It is forbidden to charge a foreign worker that comes to Israel any amount of money for a work permit, a permit to reside in Israel, or for an employment permit.
- Likewise, private agencies are forbidden to charge employment brokerage fees to foreign workers that are already in Israel.
- Licensed agencies are permitted to charge foreign workers specific fees to bring them to the country.
Charging Foreign Workers to Bring them to Israel
A foreign worker that does not work in agriculture
- According to the The Employment Service Regulations (Payments from an applicant for work for employment brokering) an agency may charge a foreign worker a one time brokerage fee of 3,732.58 NIS, as of January 2019 (3,688.45 NIS in 2018).
A foreign worker that works in agriculture
- A private agency that handles foreign workers in the agriculture sector may collect or receive from the workers a payment not exceeding 2,756.54 NIS (before VAT), as of January 2019 (2,723.95 NIS in 2018) upon the worker's entry into Israel.
- The payment may not be collected from a worker who was brought to Israel in advance for a period of less than 12 consecutive months and for whom the private agency is not obligated to provide services based on a contract or a letter of undertaking.
- If the agency finds out that the foreign worker has permanently left Israel, it must, within 30 days from the date on which it becomes aware of the fact that the foreign worker has left, return the following amounts to the worker:
- 60% of the amount that it collected - if the foreign worker leaves before 18 months have elapsed since he/she entered Israel.
- 33% of the amount it collected - if the foreign worker leaves after 18 months have elapsed and before 36 months have elapsed from the date the foreign worker entered Israel.
Conditions for collecting payment from the worker
- An agency licensed to bring foreign workers to Israel is entitled to collect payment on condition that it signed a written brokerage agreement with the worker detailing the terms of the brokerage agreed upon by the parties, and gave the foreign worker a copy of the contract.
- If the employee has previously paid an overseas agency that represented him to the Israeli agency or to another office in Israel, the amount that he has already paid will be deducted from the maximum amount that can be collected from him.
- The agency may not collect brokerage fees from a foreign worker who is already in Israel.
- In addition, the agency may charge the foreign worker for the expenses of the flight to Israel, provided that he has receipts or documents that verify these expenses.
- A private agency that collected or received payments from a foreign worker shall refund the foreign worker all the money that it received or collected from him in any of the following cases:
- The foreign worker did not arrive in Israel within a reasonable time from the date of payment.
- The foreign worker arrived in Israel, but within a year of his arrival he was not paid or the salary he received was less than 12 times the monthly minimum wage.
Who is Eligible?
How to Claim It?
- The right is given automatically by the employer.
- In event that the employer violates the worker's rights, a complaint may be filed with the Foreign Workers Rights Ombudsman in the Ministry of Labor and Welfare.
- It is recommended to keep proof of payment (for example: written receipt from one who was paid that he received payment).
- It is recommended to use foreign worker aid organizations for assistance.
- Worker's Hotline
- Hotline for Refugees and Migrants
- Mesila - Center for Information and Assistance for Migrant Workers and Asylum Seekers living in Tel Aviv
- Schar Mitzva - Voluntary Legal Aid for the Poor
- Physicians for Human Rights - Israel
- The Association for Civil Rights in Israel
- Foreign Workers Rights Ombudsman in the Ministry of Labor and Welfare
- Population and Immigration Authority
Laws and Regulations
- The Employment Service Regulations (Payments from an applicant for work for employment brokering) - 2006