What You Need To Know About The "Special Visa"
For the last couple of months, iSavta receives numerous inquiries about the true or real status of those who are applying or currently having a special humanitarian visa. We were eager to reply and help but we didn't want to convey wrong information which was not confirmed by proper authorities or organizations but based only on hearsay and relayed information from the mouth of one caregiver to another.
As we did our own research and queries, we found out that there was no definite fact about the special humanitarian visa status since the new law was not yet implemented and was still subject to change. Rumors of different kind fell back to our face and we decided to hold this article to be published later on when we already gathered most of the truth and real facts about the law on special humanitarian visa.
Now is probably the right time for us to publish this because we are already 98% sure of our gathered facts. However, we are still giving out the 2% for possible inaccuracy in our information. We suggest our members to make their own personal research about this issue, particularly those who are directly involved or those who are currently holding a special humanitarian visa.
The information we gathered is mostly from Kav LaOved, a non-profit organization which aims to protect the rights of the most disadvantaged workers in Israel, addressing violations through individual assistance, advocacy, outreach and more. Information from Kav LaOved is significantly correct since they are working directly or indirectly with Misrad Hapnim's jurisdiction and they have legitimate lawyers who are experts on migration law of Israel.This was posted on Kav LaOved's official page last January 30, 2014.
Guidelines from the Interior Ministry to employers who applied for a visa on humanitarian grounds for caregivers who are in Israel for more than 53 months:NOTE: These guidelines are for employers who applied for the caregiver BEFORE January 12, 2014.
As of February 5, 2014, Kav LaOved posted this regulation on their official page:
- The employer and caregiver must Immediately contact one of the manpower agencies for caregivers and register.
- The agency will send a social worker to the employer's house and verify the employment under the law and procedures of the Ministry of Interior, the agency will fill out a form of request signed by the agency's manager.
- The employer should verify that the agency send the form, along with the employer's request to register with the agency, to the Ministry of Interior.
- If the application meets the necessary conditions, the employer will be notified on the approval by the agency. The employer and caregiver should go to "Misrad Hapnim" to arrange a visa for the caregiver.
- The visa is valid as long as the caregiver is employed by the same employer.
- After termination of employment, the caregiver must leave the country within 60 days.
- All visas must be issued until APRIL 30, 2014.
- In case of rejection, the caregiver must leave the country within 60 days of rejection.
Regulation for visa for Caregivers for Special Humanitarian Reasons ("Special Visa")The new regulation applies on requests sent after AFTER January 12, 2014Conditions and Requirements for Extending Visas:
Documents from the Employer:
- The conditions for submitting a request in accordance with the regulation are that the person being taken care of by the caregiver (Hereon:the employer/patient) must have an employment permit which is, a) active,b) not being used by another caregiver,and c) valid for the employment of foreign workers in the caregiving sector.
- The request should be submitted through the original request form only, and should be signed by the employer/patient, an immediate family member, or the employer's legal executor.
Documents from the worker:
- A letter explaining the reason for extending the license must be attached to the request and signed by the employer/patient, an immediate family member, or the employer's legal executor. The letter must explain the exceptional humanitarian reasons that make the employer in need of care from the foreign worker, and should include documents which support such a claim.
- A professional opinion in writing by i) a certified doctor, or ii)a certified nurse, or iii) a social worker of the local authority where the employer resides, should be included to the claim in writing which shows that terminating the employment of the foreign worker in a caregiving capacity will cause significant damage to the employer/patient.
- One must attach a letter signed by the doctor who cares for the employer/patient to the request. The letter must explain the medical history of the employer/patient and his/her current medical situation.
- A consent form in which the employer/patient gives up his/her right to medical privacy must be attached to the request, either by the employer/patient his/herself or by his/her legal executor.
One must attach a declaration by the foreign worker, signed by a lawyer if the worker understands English or Hebrew. If in another language, the document's translation must be signed by a notary, which states:
Causes for Denial of Request
- The worker agrees to the request of the employer/patient for the exceptional extension of his/her visa.
- The worker understands that if he decides to renege on his/her agreement to the request, it is the worker's responsibility to leave Israel, and that a request for another employer will not be granted.
- The worker understands that if the request is denied, it is the worker's responsibility to leave Israel,and that he will not be allowed to be included in the request of another employer/patient.
- The worker understands that if the request is accepted, it is the worker's responsibility to work only for the employer/patient who requested the extension, and that at the end of his/her employment, it is the worker's responsibility to leave Israel.
- The worker agrees that the details of his previous employment in Israel, as they appear in the system of the Immigration Authority, will be brought to knowledge of the employer/patient if needed.
- The declaration should detail the worker's family situation both in and outside of Israel, and that the worker commits to notifying the Immigration Authority regarding any change to such situation.
- A signed permission from a certified doctor must be attached to the request, with the doctor's name and professional license number, that the worker is healthy and fit for work in the caregiving sector and for the employer/patient who submitted the request. It must further clarify that the worker is not sick with multiple illnesses, in accordance with the 1991 Foreign Workers Law.
- If the employer/patient does not have permission of employment that is valid, active, and unoccupied by another foreign worker.
- If the worker which the employer/patient wants to extend a license for did not enter Israel with a valid permit and worked with B/1 visa in the caregiving sector.
- If the worker already had a "special visa" for another employer before.
- If the request was submitted without the necessary documents.
As a rule, a request that was submitted before this regulation will not be accepted, even if it satisfies the conditions specified above, if one of the following circumstances is found:
The Decision of the Minister of the Interior
- If the worker is in Israel for more than 7 years. The only exception is in cases where the employer/patient is disabled with a"Bituach Leumi" benefit of the maximum level - 175%.
- If another employer already requested a "special visa" for this worker.
- If there was a expulsion decree against the foreign worker, if a decision was made by a certified government worker or a judicial proceeding demanding the worker leaves Israel.
- If the foreign worker is employed in a sector that is not the caregiving sector.
- If the foreign worker submitted a request for a different visa in Israel (refugee, marriage or partnership with an Israeli) or requested a humanitarian visa for medical reasons.
- If the relationship between the employer and the worker stopped following the worker being outside of Israel for a period of more than 3 months.
The forms to be submitted by the employer to the Humanitarian Committee in the Ministry of Interior (by fax or email) can be found in the following link: http://www.piba.gov.il/Regulations/5.3.0006.pdf
- Following deliberation of the request, the advisory committee's recommendation is forward to the Minister of the Interior.
- After the Minister of the Interior makes a decision, a letter will be sent to the current address of the employer/patient either by the minster or by someone authorized on the minister's behalf. If the request is denied, it will be detailed in the letter that the foreign worker must leave the country within 30 days. A copy of the denial letter will be sent to the immigration police, and the denial will also be updated in the system of the Immigration Authority.
- If the request is accepted, the employer/patient must register through one of the manpower agencies in the caregiving field within 45 days of receiving notification of the permit, and must issue a visa in Misrad Hapnim (Interior Ministry).
Though the articles written above are precise and detailed, we decided to include some of the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) that we encountered both in the comment section of our page as well as on Kav LaOved's page.1. Is it possible for a caregiver with Special Humanitarian Visa to go home to his/her country and take a vacation leave?Answer:
Yes. It is possible to take a vacation leave with the consent of the employer, to get re-entry stamp in your passport, especially in cases of any emergency at home. You should take with you a copy of the "special visa" letter, and your employer's consent letter to the Misrad Hapnim. (Note: iSavta is not sure about this since the new regulation now is implemented by Misrad Hafnim. Please confirm with Kav LaOved or Misrad Hapnim
)2. Is it possible for a caregiver to have a Special Humanitarian Visa if he/she's in Israel for more than 7 years?Answer:
It is almost impossible for a caregiver to have a Special Humanitarian Visa is he/she's here in Israel for more than 7 years. The only exception is in cases where the employer/patient is disabled with a"Bituach Leumi" benefit of the maximum level - 175%3. Is it possible for a caregiver/employer to request another Special Humanitarian Visa after being denied or if they already have a previous Special Visa? (Eg: The employer died or the caregiver left the previous job with special visa due to any reason)Answer:
The Special Humanitarian Visa can be requested only once both by Employer and Caregiver. Once denied, you can no longer request for another and the caregiver must leave the country within a certain period that the law requires.4. Is it necessary to register the caregiver to a legitimate manpower agency?Answer:
Based on the regulation, If the request is accepted, the employer/patient must register through one of the manpower agencies in the caregiving field within 45 days of receiving notification of the permit, and must issue a visa in Misrad Hapnim (Interior Ministry).5. What is the difference between the regulations implemented from last year (2013) and this year (2014)?Answer
: There is a huge significant difference between the regulations implemented. Please refer to the Articles written above. There are regulations for caregivers who applied for Humanitarian Special Visa BEFORE January 12, 2014
and there are regulations to be followed by those who submitted their application AFTER January 12, 2014
. Please be guided accordingly.
AGAIN, iSavta eagerly suggests that you have to do your own inquiries either through Kav LaOved, your manpower agency where you are registered or Misrad Hapnim. All laws implemented are subject to change and until now, although definite, the Misrad Hapnim and the government of Israel has all the right to change the law without further deliberation from outside organizations. Therefore, if you want to stay in Israel legally, one must comply with the rules and regulations and submit the necessary documents requested by Misrad Hapnim.
Good luck and More Power.