On Oct. 15, 2013, the Chamber and the law offices of Kan-Tor Acco, held a seminar on "Stricter Enforcement against Israeli Companies that Employ Foreign Experts and Workers – Illegally.'
The seminar featured Yoel Lipovetzky, deputy manager of the population and immigration authority responsible for work permits; Amos Atia, southern district manager at the enforcement agency at the population and immigration authority and Advocate Amit Acco of Kan-Tor Acco, Members of the Chamber. Advocate Tsvi Kan-Tor, chairman of the Chamber visas committee, chaired the conference. Chamber Executive Director Ronit Benbasat Rom, past VP for HR in a number of Israel, American and multinational companies, emphasized in her opening words the importance of increasing the awareness of companies of obtaining employment visas for the foreign experts they employ, avoiding the pitfalls associated with employing experts without visas.
With more than 60 HR managers and CEOs in attendance, the emphasis was placed on the intention of Interior Ministry officials to enforce the law more rigorously than before, with no concessions provided to companies found employing foreign experts possessing only tourist visas. Ministry officials noted the ongoing increase, over recent years, of foreign experts arriving in Israel as tourists, without an employment visa, usually on behalf of leading Israeli and international companies. As a result, the population and immigration authority has notably increased, recently, awareness and enforcement among Israeli companies that employ foreign workers without the required documents. Most experts are employed in the infrastructure fields – gas, oil and heavy engineering – as part of the multinational hi-tech companies.
According to Advocate Amit Acco, a partner at Kan-Tor & Acco: "The process of providing a work permit to foreign experts has become significantly faster and is more likely to be provided, providing proof of a real need of the specific foreign employee in Israel."
Advocate Tsvi Kan-Tor, chairman of the Chamber visas committee, noted that "the Chamber visa committee is in close contact with representatives of the population and immigration authority to update the laws to conform to current reality, including the maximum time period allowed – 63 months – and creating a procedure that would allow foreign workers to arrive for a few days at short notice."