By Daniel Aspiro, Partner|

Under Israeli law, every individual entering the country is required to obtain a visa, which can vary depending on the purpose of their visit. Whether it’s a B-2 visa for business and tourism, a B-1 work visa for specific assignments, or a spouse visa for family reunions, the process is designed to regulate entry and stay within the country. However, despite meeting initial requirements, individuals may find their visa extension applications denied by the Ministry of Interior for various reasons. In such cases, the individual must navigate through an appeal process, dispelling the myth of being allowed to overstay their visa during this period.

Understanding Denial Reasons for Visa extension Applications: Insights and Example

Denial of a visa extension in Israel can be a significant setback for individuals hoping to continue their stay in the country. The Ministry of Interior is responsible for assessing visa extension applications and may refuse extension for various reasons. Common grounds for denial include previous overstays in Israel, suspicions of misleading declarations, criminal offenses committed in Israel, or suspicion of intent to reside or work while holding a visa that does not permit such activities.

For instance, if an individual has a history of overstaying their visa in Israel, the Ministry of Interior may view their application for an extension with skepticism. Overstaying a visa is a serious violation of immigration laws and can lead to repercussions such as denial of future visa applications or even order to depart. Similarly, if there are suspicions of misleading declarations, such as providing false information or documents during the visa application process, the Ministry may deem the applicant ineligible for an extension.

Additionally, criminal offenses committed in Israel can result in the denial of a visa extension. The Ministry of Interior considers the applicant’s criminal record and may refuse extension if there are concerns about the individual’s behavior or potential risk to public safety. Similarly, if there is suspicion that the individual intends to reside or work in Israel while holding a visa that does not permit such activities, their extension request may be denied.

Overall, denial of a visa extension in Israel can have serious consequences for individuals wishing to prolong their stay in the country. It is crucial for applicants to comply with immigration laws, provide accurate information, and adhere to the terms of their visa to avoid facing denial or other legal issues.

Navigating Visa Extension Denials in Israel: The Path of Internal Appeal

Visa denials can be disheartening and challenging for individuals seeking to extend their stay in a foreign country, such as Israel. However, there exists a recourse for those who face such setbacks. The Israeli Ministry of Interior provides an avenue for individuals to appeal the denial internally, followed by the option of seeking judicial review through the district court. This process is governed by regulations designed to ensure fairness and transparency.

When an individual’s visa extension application is denied by the Israeli Ministry of Interior, they are not left without recourse. Instead, they are afforded the opportunity to challenge the decision through an internal appeal process. This internal appeal process is a crucial step in seeking redress for the denial and involves presenting arguments that negate the reasons provided by the Ministry for the refusal.

The internal appeal process is not without its challenges. It requires careful preparation and presentation of evidence to counter the grounds on which the visa extension was denied. Whether it be issues related to documentation, eligibility criteria, or any other reason cited by the Ministry, the appeal must effectively address and refute these concerns.

It’s important to note that there is typically a fixed period of time mentioned within the denial letter, normally 21 days within which the individual must submit their appeal to the Ministry of Interior. This timeframe underscores the importance of acting swiftly and diligently in pursuing the internal appeal.

In the event that an internal appeal is denied by the Ministry of Interior, it is incumbent upon the Ministry to furnish its decision in written form. Similar to the initial decision, the denial letter typically stipulates a predefined period, conventionally set at 30 days, within which the affected individual is required to initiate an appeal to the Court. This time constraint underscores the imperative for timely action and underscores the importance of adhering to prescribed procedural timelines. Judicial review allows for an independent assessment of the Ministry’s decision-making process to ensure that it was conducted fairly and in accordance with the law.

Appealing to the district court adds another layer of complexity to the process, requiring legal representation and adherence to court procedures. However, it provides an additional opportunity for individuals to present their case and seek a favorable outcome.

Grounds for Judicial Review of Visa Extension Denials by Israel’s Ministry of Interior

The following are the common grounds for such reviews, supported by examples from visa extension denial cases.

  • Procedural Impropriety:

Instances of procedural impropriety, such as failure to follow statutory procedures, can lead to judicial review. For example, the court may overturn a visa extension denial due to the Ministry’s failure to provide the applicant with an opportunity to be heard.

  • Unreasonableness:

Decisions deemed unreasonable or irrational may be challenged in court. For example, the court may overturn a visa extension denial if the Court find the decision to be unreasonable.

  • Error of Law:

Judicial review can be sought if there’s an error of law, such as misinterpretation of legal provisions. For example, the court may overturn a visa extension denial because it misapplied relevant legal provisions regarding residency status.

  • Factual Error:

Decisions based on factual errors can be challenged in court. For instance, the Court may overturn a visa extension denial due to incorrect information regarding the applicant’s employment status.

  • Disproportionality:

Decisions may be reviewed for disproportionality if the action taken is excessive compared to the objective. For example the court can rule against the Ministry’s denial of a visa extension, citing disproportionate treatment based on ethnicity.

Can The Individual Remain In Israel During The Appeal?

No!  The individual must depart from Israel prior to visa expiry date. Any visa. 

Contrary to popular belief, there is no provision under Israeli law that allows individuals to overstay their visa while their appeal is being processed. Overstaying a visa is a violation of immigration laws and can lead by itself for the denial of the application or the appeal. Staying in Israel may also lead to a serious consequence, including deportation, entry bans, and legal penalties. It’s crucial for individuals to understand their obligations and abide by the terms of their visa, regardless of their appeal status.

Instead of risking overstaying their visa, individuals have two primary options following a denial:

  1. Departing from Israel before the expiration date and continue the appeal process by an immigration lawyers, like Kan-Tor & Acco; or
  2. Applying prior to the expiry date of the visa to Court to allow remaining in the country while the extension appeals are ongoing.

In either scenario, individuals must adhere to the legal processes outlined by Israeli authorities. Attempting to circumvent immigration laws or prolonging one’s stay without proper authorization can have serious implications for both the individual and their future immigration prospects.

Case Law Example

In case No. 27167-06-21 Subotich N. V. Ministry of Interior/Population Administration, the appellant, a 69-year-old Lithuanian citizen, was married his Israeli spouse during the process of regulating his status through a spousal visa. The Ministry of Interior rejected his request to maintain his status in Israel following the death of his spouse. He appealed this decision to the Administrative Court of Appeals, while concurrently applying for status regularization on humanitarian grounds. An appeal was filed against this decision.

As an interim measure, the appellant seeks to prevent his expulsion from Israel until a decision is made on his case due to his medical issues.

In this case the Court allowed the appellant to remain in Israel due to the specific circumstances of the case, and held that the individual can remain in Israel while the appeal process is undergoing:

“12…The right to appeal is part of the procedure set forth in the regulations, and accordingly, the license must be extended until the exhaustion of the appeal process. In fact, the revocation of the visa during the appeal period means that the applicant will be forced to leave the country before a final decision is made in their case by the population authority and to conduct the appeal process ‘from a distance’, which carries significant hardship, even to the point of prejudicing the appeal process… Ultimately, the temporary visa of the appellant of type A/5 will be extended until 30 days after the decision on the appeal is reached.”

Kan-Tor and Acco stands as Israel’s preeminent law firm specializing in immigration law. Our team of seasoned attorneys and partners are dedicated to guiding individuals through the intricacies of visa extensions and lawful residency during the decision-making period. With extensive expertise, we adeptly navigate internal appeals within the Ministry and represent clients with distinction in the Court of Appeal. Trust Kan-Tor and Acco for comprehensive legal support in immigration matters, ensuring compliance with the law and protecting your rights every step of the way.