Israel – Immediate Changes to Work Permit Regulations

Effective immediately, the Work Permit Unit (WPU) of the Ministry of Interior has implemented new regulations for obtaining work permits and visas for foreign experts, which apply also to pending work permit applications.

The new regulations (originally published in December 2015), include changes to the non-academic work permit scheme, and stricter auditing requirements for work permit extension applications.

The current regulations distinguish between expert professions that require academic qualifications and those that do not. Effective immediately (including pending applications) all applications for non-academic experts must be submitted with the relevant employee-specific affidavit (A-2 form).

Following submission of the work permit application, the application will be reviewed by the WPU, which will in turn determine what additional requirements apply, as a pre-condition to the issuance of the working permit.

The WPU has full discretion to require any of the following additional requirements for non-academic assignees:

  • A bank guarantee deposit of 36,000NIS per employee; and/or
  • Salary to be paid to an Israeli Bank account in the name of the expat; and/or
  • Employment contract to be confirmed by an Israeli lawyer regarding full compliance with the Israeli law; and/or
  • An affidavit signed by the employee in his home country in front of the Israeli consul or apostilled; and/or
  • An affidavit signed by the company.

According to the regulation, each application for extension of a work permit must include a letter from an Israeli accountant who has reviewed the assignee’s salary during the past year of employment in Israel.

Effective immediately (including pending applications) the accountant must audit the salary details of all employees sponsored by the company who have worked in Israel in the last twelve months. The text of the letter is pre-indicated, and no modification will be accepted.

Ensure that work permit applications for non-academic assignees are initiated early (four months in advance of the assignment start date is recommended).  Sponsoring companies should review the availability of accounting support, bank account opening options for the employees, bank guarantee mechanism and Israeli lawyer’s confirmation of foreign nationals’ contracts of employment.