Authorities clarify changes to Hi-Tech visas

7 Jun 18

ISRAEL

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Authorities in Israel have clarified recent changes to the Hi-Tech visa with additional details on the duration, minimum salaries and processing times.

What does the change mean? A one-year Hi-Tech visa replaces the former Hi-Tech visa, and a 90-day Hi-Tech visa is available to visa-waivered nationals working for high-tech companies in Israel. Both require that the employee be paid double the Israeli average salary.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Hi-Tech visas under the B-1 visa category.
  • Who is affected: Approved tech companies sponsoring foreign employees.
  • Impact on processing times: Ten business days. The one-year Hi-Tech visa requires consular processing of the entry visa, which adds two to four week, depending on the consulate.
  • Business impact: The two visas provide short- and long-term options for tech companies seeking to hire foreign talent.

Background: The one-year Hi-Tech visa must be processed through an Israeli consulate, even for visa-waived nationals. The initial duration is one year, but can be extended in one-year increments up to a maximum of five years and three months.

The 90-day Hi-Tech visa is only available to visa-waived nationals and does not require consular processing. It has a duration of 90 days per calendar year; multiple-entry visas are available for repeat visits during a consecutive 90-day period.

BAL Analysis: Israeli-based tech companies should weigh these new options but be mindful that these visas are only recently introduced and some of the conditions and processing details may still be in flux.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Israel. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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