British citizens don't need a tourist entry visa for Israel: on arrival you are given a three-month leave to stay. However, if you wish to work in Israel you will need to apply for a work visa from the Ministry of the Interior and your Israeli employer needs to apply to the Ministry of Labour. UK-issued work visas must be renewed in Israel. If you're caught without a work visa, it's a serious matter.
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Things you need
- Passport valid for a minimum of six months
- Expertise in a specific field
- Application form for a B1 work visa
- Two passport photos
- Certified medical examination
- Certified fingerprints
- Verified certificate of good conduct
- Credit card or postal order
Check with the Embassy of Israel in London that your qualifications for the work you have been offered meet the Ministry of Interior's requirements. Preference is given to experts and artists and the work visa is issued for a limited period of time. This time frame is unspecified, so again, talk to the embassy before proceeding. You can make enquiries in person or by telephone. (Resource 1)
Supply your Israeli employer with all the relevant documents needed for them to make a work visa application in Israel. The Ministry of Labour will check that you are not taking a job that could have gone to an Israeli citizen. You need to submit your own work visa application in the UK at the same time.
Download work visa application form B/1 from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. The application form is in English and Hebrew and may be filled in in either language.
Consult the consular services at the Israeli embassy for a list of approved medical centres where you can obtain a certified medical examination. Examinations by your own GP are not acceptable. Make sure that the medical covers TB, hepatitis and AIDS as well as general health and that you get copies of all blood test results to accompany your application.
Get a certificate of good conduct. A UK Disclosure and Barring Service check, which looks into criminal records may suffice, but if you have lived outside the UK for more than six months in the five years prior to your application, you may need an additional certificate from other countries you have worked in within that time frame.
Get a fingerprint check done by the UK police authorities if you're applying for certificate of good conduct. The Metropolitan Police has a visa fingerprint service. The website advises that you check the suitability of its service with the visa-issuing embassy before booking an appointment.
Submit your application with payment to the Israeli embassy in London for processing in Israel. Successful applicants receive a 30 day work permit and must then apply for an extension at the Ministry of Interior offices in Israel.
Tips and warnings
- UK citizens of Jewish descent, or converts to Judaism, should investigate the preferential immigration rules provided under the Law of Return.
- Israel prefers to give work permits to people with expertise in a particular field. It doesn't usually issue work visas for unskilled workers.
- Don't forget to apply for visas for other family members if you're taking dependents with you.
- Anyone found working in Israel without a valid work visa will be detained and deported.
- UK citizens studying in Israel are given a student visa: this does not entitle you to work.
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