What is the change? Israel has introduced an Entrepreneur Visa for businesses that wish to start up in Israel and that will contribute to the country.

What does the change mean? Applications must be approved by the Ministry of Economics before a visa application is submitted. The visa will be valid for up to 27 months and may thereafter be converted to a B-1 Foreign Expert visa sponsored by a qualifying employer.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Entrepreneur (B-2) visas.
  • Who is affected: Entrepreneurs intending to start or develop a business in Israel.
  • Business impact: The visa provides a new option for start-up companies.
  • Next steps: Regulations have been published and applicants may begin applying now.

Background: The Ministry of Interior published regulations for the new visa on Monday. The visa allows entrepreneurs to create or develop their idea or product in Israel, and does not allow work or an employment contract with an Israeli company. The product or idea must be pre-approved by the Office of the Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Economics and must directly or indirectly contribute to the country. If approved, the applicant may apply for an Entrepreneur Visa, which provides the main applicant and family members with multiple entries of one year each and a maximum validity of 27 months. Before the end of the 27 months, the entrepreneur may apply to change his or her status to a B-1 Foreign Expert visa by successfully applying for a work permit through a bona fide sponsoring employer.

BAL Analysis: The new visa is aimed at attracting start-ups to Israel and offers a path to work authorization for qualifying entrepreneurs.

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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