New Innovation Visa to Israel

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The State of Israel has launched a new type of visa to Israel called the innovation visa program, which is a joint project of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Interior (Misrad Hapnim which is the State agency that issues visas to Israel). This visa program might be of interest to entrepreneurs who love Israel and would like to live and develop their Startup Company in the Holy Land.   

Israel has been called the Startup Nation. Different types of innovative technology were invented here. This is the reason that the Ministry of Finance – department of National Innovation, together with the Ministry of Interior, established an experimental project to issue a new visa type – the “Innovation visa”. The purpose of this visa program is to encourage new technological entrepreneurs to come develop their idea in Israel.

What does the innovation visa program have to offer?

The innovation visa offers foreign entrepreneurs in the technological field a type of visa called the “B/2 Innovation Visa”. This is of course not the same as the B/2 tourist visa to Israel. The B/2 innovation visa allows the visa holder to stay in Israel for up to 2 years.

During this time the foreign entrepreneur is required to start an innovative company in Israel. This company is established and developed with the professional support and logistic assistance of the Israeli Innovation Authority. If the Startup Company is a success and shows prospects for further development into the production stage, the foreign entrepreneur may apply for a foreign expert visa (called a B/1 work Visa). The work visa will grant the foreign entrepreneur the possibility to work and reside in Israel for a longer period of time, in order to give him time to further develop the company.

Israeli innovation Visa program – who is the target audience?

The purpose of the Israeli Innovation Visa Program is first of all to inspire entrepreneurs from abroad to work and develop startup companies here in Israel. In order to achieve this goal, the Israeli government has provided funds and support which will assist these foreign entrepreneurs. The innovation visa program is a limited experimental project, therefore only twelve new applicants will be granted during 2017.

What are the basic requirements for the Innovation Visa Program?

The Israeli Authority for Innovation has set out some basic requirements for those wishing to participate in this program:

First of all, this visa program is not open for Israelis, only foreign national may apply. Second, the foreign entrepreneur must have an innovative idea for a Startup company who is seeking support to develop the project. Third, the entrepreneur must have at least two year of experience in the field of the idea he is seeking to develop. Fourth, the entrepreneur must submit a detailed business plan explaining the idea and its development.  

Applications may be submitted until March 26, 2017.

Issuing the visa by the Ministry of Interior for foreign innovators

After the Israeli Authority of Innovation has approved the application, the foreign entrepreneur may apply to the Ministry of Interior department of Immigration for the actual visa which is stamped in the passport. The length of visa depends on the project’s development.  

More information on the Israeli Innovation Visa can be found on the website of the Israeli Innovation Authority.

Please contact us in you have any questions on the Israeli innovation visa program.  

Cohen, Decker, Pex & Brosh – Law Offices