Legal support at the Ministry of Interior

Our office provides legal support to foreign citizens who are married to Israeli citizens and wish to legalize their status in the state.

In this matter, Israeli law differs from generally accepted norms. The fact of marriage with an Israeli citizen does not guarantee a foreigner the right to obtain citizenship. The Ministry of the Interior may refuse to grant legal status to a foreign spouse and deport them from the country.

The procedure for obtaining citizenship for a foreign spouse is regulated by procedure No. 5.2.0008 of the Ministry of the Interior.

According to this procedure, in order to obtain legal status, spouses must fulfill the following requirements:

  • if both spouses reside outside Israel, they should contact an Israeli consul where stay to apply for entry;
  • if only a foreign spouse lives abroad and an Israeli spouse lives in Israel, the Israeli citizen should submit an online application on the website of the Ministry of the Interior in order to obtain an entry permit for the other spouse;
  • if both spouses reside in Israel, both of them should submit an online application.

When considering an application at the Ministry of the Interior, a foreign citizen is issued a B/1 visa, which allows them to stay and work in Israel temporarily until their application is completed. Visa type B/1 is issued for up to 6 months. After verification, if approved, a foreign citizen receives a temporary residence permit for a period of 4 years – visa type A/5. Only after the process is completed a foreign spouse can apply for citizenship.

It is very important to know that before leaving the country during the period of application consideration, a foreign spouse should take care in advance to obtain a return visa in order to return to Israel. If not, their current visa will be cancelled.

Also it is important not to forget that the Ministry of the Interior has the authority to revoke a residence permit and terminate the process at any stage if it is proved that the spouses violated the rules, provided incomplete or false information about their marital status.

For the consideration of the application by the Ministry of Interior, the following documents should be submitted:

  1. An application.
  2. Two passport photos from each spouse.
  3. An Israeli identity card and a foreign spouse’s foreign passport, valid for two years.
  4. An explanatory letter from the spouses regarding their relationship.
  5. An application certified by the spouses confirming the authenticity and veracity of the submitted documents. 
  6. Documents confirming living together and the fact of marital relations for at least a year. It can be a joint bank account, a rental agreement, testimonies from friends and family members, joint photos.
  7. Birth certificate of a foreign spouse, its certified copy.
  8. Marriage certificate.
  9. Certificate of marital status of a foreign spouse, issued no more than six months before the date of filing.
  10.  Certificate of no criminal record, issued no more than three months before the date of filing.

These documents are a prerequisite for considering an application.

If the Ministry of the Interior decides to reject the application, both spouses will be invited to the office where they will be given a written notice of the rejection. From now on, a foreigner will have 30 days to leave the country, as his residence permit in Israel will be cancelled.

In the process of legalizing the status at the Ministry of the Interior, it is very important in a timely manner to contact a lawyer who specializes in this field. Increasing cases of fictitious marriages, the purpose of which is to obtain citizenship through this procedure, complicate the already difficult process of submitting and considering an application. That is why, the correct action algorithm from the very beginning is the key to achieving results.

Legal support at the Ministry of Interior
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