The Israeli parliament passed legislation on Monday that extends the five-year period during which foreign stage performers and athletes can remain in Israel.
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The new law, which was sponsored by Zionist Union lawmaker Eitan Broshi, authorizes the interior minister to grant artists and athletes long-term visas of up to 10 years.
The Bat-Sheva dance company has welcomed passage of the law, which is expected to make it possible for foreign dancers with the company to extend their stay in Israel beyond five years.
Broshi told the Knesset that extending the period during which athletes and stage performers from abroad can stay in the country is recognition of their “important contribution.” Only a few dozen people are affected by the new law, he added.
The law is an acknowledgement that the cultural world knows no national borders, according to the explanatory notes accompanying Broshi’s bill. Until now, the notes state, Israeli institutions which employ performers from abroad would invest heavily in those artists and then have to hire new ones after five years.