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How To Apply for a B/1 Short Employment Authorisation (SEA) Work Visa for Israel

On this page, we will explain who the Israel B/1 Short Employment Authorisation (SEA) work visa is for, the eligibility criteria, and the application process. For expert assistance with your immigration matter, contact Reiss Edwards, immigration lawyers and solicitors in London.

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Israel is now a global hub for innovative technology, attracting some of the most skilled and experienced workers from around the world. If you are in a skilled occupation and planning to work for a short period in Israel, one option to consider is the B/1 Short Employment Authorisation (SEA) work visa for Israel. On this page, we will explain who the Israel B/1 Short Employment Authorisation (SEA) work visa is for, the eligibility criteria, and the application process.

What Is The B/1 Short Employment Authorisation (SEA) Work Visa For Israel?

The B/1 Short Employment Authorisation (SEA) visa is a visa category within the Israeli B/1 work visa scheme. This immigration pathway was introduced in 2015 as a means of speeding up the application process for overseas nationals with the expertise required by businesses in Israel. The SEA visa provides foreign nationals with permission to work in Israel for a temporary short-term period of up to 45 days (prior to October 2015, the scheme only gave permission for a stay of up to 30 days). As such, the B/1 SEA work visa is ideal for situations whereby the skills of a foreign national are required urgently in Israel; for example, to install new computers or engineering machinery and to carry out urgent technical repairs).

Who Is Eligible For The B/1 Short Employment Authorisation (SEA) Work Visa For Israel?

In order to be granted a B/1 Short Employment Authorisation (SEA) work visa, applicants must:

  • Have a job offer of short duration (no more than 45 days in one calendar year)
  • Have the skills and experience necessary to fulfil the role
  • Have a post-high school graduate qualification
  • Not pose a threat to the national security of Israel
  • Have a permit approved by the Israeli authorities

The B/1 SEA visa route is only open to nationals of the ~100 countries that are exempt from requiring a visa to enter Israel, including states within the European Union (EU), United States, Japan, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom (see below for the full list of visa-exempt countries). This allows those nationals to enter Israel as a visitor and then apply for their SEA visa once in Israel. Unfortunately, specialists arriving from non-visa-exempt countries are not eligible to apply under this route.

If you are unsure if you are eligible for an SEA visa for Israel or whether this is the best immigration route for your needs, speak to an immigration lawyer who will be able to advise you based on your individual needs and future plans.

How Do I Apply For A B/1 Short Employment Authorisation (SEA) Work Visa For Israel?

The application process for an SEA work visa differs from that of the standard B/1 work visa. The main differences being that your permit will be fast-tracked, and you will not need a B/1 visa to enter Israel. Once you have secured a short-term job offer of no more than 45 days, your employer will first apply to the Work Permit Unit of the Ministry for SEA approval on your behalf.

If the SEA approval is granted, you can then travel to Israel to commence work immediately (it is essential that you do not travel to Israel until you have been granted SEA approval). An application for a B/1 SEA visa can then be submitted once in Israel. The SEA visa application must be lodged within two working days of arrival in Israel. Despite the short duration of the visa, it is possible to request multiple entries to allow you to leave and return during the 45 day period.

Is It Possible To Extend A B/1 Short Employment Authorisation (SEA) Visa In Israel?

Because the B/1 SEA visa is only intended for a short stay of up to 45 days, it is not extendable. If an employer in Israel requires a skilled foreign worker for a longer period, they are required to apply for a new work permit. This can only be done once the calendar year in which the visa is held comes to an end. For example, where an SEA visa has been granted for 45 days in 2021, the employer would need to wait until 1st January 2022 before they can submit a new permit application, and this can only be done when the employee is outside of Israel.

How Much Does It Cost To Apply For A B/1 Work Visa In Israel?

As of 2021, the B/1 work visa application fee is equivalent to EUR44.00 or US$54.00.

How Long Does It Take To Process A B/1 SEA Work Visa?

In most cases, if a well-prepared application is submitted to the Ministry of Interior in Israel for a B/1 Short Employment Authorisation (SEA) visa, it is possible to gain approval within 6 – 10 working days. As such, this is in the region of two months faster than a standard B/1 work visa.

What Are The Visa-Exempt Countries For Israel?

Israel’s visa-exempt countries (i.e. those whose nationals are eligible to apply under the B/1 SEA scheme) include:

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belize
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Central African Republic
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Eswatini
  • European Union countries
  • Fiji
  • Georgia
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Iceland
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Lesotho
  • Liechtenstein
  • Macao
  • Malawi
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Nauru
  • New Zealand
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Palau
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Russia
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Suriname
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Uruguay
  • Vanuatu
  • Vatican City

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