What is the change? Israel has suspended its 30-day Short Employment Authorization (SEA) pilot program until formal regulations are adopted.

What does the change mean? Employers should use Israel’s 90-day Short Term Expedited Process (STEP) work permit program until further notice.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Short Employment Authorization work permits.
  • Who is affected: Employers who need foreign nationals to work in Israel for short (30 days or less) periods of time.
  • Impact on processing times: The suspension of the SEA program means that employers must rely on the STEP program for short-term work assignments. The application process for STEP work permits takes one to two months.
  • Business impact: The change temporarily eliminates one option employers had for short-term work assignments in Israel.
  • Next steps: The change is effective immediately. Employers should use the STEP program for short-term work assignments.

Background: Israel launched the SEA pilot program one year ago to provide urgent work authorization for foreign employees to help with repairs and other short-term projects. The Ministry of Interior announced on Dec. 23 that it would not accept SEA applications until formal regulations are adopted. No date has been set for the adoption of the regulations, but officials expect it will occur in the near future.

BAL Analysis: The suspension of the SEA program removes one option for employers, although it appears likely the program will be reinstated relatively soon. In the meantime, the STEP program is the best option. Employers should be aware that the STEP application process can take one to two months.

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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