If you are considering Israeli citizenship for yourself or your loved ones, now could be the perfect time to apply. The Israeli Government has been easing pathways to citizenship for various groups, as well as streamlining the process to make it less cumbersome.
While Israeli’s “right to return” citizenship laws are famous the world over, few people are aware of the practical aspects of Israeli immigration. If you are eligible for Israeli citizenship, you must follow the proper process to get your papers processed in a timely fashion. With that in mind, here is everything you need to know about becoming an Israeli citizen.
1. Pathways to Israeli Citizenship
First off, it is important to know the main pathways to citizenship for both Israeli residents and those who do not reside in Israel. These are:
If you were born in Israel and have either a mother or father who is an Israeli citizen, you can apply for citizenship. Likewise, if you were born outside of Israel but have one parent who is or was an Israeli citizen, you are also eligible.
Law of Return
The “law of return” stipulates that any Jewish person, no matter where they are, is eligible for Israeli citizenship. You need to provide proof of your religion, after which citizenship is granted automatically after you have stayed in Israel for more than three months.
A specific form of citizenship via residence is available to anyone who was a citizen of British Mandatory Palestine, provided they were in Israel from 1948-1952.
If you have lived in Israel for at least three out of the last five years and are willing to renounce all other nationalities, you are eligible for Israeli citizenship. You must have resided legally in Israel for the entire period.
2. How to Apply
If you fit any of the above criteria, you are ready to apply for Israeli citizenship. Here’s how to get started:
- Download your Notification of Interest in Receiving Citizenship from the Israeli Government website
- Fill this out
- Prepare any additional supporting documents, such as your Oleh’s Certificate, your passport, criminal record, proof of residence, or birth certificate
- Make sure any relevant documents have been officially notarized and translated into Hebrew and English (take a look here for a company that offers this service)
- Submit your documents in person at your nearest Immigration office or Israeli consulate
3. Rules to Abide By
Depending on the type of citizenship you are applying for, there may be certain rules you have to abide by. For one, anyone who is convicted of a crime or is considered a national security risk can be rejected for citizenship at any time.
If this happens, a successful appeal is highly unlikely. You may also need to meet certain income requirements, especially for family migration. Research carefully to make sure you do not fall afoul of the rules when applying for Israeli citizenship.
Insights That Matter
Applying for Israeli citizenship might seem daunting at first, but the rewards are always worth the effort. For more practical advice on the issues that matter to you, we have got you covered. Check out our daily Lifestyle sections for guides and hacks to keep you on track.