According to new regulations issued by the Israeli government, foreign nationals seeking to work in Israel may now receive a B-1 work visa in an electronic format. Rather than issue a physical visa sticker, the Israeli government will email a digital B-1 visa sticker to the foreign national’s employer at an email address specified during the application process. The new procedure is expected to make applying for a B-1 visa more convenient for employers and employees by eliminating the need for a physical visa sticker.
Background: Israel’s B-1 Work Visas
Israel’s B-1 work visa is designed for foreign nationals who intend to live and work in Israel for a limited period of time. There are several subcategories of B-1 work visas, including B-1 Expert visas (for workers with special expertise), B-1 Hi-Tech visas (for high tech workers), SEA 90-day work visas (for short-term workers under a streamlined process), and STEP 90-day work visas (for specialist workers under a streamlined process).
To obtain a B-1 visa, the employer must first submit a work permit application to the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Labor (MOITAL). Once the work permit is approved, the employer may apply for the B-1 visa through the Ministry of Interior (MOI). Although the B-1 visa application is made online, applicants are typically required to appear in person at an Israeli consulate for an interview before the visa will be issued. (An exception applies to B-1 SEA 90-day work visa applicants.)
In the past, applicants were issued a physical visa sticker in their passport after the consular interview, but under the new regulations, the visa will be issued by email. B-1 visa holders have also previously been required to apply to the MOI for a separate multiple entry visa after arrival in Israel. Under the new regulations, these multiple entry visas will also now be issued electronically. Physical passport stickers are still required for dependents traveling in B-2 status, and it is recommended that B-1 visa holders keep a printed copy of the electronic visa with their passport as a failsafe.
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