Moving to Israel from the UK

Mazel tov! If you’re moving to Israel, you’ll soon be able to enjoy one of the world’s best locations for spirituality, technological innovation, and climate variety.

Whether you’re moving to Israel alone, or moving to Israel with your family, we’ve got you covered, from the best places to live to your healthcare options.

We can also offer you free quotes for shipping your possessions. If you fill in the form at the top of this page, you can see how much moving your life to Israel would cost.

tel aviv at night

Tel Aviv is the country's centre of culture, at night or otherwise

infographic about israel

Cost of shipping to Israel from the UK

We’ve calculated the average international shipping rates for some of our most sought-after journeys from major UK cities to popular destinations in Israel.

The rates are sourced from WorldFreightRates.com, and are based on the port-to-port transportation of a 20ft container of used furniture worth £40,000 – the typical value of the contents of a three-bedroom house (according to Admiral Insurance). The durations are sourced from Searates.com.

This information was last updated in June 2020.

Bear in mind these are estimates only. If you’d like a more accurate idea of how much shipping to Israel will cost you, just pop your details into this form, and our suppliers will get back to you.

RouteCostDuration
London to Haifa

748 ()

10.67 days
London to Ashdod

748 ()

10.75 days
London to Haifa

727 ()

10.5 days

Please note: these container shipping costs exclude typical add-ons such as door-to-door delivery, professional packing/unpacking and basic insurance cover. Our shipping suppliers normally incorporate these services into their prices, so expect some discrepancy between the rates given here and the quotes you receive. These estimates should be used as an indication only.

Select the size of your move to get free quotes

Cost of flying goods to Israel from the UK

These rates are also sourced from WorldFreightRates.com and are based on the airport-to-airport transportation of much lighter goods – 250kg of household goods, to be precise – worth £40,000, from London to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa.

Remember: air freight has its advantages when it comes to speed, but container shipping is 12-16 times cheaper than air freight, according to The World Bank – and in this specific case, shipping could save you more than £1,200.

RouteCostDuration
London to Tel Aviv

2,014 ()

4.2 hours
London to Jerusalem

2,014 ()

4.25 hours
London to Haifa

2,014 ()

4 hours
the western wall in jerusalem

Jerusalem's historical legacy of spirituality is breathtaking

Healthcare in Israel

The National Health Insurance Law of 1995 brought compulsory, universal healthcare to Israel – and if you’re moving to Israel permanently, you’ll have to get on board.

Every Israeli citizen must register with one of four healthcare organisations: Clalit, Maccabi, Leumit, or Meuhedet.

Usually, people move to Israel from the UK under the Law of Return, which allows Jewish people and their spouses to easily immigrate to the Holy Land.

If that’s your plan, you’ll be able to access public healthcare for your first year in Israel, without necessarily having to pay into Bituach Leumi – the national insurance fund.

You’ll only start contributing after your first year, or whenever you get your first job in Israel.

If you’re coming to Israel on a temporary basis – for instance on the B/1 work visa – your employer is legally obliged to provide you with private health insurance.

They can deduct money from your salary to pay for this service, up to one-third of what they paid for the policy. The maximum you can pay for health insurance is capped at ₪125.09 (£28.50) per month.

Your children will be covered by public healthcare, in the same way Israeli kids are, except you’ll have to pay. It costs ₪120 per month (£27.35) for one child, and ₪240 per month (£54.70) for more than one.

Cost of living in Israel

Israel consistently ranks in the top 10 of the most expensive countries to live in, so be prepared to keep an eye on your disposable income.

It doesn’t help that the pound fell from 6.4 shekels in 2012 to less than 4.4 in 2020.

Good / serviceAverage cost
A pint of beer£6.85
A monthly gym subscription£57.02
1 litre of petrol£1.42
A bottle of wine £9.05
1 litre of milk£1.32
Loaf of bread£1.65
12 eggs£2.86
Single ticket on public transport£1.33
1-bedroom flat monthly rent£733
3-bedroom flat monthly rent£1,156

(Data sourced from Numbeo)

Transferring money to Israel from the UK

Speaking of living costs, if you’re thinking of moving to Israel, you’ll probably need to convert some of your savings into shekels.

However, it’s best to avoid using high street banks for this process, as you’ll usually have to pay high fees, and you won’t get the best exchange rate. 

That’s why we’ve done our research and compared all the major money transfer services on the market, so you can choose the right one. Check out our expert ratings and find the best money transfer provider today.

Working in Israel

We understand why you’d want to work in Israel.

It’s a centre of technological and scientific innovation, with 12 Nobel Prizes and the 31st-biggest GDP in the world –  despite having the 101st-biggest population.

Here’s how you can make it happen.

Getting a work visa for Israel

You can apply for a B/1 work visa to work in Israel for a year, then extend this visa every year, for a maximum of five years and three months.

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs requires you to pass an interview, agree to have your fingerprint recorded, and submit this application, as well as the following items:

  • Proof you don’t have a criminal record
  • Certification of any medical procedures you’ve had
  • Two 5x5cm passport pictures

Be prepared to pay at least ₪11,005 (£2,505) to get the visa. Check if your employer intends to cover this cost.

If you’re successful, you’ll get a single-entry visa for 30 days, during which time you need to apply to the Ministry of the Interior for an extended validity, multiple entry B/1 visa stamp.

Average salary in Israel

The average monthly salary for March 2020 was ₪10,948 (£2,509), according to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics.

However, if you’re moving to Israel on a B/1 visa, and working there for longer than three months, you are legally entitled to at least double the average base gross salary, per month.

This means that current B/1 visa holders must be paid at least ₪21,896 (£5,019) per month – which works out to a gross salary of at least £60,228 per year.

Income tax in Israel

Israel charges a higher rate of income tax on salaries over certain amounts, in a manner that should be familiar to anyone moving from the UK. 

The rates below mean the average annual salary – which is currently 131,376 (£30,114) – will result in an income tax bill of ₪16,730 (£3,834), or 12.7%.

Annual salary (₪)Annual salary (£)Income tax rate
Up to 75,720Up to 17,30910%
75,721 - 108,60017,310 - 24,82514%
108,601 - 174,36024,825 - 39,85820%
174,361 - 242,40039,859 - 55,41131%
242,401 - 504,36055,412 - 115,29435%
504,361 - 649,560115,295 - 148,48747%
649,560+148,487+50%

Job-hunting in Israel

Israel has experienced near-constant economic growth since its inception. 

Though the global coronavirus pandemic has affected the country like so many others, raising unemployment levels to record levels, there are still plenty of jobs available.

You can find these positions on sites like Israemploy, Glassdoor, or Jobs-Israel – and make sure to also check out The Jerusalem Post, which publishes listings in Hebrew and English.

Climate in Israel

For a country that’s 11 times smaller than the UK, Israel has an astonishing amount of range in its climate, from snow-capped mountains to a huge, arid desert and glorious Mediterranean beaches.

Generally though, you’ll experience two seasons: a long, dry, sweltering summer, followed by a cool, windy winter. Don’t expect much rain in general.

Does it snow in Israel?

It does! Fractal flurries flourish in Israel, particularly in northern areas like the Upper Galilee and the Golan Heights, where visitors flood every year to go skiing or snowboarding on Mount Hermon.

You may even be able to enjoy some snow in other, more southern locations, like Jerusalem and Haifa.

The best places to live in Israel

From the sunny tourist trap of Eilat to snowy Mount Hermon, from the stunning Negev desert through to spiritual Jerusalem and modern, cool Tel Aviv, Israel has it all – and the best falafel stands in the world, to boot.

Tel Aviv: best for students and singles

The city is home to Tel Aviv University, the largest and best university in the country, according to the The Times’ World University Rankings 2020.

And you’ll have plenty of opportunities to have fun with the rest of the university’s 22,000 students, as well as plenty of other young people – one-third of Tel Aviv’s population is 18 to 35.

The city is diverse, liberal, and LGBT-friendly, with a fantastic nightclub and restaurant scene. It’s the coolest place in Israel, by far.

Haifa: best for families

Israel’s third-biggest city doesn’t have the bright lights of Tel Aviv, but it does have its tolerant culture and coastal location.

Haifa also offers copious green spaces, including the beautiful Bahá’í Gardens and Carmel National Park’s 60,000 hectares.

Property is cheaper than Tel Aviv, the atmosphere is less hectic, and it’s a tech hub – Apple, Google, and IBM all have offices in Haifa.

But it depends on what your family wants. Jerusalem has religious resources, Acre has diversity, and Tel Aviv is perfect for city folk.

Just don’t move to Eilat. Your kids will be so bored.

Herzliya: best for work

This small city of 95,000 – about one-third the population of Haifa – is a technological and start-up phenomenon, with plenty of employment opportunities for anyone who possesses computing expertise.

Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft all have offices in this affluent area, which is just to the north of Tel Aviv but still on the coast.

There isn’t much in the way of nightlife – but that’ll just give you more time to focus on your work.

Next steps

You’re now ready to trade the UK’s grey, cloudy outlook for a sunny, vibrant future in Israel, with all the hummus and shawarma your heart desires.

You can take the next step by filling in this form for free shipping quotes from trusted specialists who can move your belongings to your new home.