Rules clarified on short-term employment authorization permits

3 Jan 17

ISRAEL

IMPACT – HIGH

What is the change? Israeli authorities have clarified several rules for short-term employment authorization, or SEA, permits that allow visa-waived nationals to work for up to 45 days per year in Israel.

What does the change mean? The regulations clarify the types of work requiring work authorization and the waiting period before permit holders may reapply for a new SEA. Additionally, as of Jan. 1, the Israeli minimum monthly salary has been increased to 5,000 shekels (about US$1,290) from the previous 4,825 shekels, which SEA permit holders must now be paid.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: SEA permits.
  • Who is affected: Visa-waived nationals performing short-term work assignments in Israel.
  • Business impact: The regulations allow flexibility in applying for a new SEA permit for employees whose permits expire at the end or beginning of a calendar year.
  • Next steps: Employers should make sure that they are meeting the new minimum-wage requirements, which apply to SEA applicants and for STEP (3-month work visa) applicants.

Key points:

  • An SEA is required for any paid temporary or provisional task requiring special skills or expertise, including equipment repair, installation or maintenance activity.
  • The 45-day limit is counted per calendar year. There is no waiting period for employees whose SEAs expired before the end of the year; they may apply for a new SEA at the start of the new calendar year.
  • An employee whose SEA permit was valid for a period extending from December into January may apply for a new SEA in 2017 for the balance of the 45 days until December 2017.
  • There is no waiting period for an employee whose B-1 work visa expired in December to apply for an SEA at the start of the new calendar year.

BAL Analysis: The regulations are helpful clarifications to the use of short-term work authorization, particularly for foreign employees whose permit expired near the end of the year. Employers and individuals should verify that their activities conform to the appropriate type of visa and work authorization before travel.

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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