Virginia, US

Aug 20 2019

Multiple Trips Now Allowed Under STEP Visa

Israel

At a Glance

  • The STEP B-1 90-day work visa can now be split into more than one period, whereas previously only one STEP visa application could be filed per calendar year.  

  • Employers can now send foreign nationals who may not meet the required salary threshold for a Hi-Tech Visa to Israel multiple times a year using the STEP visa, provided that the total number of days in Israel does not exceed 90 days in one calendar year.  


The situation 

The Israeli Work Permit Unit (WPU) has confirmed that the STEP B-1 90-day work visa can be split into more than one single period, whereas previously only one single STEP visa application could be filed in one year.  

A closer look 

Employers can now send foreign nationals to work in Israel under the STEP visa multiple times provided that the total number of days in Israel does not exceed 90 days in one calendar year.  

Applicants can apply for a STEP visa at the Israeli consular post in their country of residence or work. Applicants must submit a new application for each trip to Israel under this category, and must then apply for entry at an Israeli consular post in their country of residence or work.  

Impact for employers 

Employers will greatly benefit from the additional flexibility as they can now send the same employees to Israel multiple times a year, provided that the total number of days spent in Israel does not exceed the total 90-day limit.  

This will be particularly useful when sending foreign nationals who do not qualify for a one-year or Hi-Tech Visa as they do not meet the prevailing wage requirements.  

Background 

The STEP B-1 90-day visa is used frequently for repair staff, technicians, and Hi-Tech employees travelling to Israel from countries that do not pay a salary which meets the Hi-Tech prevailing wage threshold. The prevailing wage (minimum monthly salary) for a Hi-Tech visa is currently ILS 20,278 (USD 5,712.82), 3.4 percent higher than it was last year and double the average monthly wage in Israel.  

Looking ahead 

If the minimum salary for Hi-Tech visas continues to rise each year, the STEP visa process is likely to become more important and attractive for employers whose staff cannot meet the rising prevailing wage thresholds. This may encourage Israel to further relax the application process and make it easier for applicants to apply for multiple-entry visits.  

Fragomen worked closely with Kan-Tor & Acco Law Firm 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.