Connecticut, US

Oct 02 2019

Stricter Application Process for Hi-Tech Visa Holders Sponsoring a Spouse’s Work Visa

Israel

At a Glance

  • The Israeli Ministry of Interior has clarified certain conditions regarding Hi-Tech (HIT) visa applicants seeking to sponsor their spouse’s dependent B-1 general work visa.
  • Effective immediately, such applicants must submit their spouse’s work permit application simultaneously with their own and must include an affidavit with a declaration confirming the spousal relationship.

The situation

The Work Permit Unit of the Ministry of Interior in Israel has clarified the regulations stating that Hi-Tech (HIT) visa applicants seeking to sponsor their spouse’s dependent B-1 general work visa must submit their spouse’s work permit application simultaneously with their own and must include an affidavit with a declaration confirming the spousal relationship.

A closer look

  • Affidavit requirements. The affidavit should be signed in front of an Israeli lawyer. Those signed outside Israel must be signed and legalized before a designated Israeli consular officer or before a local notary and apostilled.
  • Personal appearance requirement. Upon arrival to Israel, both the expert and spouse must appear at the Ministry of Interior in order to obtain the work visa for the spouse.

 

Impact

Foreign experts and their spouse must now appear at the Ministry of Interior to obtain their spouse’s work visa, where previously, there was no need to submit a work permit application for the spouse; the main applicant only had to present their own and their spouse’s passport to obtain a work permit for the spouse.

Background

  • Latest clarification. In November 2018, the Ministry of Interior published regulations allowing spouses of foreign experts under a HIT visa to work in Israel under a dependent B-1 work visa without meeting the prevailing wage requirement. This current rule aligns with the government’s intention to restrict spousal work permit applications under this category.
  • Eligibility. HIT visas are available for foreign nationals working for employers qualifying as a Hi-Tech company in certain industries in Israel.
  • Benefits. The HIT visa provides a faster and easier application process as compared to standard B-1 visas. There is no prevailing wage requirement for the spouse, and there is no need for a job offer to start the visa process. The HIT visa is adjudicated within six business days, whereas B-1 visas are adjudicated within three months.
  • Employer eligibility. Companies eligible to sponsor HIT visas must be:
    • Registered with the Israeli government; and
    • Operating in one of the following sectors:
      • Manufacturing of pharmaceutical products;
      • Manufacturing of computers and its components or electrical or optical components;
      • Computer programming, computer consultation, or computer-related services;
      • Research and development (excluding in social sciences);
      • Manufacturing of aircrafts or spaceships and their components; or
      • Information technology processing and data storage.

 

Looking ahead

The results of the ongoing prime minister elections will determine any potential immigration policy changes. Fragomen will report related developments as needed.

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.