Innovation Visas Program for Foreign Entrepreneurs (Pilot)

The Innovation Visas Pilot program enables foreign entrepreneurs to stay in Israel up to 24 months, during this time they are eligible to receive support from the Innovation Authority under the Tnufa program.

The innovation visa enables foreign entrepreneurs from around the world to develop and formulate their technological initiatives in Israel. This first-of-its-kind program enables foreign entrepreneurs to stay in Israel for a period of up to 24 months during which they can receive support under the Innovation Authority’s ‘Tnufa’ Program.

During their time in Israel the foreign entrepreneurs will be hosted in one out of twelve selected Landing Pads for Foreign Entrepreneurs. These will expose the entrepreneurs to Israel’s innovation ecosystem, provide them with a workspace and technological infrastructure, as well as business and logistic support. Should the project subsequently mature into a company, the foreign entrepreneur will be able to receive an ‘expert visa’ and file a request for support from the Israel Innovation Authority’s different programs. Such further support may allow entrepreneurs to stay in Israel and work on the project as an employee for a period of up to 5 additional years.

About the Program

The State of Israel is a world renowned hub of technological innovation, endowed with a supportive and unique environment of technological entrepreneurship, having an international reputation in the high tech industry, technological entrepreneurship and novelty. So far, entrepreneurs from around the world were not given the opportunity to shape and promote innovative technological projects in this unique eco-system. The contribution of foreign entrepreneurs to the State of Israel is important, allowing, inter alia, exposure to new knowledge and experience in areas that lack in Israel and establishment of new companies in Israel.

To encourage the removal of barriers and to enable foreign entrepreneurs to develop and promote technological projects in Israel, an incentive program, the "Innovation Visas", has launched and shall be operated by the Innovation Authority and the Population Immigration and Boarder Authority at the Ministry of Interior (PIBA), its activity regularized via Innovation Authority's incentive program No. 28.

Foreign entrepreneurs will be able to stay in Israel and receive an Innovation Visa that will allow them to develop and promote their projects within landing pad, for a period of up to two years. Foreign entrepreneurs who opt to establish a company in Israel and be granted an approval in one of the Innovation Authority's incentive programs will be entitled to receive an Expert Visa that will enable the entrepreneur to work in the company for a period of up to 5 years.

The incentive program was made possible through the cooperation between the Innovation Authority and the PIBA, for the purpose of granting Innovation Visas and Expert Visas to foreign entrepreneurs.

Landing Pads

12 approved supportive frameworks were selected, as follows: 

  1. The Tel Aviv Municipality’s Tel Aviv Global - A municipal company in charge of developing Tel Aviv and handling the Tel Aviv Municipality's international accelerator project for urban entrepreneurship. 
  2. Samurai Incubate Inc. – An investment fund and private incubator for technological initiatives in pre-seed and seed stage companies in Japan and Israel. 
  3. TechForGood – An international organization advancing startups that develop innovative technological solutions for global, social and environmental issues. 
  4. The Trendlines Group – A technological incubator that identifies, invests and supports companies developing novel technology in medical equipment, in agriculture and in food technology. 
  5. MATI Haifa – A SME Development Center intended to develop the economy of the city of Haifa by encouraging technological and business entrepreneurship. 
  6. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem – The entrepreneurship center of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem encourages and helps in the establishment of startups in the university and serves as an incubator for initiatives. 
  7. Lighthouse – A shared work space to entrepreneurs who receive support and enrichment on the core issues of establishing and developing an initiative according to the entrepreneur's needs. 
  8. TheHive by Gvahim – A non-profit intended to help higher education immigrants to integrate within the Israeli job market. 
  9. Alon MedTech Ventures – A technological incubator for entrepreneurs and startups in the life sciences field, specifically in the medical devices sector. 
  10. Terralab Ventures – A technological incubator investing in seed stage companies and entrepreneurs, in Cleantech, Medtech and other fields. 
  11. The Kitchen Hub – A technological incubator investing in seed and pre-seed food-tech initiatives in order to face challenges in food production. 
  12. Initech digital product development – an Israeli software house supplying a wide range of technological services. 

Apply Now – Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs from abroad willing to establish a technologically innovative project in Israel are invited to submit an application for the grant of an Innovation Visa.

  • An innovation Visa
    Entrepreneurs from abroad willing to establish a technologically innovative project in Israel are invited to submit an application for the grant of an Innovation Visa.

    An innovation Visa shall enable the entrepreneur to develop a technologically innovative project in Israel, for a period of up to 24 months, with the purpose of establishing an Israeli company. During the development of the technological concept, the entrepreneur will be able to receive support from the Innovation Authority's Tnufa Incentive Program.

    Entrepreneurs who are holding an Innovation Visa may also be granted an Expert Visa by the time the project is already developed and mature enough to receive support through one of the incentive programs of the Innovation Authority. In order to be granted an Expert Visa, the foreign entrepreneur must establish a company and apply for one of the incentive programs at the Innovation Authority.

    Foreign entrepreneurs who opt to establish a company in Israel and granted an approval in one of the Innovation Authority's incentive programs will be entitled to receive an Expert Visa that shall enable the entrepreneur to work in the company he established.

    The foreign entrepreneurs will be hosted within a landing pad, which will offer exposure to israel's Eco-System, working spaces, technological infrastructure as well as business and professional support.

    As part of a call for proposals, 12 Landing Pads will be selected from the first 15 proposals.
     
  • Innovation Visa process
  • Expert Visa process

Israeli Companies

Israeli companies seeking further information on the requirements and application process to this program, should refer to the Israel Innovation Authority's Hebrew site: https://innovationisrael.org.il/program/2856