Options Under The Law of Return

Legal Status for Jewish People

Under Israeli Entry Laws, regulations and code of practice, there are several options for Jewish people to legally work in Israel. There are many consideration to evaluate, prior to making a decision of the right process that will achieve your goals. The following are the options:

Making Aliyah Becoming an Israeli Citizen

The Hebrew word “aliyah” means ascent or rise, but for generations, it has been used to mean “to move to Israel”.

The Land of Israel has alwddays been the center of the Jewish universe, but for centuries the dream of moving to Israel was, just that, a dream.

The Law of Return, aliyah took on a formal/legal meaning, thereby, “to make Aliyah” means to move to Israel and become an Israeli citizen.

The immigration process in Israel can sometimes be complicated due to cultural and language differences.

Kan-Tor & Acco can assist you through the complicated process of making an Alyia, processing your application at either the Ministry of Interior in Israel or preparing your case to consular processing.

At the beginning of the process, we will assist you in demonstrating your eligibility for Alyia under the Law of Return and work with the relevant Israeli Government, especially the  Ministry of Interior until you receive Israeli citizenship and passport.T

Making Aliyah and becoming an Israeli Resident

The Hebrew word “aliyah” means ascent or rise, but for generations, it has been used to mean “to move to Israel”.

The Land of Israel has always been the center of the Jewish universe, but for centuries the dream of moving to Israel was, just that, a dream.

The Law of Return, aliyah took on a formal/legal meaning, thereby, “to make Aliyah” means to move to Israel and become an Israeli citizen.

However, some people would like to become an A-5 residents rather than full citizens.  There are many reasons to prefer only a residency over “full citizenship” (for example Tax issues, travel restrictions etc.), but unfortunately, many people are not aware of this option.

Kan-Tor & Acco can provide advice on this, and lead you through the immigration process in Israel, that can sometimes be complicated due to cultural and language differences.

Kan-Tor & Acco can assist you through the complicated process of applying for the residency, processing your application at either the Ministry of Interior in Israel or preparing your case to consular processing.

At the beginning of the process, we will assist you in demonstrating your eligibility for this process under the Law of Return and work with the relevant Israeli Government, especially the  Ministry of Interior until you receive Israeli residency.

A-5 visa holders are entitled to receive a Teudat Zehut booklet (similar to the one issued to Israelis) which includes a Teudat Zehut number. A-5 visa holders are not Israeli citizens and are not entitled to hold an Israeli travel document.

A-1 Bodek Allyah

A Temporary Resident A-1 Visa is a special Israeli residency that is granted only to those who are eligible to make Aliyah according to the Law of Return. The residency allows individuals to experience life in Israel before making the final crucial decision as to make an Alyiah.

A-1 visa holders are entitled to receive a Teudat Zehut booklet (similar to the one issued to Israelis but in a different color) which includes a Teudat Zehut number.  A-1 visa holders are not Israeli citizens and are not entitled to hold an Israeli travel document.

The visa is valid for three years, and you can apply to extend it for another two years. You cannot exceed five years in total. At the end of this period, you can either apply for Aliyah or apply for an A-5 residency (see above)

Kan-Tor & Acco can provide advice on this, and lead you through the immigration process in Israel, that can sometimes be complicated due to cultural and language differences.

Kan-Tor & Acco can assist you through the complicated process of applying for the A-1 residency, processing your application at either the Ministry of Interior in Israel or preparing your case for consular processing.

At the beginning of the process, we will assist you in demonstrating your eligibility for this process under the Law of Return and work with the relevant Israeli Government, especially the  Ministry of Interior until you receive Israeli residency.

B-1 Work Visa for Jewish

A Temporary Jewish B-1 work visa is a special Israeli work visa that is granted only to those who are eligible to make Aliyah according to the Law of Return.

B-1 visa holders are not entitled to receive a Teudat Zehut booklet.  B-1 visa holders are not Israeli citizens nor residents and are not entitled to hold an Israeli travel document.

The visa is valid for one year, and you can apply to extend it for another three years. Additional 2 years may be granted. At the end of this period, you can either apply for Aliyah or apply for an A-5 residency (see above)

Kan-Tor & Acco can provide advice on this, and lead you through the immigration process in Israel, that can sometimes be complicated due to cultural and language differences.

Kan-Tor & Acco can assist you through the complicated process of applying for the B-1 Jewish work visa,, processing your application at either the Ministry of Interior in Israel or preparing your case for consular processing.

At the beginning of the process, we will assist you in demonstrating your eligibility for this process under the Law of Return and work with the relevant Israeli Government, especially the  Ministry of Interior until you receive Israeli work visa.

Frequently Asked Question: Israeli Citizenship

Kan-Tor & Acco is a leading immigration law firm, with more than 25 years’ experience in the fields of business and family based immigration to Israel.  The firm works with all the Ministries of Interior throughout Israel in the citizenship and work visa processes.

 

Advocate Daniel Aspiro, Head of the Private Clientele Department, leads the firm's Citizenship Law team, provides responses to the following commonly asked questions: 

 

Q. How can a non-Jewish individual married to an Israeli spouse obtain Israeli citizenship?

A. The non-Jewish spouse of an Israeli citizen can be granted citizenship through the “Step By Step” process. 

The Step By Step process is designed to test the truthfulness and sincerity of the relationship between the couple. The application can be submitted to the Israeli Consulate or the Ministry of Interior at the residence of the Israeli citizen. The procedure involves several steps. The length of the process is about 4.5 years for a married couple, and about 7 years for civil union couple. After the first stage, the foreign citizen will receive the status of a temporary resident, which includes the issuance of a general work permit, identity card, membership in a health fund, etc. At the end of the process, the non-Israeli spouse will be able to obtain the status of a citizen or permanent resident of Israel. 

 

Q. What are the eligibility requirements for a Jewish individual to obtain Israeli citizenship?

A. Every Jew is entitled to become a citizen of Israel by making Aliyah (Immigration) to Israel. This right is also extended to immediate relatives of the Jewish immigrant, including the spouse, the children and their spouses, as well as the grandchildren and their spouses, provided that the Jewish individual did not willingly practice a religion other than Judaism.

Additionally, a Jewish individual that was born abroad to an Israeli parent may be an Israeli citizen from birth, regardless of whether he or she has been to Israel.

 

Q. Is the child of an Israeli citizen born abroad entitled to register as an Israeli national without having been to Israel?

A. Yes. An individual that was born abroad to an Israeli parent is an Israeli citizen by birth, regardless of whether they visited Israel. 

An individual that was born abroad to an Israeli parent who was not born in Israel may become an Israeli citizen by making an Aliyah. 

Every Israeli citizen who has had a child abroad must notify the Registration Clerk and register the child. Failure to give notice of the overseas birth of the child is a breach of law.

 

Q. How do you register a child of an Israeli citizen born abroad?

A. When the mother is an Israeli, the child will be recognized as an Israeli, subject to proof of parentage. When the father is Israeli and the mother is not, but the couple is married according to local law, the Israeli father will have to present additional evidence, such as a marriage certificate, birth certificate and other documents proving the relationship between the couple.

In the case of an Israeli father where the couple is not married or living together, the father will be required to petition the Israeli Family Court in order to receive a ruling. The Court will determine if the father must provide evidence of paternity, including a DNA test, in order to register the child as an Israeli citizen at the Ministry of Interior.

The Ministry of Interior in Israel may request for proof of paternity even from a legally married couple.

 

Q. What is the procedure for obtaining Israeli citizenship for a married couple, when one of the spouses is an Israeli citizen, who has been abroad for at least two consecutive years before returning to Israel, and the other is eligible under the Law of Return?

A. The Israeli citizen spouse who has been abroad for at least two consecutive years is entitled to submit an application for “Returning Resident” status to the Israeli Consulate or the Ministry of the Interior, in accordance with the most recent or proposed residential address in Israel.

  • An Israeli national meeting the requirements of a "Returning Scientist" or "Business Entrepreneur" is eligible to submit an application for “Returning Resident” status following residence abroad of at least five years.

•Note: An Israeli citizen meeting the requirements of a returning resident may have children who meet the definition of a returning minor, or spouse who meets the requirements of an immigrant visa. The spouse of a returning resident is entitled to submit an application for Aliyah with supporting documentation. 

 

Q. Is an Israeli national who has waived his/her citizenship, entitled to re-register as an Israeli citizen?

A. Yes. A former Israeli citizen is entitled to re-apply for citizenship. The applicant must include an official document confirming the prior waiver of Israeli citizenship. 

 

Q. Is it possible for Jewish and non-Jewish individuals to hold Israeli citizenship along with the citizenship of other countries?

A. Yes. Israeli law does not require the renunciation of other citizenships, nor does it limit the number of citizenships. It is recommended to check whether the other countries allow dual and triple citizenship.

 

Q. Is military service a requirement for eligibility for Jewish and non-Jewish individuals to obtain Israeli citizenship?

A. No. Military service is not required in order to receive or retain Israeli citizenship for Jewish or non-Jewish individuals, qualified under the Law of Return. This applies for same-gender spouses as well.

 

Q.  Where can applications for citizenship be submitted?

A. Any application can be submitted at the Israeli Consulate at the current location of the Israeli citizen or at the Ministry of Interior at the current Israeli residence of the Israeli citizen.

 

• The above applies to same-gender spouses.

• Each application mentioned above has a different set of required documentation. 

 

Kan-Tor& Acco has vast experience in providing assistance pertaining to visas based on Judaism and Israeli Citizenship.

 

Returning Citizens

Returning residents, who meet the criteria of the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, can be eligible to receive assistance from the State.

The definition of a “returning resident” according to the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration:

1. A citizen of Israel

2. Age 17 and over at the time of return to Israel

3. Resident of Israel in the past

4. Residence abroad – residence abroad of at least two years

A “returning scientist” is eligible for assistance from the Center for Integration in Science following residence abroad of at least five years.

A “business entrepreneur” is eligible for assistance following residence abroad of at least 5 years.

5. Visits to Israel – Visits to Israel, whether consecutive or cumulative, of no more than four months during each year of absence (during the last two years before return to Israel, or three years for entrepreneurs and five years for scientists). A visit beginning in one year and continuing without interruption into the next year is considered one visit.

6. The residence abroad was not for the purpose of serving as an emissary – Neither the returning resident nor his/her spouse nor either one of his/her parents was posted abroad as an employee of one of the bodies listed below (unless five years have elapsed since the end of the emissary mission):

• The State of Israel

• Any authority of the State of Israel (including government companies)

• The World Zionist Organization or any of its institutions

• The Jewish Agency

• The Jewish National Fund

• Keren HaYesod

• The United Jewish Appeal

• The Israel Bonds

7. The applicant did not previously receive assistance as a returning resident from the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, unless 10 years have passed since receipt of the last assistance, and on condition that the individual returns following residence of at least 6 years abroad.

8. The applicant did not receive any assistance as a new immigrant from the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration during the previous two years.

 

A returning resident who is separated or divorced with children, or one member of a couple who has come to Israel before their spouse, and together with their children,  must, in order to receive assistance for the children as well, provide a notarized declaration by the children’s other parent, and notarized overseas, or a declaration signed before an Israeli consul, stating their agreement to the removal of the children to Israel.

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