ISRAEL: Clarification – Short-Term Employment Authorisation (SEA) Cannot Be Obtained Post Arrival

April 26, 2017

The Work Permit Unit of the Ministry of Interior has clarified this week that any application for short-term employment authorisation (SEA) for up to 45 days with a B-1 work visa must be submitted and approved before the applicant travels to Israel.

Any application submitted for a SEA B-1 work visa for up to 45 days for a foreign national who is already in Israel with a B-2 (tourist) visa, will be rejected automatically, and the government submission fees for the application will not be returned.

The clarification was made due to the high volume of applications that were submitted for foreign nationals already in Israel.


Any productive work to be done in Israel (including, but not limited to: hands on tools, hands on job, installation work, providing active guidance, inspections, management of work, repair work, supervision or consultancy etc.), regardless of the length of stay or location of the payroll, require a work visa prior to entry.

The SEA program allows for work activities in Israel for up to 45 days in a calendar year, with expedited work permit approval. SEA holders can travel to Israel with the SEA approval, start work immediately and obtain their work visa post arrival.

The SEA permit applies only to visa waiver nationals. Individuals who are required to obtain visitor visas at the Israeli consulate prior to entry cannot apply for work authorisation under the SEA programme.

Our advice

Employers sending visa waiver nationals to work in Israel for up to 45 days on the B-1 SEA fast-track route should ensure that the assignee does not travel to Israel before SEA approval has been obtained.

For further advice on Israeli immigration, please email us at [email protected].