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An Innovative Approach by the Israeli Government

The State of Israel recently launched a new type of visa called the “Innovation Visa Program”, which is a joint project of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Interior which is the State agency that issues visas to Israel. This visa program might be of interest as it is specifically introduced for entrepreneurs who are interested in technological innovations and starting their own company in Israel. 

The innovation visa will offer foreign entrepreneurs in the technological field a type of visa called the “B/2 Innovation Visa” which will allow them to stay in Israel for a period of 24 months. This will not be the same as the B/2 tourist visa to Israel. During the foreign entrepreneurs’ stay they can receive support from the Tnufa Program to help develop their innovative idea.

During this time, the foreign entrepreneur is required to start an innovative company in Israel. This company will be established and developed with the professional support and logistic assistance of the Israeli Innovation Authority.  If the Start-up 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) after attaining relevant approval from the Innovation Authority. The work visa will grant the foreign entrepreneur the possibility to work and reside in Israel for a longer duration, in order to give him time to further develop the company. 

The primary purpose of the Israeli Innovation Visa Program is to inspire foreign entrepreneurs to work and develop start-up companies in Israel. To achieve this goal, the Israeli government has provided funds and support to assist these foreign entrepreneurs. The innovation visa program is a limited experimental project, and will be granted to only 12 new applicants in 2017. 

Resource (accessed on July 31, 2017): http://innovation-visa.org.il/en/

Manizeh Mistry, Deputy Head – Global Immigration