Why Am I Paying National Insurance on a B1 visa?

Have you seen an amount deducted every month from your pay slip for something called “Bituach Leumi” (ביטוח לאומי) and you didn’t understand what it was? Or maybe you just don’t understand why you’re paying for the Israeli National Insurance even though you’ve been told that as a B1 visa holder, you’re not eligible for it?

Here is why.

According to the Israeli National Insurance Law, employers of foreign workers must report the employment of foreign workers and pay an insurance premium for them. The coverage for foreign workers is limited and does not grant public health services. For this reason, the insurance premium is relatively small.

Who needs to pay and how much?

In the case of a foreigner working in caregiving or in household work, the employer has to pay the employee’s national insurance premiums himself (without deducting anything from the employee).
In all other sectors, the employer may deduct from the salary the employee’s share of the national insurance premiums.

This is how national insurance payments are calculated (for workers in the general sector, not caregiving or household):

From the part of your salary up to 6,331 NIS, the fee is as follows:

EmployerEmployeeTOTAL
National Insurance fee% 0.59% 0.04% 0.63

For the part of your salary from 6,331 NIS and up to 45,075 NIS, the fee is as follows:

EmployerEmployeeTOTAL
National Insurance fee% 2.65% 0.87% 3.52

Employers of foreign workers in caregiving or in household work, have different directives, and some exemptions apply. You can find more information about it here.

Please note that it is the responsibility of the employer to pay the above fees to national insurance, and no action is required by the employee.

What am I covered for?

As we mentioned above, the coverage for foreign workers who aren’t considered Israeli residents (as they don’t hold a visa that grants a residency status), is pretty limited and does not include public health services.

The National Insurance Institute provides foreign workers with insurance for:

  1. Work accident victims allowance
  2. Allowances connected to motherhood such as birth allowance, maternity grant, child allowance
  3. Liquidation or bankruptcy of the employer
  4. Casualties of terrorism acts

In addition, there are certain countries (mostly European countries) that have bilateral agreements with Israel, and therefore citizens of those countries are eligible for additional coverage. You can read more information about those conventions and the coverage here and here.

In the case of an insured event that meets the relevant criteria, the foreign worker will have to submit a claim to Bituach Leumi in order to get the allowance they are entitled to. For this, please reach out to your employer to get your Bituach Leumi file number.

Read more about the criteria for eligibility for allowance here.

We hope this article helped you understand your social rights as a foreign worker a bit better!

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Adv. Lior Beres
Articles: 75

4 Comments

    • Hi Camila, thanks for the input. It is possible you are paying a higher fee because you are entitled to more coverage because of some bilateral agreement between Israel and you country of citizenship. You can find a link to find out about the eligible countries above. Is that the case?

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