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Appeals Court – Appeal Ministry of Interior decisions regarding immigration to Israel

Joshua Pex
Joshua Pex

Michelle Long

Josh has been helping me on and off for a few years now. I have needed legal advice and assistance with immigration due to a complex situation of mine, and he has been extremely available and responsive, honest and clear about my route and how to proceed. Very much recommended!

The Appeals Court is the appellate tribunal addressed when the Ministry of the Interior, who is the Israeli Immigration Authority, does not approve a request for entry, immigration, or the receipt of an Israeli visa.

Our law firm specializes in immigration, Aliyah and legal status in Israel for foreign citizens. Many of our clients run into problems with the Israeli immigration office, such as clients have been forbidden to visit their spouses or family members in Israel. The Population and Immigration Authority often stops visitors from entering Israel due to reason that can be contested. There are several steps to an appeal against Ministry of the Interior decisions.

After an immigration authority refuses your claim, an internal appeal may be filed with the local branch of the authority, or at the Jerusalem headquarters If the internal appeal is rejected, the claim may be appealed to the appellate court. If the the appeals court does not provide a remedy, the appeal can be extended to the District Court, and finally the Supreme Court, sitting as the High Court of Justice on matters of immigration to Israel.

In this article, Attorney Joshua Pex explains everything you need to know about the appeals court. This includes its authority, how to file an appeal, and what is required in order to succeed in your appeal.

What is the Israeli immigration appeals court and why was it founded?

The Appellate court under the Entry into Israel Law is a relatively new legal body. The appeals court was established in 2014 as a legal tribunal that reviews the decisions of the immigration authorities in Israel regarding issues of entry into Israel and legal status in Israel for foreign citizens. The goal was to reduce the burden on the judicial system in general, and specifically on the High Court of Justice. The Appellate court’s authority to rule on matters of status and residency derives from the Administrative Courts Law. The authority to discuss decisions of the Israeli immigration authorities was anchored in Amendment 22 to the Entry into Israel Law. The amendment stated that the appeals tribunal is the address for appeals against immigration authorities’ decisions regarding visas and status in Israel. The appeals court is equivalent in status to a magistrate’s court. The appeals court decisions may be appealed in turn at a District Court.

Appeals Court - Appeal Ministry of Interior decisions regarding immigration to IsraelSubmitting an appeal to the appeals court is usually done after an internal appeal is refused by the Israeli Immigration Authority headquarters in Jerusalem, or after refusal of entry into Israel, or a rejection of an application by one of the Population and Migration Authority’s offices. If the request for an internal appeal does not produce results, it is possible to submit an appeal to the court.

It is important to remember that the appeal must be submitted within 30 days of receipt of the letter with the decision which is being appealed against. Instructions for submitting an appeal can be found on the Ministry of Justice website.

What topics can be referred to the Israeli immigration appeals court?

The Government Services and Information Website notes that the decisions of the immigration authorities and the Population Authority can be appealed in the following areas:

Regularization of foreign spouses who are married to, or who are common-law partners of an Israeli citizen or resident including:
Entry to Israel
Beginning the process of naturalization or permanent residence.
Including dependent minors accompanying parents in the process of naturalization.
Legal status in Israel for residents of the region, spouses or minors accompanying parents.
Israeli legal status for minors born in Israel when one parent is a permanent Israeli resident.
Expiration and termination of residency permits.
Work permits for foreigners.
Requests for Refugee status for asylum seekers in Israel.
Status in Israel for humanitarian reasons, according to the Population and Immigration Authority procedures including:
Elderly parents
Parents of a soldier
Widows of deceased Israelis
Victims of domestic abuse
Requests to extend foreign workers in the nursing sector’s work permits for humanitarian reasons.
General humanitarian requests.
Delay of expulsion from Israel due to special medical reasons.
Government decisions regarding children of foreigners.
Issue of rulings to stay in the ‘Hulot” detention facility.

When does our office file an appeal to the Israeli immigration appeals court?

For the most part, we appeal the decisions of the Population and Immigration Authority on behalf of Israeli citizens who do not receive permission to begin or continue the gradual process for obtaining legal status in Israel for their spouses. The granting of Israel citizenship under section 7 of the Citizenship Law for a spouse whom the Israeli Immigration Authority prefers to leave in the status of a resident is also within the jurisdiction of the court.
Sometimes we apply to the Court regarding asylum seekers in Israel whose asylum application has been denied.
The court is also the address when a request for special humanitarian status for the parents of an IDF soldier or for a single elderly parent of an Israeli citizen is rejected for reasons that are not justified.

An urgent appeal can be filed to the appeals tribunal in order to prevent deportation from Israel. The appeal requests an injunction on the grounds that the deportation will cause extensive and unnecessary damage. This option applies to visitors who were refused entry if they are willing to stay in the detention facility until the decision is made.

However, the injunction requires proof that irreparable harm will indeed be caused if the visitor is expelled from Israel back to his country of origin. For example, leaving minor children without custody or a sick relative without treatment. The damage caused by any expulsion from Israel: the cost of plane tickets and a hotel reservation, losing out on a planned vacation, the emotional damage of dealing with the charges of border control and the need to appeal the Interior Ministry’s decision in order to return to Israel, are not considered severe enough to justify delaying or canceling deportation.

Before applying to the court of appeals, you are required:

To pay a fee of NIS 649 (as of 2018).

Sign an affidavit before an attorney to verify the facts of the appeal, and submit the appeal to the court.

After the appeal is submitted to the Court, the lawyers representing the Ministry of the Interior submit a response and then the hearing is scheduled.

The judge decides according to the rules of Israeli administrative law. There is no presentation of proof or testimony. Each side makes their legal arguments and the judge decides in accordance with the Entry into Israel Law, and in accordance with prior rulings and precedents of the courts in this matter.

Appeal against judgment of the appellate court

If the appellants are dissatisfied with the ruling of the appeals court, they may appeal to the District Court.

The decision of the District Court can be appealed to the Supreme Court sitting as the High Court of Justice.

Contact Us- Israeli immigration lawyers

Our firm specializes in entry, immigration, Aliyah, and legal status in Israel.

If the Population and Immigration Authority, the Ministry of the Interior, or Border Control rejected your request, we would be happy to help appeal the decision.

Schedule a meeting at our office in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv for information and legal aid.

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