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Are my qualifications recognized in Israel?

Compiled by Michal Merten – August 2016

If you are a professional and planning Aliyah or have recently arrived in Israel, you probably wonder if your diplomas and certificates will be recognized. The following is a short article, to guide you through the first steps.

Disclaimer: As rules and regulations may change, please refer to the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption (http://www.moia.gov.il/ )for up-to-date information.

In order to ease the process for potential immigrants to receive professional licenses to practice in Israel in professions that require a license, the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption has initiated, in cooperation with the Ministries of Health, Education, and Economy, an inter-ministerial network that allows practitioners in regulated professions to begin the administrative process even prior to aliyah.

If you are still abroad, please click on the following link, to submit your diplomas / certifications for approval in principle, the process will need to be completed once you are in Israel: 

https://forms.gov.il/globaldata/getsequence/gethtmlform.aspx?formType=HangashaForeign@moia.gov.il&language=english

In order to avoid any doubt, exploration of eligibility prior to Aliyah is in principle only and does not replace the investigation procedures conducted in Israel after Aliyah.

The Ministry of Education is in charge of evaluating foreign academic degrees.

General:

The purpose of receiving recognition of your academic degree / diploma / professional license:

Academia: Universities in Israel enjoy full academic freedom in their decision regarding foreign degrees. You will need to submit your degree to the university of your choice for evaluation.

Employment: whether you wish to practice a profession that requires licensing, or wish to be employed in a position that requires an academic education, you will need to submit your diplomas to the relevant ministry and, in some cases, pass tests and examinations.  Professions are divided into groups, for each of which, a different ministry is responsible.

A list of professions and licensing requirements can be found here: 

http://www.moia.gov.il/Pages/MiniSiteProfesion/index_en.aspx

Salary: In the public sector, the evaluation of academic degrees from overseas in comparison to similar academic degrees granted in Israel is performed as part of the procedure for salary grading, according to the guidelines which are determined from time to time.

Please see the following link for more complete information: 

http://cms.education.gov.il/EducationCMS/Units/KishreiChutz/HaharachatTeharimAcademyim/GuidelinesEvaluation.htm

Translation and authentication of certificates and documents

 All documents presented to the Ministry of Education must be translated either in Hebrew or English by an Israeli notary (if the original documents are not in English or in Russian).

Degrees taught at Israeli extensions of foreign academic institutions operating under the supervision and licensing of the Israeli Council for Higher Education, must be from the institution abroad and not from the extension in Israel.

Copies must be certified as true copies of the originals by a licensed notary in Israel. You need to send the original notary certificate (with the red ribbon) and an additional copy (two copies in total).

Please consult the listing under your profession for specific requirements:

Process for recognition of foreign academic degrees in Israel

The Ministry of Education

Knafei  Hanesharim 22 Street. Jerusalem

Reception: Mondays and Wednesdays between 10:00 and 13:00 Room 122

Telephone reception: Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30 to 13:00 hours; phone: 02-5601684

Documents required for Evaluation of Bachelor and Master Degrees

 Before personally applying to the closest district of your residency for evaluation of the above degrees, please make sure you have all the necessary documents both originals and copies:

  • Diploma of the Bachelor degree - original and copy
  • Diploma of the Master Degree- original and copy
  • Final official grade transcript- original and copy (including credits for each course towards the Bachelor and the Master degrees)
  • Matriculation diploma - original and copy
  • Official document from the official authorities of the academic institution attended, confirming form of studies attended towards the degree (on campus studies, part time, distance learning, e-learning, etc.).- original and copy
  • Israeli citizens (or new immigrants studying after their aliyah in Israel) who studied abroad, must present official document from the Ministry of the Interior, with all the entrance and exit dates at the Israeli border stations.
  • Statement about the studies conducted towards the degree, signed in front of a licensed Israeli lawyer-for students who studied in extensions in Israel only.
  • Distance Learning questionnaire, for graduates beginning their studies before August 2000- signed by an Israeli licensed lawyer
  • Distance Learning questionnaire, for graduates beginning their studies after August 2000- signed by an Israeli licensed lawyer
  • Documents for previous studies recognized and calculated towards the academic degree- original and copy
  • Official document stating at least 10 years of employment before the beginning of studies (if credits were awarded for life long experience) - original and copy.
  • Document stating the change of first and family name - original and copy (if applicable), obtained either from the Israeli Ministry of the Interior or foreign official authorities.
  • Israeli I.D./Teudat Oleh - original and copy (or valid foreign passport with valid Israeli work permit)
  • Official document stating the change of the name of the academic institution attended - original and copy (if applicable).

Licensing of Health and Medical Professions:

Any person wishing to practice medicine in Israel must obtain a license to practice medicine from the Ministry of Health. The list includes Physicians, Dentists, Dental Technicians, Dental Hygienists, Dental Assistants, Physiotherapists, Pharmacists, Psychologists, Optometrists, Dieticians, Chiropractors,  Clinical Criminology, Pharmacists' Assistants, Laboratory Workers, Occupational Therapists, Registered Nurses, Communications Therapists. Please note - no exceptions are made!

Please see

http://www.health.gov.il/English/Services/MedicalAndHealthProfessions/Pages/default.aspx for the licensing procedure and instructions for submitting a request for a certificate to practice, by profession

Accreditation of overseas academic degrees: The Ministry of Education Bureau for Evaluation of Foreign Academic Degrees and Diplomas at branch offices and in Jerusalem.

Submitting your application

Please send your application for a temporary permission by registered mail accompanied by the following documents to: The Ministry of Health, 39 Yirmiyahu St., P.O.Box 1176, Jerusalem 9101002

  • 2 passport copies 
  • 2 copies of ID card, including address slip and status in Israel (citizenship or residency)

If the status in Israel is not specified on the identity card, please send a copy of an Israeli passport or confirmation from the Interior Ministry on the status in Israel.

  • Questionnaire for professional workers in the health sector - 2 copies
  • An application to take the exam in medicine - 2 copies
  • Final diploma in medicine from an accredited university or alternatively, university’s certificate of graduation, completion of all obligations and eligibility for a diploma in this profession to be granted on a certain date.
  • A formal confirmation of the studies’ start and end dates.
  • An official confirmation on successful completion of internship, including details of the departments in which the internship had been carried out and duration of the internship in each department. Alternatively: official confirmation of work in clinical medicine.
  • A foreign work permit.
  • Official work permits from the appropriate institutions specifying start and end dates of the employment in each institute (or alternatively work booklet).
  • A foreign expert certificate (when applicable)
  • Professional integrity certificate by the competent authorities of the country from the applicant’s origin country, confirming that there were no disciplinary, malpractice or medical ethics complaints against the applicant. 
  • Certification of Ulpan completion 

Translation and authentication of certificates and documents

Documents that are not written in Hebrew or Arabic must be translated by a certified translator in Israel.

Copies must be certified as true copies of the originals by a licensed notary in Israel. You need to send the original notary certificate (with the red ribbon) and an additional copy (two copies in total).

Finance & Insurance:

Financial Advisors, Insurance Agents, Pension-Marketing Agents and Realtors are required to pass exams on the fundamentals of the business, and, with the exception of Realtors, absolve a 6 months specialization (internship) period.

http://www.moia.gov.il/Pages/MiniSiteProfesion/agents_en.aspx

More information about the process of receiving a license can be found find on the Ministry of Finance internet site.

Accounting:

The licensing process for accountants is determined by the Israel Auditors Council . In order to receive a license, new immigrants must take exams. New immigrants who have a CPA, CA or comparable license from their country of origin, and have at least two years of work experience, can apply for an exemption from most of the exams with the exception of the following four exams in subjects concerning Israeli laws and practices:

  1. Business Law
  2. Taxation “Aleph”
  3. Taxation “Bet”
  4. Corporate and Commercial Law

The Israel Auditors Council also requires new immigrants to service an internship period of 6 months to two years. The length of the internship is determined by the Council, as is any exemption from exams.

  1. It is advisable to consult the website of the Israel Auditors Council for updated information prior to beginning procedures and submitting documents.
  2. Accreditation of overseas academic degrees- The Ministry of Education Bureau for Evaluation of Foreign Academic Degrees and Diplomas at branch offices and in Jerusalem.
  3. Following receipt of authorizations it is necessary to consult with your personal absorption counselor at the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption in order to present the authorizations and continue receiving services during the licensing process, including preparatory courses for the licensing exams, and funding during the period of internship.

Training and Retraining Courses

Take note! 
New immigrants up to 10 years in Israel, who must pass licensing exams and who are interested in participating in a preparatory course for the exam should consult with an employment advisor at the nearest Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption office. Due to the large number of courses for lawyers and accountants, beginning from the second unit, new immigrants must cover the cost, at a price of NIS 2 for each study hour. The first course is free of charge.

We recommend taking your documents personally to Jerusalem.

Ministry of Education:

Knafei Hanesharim 22 Street; Jerusalem

Reception: Mondays and Wednesdays between 10:00 and 13:00, Room 122

Telephone reception: Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday from 8:30 to 13:00 hours; call 02-5601684

Once you have received the recognition of the Ministry of Education, contact the Accountants Council at the Ministry of Justice: http://www.justice.gov.il/MOJHeb/MoezetroeiHasbon

The following links can help you meet requirements and better understand the process

http://www.icpas.org.il/english/ObtainingCPALicense.asp

http://www.icpas.org.il/english/BecomingCPA.asp

We also suggest you contact The Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Israel: 1 Montifiore Street , Tel-Aviv, 61292 ,POBox 29281

URL: www.icpas.org.ilOpening hours: Sunday-Thursday: 07:30-17:00

Secretariat:

Tel: +972-3-5116666, Fax: +972-3-5116665, E-mail: cpas@icpas.org.il

Examples of test (in Hebrew):

http://www.justice.gov.il/Units/MoezetRoeiHasbon/Bhinot/Pages/Sheelonim....

Service Providers:

Opticians

New immigrants who arrive with an optician's degree from their country of origin must apply to the Ministry of Economy, Senior Division for Training and Manpower Development, in order to investigate their eligibility for a professional certificate in Israel. The Ministry website's exams section contains guidelines and instructions about receiving a professional certificate as an optician.

Tour guides

Tours guides in Israel must have a license from the Ministry of Tourism
The Ministry of Tourism emphasizes training of tour guides including supervision of courses, licensing exams, seminars, and specialization courses. 
A student who completes a course program and fulfills all requirements is eligible to take the licensing exam to become a certified tour guide. The exam is twice a year and the date is determined 6 months in advance. 
In order to meet the requirements for a license, all guides must take one seminar each year and pay a license-renewal fee every two years. More information is available on the website of the 
Ministry of Tourism.

Electricians

Any person who carries out electrical work must be a certified electrician and have a license issued according to the "Electricity Law" and according to electricity regulations.

An applicant for an electrical license who trained overseas must fulfill the following requirements:

  1. It is necessary to present a degree or diploma and grade transcripts/professional courses in electricity from the overseas educational institution, in order that the Director for Issuing Licenses in electrical work can ascertain that there is correlation between the overseas training and Israeli educational requirements. The candidate must also submit all relevant documents relating to work experience in electrical work, such as work records (particularly for new immigrants from the former Soviet Union, but also from Western Europe) and projects, so that the Director can examine the level of proven experience overseas against that required in Israel. Note that all documents that attest to professional experience in electrical work overseas must be signed by a certified professional body.
  2. In some cases the Director will invite a candidate to an interview in order to discuss work done overseas. During this meeting the applicant's training and experience are examined.
  3. Applicants for a license must submit all original documents as well as translations of the documents to Hebrew certified by a notary.

Assessing Experience in Electrical Work Overseas When Granting a License in Israel :

The Director for Granting Licenses for Electrical Work checks that there is correspondence/overlap between the level of study in electricity (education) and proven and appropriate experience overseas, and the educational level required according to regulations in Israel. The emphasis is on the grades records and transcripts of the candidate who studied overseas. 

Upgrading Licenses According to Overseas Experience:

Following submission of an application, receipt of the license, payment of the fees and commencement of work as an electrician in Israel, it is possible to submit a new request for an upgraded license on a higher level on the basis of verification of proven seniority in electrical work— 2/3 of the required seniority period according to the electricity regulations as accumulated overseas. 1/3 of the required seniority period according to the electricity regulations as accumulated in Israel. 
An applicant may submit a request to upgrade a license on the basis of seniority accumulated overseas one time only! 
 
It is recommended to check for updated information prior to beginning procedures and submitting documents on the website of the Ministry of Economy, Electricians licensing.

Veterinarians

The licensing procedure for veterinarians is determined by the Ministry of Agriculture. In order to receive recognition as a veterinarian and recognition of academic degrees it is necessary to apply to the following bodies:

  1. Licensing for veterinarians - the Ministry of Agriculture – The Department of Veterinary Services
  2. Accreditation of overseas academic degrees- The Ministry of Education Bureau for Evaluation of Foreign Academic Degrees and Diplomas at branch offices and in Jerusalem.
  3. Following receipt of authorizations it is necessary to consult with a personal absorption counselor at the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption in order to present the authorizations and continue the licensing process.

Preparatory Courses for the Licensing Exam:

The Employment Division organizes courses for veterinarians once a year ahead of the licensing exam given by the Ministry of Agriculture. Every course is comprised of medical terminology and professional veterinary topics, and takes place at the School of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Agriculture in Beit Dagan. 
Courses last for 6 months and at the conclusion of the course participants take an internal exam. Students who receive a score of 70 or higher receive 10 bonus points towards the government exam. . 
The course is funded by Employment Division of the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption and students can be entitled to an allowance for living expenses, and travel expenses, for the duration of the course, according to Ministry regulations. 

Free Professions:

Teachers

The registration procedure for teachers is administered by the Ministry of Education. In order to receive recognition as a teacher and recognition for academic degrees it is necessary to apply to the following bodies:

  1. Recognition of professional degrees - Absorption of teachers and kindergarten teachers, the Ministry of Education.
  2. Accreditation of overseas academic degrees - The Ministry of Education Bureau for Evaluation of Foreign Academic Degrees and Diplomas at branch offices and in Jerusalem.
  3. It is recommended to consult with a personal absorption counselor at the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption for updated information and more details about submitting documents prior to beginning recognition procedures.

Portal for Education Professionals, the Ministry of Education

Social Workers

The registration process for social workers is through the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services. In order to receive recognition as a social worker and certification of academic degrees it is necessary to apply to the following bodies:

  1. Recognition of professional degrees - see the website of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, Registrar of Social Workers
  2. Accreditation of overseas academic degrees - The Ministry of Education Bureau for Evaluation of Foreign Academic Degrees and Diplomas at branch offices and in Jerusalem.
  3. It is recommended to consult with a personal absorption counselor at the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption to receive updated information about the recognition procedure and submitting documents.

Lawyers

The licensing process for lawyers is determined by the Israel Bar Association. In order to be accepted as a member of the Israel Bar and practice as an attorney, it is necessary to pass exams in 9 areas of law as it is practiced in Israel. Following the exams, applicants must serve a period of articles (internship) with an attorney recognized by the Israel Bar.

Consult the web site of the Israel Bar Association for updated information about submitting documents prior to beginning the licensing process: 

New immigrants who are not qualified as an attorney overseas and /or practiced law overseas for less than 2 years:

  • It is necessary to have a notary translate diplomas and grade-transcripts to Hebrew (it is not necessary to translate documents that are in English; it is only required to submit a verified photocopy.) Apply to the Department of Recognition of Foreign Diplomas of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem along with original degrees and grades in order to receive authorization of recognition of the degrees.
  • Following receipt of the relevant authorizations (original or verified copies) apply to the Bar Association in Jerusalem, (1 Rehov Chopin), Specialization Department, in order to open a file.

New immigrants who practiced law overseas for more than 2 years:

It is not necessary to receive authorization from Hebrew University.

Apply directly to the Israel Bar, Specialization Department, with a translated diploma (original/verified copy) and relevant documents translated by a notary that confirm receipt of a license overseas and proof of professional experience overseas, as well as employment records, or authorization of professional seniority overseas.

Israelis who studied Overseas (Without Qualifying as an Attorney Overseas):

  • Diplomas and grades must be translated into Hebrew by a notary (it is not necessary to translate documents that are in English; it is only required to submit a verified photocopy.) Apply to the Department of Recognition of Foreign Diplomas of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem along with original degrees and grades in order to receive authorization of recognition of the degrees.
  • Following receipt of the relevant authorizations (original or verified copies) apply to the Bar Association in Jerusalem (1 Rehov Chopin), Specialization Department, in order to open a file.

Apply to the Ministry of Education Bureau for Evaluation of Foreign Academic Degrees and Diplomas at branch offices and in Jerusalem in order to receive authorization of recognition of the degrees.

Following authorization from the Israel Bar to take exams in Israeli Law, apply to a personal absorption counselor at the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption and present authorizations in order to continue assistance for the licensing process - preparatory courses for the Bar Exam and participation in expenses during the period of articles.

Preparatory Courses for the Bar Exam:

The Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption offers a preparatory courses for new-immigrant lawyers who must pass the Bar exam in order to receive a license. New-immigrant lawyers and advocates must take exams in 9 topics in Israeli law. The Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption organizes preparatory courses prior to the exams. 

The course runs annually in two sessions, and is made up of units in various subjects. New immigrants pay participation fees beginning from the second unit. The first unit is free of charge. The courses take place during evening hours and eligible new immigrants can receive assistance for travel expenses according to Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption regulations. The course is located in the Tel Aviv area and course-openings depend upon a sufficient number of participants. 

Transportation & Construction

Engineers and Architects

Registration and Licensing of Engineers and Architects is through the Ministry of Economy.
 
Registration of engineers and architects is through the Registry of Engineers and Architects. Licensing (advanced authorization stage) of registered engineers and architects is through the Licensing Division and is based on the Licensing Department.
 
Eligibility to Register:
 
The "Engineers and Architects Law" determines that persons with a bachelors' degree in engineering or architecture, whose degree and educational institution are recognized by the Registrar of Engineers, are eligible to be listed in the Registry.
• An institution recognized by the Registrar in professional registries, a track recognized by the Registrar.
• Degree in Engineering - 4 years of study or more.
• Degree in Architecture - 5 years of study or more.
 
Eligibility for Licensing:
In order for architects and civil engineers in the structural class to receive a license, they must pass a licensing exam. Eligibility for the exam is following three years of specialization and a two part exam:
 
Part 1: Theory - Laws and regulations;
Part 2: Practice - Practical planning.
 
Recognition of overseas specialization:
The law allows for recognition of up to 2 years' specialization overseas out of 3 years, with specialization of one additional full year in Israel.
 
Engineers - The majority of engineering professionals do not have an exam following 3 years' of specialization.
 
For more information, see the website of the Ministry of Economy, Division of Licensing and Registration.

Vehicle in the Heavy/Towing or Tractor Category

Requesting to Convert a License for a Vehicle in the Heavy/Towing or Tractor Category
General Conditions for Conversion:

1. valid foreign license
2. candidates must meet age criteria according to type of license,
3. overseas residence,
4. examinations,
5. tests,
6. criteria for various types of vehicles,
7. conversion for new immigrants within 3 years; for Israeli residents within 1 1/2 years of entering Israel.

Conditions for conversion for applicants who did not have a license in Israel

1. Presentation of valid foreign license for a heavy/towing vehicle/tractor issued overseas at least two years prior to the date of entry into Israel. 
2. Candidates must fulfill the criteria listed in section 1 subsections (1) (2) above.
3. Candidates must pass theoretical and practical exams.

Requesting to Convert a License for a Vehicle in the Heavy/Towing or Tractor Category apply to the Ministry of Transport and Road Safety.

Public Vehicle - Taxi/Bus:

Requesting to Convert a License for a Public Vehicle - Taxi/Bus: 

• Present a foreign license for a public vehicle valid for the two years prior to entering Israel. 
• Candidates must fulfill the criteria listed in section 1 subsections (1) (2) above. 
• Authorization from the Criminal Registry regarding criminal and traffic offenses – will be examined by the Licensing Authority under Regulation 15B of the Traffic Regulations. 
• Applicants must complete a course.
• Candidates must pass theoretical and practical exams. 
• Applicants must pass eye and physical exams. 

To submit a request to convert a license, apply to one of the following Licensing Bureaus: Holon, Jerusalem, Haifa, Beer Sheva, Ashkelon, and Eilat.

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