Residency and Citizenship

Israeli citizens, Jews and non-Jews, are entitled to live in Israel together with their spouses. The right to live and work in Israel alongside the Israeli spouse is granted to married couples and to spouses who live as “common-law partners,” including single-sex couples. Each case, however, involves a gradual process with several critical stages, with the permanent permit (citizenship or permanent residency) granted only after several years.

Many couples, whether they met each-other in Israel or abroad, are not aware of their rights and are afraid to approach the Ministry of the Interior and obtain their proper rights. Sometimes the problem is the opposite: Couples approach the process without proper preparation, assuming that the Ministry of the Interior will be “positive” towards them and assist them in the process. The situation, alas, is usually completely different. The terms to be met are rigid, the bureaucracy is sometimes cumbersome, and the lack of a single document or a word which was improperly understood may result in refusal of the request and a demand that the spouse leave Israel immediately.

Our firm has extensive experience in handling requests of this kind, including in complex cases (for example, in cases when the spouse remained in Israel illegally, or his application was rejected in the past). We represent clients viz. à viz. the Ministry of the Interior at all stages of the process. In simple cases there is sometimes no need for representation by an attorney, but it is nevertheless highly recommended to receive proper counsel and information before submitting the application in order to avoid unnecessary difficulties in the future. If, on the other hand, your request has been refused or you have been presented with an impossible or unreasonable requirement, you should seek legal counsel without delay, so as not to miss the dates set forth in the law to appeal the decision.