In order to practice medicine in Israel, you are required to hold a license issued by the Division of Medical Professions at the Ministry of Health (MOH).
Olim can, and should, begin the licensing process about a year before making Aliyah, even though your final medical license can only be issued after you receive Teudat Zehut (completion of your Aliyah process) and submit a copy of it to the MOH.
Who is eligible for an Israeli medical license?
Someone who has completed their studies at a recognized medical school in the USA or Canada (online degrees are not recognized) and did one year of internship or clinical work (the length depends on your specialty).
If you need to do your residency in Israel, you may refer to the Israeli Medical Association’s website for information on specialties and sub-specialties. More info can be found here.
Doctors are also required to take a Hebrew proficiency test. This could either be passing a Hebrew proficiency YAEL test at a minimum score of 105, completing an Ulpan at level Gimmel or completing a medical Ulpan. We haven’t heard of any doctors who were asked to take the exam, but it is the policy of the Ministry of Health that physicians must be able to read and understand test results, medical records, and documentation written in Hebrew by other physicians.
Note about Osteopathy: If you have a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree, you can be licensed by Misrad Habriut as a physician.
Medical Licensing Exam (and exemptions)
If you make Aliyah before completing one year of internship, you will be required to take a medical licensing exam in order to be eligible to enter the Israeli staj program.
If you have completed USMLE step 1 and step 2 CK you will be exempt from the exam.
All other physicians (from the USA and Canada) who hold a recognized foreign MD and have completed a recognized internship will be exempt from the Israeli licensing exam – provided they passed all sections of the USMLE.
Graduates of foreign medical programs in Israel (Sackler, BGU, TeAMS) are considered American physicians and the same rules as above apply.
Misrad HaKlita reimbursement for the licensing exam
Misrad Haklita offers a reimbursement (up to 500 NIS) for Olim who took the governmental licensing exam for physicians. Your eligibility lasts for 10 years from your date of Aliyah. The reimbursement is ONLY given retroactively and will be paid back ONLY after submitting the receipt for your exam to your local Misrad Haklita office. Please contact your local Misrad Haklita office for more information.
If you didn’t participate in a Misrad Haklita preparation course for the governmental licensing exam, you may be entitled to reimbursement for 2 exams (if needed).
Which documents are required for licensing?
All applicants should submit all of their licensing documentation to Misrad Habriut via registered mail to: Licensing Department, Ministry of Health, Yermiyahu 39, Jerusalem, 9446724.
The following documents should be submitted to Misrad Habriut:
An application form – Medical Licensing Questionnaire. This is an online form. Complete the form and download it to your computer. Important: Make sure to have your name written in English AND in its Hebrew transliteration (DO NOT use your hebrew name). In addition, you must provide an ISRAELI address and cell phone number (can be a phone number of friends/family). Your file will NOT be opened without it.
2 passport photos.
A photocopy of your Teudat Zehut, including the sefach (address slip) and/or a photocopy of your Israeli passport. If you are applying pre-Aliyah, please submit a copy of your current foreign passport.
Final diploma or certification from a recognized university or certification from a university of completion of studies, completion of all requirements for the university, and entitlement to a degree in medicine to be awarded on a certain date. This document requires verification.
A valid medical license. This document requires verification.
Specialist’s certificate from abroad (If applicable).
Professional letter of good standing from the board of the state in which you are licensed. The letter confirms that there are no, and have not been any, disciplinary, negligence or professional ethics complaints against the physician. Here you can see an example from NY State.
If it is sent directly to Misrad Habriut from the board it does not have to be notarized. Please ensure in this case, that the letter is sent only once the rest of the documents have been received by the Misrad Habriut.
You may have the letter of good standing sent to you. If you leave it in the sealed envelope you can add it to the rest of the documents that you send to the MOH and you do not need to notarize it. It may be a good idea to ask the board for a copy of the letter either way, just to have.
Physicians from the UK should ask for a letter of good standing to be sent by registered mail from the GMC directly to Misrad Habriut (the GMC will only mail it directly, and this is the only way to guarantee its arrival).
Physicians from Montreal should obtain the letter from the College des Medicines du Quebec.
You can have the medical board send it to directly this email address (DO NOT use it for any other purpose): [email protected]
Documentation indicating name change, if relevant.
Letter from the Moetza Hamadait of the IMA, if you have already been accepted as a specialist.
If you are required to sit for the exam and intend to take the licensing exam as a tourist, please make sure to submit this affidavit.
For those who have completed the USMLEs but don’t yet hold a medical license and are therefore required to do staj in Israel: Please have your USMLE (which needs to be verified and ‘Letter of Good Standing’ sent to the Ministry of Health after you have sent in your notarized packet to be certain that you have an open file with the MOH and that these documents will be included (if they arrive prior to your packet they may get lost).
Note: some of the documents listed above are only valid for one year from their issuing date. If you have not submitted your Teudat Zehut (ID) within a year from opening your file with the Misrad Habriut, you may be required to present valid, re-issued documents in order to request your temporary license.
Misrad HaKlita reimbursement for documents
The Ministry of Aliyah and Integration is offering a retroactive reimbursement of up to 4000 NIS to Olim who were required to translate and/or notarize documents for the purpose of transferring their professional license in Israel.
Please note the following conditions:
Olim must submit their original receipts (or verified copies).
The reimbursement is only retroactive for 2 years prior to your date of Aliyah.
Only Olim who have not yet reached retirement age are eligible.
Reimbursement can be made only for Israeli notary/consulate verification. Apostille is not reimbursable!
Verification of Documents
For the documents that require verification, you have 3 verification options:
Verified with an apostille after having the original document notarized (recommended).
Bring it to an ISRAELI notary and have them notarize it.
A verified copy (אימות העתק, Imut He’etek) at the Israeli consulate.
Do not submit any original files. For Israeli notaries, please reach out to [email protected].
Receiving Your License
Upon approval of your license you will receive a message (SMS to your ISRAELI cell phone number ONLY) telling you to pay for your license.
Payment is to be made online, using your Teudat Zehut number and date of birth. Your license will then be sent via registered mail to your home address.
Be sure to look for a little red slip from the postal services in your mailbox, which will tell you to come pick the license up from your local post office.
If, for some reason, the license doesn’t arrive, call the Misrad Habruit hotline (*5400) to ask for the tracking number of your license so you can follow and locate it on the post office website.
Misrad Habriut customer call center for any questions
Call *5400 from Israel or 972-8-6241010 from abroad. The center operates Sunday through Thursday, 8am-6pm, and Fridays from 8am-1pm, Israel time.