The Israeli Ministry of Interior created a new expedited application process for foreign nationals working for Israeli registered companies operating in certain technology fields. To qualify as “Hi-Tech,” companies must be registered in Israel and have received at least one of the following from the Innovation Authorities within 3 years prior to the visa application:
- Monetary assistance,
- Tax exemption, or,
- Approval for public listing on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange as a Research and Development Company.If the company does not meet the above criteria, the Innovation Authority may still allow eligibility if the company focuses on certain research & development, manufacturing or computer programming related fields/industries.
Changes include expedited processing for the new B-1 Hi-Tech Visa (HIT Visa), employment authorization for spouses (EAS Visa), and employment of Israeli academic institution graduates.
Highlights of the 1-year HIT Visa
- One year initial validity with extensions available for up to five years and three months.
- Can only be utilized by foreign workers in a visa waiver program.
- Workers apply via an online application.
- Processing times are about 6 days and the B-1 work visa must be processed in the passport within 2 work days of the employee’s entry to Israel at the Ministry of Interior.
- Prevailing wage requirement will continue to be twice the average Israeli salary, estimated at approximately NIS 19,604 / month.Highlights of Employment Authorization for Spouse (EAS B-1)
- The new process is applicable to spouses of HIT visa applicants who anticipate working in Israel for over 90 days.
- The High Tech Company can request the employment authorization for the spouse, which will allow the spouse to work for any employer in Israel.
- No prevailing wage requirement.
- Visa application can be made at the Ministry of Interior and requires the applicant and spouse to be physically present.