Israel launches a startup visa programme to simplify immigration for foreign tech entrepreneurs and investors.
Visas to bring more innovators to Israel
Called ‘Innovation Visas for Foreign Entrepreneurs’, the visa scheme will grant 2 year visas to foreign entrepreneurs, investors and foreign professional who can show that their tech business, startup or company will economically contribute to the prosperity of Israel.
A first batch of close to 50 so-called “innovation visas” will be granted soon. Twelve established companies will be the first beneficiaries of the visas for foreign professionals. Meanwhile, the program expands to allow visa holders the ability to set up new firms later.
However, reading through the details, the manner in which the Israeli government is awarding the visa sounds a little obscure and cumbersome:
“An open call will be put out to Israeli companies to apply to use the visas for its future workers. Then, only 12 companies will be selected both by the Immigration Authority and the Office of the Chief Scientist. At that point, there will then be an open call to American companies who wish to set up shop in Israel to apply for the visas. There is no indication how many visas will be allocated per company.”
- Source: GeekTimes.com, Oct 20th 2015 – Israel introduces ‘innovation visas’ for startups to make foreign hires
After the two years, visa holders will be eligible to apply for an ‘Expert Visa’ in the hope of staying indefinitely. The expert visa will make them eligible for some support grants and programs.
Israel is the 15th country in the world to develop an official startup visa route after Taiwan and France (the French Tech Ticket) announced the launch of their own scheme this summer 2015.