Shivat Zion

Converting a Foreign Doctors License

Rishyon Rofeh
רשיון רופא
Last updated: 02.07.2023
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For Olim who are doctors or have graduated medical school, there are various options regarding converting your foreign medical license to enable you to work in Israel as a Medical Doctor:
  • Receipt of a medical license for foreign graduates who have not completed their internship. For more information on this category, click here
  • Receipt of a medical license for foreign graduates who have worked in the profession
  • Receipt of a license to practice medicine in Israel for foreign doctors who have been qualified for at least 14 years. For more information on this category, click here
  • Receipt of a license as a medical specialist. For more information on this category, click here for an excellent guide by the Israel Medical Association (IMA)
This guide will focus on the second (2) option, Receipt of a medical license for foreign graduates who have worked in the profession (up to 14 years).

The process for a doctor who has graduated from a recognized medical school, completed their internship, and has been employed in the field to receive a license to practice medicine in Israel is as follows:

Submit an application to take the Government Licensing Exam in Medicine

The first step is to create an online ID to enable access to the Online Portal for Health Professionals. Click here to register (in Hebrew). Please note that only holders of a Teudat Zehut – תעודת זהות – Israeli ID card can login to the portal.

If you do not have a Teudat Zehut, you can submit the application request via registered mail to:

Medical Professions Licensure Division, Ministry of Health
39 Yirmiyahu St.
PO Box 1176
Jerusalem 91001002

After the initial application on the portal, those individuals who are eligible will receive an email from the Misrad HaBriut – משרד הבריאות – Ministry of Health with a username and an explanation on how to enter their personal area of the portal (here).

After entering the portal, you must continue to complete the registration process and then submit an application to take the Government Licensing Exam in Medicine.

Your application must include the following documents:

  • Passport photo
  • Copy of your Teudat Zehut with the attached Sefach – ספח – addendum, which states where you live and your citizenship status. If your status is not listed, then a certificate from the Misrad Hapnim – משרד הפנים – Interior Ministry, indicating your legal status must be attached.
  • An official confirmation that you completed an internship or your medical license from the country you studied and graduated medicine in and/or practiced translated to Hebrew and notarized.
  • Official work permits from the medical institutions you worked in, including starting and ending dates of employment at each one, all translated into Hebrew and notarized.
  • An official transcript from your medical school including details of the courses, subjects, grades, credit points, and study hours of your medical degree – See item 2, Step 2 below.

The scanned photos of the documents must be uploaded to the Health Professionals portal.

Please note:

The application, including all the relevant documents, must be submitted up to 60 days before the exam date. If the application you submitted is incomplete, it will not be reviewed.

The contact details you provide are the only way the Ministry can reach you. Please make sure your contact details are correct.

Original certificates should NOT be sent to the Medical Professions Licensure Division, but ONLY copies of them. Keep copies of all documents submitted as they will not be returned nor will copies be made available.

Accuracy of the original documents’ copying must be confirmed by a licensed notary in Israel. The original notarized declaration with apostille, and another copy (two copies in total) must be submitted.

Documents not written in Hebrew must be translated into Hebrew by a certified translator in Israel and notarized. A copy of the original document and its translation must be submitted. (This does not apply to transcripts)

Submission of Medical School documents

As of September 1, 2021, foreign medical schools can submit the required documents directly to the Medical Professions Licensure Division. (recommended!)

If the documents from the Medical school are sent directly to the Medical Professions Licensure Division, it is not necessary to get notarized certificates.

The medical school dean or registrar will submit the following details via email to
School website
Their email address
Their name and position

Once the above information is confirmed, the dean or registrar will be authorized to send the following documents by email:

  • Diploma or a certificate of eligibility to a medical degree
  • Official certificate attesting to the start and end dates of the study program.
  • The detailed list of courses and grades completed in each semester throughout all school years, including the start and end dates of each course.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to make sure that the documents are successfully submitted and received via email by their medical school.

All documents regarding the applicant’s eligibility will be reviewed by the Medical Professions Licensure Division of the Ministry of Health.

If the application is approved, the applicant will receive via SMS the date of the examination that they are eligible to take.

The Government Licensing Examination

The registration process is explained here and can be completed here on the Israel Medical Association website. A helpline is available for questions at 03-6100419.

Step 1 – Payment via the Ministry of Health here (in Hebrew)

After paying the exam fee, you will receive a confirmation number to use in the next step of registration. Please save it.

Step 2Registration

Is possible 48 hours after making payment. Payment alone is NOT confirmation of your registration. Confirmation will be sent to you a few days after completing the registration process. Please make sure you receive it. The link for the application can be found here.

The examination is usually offered twice a year (winter and summer).

The language of the examination will be Hebrew. During registration, an applicant can request to take the exam in English, French, Arabic, Spanish and Russian. The examination will be translated if there is a demand by a minimum of eight people in each language.

The results of the examination will be published on the IMA website. A passing grade is 60%.

If your grade is between 55-59 you can appeal the results. An explanation about appealing the examination results is available here on the IMA website. For a link on how to submit the appeal form, click here.

You do not have to take the doctors’ licensing examination if at least one of the two conditions are fulfilled:

  • Successfully passing the USMLE examinations (USA exam) Step 1 and Step 2 CK
  • Completion of studies at a medical school in one of the countries that the Ministry of Health has recognized as being exempt for the purposes of the licensing examination and subject to the medical studies having been recognized by the Licensure Division. There is no official list and each application is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Doctors who have received their degree abroad and have served at least one year of an internship or have worked for one year as a doctor do not have to complete an internship if they pass the licensing examination.

In order to receive a license to practice medicine in Israel, an applicant must have a clean criminal record in Israel and outside Israel. The licensing division of the Ministry of Health will contact the Israeli Police to receive confirmation. Once it is received, it will issue the license, assuming all other requirements have been met.

In order for a foreign doctor to receive a permanent license to practice in Israel, the following conditions must be met:

  • They have completed their studies at a medical school at a university level in a school recognized by the Ministry of Health.
  • They are in possession of Israeli citizenship, or they are defined by law as “permanent residents of Israel.”
  • They are in possession of a diploma recognized by the Medical Professions Licensure Division.
  • They have successfully passed the government licensing examinations and successfully completed their internship abroad.
  • They have been employed as a doctor abroad for more than one year or are foreign graduates who are exempt from the licensing examination in Israel.

An SMS will be sent to those complying with the statutory conditions and the regulations informing them of their eligibility for a permanent license and an instruction to pay the permanent license fee. For the fee scale, click here.

The fee should be paid on the Government Payments website here.

Those wishing to pay the fee at the post office should call Kol Habriut – קול הבריאות – Voice of Health hotline at *5400 and ask to receive a Shovar – שובר – payment voucher by mail.

After payment of the fee, the permanent license to practice medicine will be sent to the doctors by registered mail, to the updated address recorded at the Ministry of Health.

The Director of the Medical Professions Division may, at his discretion, grant a graduate a provisional license to practice medicine.

Doctors who have received a provisional license and wish to obtain a permanent license shall send the Medical Professions Licensure Division the original temporary license together with a letter of recommendation from a specialist doctor under whose supervision he was employed for at least one year.

For more details of the entire process in English, click here. In addition, for a comprehensive hands on approach to navigating the entire process, you should check out Gvahim Medical here.