I cannot recommend Nechama enough! Her expertise, professionalism, and dedication to her clients is unparalleled. From the moment I reached out to her, she provided clear and concise communication, and helped me navigate through a complex legal issue with ease.
Throughout the entire process, Nechama went above and beyond to ensure that I was informed and comfortable with every decision. She demonstrated a deep knowledge of the law, and was able to offer sound advice that ultimately led to a positive outcome.
What sets Nechama apart is her compassionate and empathetic approach to her clients. She truly cares about the well-being of her clients, and it shows in the way she handles every case.
If you are in need of a lawyer, I highly recommend Nechama.
I really recommend the law office's services. The service is very professional and efficient, the price is right. I am satisfied with the services I needed and happy to have known them.
We were very pleased and content with the services of this law firm. They supported us 100% and solved our case successfully, we couldn't be happier.
Mr. Joshua Pex is knowledgeable and Professional. I really appreciate his courteous and direct approach.
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!
Joshua Pex was both an amazing human being and an inspiring human rights attorney. I reported directly to him for various activities I performed as in intern. I was impressed with his incredibly solid character. He is trustworthy, fair, and goes above and beyond to advocate for the vulnerable. He is completely trustworthy and high caliber in his work. His partners and employees are very blessed to work with him. I am honored to know them.
We were searching for a law firm that will be honest with us and really work hard for a satisfying result, it wasn't an easy task
We found them online; they were the only law firm from all of our searchings which were completely honest and NOT gave us just what we wanted to hear
Using them guaranteed honesty above all. A legal team that is friendly and cares for a superb result
They really care about helping their customers without any other interest
Nadia gave us service behind what we expected; she was professional which lead to fast and easy process with great result
We definitely recommend using them
The team of lawyers and assistants are incredibly professional. Aiming to give their clients the advice possible regarding the normative and the law of Israel. With well trained and professional secretary at the front desk to the lawyers team, I could say that I had one of the most professional services possible. I'm super glad of choosing Joshua Pex of Law office for immigration solution, lawyers to advise in my case, to me, it is remarkable.
Sergei m Vashkevich
We came to Mr. Joshua with so many questions (and most of all, with so many concerns and worries) …
When we explained our case to him, first of all, he calmed us down and helped us to see the big picture, which took away our fears;
Then he presented us with a detailed explanation and a few options to explore, and a timeline, how things work and necessary steps to undertake on our part,
We thank and highly recommend Mr. Joshua for showing us so much empathy, care and professionalism (!)
Excellent service, very friendly and helpful, fast responding and very patient. Highly recommend. I will choose them again next time if needed.
Alexander P Gutterman
EU PASSPORT ! Big news! Thanks to Michael Decker and the other good people at the law office, as well as to the virtue of my ancestors, the cruelty of the Inquisition, reparations issued in the Iberian Peninsula, and etc, I am delighted to be on track for Portuguese and European Union Citizenship! A truly incredible development and one which brings me deep joy.
Courteous, clear, efficient service.
Best lawyer house from Israel! I couldn’t dealt with my situation without their professionalism and effectiveness. Their dedication to every legal aspect and their drive it’s how a true lawyer house can be!
Working in European market and international now, I couldn’t dare to let myself wide my wings on countries unknown to me. Definitely they’ll be the lawyers representing me, my business at every international aspect and on personal development.
When you hear Decker,Pex,Ofir &Co, you hear 10+ class services, luxurious professionals, confidentiality and exclusive attention to your needs.
If you need to solve any complicated legal issue in Israel, don't hesitate to contact them. Otherwise you will loose hours/days/weeks with things that they can solve in minutes. They helped me to obtain my expert working visa in Israel and even after that they responded further questions and gave me advices related to administrative issues in Israel which saved me a lot of time. Irena Rosenberg and Michael Decker worked on my case, they are very professional and helpful. They will not let you down, feel free to contact them.
We have been working with Decker, Pex & Co - Law Firm in Tel Aviv for many years very well. Because we appreciated their lawyers services, we recommended businesses and individuals again and again to go there as well.
Incredibly knowledgeable, approachable, accessible, and evident across the board that they truly care about the people they are helping. They are quick to respond, engaged, and obviously top-notch lawyers. I couldn't recommend them highly enough. Thank you, Joshua and Itamar for your help with our Joint Life Application. You were a calming energy during a storm - always breathed a sigh of relief after speaking with you. It is so difficult to get straight answers from the Misrad Hapnim, but you guys are straight shooters. I appreciate your candor and evident integrity. Hope to work with you in the future, and will send everyone I know in need of legal aid your way. Thank you for your guidance and support.
I admire the Austrian citizenship team in Tel-Aviv branch! They deserve more then 5 stars!! They are very friendly and professional. I've got Austrian citizenship in 4 months for all family members which consists of 12 people! The entire team is very friendly and responsive. They are always answering questions and support during the process. I recommend to everyone. Was 100% satisfied.
I can highly recommend these services!
Every time we turned to Joshua we always got a professional quick and helpful respond.
Oded Ger did an excellent job by reviewing a modeling contract I was offered. Explained the bad clauses in the contract, and their possible consequences. Thank you for your amazing job, your professionalism, your consultation and honesty. You showed me from your experience how it can be done differently. It was the best decision choosing you as my lawyer.
I highly recommend this firm, especially Oded Ger.
Marce Ruth St. Rey
Party time in the heart, my beloved husband received his residence after so much time of battles and faith. Gratitude, God has blessed us with wonderful beings who have accompanied us, including a "precious angel" who touched our hearts, our excellent and fantastic lawyer: Maria Chernin Dekel, sweet and wonderful human being, who has guided us and stayed On our side. side in this intense legal transit whom we bless on every occasion. God bless you dear Maria, you have exceeded your professional duty by containing us and collaborating with us in hard times, very hard, for that we want to thank you publicly, you are unique!!!
We bless and thank the entire team at Decker Pex Tal Ofir Law Firm.
We (myself and my husband) came to Mr. Joshua Pex – for his professional advice – and we received such human warmth and caring attitude, that our hearts melted …
His attention to our details and our situation peculiarities, combined with his professionalism and knowledge, helped us to map out what needs to be done on our part: we appreciate and recommend You, Mr. Joshua!
A really excellent firm. They knew exactly how to handle my situation effectively and efficiently, and we got the result I needed without much fuss. Adi Berger was a wonderful advocate for me and I am deeply grateful for her help!
We were very satisfied with the service of Nehama. She was very professional in all her dealings and kept us informed all the way.
We highly recommend this law firm. They proved to be reliable, efficient and pleasant to work with.
I have been receiving services from this Law Firm for several years now and I want to say THANK YOU to the team, especially Joshua Pex. They are doing outstanding work. The services I have received for both our Israeli non profit association but also our social business have helped us solve many issues at hand and provided solutions in complicated situations. Personally, I am grateful for support in visa issues as a foreigner living now in Israel for many years.
The best lawyer firm I’ve had dealt with. I would like to thank Anat Levi and Ariel Galili from the Jerusalem branch for all of their efforts and patience, we could not have been Able to reach to where we are now without them
Extrmely friendly, professional and helpful. A big thank you to Irina especially from the Jerusalem office. Highly Recommended.
Very knowledgeable and professional
Dongdiet & Nellie
We are very happy with the services. Somehow they managed to translate the law lingo into language we actually understand 😉 and their outstanding YouTube videos helped us to have a better grasp of what process we had to go through. Their patience, clear explanation and experience are very valuable. It's also very nice to know that you will receive response promptly; it made us feel we can really trust their services. We recommend all those looking for immigration lawyers to get in touch.
We highly recommend Adv. Mike Decker and have know him for many years. He has helped our family with many battles over the years. We recently received our permanent residency after 23 years in Israel. We so much appreciate Mike’s representation of us.
We had a pleasure of working with Irena Rosenberg who assisted in getting our two U.S. born children registered in Israel and supported visa process for my wife in 2021. During the pandemic, my wife and I decided to move to Israel where I am originally from after living in the U.S. for over 20 years, but we had no idea how to go about securing visas before and after arriving in Israel. Irena is knowledgeable, reliable and competent lawyer who always had answers to all our questions which made us feel confident that everything would be fine with her assistance. We are now happily living in Israel and are so grateful to have Irena who is a genuinely nice person as our lawyer.
Great lawyers Joshua Pex and Nechama and Michael Deker who really want to help you and I have very trustful relationships with them. All my cases they took they won. Thank you and let’s keep working together
Michael and Ariellah Waizman
For Advocate Joshua Pex.
We were in a devastating situation when my wife received an order from the immigration office to leave Israel within 30 days, without any explanation, after we have been married and in the process for six and a half years. We heard of Advocate Pex through a friend of a friend. We contacted Mr. Pex and he was ready to help us when he heard of our situation.
The service is amazing! Always ready to assist without regard to the time it takes. The advice Mr. Pex gave us was great, such as what to do, he gave useful links, and advice about which officials to contact. The price for the service was great!
The process until we received the extension for another year for my wife was not long (3 months). Things started moving once Mr. Pex came into the picture.
We highly recommend Advocate Joshua Pex! We achieved our goal and the fear of deportation has been lifted!
competent consulting, fast processing, reliable, warm & good team. highly recommended
The team at Decker, Pex & Co have been awesome to work with in helping our US company establish banking in Israel and in providing counsel for legal needs in Israel. I highly recommend!
I am delighted to report that my wife and I have just obtained our Israeli citizenship. We will be forever grateful for all of the help, guidance and support which Ariel Galili of Decker, Pex & Co. provided through this process.
I am a Jewish, 80-year-old American, and my wife is not Jewish. We had started the process on our own back in November 2020 via the Jewish Agency and Nefesh B’Nefesh, but soon became entangled in the delays and often-changing regulations due to Covid-19. The pandemic also caused delays in obtaining the required apostilles for various documents from various state agencies and the US State Department.
We found Decker, Pex & Co. On the internet and began working with Ariel in late November 2021. Ariel did a superb job of leading us through the process, helping us to understand which documents were essential, which would most likely be required, and which, though included on the list of required documents, were rarely required. He helped us several times to understand what was likely and unlikely to occur as “the next step.” Helping us manage our expectations was extremely useful to us.
Besides his knowing the laws, regulations and procedures, Ariel also made us feel that he was truly interested in helping us to successfully work through this process in as smooth, timely, and frustration-free manner as possible.
My wife and I strongly recommend anyone planning to go through this process seriously consider hiring Decker, Pex, Ofir & Co. and, specifically, Ariel Galili.
Our offices specialize in obtaining Austrian citizenship for eligible people – descendants of Holocaust and persecution victims in Austria. The purpose of this article is to make the important legal and historical information regarding obtaining Austrian citizenship accessible, in order to help readers efficiently clarify whether or not they are eligible. The article is based on questions we have received from clients over the last year. We have collected the most frequently asked questions and gathered them here for you.
This article describes the history of the Jews in Austria, especially in the capital Vienna; the numbers of Jews who emigrated from the country over the years; the countries they immigrated to; and the number of eligible people in the world today. After reading this article, if you are still not sure whether or not you are eligible, contact us and we will gladly assist you.
Austrian citizenship eligibility – questions and answers
The Austrian “Law of Return” calls on descendants of Austrian citizens who were persecuted by the Nazis to exercise their eligibility for citizenship. First, it is important to know something about the number of eligible people in the world; where they currently reside; and what the criteria are for receiving an Austrian passport. Here are some common questions on the subject:
- How many people worldwide are eligible for Austrian citizenship?
This number is estimated at about 200,000.
- Where do most of the eligible people currently reside?
Most of them currently live in Israel, the USA, Britain, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Australia and Italy. There are smaller numbers of eligible people in South Africa, Central American countries and others.
- When did most of the Austrian Jews leave the country and where did they go?
Between the years 1938-1945, a total of 126,500 Jews out of a population of 176,000 managed to leave the country. Of these, 55,000 of them fled to other European countries; 30,840 immigrated to Britain; 28,650 to the USA; 18,050 to China (most of them to the port city Shanghai); 11,600 to South and Central America; and almost 10,000 to the Land of Israel.
The rest found shelter in over eighty different countries around the world. Of those who fled to other European countries, 17,610 reached places which were later conquered by the Germans, and close to 13,000 eventually died in concentration camps.
Many clients ask us whether it is possible to obtain Austrian citizenship if their ancestors lived in Austria. Yes. But it depends on when they lived there and when they left the country. In more detail:
- Can anyone whose ancestors were formerly Austrian receive the citizenship?
No. It only applies to the years during which the Third Reich was in power.
- When did the Third Reich come into power?
From the year 1933 until 1945.
- Meaning, if my ancestors lived in Austria in those years I am eligible for Austrian citizenship?
Right. If your ancestors were in Austria between 1933-1945 and left it between 1933-1955, you are eligible.
- Does the term “ancestors” refer to a limited number of generations?
No, there is no generational limit.
- My grandmother was a victim of Nazi persecution. But my father – the grandmother’s son – is not interested in obtaining a passport. Can I file an application for myself?
Yes. Any eligible person can apply for an Austrian passport without their parents needing to obtain citizenship first.
- Does the law apply to adopted children as well?
Yes, as long as the children were adopted as minors.
- Are the great-grandchildren of a person who lived in Austria in the years 1933-1945 eligible for a passport if the great-grandparent did not have Austrian citizenship?
Yes. Due to the anti-semitism prevalent in the 20s and 30s, the Austrian authorities did not recognize many Jews as citizens with equal rights, and so were not quick to grant them citizenship. Today, the Austrian state recognizes the injustice it perpetrated, and the descendants of these people can receive citizenship.
- If my grandfather was born in Austria in 1947 – after the end of the war – am I eligible?
No. The eligibility only applies if the persecution victim was born up to 1945.
- Can my husband apply for citizenship?
If your husband is not a descendant of someone who was persecuted in Austria by the Nazi authorities and/or their allies, he cannot apply for citizenship.
- Am I eligible if my parents were not victims who were persecuted by the Nazis, but fled Austria before 1955?
Yes, if your ancestors left the country because of anti-semitic persecution or fear of persecution, you are still eligible. Descendants of Jews will usually not be required to prove that their ancestors were persecuted or feared persecution.
The next part of this article deals with the subject of mandatory and career military service.
Military background – who can receive Austrian citizenship?
- I served three mandatory years in the IDF, am I eligible?
Because the compulsory service was not done voluntarily, you are eligible for an Austrian passport.
This may be the most relevant question for Israelis. Note that an Israeli who is currently serving in career army service cannot apply for Austrian citizenship. Those who obtain a citizenship and volunteer to serve in the IDF, will have their Austrian citizenship revoked. People who served as career soldiers in the past can apply like everyone else.
- I am an officer in career army service, are my children eligible to apply?
- I have been serving in reserve duty for over ten years, can I receive Austrian citizenship?
Definitely. People who serve in reserve duty on a regular, annual basis are eligible to apply, because the service is compulsory and not voluntary.
- Are soldier-students (Atuda‘im) eligible for an Austrian passport?
Soldier-students can submit an application.
How to obtain Austrian citizenship – general common questions
- My great-grandfather left Austria in the late 1800s, am I eligible to apply?
No. The eligibility applies to those whose ancestors fled Austria between 1933 and 1955, for fear of persecution during the Nazis’ rise to power or due to post-war reprecussions.
- My parents were born in the Danube countries (Romania and Moldova) which were governed by the Austro-Hungarian empire until 1918; am I eligible?
The first condition for eligibility is that your parents lived in the territory of the Austrian Republic for a period of time between the years 1933-1955. If they did not live in the territory considered Austrian (meaning the country, not the empire), you are not eligible.
- Upon receiving Austrian citizenship, do I automatically lose my existing citizenship?
Israelis will not lose their Israeli citizenship if they receive Austrian citizenship. The Austrian parliament allows Holocaust survivors and their descendants to hold the local citizenship as well as another one. This applies to American citizens as well. However, note that there are countries – among them the Netherlands and the Ukraine – which do not allow their citizens to hold dual citizenship.
- If I already have more than one citizenship, am I allowed to receive Austrian citizenship as well?
If you already have more than one citizenship, you are still eligible for Austrian citizenship as well. However, it is important to confirm with the relevant authority in your country that you will not lose one of your existing citizenships.
Correcting the gender discrimination
Following the amendment that came into effect last September, the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of women who were victims of Nazi persecution are now eligible for citizenship. This is in contrast to the previous law, which discriminated against a large portion of the descendants of female Holocaust survivors and made their eligibility dependent on certain years.
Historical background of the Jews of Austria – Vienna
In the 20s of the previous century, one of every nine Viennese residents was a Jew. Vienna held the sixth largest Jewish population at that time, with a little over 200,000 residents. The constitutional rights granted to the Austrian Jews between the years 1848-1867, and especially the rights to live where they choose, hold property and acquire professional expertise, paved the way for a population increase in the cities, particularly Vienna.
However, Austria in those years was an empire that ruled over the eastern part of Europe, with a territory of about 700,000 square kilometers. Because of this, tens of thousands of Jews who lived in the Empire ended up living in the territory that is now considered Austria – a country in central Europe whose territory is 84,000 square kilometers.
As noted, most of the Jews preferred to immigrate to Vienna. At that time the capital was a thriving, enlightened and developed commercial city, whose educated class was too large to count. Of that prosperous class, about a quarter were Jewish.
Data from the late 19th and early 20th centuries document the huge upsurge of immigration of European Jews to Vienna, showing a steep increase in immigration each year. These immigrants mostly came from the Czech Republic and Hungary, but also from Eastern European countries.
In 1857 there were fewer than 3000 Jews in the capital. However, only twelve years later, in 1869, there were some 40,000 Jews living there. In 1880 their population was estimated at 73,000 and in 1890 it was almost 120,000. In 1910 the population grew to 175,000, reaching its height in 1923 at slightly under 200,000. At this point Jews accounted for 11% of the Viennese population.
However, from then until 1934, we see the departure of some 30,000 Jews from Vienna. In 1951, after the Holocaust, their population was down to about 9,000.
Notable achievements of Austrian Jewry
The Austrian Jews were a rare social phenomenon. Living among an anti-semitic population that hindered the advancement of anyone who was different, the Jews managed to prosper, invent and develop their skills in large numbers. In fact, the numbers were so large that the likes of them have probably not been seen anywhere else. The small population distinguished itself so thoroughly in Viennese society that it raised the reputation of the entire country in the fields of science, psychology, business, entrepreneurship, development and more.
In 1934, the number of Jewish doctors in Vienna was estimated at 50% of all doctors in the city. A third of the pharmacists were Jewish, 75% of the bank managers, 40% of the silversmiths, 63% of the movie theater owners, 85% of the lawyers, 74% of the wine traders, a third of the photographers, 40% of the café owners, 21% of the optometrists, a third of the dental technicians, over 95% of the managers of advertisement firms, and 100% of the metal merchants.
Our thanks to Mr. Jonathan Gabrielov for writing the historical portion of the article.
For more information, contact us – Austrian citizenship for Jews – Austrian citizenship eligibility – questions and answers
Our offices file applications for descendants of Austrians who were persecuted or feared persecution by the Nazis and their supporters. This includes Austrian citizenship for the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the persecuted. We would be glad to advise you on various issues regarding citizenship.