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Introducing the Business/Visitor Immigration Process (“Business VIP”)

As predicted by KTA last week, the Ministry of Economics, Health and Interior issued a regulation that allows business visitors to enter Israel during the COVID -19 pandemic.

Israel’s borders have been closed to tourists and business visitors since March of this year due to the pandemic. Only a limited number of foreign experts have been allowed entry during this period for employment purposes to ensure business continuity. 

Specifically, these foreign experts were needed for building and transport, and operation and maintenance of heavy machinery as a part of large scale projects in the energy sector (electricity production and off shore gas and oil works).

The Business VIP regulation 

The new regulation allows Israeli companies to invite business VIPs from green countries. The entry will be limited to 7 days for business meetings. 

The new regulation does not yet provide an option for a business VIP who has been in a RED country in the last 14 days. The regulation provides that a stay of up to12 hours in an airline terminal of a country considered 'Red', without leaving the premises of the terminal, is not considered a “stay” in a Red country for purposes of this application. 

Authorized activities within the business meeting:

1. Transfer of knowledge

2. Support of business continuity

3. Business development and maintaining foreign investments in Israel

4. Sales and Marketing. Company and Business VIP obligations

Company and Business VIP obligations 

Under the process, the company needs to provide detailed information such as the necessity for travel, place of expected stay in Israel, activities of the VIP in Israel, the need for a physical visit-in-country(rather than online meetings), etc.

The business VIP will need to complete an online application, stating that  The visit to Israel is for business purposes only (no work will be allowed, such as “hand on the job”, “hands-on tools” etc.) The visit will be for a maximum of 7 days, and that during the entire stay in Israel he/she will fully abide by the health guidelines as provided by the Israeli Ministry of Health, such as wearing a face mask in the public space and keeping social distancing.

Upon entry, the business VIP will have to present to the border control authorities a medical insurance policy which covers COVID-19 treatment. 

Timeline and process The new regulation does not set an official timeline for the process, but KTA recommends applying at least 7 days before expected travel.

Kan-Tor & Acco will continue to provide updates through these client alerts. Please also see our dedicated COVID – 19 that provides additional information regarding the process and designation of RED and GREEN countries.

H-1B; H-2B; L-1 and J-1 workers gained a new window of opportunity to enter the US! 

As a result of a US Federal Court’s injunction H-1B; H-2B; L-1 and J-1 visitors who are members of the US Chamber of Commerce will now be allowed entry to the US despite the Presidential proclamation.  

Is it now possible to undergo Embassy visa processing ? 

The U.S. Embassy Jerusalem and Tel Aviv branch, as most other consular posts across the world, are still not providing routine visa services due to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic.

While the Department of State announced that any J-1, H-1B, H-2B, or L-1 applicant whose petitioner/sponsor is a member of the US Chamber of Commerce will be able to schedule the visa interview, appointments are continuously postponed.

The alternative is to qualify for an “emergency appointment”. Emergencies as defined by the Embassy are:
  • · Life-threatening medical emergencies that require treatment at a U.S. medical facility.
  • · Visits to gravely ill/dying relatives in the United States or the death of an immediate relative,
However it may be possible to obtain a visa appointment if the visa applicant meets any of the following criteria:
  • · Are critical to the defense, law enforcement, diplomacy or national security of the U.S.
  • · Will provide medical care to hospitalized COVID-19 patients
  • · Will perform medical research to combat COVID-19
  • · Are necessary to facilitate the immediate and continued recovery of the U.S.

USCIS to Increase Premium Processing Fees Starting October 19, 2020

The cost to premium process petitions will increase to $2,500 from $1,440, beginning Monday, October 19, 2020.

The increase will only apply to cases currently eligible for premium processing, including H and L petitions and certain green card petitions (EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3).

The increase will only apply to cases currently eligible for premium processing, including H and L petitions and certain green card petitions (EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3). Though the new legislation refers to expanding the premium processing program to other visa types, USCIS has not disclosed when it plans to implement the expansion

Best Regards,


Amit Acco, Partner and Cindy Azoulay, Partner


Global Site: 

Disclaimer: The content herein is provided for information purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice. Readers are advised not act upon the contained information without professional advice. No portion of this newsletter may be reproduced without express permission. © Kan-Tor & Acco law firm

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