Visa for Israel
So you are thinking about spending some time in the holy land. Traveled to the area and everlasting sun, fell in love with a kibutz or just feel like staying in your Tel-Aviv apt after the semester ended but you are not sure how? Well, you are not alone. Many ask themselves the same: how to get a visa to Israel? Since it’s not The US, and definitely not the EU, Israel’s immigration policy requires a deeper dig inside. Here’s a comprehensive guide.
Make Aliya: the fast Jewish way
If you have a Jewish mother, or are officialy converted to Judaism you have the born (or acquiered) right to obtain an Israeli passport and become a full citizen of israel by the power of the “Law of Return”. In early days of the small Israeli state, the law was made to encourage the Jews around the world to come and feel comfortable in the young and fast growing country. These days, Israel still has an active immigration policy but the criteria are not as easy as you would think. Never the less, if you are considered Jewish by Israeli law, it would probably be the most welcoming immigration experience in the globe.
Check more about your rights for aliya at the Jewish Agency, or your embassy/consulate.
Obtaining a Tourist/Visitor Visa for Israel
If you are just a normal traveler, taking a tour around the Middle East, making business in Tel Aviv, a camel researcher – whatever – you can stay in Israel with your visa for three months. It may be possible to get an extension to this visa, but you have to apply for it while in Israel.
Some countries are an exception from the need of this short term visa. Among others you could find: Argentina, Australia, Guatamala, Peru, Panama, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, USA and all the EU countries among others. (more info here)
In case you do need a tourist visa, make sure you bring these documents to the Israeli embassy or consulate:
- Valid passport
- Your visa application
- Proof of sufficient financial funds
- A return ticket
- Two passport photographs
Don’t forget the visa fee, and all of the above should do the trick.
Applying for a Work Visa
So you fell in love with a kibbutz, found your dream job on the beach as a bartender or got your dream job in the silicon wadi? – Mazal tov! You still have to get your work visa, as well as work permit.
This is how you do it:
1. Submit your application for a work permit in MOITAL (Ministry of Industry Trade and Labor). It’s very common that your empaleoyer will do it for you. Like in other countries, the HR people have to prove, that no one else could do the job better than you and you are Crème de la crème. Which you are. Once done, the MOITAL will issue the a recommendation that will be used by the Ministary of Immigration.
Having that, you can go there (MOI) and apply for the work visa. While doing that, don’t forget to organise some good local health insurance for the time you stay in israel. It could be a private one, but good chances this would be organised by your employer, too.
Got the recommendation? Great. Start the visa application here:
Don’t forget to take:
- Declaration of good conduct
- Medical exam
- 2 passport photos
- The application itself, full and completed
Be ready for some fingerprints taken from you. It doesn’t hurt much, just a bit.
Hope you got the visa. Be sure to check though, the duration date for which its valid.
Normally you can extend your work visa each year, up to five years in a row. If you have family members, they should get a visa, too, for the time you are here, but not a work permit.
Documents needed for the visa are:
- Full birth certificate
- Marriage certicficate or proof or single status
- Criminal record check from home country (local police dept)
- Passport / ID copies
- Proof of residence (e.g rental agreement)