Israel’s Business VIP travel concession
Due to COVID-19 pandemic, Israel has been forced to go into two national lockdowns to control the spread of the virus. During this time, restrictions have been implemented across the country, both on civilian life and individuals wishing to travel into Israel but have been unable to because of the closure of its borders.
Strictly speaking, Israel’s borders remain closed, but a limited number of individuals have been permitted entry into the country whilst in lockdown. This was allowed for those considered as ‘foreign experts’ who were required to work in the building and transport sector and join in the completion of large-scale projects in the energy sector. The intention behind this was to guarantee the generation of some business and economic activity meanwhile the country came to a standstill.
As of recent developments, the Israeli government has decided to extend this intention to certain business visitors and companies, known as the Business VIP regulation.
The Business VIP regulation
This regulation is a temporary stay concession for business visitors. It permits business individuals and corporations to enter and conduct business meetings in Israel for a maximum period of 7 days.
Within these business meetings, business individuals can only carry out ‘authorised’ activities. These must be based on reasons such as:
- Transferring certain knowledge to other parties
- Supporting the continuity of their business and activities
- Raising points on business development and sustaining, even encouraging, foreign investment into Israel
- Monitoring compliance on company obligations, operations and sales and marketing procedures
Business individuals, namely ‘Business VIPs’ for the purposes of this regulation, must comply with certain obligations if they wish to qualify for this temporary visit concession to enter Israel. Therefore, Business VIPs must meet the following requirements:
- They must travel from green countries only. If they have been in a red country for 14 days prior to the date of intended travel into Israel, they will not be permitted entry. This does not include circumstances where they have stayed in an airport terminal in a red country for up to 12 hours within this 14-day period.
- They complete an online application form, declaring their purpose of travel is solely for business purposes. This cannot be combined with other reasons, such as tourism, visiting family members and so forth.
- They must provide
physical, detailed, and reasoned evidence outlining their travel plans to and
whilst they are in Israel. This must be submitted on behalf of the company they
work for and include information such as:
i) their accommodation in Israel
ii) reasons for needing to conduct physical and face-to-face business meetings instead of carrying them out online via video conferencing platforms, e.g Zoom.
iii) the business activities they will conduct during their stay
iv) reasons for traveling into Israel, as long as they are for business purposes only.
- They adhere to the Health obligations stipulated by the Israeli Ministry of Health throughout the duration of their stay. This includes wearing a facemask in public settings and maintaining social distancing
- They can demonstrate evidence that they have their own medical insurance which covers the treatment of COVID-19. They will be required to show this to Israeli officials upon arrival.
Applicants are advised to make their applications at a minimum of 10 days ahead of the date they plan on travelling to Israel.
Should you have any queries regarding the above information or if you require legal assistance with your corporate immigration matters, please get in touch with a professional at Hudson McKenzie via email at email@example.com or by telephone +44(0) 20 3318 5794.