Settling Status of Married/Unmarried Foreigners
Many Israeli citizens are unaware of their right to settle the status of their foreign spouses – whether they are married or not. As part of this, the foreign spouse may obtain inter alia a work visa, provision of a temporary Israeli identity card etc., with the aim of allowing the couple to live together in Israel.
In this context, the procedures of the Ministry of Interior prescribe that the spouses are required to prove the sincerity of their relationship and its continuity, as well as to comply with an examination of whether or not their shared life is centered within the country’s boundaries.
The procedure of settling the status of foreign spouses in Israel who live together without marrying each other (this also applies to cases of same-sex marriages) involves several steps, and it may take several months from the date of submission of the initial application until obtaining a work visa.
Step 1 – A One-Year Work Visa
Essentially, the procedure of settling the status of (unmarried) spouses, initially requires the submission of several documents, some of which must be verified by an apostille (a stamp which indicates that the documents were granted on behalf of an authority or a certified entity at the country of origin), or by the Israeli consulate at that country, which indicate a shared life centered in Israel, and the sincerity of the relationship. This examination will be conducted once a year, as well as throughout the following steps of the process (unless otherwise indicated).
Additionally, the foreign spouse will be required to hold a foreign passport which is valid for at least two years. Following submission of these proofs, the spouse will be eligible for a one-year B/1 Visa.
Step 2 – Extending the Validity of the Work Visa
The validity of the work visa can be extended upon the conclusion of the first year by another year, with up to three additional years in total. During this time period, the spouse may leave the country and return to it through a multiple-entry visa (every year, on the anniversary of issuance of the work visa, the spouse is also issued with multiple-entry and multiple-exit visas).
Step 3 – A Temporary Resident
Upon the conclusion of this time period, the status of the spouse changes to that of a temporary resident for four additional years.
Step 4 – A Permanent Resident
Upon the end of the temporary residency period, the foreign spouse may apply for a permanent resident status. This status entitles the foreign spouse to a permanent identity card; however, it does not enable him to vote in the elections for The Knesset or to obtain an Israeli passport. During this stage as well, the spouses are required to prove a shared life centered in Israel and the sincerity of the relationship.
Should the spouses fail to pass the examination, the Ministry of Interior may deny their application. In this case, the foreign spouse will be requested to leave Israel within 14-30 days.
Settling the status of a foreign spouse is considered a complex and lengthy process, entailing different procedures in cases of denial of applications for various reasons (missing documents, an unmistakable change of circumstances of the spouses, etc.). Additionally, the various authorities may require actions, documents and materials in accordance with particular cases. Therefore, before initiating the process, and for its optimal management, it is advisable to consult with a professional, experienced attorney, who will be able to support the process in the most professional, rapid and convenient manner.
We have been working with the law firm of Iftach Hanan & Co. for some time in the field of applying for foreign expert work licenses in Israel. As a leading company in our field, we carry out many projects that require the purchase of advanced machinery and upgrading the production system in our factories on a regular basis, while utilizing the services of foreign experts.
From the moment we turned to Adv. Iftach Hanan, we realized that we were already in a different place- a sense of service, professionalism, availability, and providing an efficient and quick response to any problem, issuing work permits on tight schedules, and doing everything possible for the sake of the project. Real professionals, great job!
Elbit Systems - Cyclone Ltd., is engaged in the production and design of aerospace parts for the military and civilian market for the best aircraft manufacturers in the United States, and most of its activities are for defense exports.
I would like to thank you and the firm's staff for their fruitful cooperation, and for your thorough, efficient and professional service.
Your guidance in the process of applying for visas has proven itself, particularly against the background of COVID-19 and in light of the complexities involved both with the suppliers abroad and with the authorities in Israel. I enjoy working with you, especially because of the courtesy and sense of partnership for which I am grateful.
For about two years, our company has been using the services of the Iftach Hanan & Co. law firm for the purpose of applying for long-term and short-term foreign expert work permits.
In light of the complexity that currently exists with the authorities abroad and in Israel regarding the issuing of work permits and the immigration of foreign experts, Iftach Hanan's services have proven themselves more than once to be professional, courteous and fast.
Therefore, I would like to thank Iftach and his dedicated employees for the availability, personal attention, and accompanying services pertaining to the above.
We at Coral Energy provide services to a large number of Israeli and international companies.
In recent years, we have been working together with the Iftach Hanan & Co. law firm, which specializes in applying for work permits and work visas for foreign experts who wish to work in Israel.
Adv. Iftach Hanan and the staff in his firm are well versed in immigration law to Israel and in the field of commercial immigration in particular. Their services include responsiveness at any hour of the day, efficient and fast work, and quick and efficient problem-solving.
Throughout our time working together, Iftach and his team have proven their integrity and reliability, professionalism, willingness to work non-routine hours, and impressive results.
We strongly recommend that you contact the Iftach Hanan & Co. law firm when dealing with immigration issues and applying for work permits and work visas for foreign experts and workers.