Israeli high-tech companies are currently experiencing a labor shortage of about 8,000 workers a year. Rather than lack of demand for positions, this is due to a lack of employees who have the specific expertise sought out by the high-tech companies.
In view of this problem, and in order to keep moving the high-tech industry, which is considered one of the Israeli economy’s growth-engines, the Population and Immigration Authority declared on a designated procedure for the high-tech and cyber industries. This procedure is supposed to serve as a first step of solution to the labor shortage experienced in these industries.
The new procedure, which is designated to settle the status of foreign experts in the high-tech and cyber industries in Israel, came into force on February 2018, and it enables mobilization of experts to Israel in relatively shorter time periods, and with considerably less bureaucracy, in relation to the procedures currently customary.
First and foremost, this accelerated procedure requires acknowledgement of companies as technology knowledge-intensive corporations, on behalf of the Innovation Authority. This compliance is a prerequisite for applying for an expedited absorption, and to this end, these companies must comply with certain terms regarding the receipt of a research and development grant or a tax certificate on its behalf, which you may read.
The new procedure introduces three beneficial arrangements to the employment of foreign experts by companies recognized as technology knowledge-intensive corporations.
1. Relocating a foreign expert to Israel for a time-period of up to one year:
High-tech/cyber companies may apply for the employment of a foreign expert who has a unique specialty, and for the purpose of executing a task in Israel, for a period of up to one year at a time, thus upon the fulfillment of the following (accumulated) terms:
A. The foreign expert holds a valid passport of a country whose citizens are exempted only from a B/2 visit Visa (a visa given to most tourists in Israel, which allows for staying in Israel’s boundaries for up to 3 months).
B. The expert’s wage will not drop twice the average wage in the market (experts’ wage).
C. The company wishes to employ the foreign expert in the field of Research and Development, or in a unique field in which the foreign expert engages, which assists a business activity relating to a product or a service developed by the company.
The main advantage in applying under this arrangement, is the fact that the applications will be discussed only within 6 workdays of the day they are received, as much as it is possible.
2. Employing a foreign academic graduate:
High-tech/Cyber companies may apply for the employment of
a foreign national, who graduated a full academic degree in a higher-education
institution in Israel, in one of the following subjects: Electrical Engineering,
Electronics, Computers, Information Systems or Computer Science.
The validity of the permit to be granted for the employment of the graduate as part of this arrangements, will be for a period of up to 12 months from the date of his eligibility for the degree. As well, under this procedure, up to 500 employment permits for the employment of academic graduates will be given simultaneously.
The decision in regard to the permit, will be made within 30 workdays from the day of receiving an opinion from a recommendatory entity (if relevant) or from the day of obtaining additional documents, if required.
The rest of the procedure provisions pertaining to the employment of a foreign expert, will apply to the high-tech company and the academic graduate. (A link to the previous article re. the employment of foreign experts).
3. The employment of foreign experts and their spouses at an high-tech company for a period exceeding 90-Days:
This arrangement provides a solution for one of the main obstacles in bringing an expert worker, which is the spouse’s employment. This arrangement allows the spouse of the foreign high-tech expert to be employed in Israel in any position he desires. The application in this regard may be submitted by an employee who already obtained a work permit in Israel for a time period exceeding 90 days. Afterwards, the permit recipient may apply for a B/1 work Visa (a tourist visa with a work license) for his spouse.
The advantage of this arrangement is the absence of necessity to apply for a work permit as required by the ordinary procedure (refer to the relevant article) – which saves time and prevents bureaucracy from the applicant. Other than this, the spouse will be entitled to work in any desired position with no restrictions and without requiring the employer to pay twice the average wage in the market.
Nonetheless, and for the sake of preventing delays in receiving the permits, as well as in the various procedures, it is recommended to examine each case separately and to consult with an attorney who specializes in the field of immigration and employee relocation laws. This preliminary consultation will enable a specific adjustment for a concrete case, and it will also allow for its most lawful, rapid and cheap implementation, throughout a personal and professional support.
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