Israeli Embassies Can’t Process Visas Due to Staff Shortage

March 17, 2018

Israel suffers from a major skilled labor shortage and therefore, announced in 2015, that it will open doors to non-Israeli techies. But the government hasn’t worked in attracting those techies because the country’s embassies are too understaffed to process visas. In February 2018, the government of Israel announced that it had started a 12-month tech visa that allows experienced foreign tech workers come to the country for as experts.

But the tech visa is active only on the papers the government has enough personnel to approve visa applications. According to an immigration attorney, there is only one manager who approves the application, thereby creating a huge backlog. Hazan specializes in work visas and immigration. He can ask for more money to help applicants get the visa approved, but that doesn’t help anyone. One of Hazan’s clients said that it isn’t good enough to open the doors for hi-tech professional workers and then making applicants wait for two to three months. Israel launched another visa regime on January 1, 2018, that has a validity of 63 months, but it is delayed too.

To be eligible for the second type of visa, applicants have to apply online and are expected to get the visa approved within a few days. There is only one condition, which is that the applicant must be earning at least $5,700 monthly. Spouses can come along with the visa holders on a dependent visa. Eran Shir, CEO, and co-founder, Nexar, said that despite the shortcomings, it is easier to get Israeli work visa than the US H1B visa under Trump’s rule.

A major shortage of tech workers

It is predicted that Israel will face a shortage of 10,000 tech workers in the coming decade and if not fulfilled, might have severe consequences. There are 300 multinational firms and 4,000 startups in Israel, which means there are a lot of vacancies but not enough people to take them up.

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