Virginia, US

Sep 04 2018

Company Eligibility for Hi-Tech (HIT) Visas Clarified

Israel

The situation

The Israeli Ministry of Interior has excluded international companies and local branches of international companies from the expedited Hi-Tech (HIT) Visa route. Separately, the Israeli Innovation Authority introduced a new procedure to verify a company’s eligibility to sponsor HIT Visas.

A closer look

  • Company eligibility. As the result of a recent policy change, the Ministry of Interior has limited eligibility to sponsor HIT Visas to Israeli-registered Hi-Tech companies. Notably, international companies, including their local branches, are no longer eligible to sponsor HIT Visas effective immediately.
  • Request for pre-ruling. The Israeli Innovation Authority now accepts requests for a pre-ruling on whether a company is eligible to sponsor HIT Visas. Previously, eligibility for sponsorship could only be assessed as part of the first HIT Visa application.


Impact

While the policy change limits the number of eligible sponsor companies, it clarifies the HIT Visa process. Fragomen expects the pre-ruling procedure to make the process more transparent and reliable.

Background

The Hi-Tech Visa offers expedited and streamlined processing for applicants travelling to Israel to work at sponsor companies operating in designated high-tech industries based in Israel.

Looking ahead

Fragomen expects the Ministry to continue updating the process and eligibility as the HIT Visa process is tested in practice.

Fragomen worked closely with Kan-Tor & Acco Law Firm (Israel) to prepare this alert. This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to emea@fragomen.com.