official sponsor for your work permit, and they submit an initial permit application to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Labour. The application includes information about your prospective position and salary with the company. The Ministry will process the application in 4-8 weeks.
If you are approved by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Labour, they will send a letter of recommendation to the Ministry of Industry. At this point in time, you must apply to your consulate for a work permit. Your nearest consulate will evaluate additional documents and also recommend you to the Ministry of Industry for a work permit. If you are approved by these branches of government, your consulate will issue a work permit to you.
You should apply for a work visa at the same time as your work permit. Work visas allow you to enter the country. Within 30 days of arriving in Israel, you will have to apply for an extended work visa. This extended visa is valid for a year and allows you multiple entries into Israel.