Relocating to sunny Tel-Aviv has become an attractive option for young professionals both of Jewish and non-Jewish faith in the last few years, especially now that Covid has turned a lot of jobs remote. And what isn’t there to love? Gorgeous beaches, great food and a bustling nightlife scene only encapsulates a fraction of what this lively city has to offer. Also, Israel isn’t called the “Start Up Nation” for no reason; there are many job opportunities in the tech sector where speaking English is a job requirement.
We’ve written these blogs about moving to and living in Israel which you may enjoy.
And now let’s get into the blog!
Relocating to Tel-Aviv
Take it from a former Tel-Avivian; relocating can be scary and confusing, especially to a different country. Do not fret, everyone here speaks close to perfect English; but to help you navigate your impending move, here are must-know tips on moving to Tel-Aviv:
#1 Get all Your Docs in Order
Before your move, in order to make things easier when dealing with Israeli bureaucracy, these are some basic documents you will need to access. I suggest scanning all documents and keeping them in a Google Drive file for easy access:
- Notarized birth certificate (this is essential for certain visas, including work visas)
- If applicable; a notarized marriage license
- If applicable, your foreign driver’s license
- Social Security number
- Any relevant medical records
#2 The Visa Question
Now comes the tricky part about relocating to Tel-Aviv. When considering your move to Israel, the type of visa one seeks is a necessary question. Non-Israeli citizens receive a 90-day tourist visa upon arrival, which is valid for three months. This gives you enough time to get your visa in order. While there are many different types of visas, we will focus on two of the most relevant, as they allow you to Work in Israel:
Immigration Visa– This type of visa is applicable to Jewish expats, any person of Jewish faith can exercise their “Right of Return” and make “Aliya” to Israel, making them eligible for citizenship. Making “Aliyah” promises many incentives for the returnee, or “Oleh”, which include but are not limited to: financial assistance of up to $5,500 per person, rent subsidy, tax breaks on both foreign and domestic taxes, free Ulpan to learn Hebrew, customs benefits, mortgage benefits, a free flight to Israel and many more (check out Nefesh B’ Nefesh). This type of Visa also allows one to seek employment. If not, one may be eligible for a work visa.
Work Visa– One must already have employment in line in order to get a work visa, which begins as a temporary 30-day period, and then can be extended for up to five years. This can be a good option for non-Jewish people seeking residency in Israel.
#3 Israeli Bank Account
Once you relocate to Tel-Aviv, you’ll need to open an Israeli bank account to facilitate in many arenas, such as renting an apartment. Most Israeli banks require an initial deposit to open an account, but one can also open an account through the Bank of the Israeli Post without a deposit. Israeli banks offer services to easily transfer money from your foreign account.
#4 Bituach Leumi
Bituach Leumi, or the National Insurance Institute, is a requirement for every resident in Israel, citizen or not. Bituach Leumi provides social security benefits and services including: health insurance, unemployment benefits, disability support, child allowances, and old-age pensions. It ensures financial security and access to necessary resources. Part of your monthly paycheck will go into your Bituach Leumi fund.
#5 US Tax Laws and Exemptions
Just because you’ve the left the US doesn’t mean you can stop paying taxes! More information on this can be found in my follow up article, Taxation Information for US Expats.
Financial support for your move to Israel
We are expat financial advisors located in Israel and the US, serving expats globally.
If you are moving to Israel or another country and don’t know where to start when it comes to the financial side of things, or hold US or foreign assets and need help figuring out your retirement as an expat, please contact us.
Have questions about retiring in Israel? We’re having a series of webinars in 2023 on this topic. We’re also publishing blogs on this subject.
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Aliyah Rights and Benefits.” Nefesh B’Nefesh, 10 May 2023, www.nbn.org.il/aliyah-rights-and-benefits/.
Expat Focus. “How to Move to Israel: The Complete Guide.” Expat Focus, 2 Nov. 2020, www.expatfocus.com/israel/moving/how-to-move-to-israel.
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