What is the change? The Ministry of Interior’s work permit unit said this week that applications for short-term employment authorization, or SEA, permits for foreign nationals already in Israel will be automatically denied.

What does the change mean? Companies must apply for SEA permits before the foreign national seeking short-term work authorization travels to Israel.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: SEA permits.
  • Who is affected: Companies and foreign nationals performing short-term work assignments (45 days or less) in Israel.
  • Impact on processing times: The change makes it clear that traveling to Israel before obtaining an SEA permit is not an option for those seeking short-term work authorization. That said, SEA permits do not take long to obtain. Processing is normally complete within seven business days.

Background: Officials issued the clarification about the SEA permit process after receiving a high number of applications for short-term work authorization on behalf of foreign nationals already in Israel. The work permit unit clarified that such applications will be automatically denied and that the filing fee will not be returned.

BAL Analysis: Businesses should take note of the clarification and plan accordingly. While traveling to Israel prior to obtaining an SEA permit is not an option for those seeking short-term work authorization, SEA permits can be obtained relatively quickly and remain a good option for companies in need of short-term work from a qualifying foreign national.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Israel. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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