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Dec 07, 2015

Client Update: "Innovation Visas" for Foreign Entrepreneurs

We would like to bring to your attention a new experimental program pursuant to which work permits will be made available to foreign entrepreneurs (the "Program"), which was published under Executive Order No. 8.28 issued by the Ministry of Economy, in coordination with the Interior Ministry’s Population and Immigration Authority (the "Authority").

The Program is a pilot program for a period of three years and will allow foreign entrepreneurs to develop new ideas in Israel; ideas which will assist in the growth of the economy and improvement of Israel's perception in the world. According to the Program, the Office of the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Economy (the "OCS") will provide the Authority with a recommendation to issue an “Innovation Visa” to the relevant entrepreneurs, which will be valid for a period of 24 months and will allow the relevant entrepreneurs to develop new technological initiatives in Israel during the relevant period. Thereafter, the entrepreneur will be eligible to apply for a work visa.
According to the Program, the OCS will publish an announcement, in which it will call for companies to apply for recognition as a sponsoring entity. Since this is an experimental Program, only the first fifteen applications by relevant companies, which will be submitted by a date to be published on the website, will be processed, on a “first come first serve” basis. A startup committee will then examine whether the applying entities meet the threshold requirements for recognition as a sponsoring entity, and will thereafter examine the applying entities, considering criteria such as ”cross-pollination”, physical and technological infrastructure, professional support and added value. Finally, the startup committee will be entitled to approve up to twelve sponsoring entities.

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