Thursday, March 17, 2011

applying for a temporary citizenship/working visa in israel

 i can only tell you about my case and about the cases of people who helped me gathering all the documents.
here is a website that can help you if your case differs

about my case: 
i am a german citizen (non-jewish, if you are jewish it is much easier (aliah)) and moved to israel to be with my israeli boyfriend. as a european i get a tourist visa for three month when i enter israel (there are some countries where you have to apply for a tourist visa before you enter israel. have a look at this list). the process we are going through right now is to prove our relationship to the israeli authorities. this process takes about four to five years. 

we needed to gather the following documents
(in english and with an apostille!):
  • an extract of the birth register/birth certificate
  • a paper that shows that you have no records of crimes at the police (clearance certificate/ certificate of good conduct/crb check)
  • a non-marriage certificate/or any other official document that shows your status (if you where divorced or are married to this israeli)
  • then you need pictures of the two of you (they want real photos, so go and develop them!). they will only choose a few of them but it looks good if you have many...
  • you will need to write a letter about your relationship (how you met and stuff like that)
  • some letters from both of your parents (in english or hebrew) that confirm your relationship
  • some letters from your friends that know both of you (with their address, telephone number, email address and if they can sign them would be great!)
  • some of the emails (or facebook mails or whatever) to prove that you where in touch. we brought almost all of our emails and she said that it is far too much so don't waist as much paper as we did ;-)
  • make sure to bring 250 shekels or even more (there might be different prices if you are not from the eu)
copy all the documents and bring both the copy and the original to the meeting!!
in germany every document/apostille costed money (between 5-12 € i think), check with your local authorities.

  • you can open a tourist account at a local bank
  • if you are listed in the contract for your flat, copy it and bring both the contract and the copy
  • if you are not listed in the contract you might have bills that show that you are using more water/electricity now because you are living there too.
  • sometimes they also like prove that you saw each other over the time you where together (flight tickets or something similar)
the more documents you bring, the happier they will be =)

some tips:
  • if you have all the documents and are waiting for your meeting don't leave the country before the meeting because they could ask you to gather all the documents again (you could have committed a crime or married in another country!)
  • don't give up if they order you to some other meetings, they just want to see how serious you are about living in israel
  • bring your partner to the meetings!! it makes everything easier and you have someone who speaks hebrew (you might get a woman in the office that does not speak english or your mother tongue and waiting for a translator can add some extra months to your process!)
 and this is how the process works:

  • first you will get an appointment to open the case and get all the information that you have in this post. then you usually need some months to gather all the documents and have other meetings (you can avoid these months of waiting if you have all the documents at the first meeting!!)
  • when you gathered everything they want you will get an appointment for a hearing where your partner and you will be questioned separately (we had our first meeting in the beginning of march (we had all the documents and got the appointment for the hearing at this meeting) but our hearing is in the beginning of may!)
  • make sure to get another appointment where they will tell you if everything went fine and if/when you will get a working visa for a year. you will have to go there to prove that you are still in that relationship ever year for at least four years. usually after four years you get a temporary citizenship (or something similar).
i hope i could help some people like others helped me to make this process shoter and more comfortable. if you have any other questions feel free to contact me!


    Lene LN fra Tyskland said...

    Per apostille 15 €, and for some of the dokuments 13 € :-)Yes, a burocratic apparatus takes its time. I wonder how many new citizens Israel gets a year?

    Cat said...

    a lot! if you count everyone who does aliah and all the foreign workers and people like me...

    Lauren said...

    This is great information! It sounds very much like what I had to do when moving from the USA to the UK... But I didn't have anyone to give me advice like this. This blog post will really help people wanting to move to Israel!
    Great picture too!

    Cat said...

    i was so happy that i had people who helped me. so i thought i want to do the same for others... i really hope people who need it will find it.

    Cat said...

    thanks =)
    thats me and r. on the picture, it was at the beit loya excavation (you can find it in my blog archives)

    Amy said...

    I've gotta say, we made aliya 5 years ago and had to do most of that, too. The difference is if you're jewish then when you're done with the paper hassle you get automatic citizenship, and if you're not, when you're done with the paper hassle you have to wait for them to decide what your status is.

    But all those papers and references and documents and apostilles and letters from rabbis and relatives and friends ... it was such a pain getting all that together. And then they'd kick them back for a mistake on this, or what do these words mean on that, and they have to write this and that instead of that and this ... man. Beyond a hassle.

    But it's a great place to live, once you get past the stupidity. Good luck ... :-)

    Eleanor said...

    I am just about to start this process to move to israel to be with my boyfriend, we want to try to get the working visa. I am quite scared. He has been to ministry of interior today to get list of documents, I am in UK, (English non Jewish). I wanted to ask, do you have to show things like funds/ college degree or anything to show u are financially self supporting and have a good job or career prospects? Both of us have not been to university and dont have lots of money or careers as such. So so nice to find this blog post, its comforting to read about other couples going through the process or completed part of it