Israel puts brakes on B-1 visa extensions for foreign experts

30 Sep 15

ISRAEL

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Israel has halted acceptance of applications to extend B-1 visas for foreign experts beyond their 63-month validity period.

What does the change mean? Israeli officials have put a halt to B-1 visa extensions while they evaluate the legality of the current program and ponder possible new regulations.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: B-1 visas for foreign experts.
  • Who is affected: Employers and foreign experts on B-1 visas for more than 63 months from their first day of work in Israel.
  • Impact on processing times: Pending extension applications will be delayed as officials decide what regulations might need to be put in place. New extension applications will not be accepted during this time.
  • Business impact: Businesses should prepare for delays if they had planned to employ foreign experts for more than 63 months.

Background: Israeli law allows employers to sponsor foreign experts on B-1 visas for a maximum of 63 months. Prior to the recent change, that time period could be extended in exceptional cases. Last week, however, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economy directed the Ministry of Interior to halt issuance of extensions pending further legal examination. The legality of the extension process is being reviewed and new regulations may be issued.

BAL Analysis: BAL will continue to follow this situation and will alert clients if new regulations are issued that permit foreign experts to work in Israel beyond the 63-month period.

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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