How to Obtain Citizenship in Israel
Israel Today, Israel Today Staff, June 13, 2019
There’s a reason why Israel attracts prospective immigrants from around the globe.
Israel is beautiful, economically- and technologically-developed, has a well-educated population that can accommodate English speakers before they learn Hebrew, and, most importantly… is the Holy Land, a site of pilgrimage and significance to all Abrahamic religions.
Despite being a very attractive immigration destination, Israel has a restrictive immigration policy. We take this opportunity to ask Joshua Pex, an Israeli immigration attorney, about the intricacies of Aliyah and immigration to Israel.
What’s the most common question you are asked about immigration to Israel?
The most common question – “are Jews the only ones entitled to immigrate to Israel?” – is also the most commonly held misconception. The right to immigrate to Israel is open to Jews, their family and spouses, but also to the family and spouses of all Israeli citizens and residents, regardless of their religion.
Which family members are entitled to make Aliyah?
The Law of Return was amended in 1970 to allow the children and grandchildren of Jews to make Aliyah to Israel. Anyone making Aliyah can bring their spouse and minor children to Israel (so the great grandchildren can immigrate to Israel with their family).
Spousal immigration is not restricted by religion?
Correct. Any citizen or permanent resident of Israel can apply to bring their spouse to Israel. This right of immigration does not discriminate by the religion or gender of either spouse. However, the spouses are often required to marry outside Israel.
Why can’t the couple marry within Israel?
Within Israeli borders, only religious forms of marriage are recognized by the State. Religious authorities within Israel do not conduct intra-faith marriages. But the State of Israel recognizes any marriage ceremony that was lawfully conducted abroad. As a result, many mixed-faith couples or same-sex couples make a short trip to Cyprus or another European country to get married.