Israel: Hi-Tech Company Classification Process Clarified

The Ministry of Interior and the Innovation Authority have further clarified how a company can become eligible to sponsor foreign workers under the Hi-Tech (HIT) Visa.

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Feb 23, 2018
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Background

  • Eligibility. HIT visas are only available for visa-exempt nationals working for employers qualifying as a Hi-Tech company in certain industries in Israel.

  • Benefits. The HIT visa provides a faster application process as compared to standard B-1 visas. 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.

  • Companies not in one of the above sectors who seek to apply for a work permit as a Hi-Tech company should contact their immigration professional to determine if they can qualify based on other requirements.

A closer look

  • Qualification process.  The following is the process for a company to become eligible to sponsor foreign workers under a HIT visa:

    • Company submits an application under the HIT process for a specific employee with the Work Permit Unit in Israel;

    • Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) classifies the company based on its industry;

    • Company submits an online application for a HIT visa to the Work Permit Unit;

    • Work Permit Unit seeks approval from the Israeli Innovation Authority to designate the company as eligible to sponsor foreign workers under a HIT visa;

    • The Innovation Authority will contact the CBS for information regarding the company; and

    • Once the Innovation Authority designates the company as eligible, it will notify the Work Permit Unit.

Fragomen worked closely with Kan-Tor & Acco Law Firm (Israel) to prepare this alert. It 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.

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