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Moving to Israel

A Comprehensive Guide on Relocating to Israel

In our Israel guide, we give you the necessary steps to relocate to Israel along with all the requirements for moving to Israel. If you are a worker, you will require a B/1 visa to relocate to the country. The only way to move permanently (i.e., as a permanent resident) as an expat is if you are a US investor and have successfully obtained the new B/5 investor visa.

Need to move abroad? Organizing an international relocation is not something you should do on your own. As expats ourselves, we understand what you need, and offer the essential services to help you move and live abroad easily. Contact us to jump start your move abroad!

If you are wondering how to settle in Israel, we have you covered with everything you will need from finding housing, setting up utilities, and more. But how hard is it to take up residence in Israel? For foreigners, actually, it can be extremely difficult unless you are Jewish and plan to immigrate permanently, or you are marrying an Israeli national. Otherwise, residency is not typically granted to foreigners unless you are coming for work. In this case, you will be granted a temporary residence permit (the B/1 work visa).

If you do manage to find a way to stay in the country permanently, we let you know why putting down roots in Israel is a good idea. There are many benefits of living in Israel, especially if you are a young entrepreneur, self-employed, or an investor. For example, did you know that Israel is nicknamed the Start Up Nation of the world? It is the perfect place to start a business, should you have sufficient funds and the business savvy to do so. Other things to know when going to Israel is what to pack. Ladies will want to be extra mindful to pack modest clothing for the numerous religious sites found around the country.

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relocating

Relocating

The process of moving to Israel can be complex, but with the help of this section, your expat adventure will get started in the best possible way. We have you covered with information on storing your household goods as well as the health requirements for Israel. For example, while there are no vaccinations required for Israel, some are recommended anyway by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, such as the shots for hepatitis A and B. If you are immigrating to Israel and require a work visa, you will be subject to a medical exam which includes a blood test and normal test results for AIDS, tuberculosis, and hepatitis.

Moving and shipping your household goods to Israel is possible via ship or air. Keep in mind that customs allows you to bring your household items in up to a total of three shipments. Shipments must arrive within three years of your date of entry. You will want to keep a detailed list for customs of everything you are bringing into the country, along with receipts.

Female expats will want to think carefully about the items of clothing they pack and bring into the Middle Eastern country. They need outfits that cover their legs, neck, and shoulders for certain religious sites in the Holy Land.

If you are moving to Israel with pets, make sure that they are microchipped, vaccinated, and have their health certificates. For puppies or kittens, they will need to be at least four months old (and vaccinated) to enter the country. If they are coming from Oceania, Britain, Japan, or Cyprus, they can enter Israel at three months but must be vaccinated within five days of entry. Bear in mind that certain dog breeds will require permission to enter the country and an import license, along with additional requirements such as the American Staff Bull Terrier, Bull Terrier, Dogo Argentino, Japanese Tosa, Pit Bull Terrier, Brazilian Fila, Rottweiler, and others.

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Visas & Work Permits

If you are wondering how to get an Israeli visa, you will first need a valid reason for relocating to the country such as for work, studies, or if you are planning to move there permanently. For professional expats, we cover the B/1 work visa in this section and Israel’s visa types under this category. Israel’s visa requirements for the B/1 work visa will typically include passing a medical exam and approval from the Ministry of Interior, depending on your line of work. Israel’s visa application processing time will also vary depending on your job type. Keep in mind it can take up to as long as three months. Be aware that Israel’s visa costs include a submission fee of 1,190 NIS (337 USD).

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housing

Housing

Accommodation in Israel can be found using online portals, newspapers, word of mouth, or real estate agents. Types of houses include duplexes, medurags, or apartments, which is the most common type of housing in Israel. If you are asking yourself how to rent a house in Israel, it is most advisable to wait until you are actually in the country. This way you have the opportunity to visit places in person. Rental contracts in Israel are usually for a full year, but this can be negotiated with the landlord. The average rent in Tel Aviv for a three-bedroom apartment is 5,500 ILS (1,551 USD).

If you are wondering how to buy a house in Israel as a foreigner, know that you can do so. You will, however, be required to pay a purchase tax, which is usually higher for non-residents. Average house prices in the Middle Eastern country range depending on the home and city in which you choose to settle. The most expensive city is Tel Aviv with an approximate cost for a home being 2,176,700 ILS (617,780 USD).

Once you have settled into your new home in the Middle Eastern country, utilities in Israel are simple enough to set up. To set up gas, electricity, or water you will usually need your lease, credit card information, and ID.

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healthcare

Healthcare

The healthcare system and health insurance in Israel offer high-quality service to its patients. Israel’s healthcare system is universal and mandatory for Israelis to join one of the four not-for-profit health funds. Contrarily, supplementary and private health insurance is optional. They cover medicines not covered under the public scheme and a more extensive range of surgeries, therapies, and more. In comparison to other countries, private health insurance here is relatively inexpensive.

The Ministry of Health makes it easy if you are wondering how to find a doctor in the country. They offer a database of licensed doctors in the country including therapists, dentists, and other medical professionals.

Giving birth in Israel as a non-resident entitles your child to some benefits. This can include certain health, social, and educational allowances for your child. Keep in mind, however, that the only way your child can get citizenship is if at least one parent is Israeli.

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Banks & Taxes

Opening a bank account in Israel is easier to do once you have actually entered the country. In some cases, you may be able to open a bank account online while still abroad, but you will still most likely be required to do a video call with someone from the branch.

The best banks in Israel are Hapoalim and Leumi. They own 60% of the market. Non-resident bank accounts in Israel are offered and these accounts have their advantages. However, to be eligible for one of these accounts, you will need to prove that you still have ties abroad in your home country.

How much is tax in Israel? Brace yourself because they are pretty high. The Holy Land has one of the highest tax rates in the world. If you earn more than 649,560 ILS (185,758 USD), half of this will go to taxes.

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education

Education

Some of the best international schools in Israel include the Anglican International School in Jerusalem, the Walworth Barbour American International School, along with several others. However, be ready to pay tuition fees if you decide to enroll your child in one of these international schools. For example, tuition fees for the Jerusalem American International School can be in the range of 27,000–62,000 ILS (7,768–17,837 USD) annually.

The best schools in the country for primary and secondary school students include Tel Hai, Hasharon, and Hebrew University High School. The education system is divided into three tiers: primary, middle, and high school. The school system in Israel mandates that students attend school until at least grade twelve.

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working

Working

Work in Israel is absolutely lucrative and booming, particularly if you can find work in the high tech and economy fields. If you are wondering how to get a job in Israel, the best thing you can do is update your CV and cover letter to match the standards and expectations of Israeli employers. For example, did you know that in Israel, a cover letter should not be longer than five sentences? Israeli’s are straightforward, so the shorter your CV and cover letter are, the better.

Israeli self-employment will require you register at three different offices: Value Added Tax, Income Tax Authorities, and the National Insurance Institute. Registration at the last office ensures that you are making your Israeli social security contributions, which will be determined based on your expected turnover. The average salary in this country is 10,780 ILS (3,087 USD) monthly.

Business culture in Israel can be shocking for a lot of expats. Dress codes are less formal than one might expect for business settings. Meetings seem chaotic with phones ringing, people snacking while talking, and drinking coffee. Nevertheless, it is a great country for working and learning.

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country-facts

Country Facts

The cost of living in Israel is high. In the 2019 Mercer’s Cost of Living Survey, it ranks at number 15. We give you an overview of rental prices, utility costs, education tuition fees, and much more, so you know what to save for when going to Israel.

Driving in Israel may come as a shock to many expats. It can be quite the stressful experience. There is traffic, lots of honking and yelling, and aggressive driving is not uncommon. You can drive with a foreign driver’s license in this country for one year. If you are planning on staying in the Holy Land for longer, you will have to convert your foreign driver’s license for an Israeli one.

Public transportation in Israel is easier and simpler to use and navigate if you obtain a Rav-Kav smart card. This is a rechargeable card that you will be able to use on buses and trains around Israel. Cards are issued free of charge and can easily be ordered online.

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Updated on: October 14, 2019
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