In contrast to many other countries throughout the world, including the United States, Poland, etc., the State of Israel permits the partner of an Israeli to live and work Israel without getting married.
For the purposes of arranging the foreign partner’s status, the Population and Immigration Authority (hereinafter: the “Authority”) will examine the essence of the relationship of the applicants.
It should be noted that also if the applicants get married and they have a marriage certificate, the Authority will still materially examine the relationship of the applicants, in other words, the applicants will have to prove the existence of the couple’s relationship in accordance with the Authority’s procedures.
The application must be filed with the Authority close to the Israeli couple’s residence.
The application must include two types of documents – (a) official documents from the Israeli native’s foreign partner’s native country which include: a certificate of good character, a birth certificate and a certificate attesting to the foreign partner’s status (single/ divorce/ widow), and all these documents need to be attached to an apostil authorization that needs to be verified by the Israeli consul overseas. In addition, the Authority requires that these documents be translated into Hebrew or English by an Israeli notary; (b) – documents that attest to the nature of the relationship, including letters or correspondence exchanged between the couple, pictures of the couple with their friends and/or family, documents attesting to the couple’s income, etc.
After filing the application with the relevant documents, an interview will be set up for the couple in the Authority’s office. It should be noted that at times, the Authority will request that the couple arrive at the “Nativ” offices located in Jerusalem, in order to examine an interim interview (this is especially common in cases where the foreign partner is from Eastern Europe).
In the event that the Authority approves the application (usually immediately after the interview), the Authority issues the foreign partner a type B-1 work and stay visa, which is valid for one year. This visa will be renewed at the end of each year for a period of three years.
Upon the conclusion of the initial three years and in the absence of any preclusion, the Authority will upgrade the foreign partner’s status to a temporary resident (type A-5 visa) for one year, which shall be extended every year for a period of four years.
It is important to note that individuals who receive type A-5 visas, receive temporary identification card certificates which are in effect for one year and which are renewable. Holders of type A-5 visas are also permitted to work and stay in Israel since they are entitled to receive all rights from the National Insurance Fund, similar to all Israeli residents.
At the end of the process, the foreign partner will receive the status of a permanent resident in Israel.
As aforementioned, after seven years from the receipt of the initial visa (B-2) and in the absence of any preclusion upon the filing of the appropriate application, the foreign partner will be granted with permanent residency in Israel.
In the event that the couple is married, then the couple will go through a similar process to the one described above, with the following modifications:
The difference between residency and citizenship is embedded in the fact that a permanent resident will receive an identification card certificate which is accompanied by many rights granted to every Israeli citizen, inducing the receipt of a stipend from the National Insurance Institute, the right to work in any job he so desires, and excluding the right to vote and be elected to the Israeli Knesset. A foreign citizen who received Israeli citizenship can vote and be elected to the Israeli Knesset.
It is important to note that the immigration process for a foreign partner can be long and tedious, and there is no doubt that dealing with the State authorities can be Sisyphean and frustrating, Therefore, we recommend that you receive assistance from an attorney who has significant experience when handling applications of this type with the Authority, who possesses the ability to file the necessary documents on your behalf, who will prepare the relevant applications, contact the Authority in your name and accompany you during the process.
We suggest that you set up a consultation meeting with Porat Group, during the course of which we will discuss your specific situation and form an action plan suitable for your needs.