ISRAEL – Increased On-Site Immigration Audits
The OZ (foreign employees) unit of the police have been conducting significantly increased audits of work places in the southern region of Israel in recent months, and have ordered more than 220 deportations of foreign employees found to be working without the correct visa since the start of the year.
The audits are carried out without any warning or notification to the companies involved, and have been conducted at well-known multinational corporations. The auditors have been arriving at the work sites equipped with detailed information about the company and its employees and also have arrived with buses, ready to remove illegal workers directly to detention centres. Workers have been interviewed by the offices and those found working without the correct B-1 work visas are removed immediately and given 48 hours to leave Israel. The majority of deported employees so far have been Irish, U.S., Korean and Japanese nationals.
Implications for Employees and Companies
Deported employees will require additional approval to enter Israel again in the future and, of course, being deported from one company has an immediate negative impact on an individual’s immigration history and ability to make successful applications to be admitted to any country.
Criminal charges are expected to be raised against the companies and managers involved. The site owners in Israel are responsible for the legality of work conducted by employees, contractors and sub-contractors and OZ is stressing this fact at the moment.
Follow up investigation is expected to be conducted by other units of the Ministry of Interior, to ensure full compliance with labour law requirements (for example, such as salaries at least double the average, pay for overtime, valid legal contracts in a language comprehensible by the individuals, valid legal housing conditions, valid legal medical insurance etc.)
Note that increased on-site inspections are being carried out by the OZ. Make sure that your company:
- Has an updated, written policy regarding immigration compliance and that managers understand and adhere to this policy
- Ensures that business travelers visiting Israel, particularly those visiting for more than one week, are not conducting any work in Israel
- Reviews the legality of all contractors and sub-contractors working onsite at your premises in Israel