In our last 4 posts, we conducted an overview of the main documents that need to be submitted to the Israeli Health Ministry (Misrad HaBriut), when applying for recognition of one’s foreign licensing credentials in Israel. In this post, we discuss what happens after you submit your documents – and also how to claim reimbursement for the fees you expend on your notarized translations!
First, my advice is – send your documents to the Health Ministry via courier only. I do not advise even taking them in to the Misrad HaBriut’s office on 39 Yirmiyahu Street in Jerusalem. At best, you’ll be able to leave them at the Security Desk – but even then, there’s no guarantee they will arrive – in one piece or at all – at the Health Professions Licensing Department on the 11th floor!
The Licensing Department’s response time used to be 4-6 weeks, but this has now been doubled due to the numbers of applications! Still, outside of the festival periods, a response to straightforward applications will usually be much quicker in practice. After 2-3 weeks of sending in your documents, you can try calling the MoH Call Center (*5400) to request a File Number (this is a good time to request the Letter of Good Standing from the State Medical Board / GMC etc., and if they agree to cite your File Number with the letter, this can even reduce the chance of misunderstandings when the letter actually arrives in Israel!)
Assuming all your documents are in order, you will receive a letter stating: “once you present your Israeli ID card (after making Aliyah), we will be able to continue examining your application.” Effectively, this means – all your documents have been approved! And once they receive a copy of your Teudat Zehut (certified by an attorney/notary as a true copy of the original), you will receive an email stating that you can pay the provisional license fee (currently NIS 431). You can do this online, and around 3 weeks later you should receive your provisional license by registered mail, to the address on your ID card!
At the end of 2015, the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration (Misrad Ha’Aliyah ve-Ha’kelita) discovered some surplus funds in their purse! They decided to allocate this money to Olim Chadashim specifically for the reimbursement of fees paid for notarized translations of licensing documents. The Ministry agreed to reimburse up to NIS 4,000 expended by foreign licensed professionals, following presentation of a properly worded receipt as well as a copy of the notarizations, after their Aliyah. Better still – they have continued to offer such reimbursement ever since!
In practice, in almost all cases, full reimbursement can thus be received for fees outlaid on professional translations and notarizations. There are some exceptions – for example, those over retirement age and thus unable to work in Israel will not receive reimbursement, and of course if your case is complicated and many more documents than the norm are required, the fee can be well in excess of NIS 4,000. However, as a rule, the good news is that you can request full reimbursement by making an appointment with Misrad Ha’Aliyah ve-Ha’kelita as soon as you make Aliyah (their telephone number is 1599-500-923).
In our next and last post in this series, we will outline the documents required by those physicians seeking recognition of their specialty fields. This is done by a different body to the Ministry of Health – the Scientific Council (Moatza Mada’it) at the Israel Medical Association.