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Exemption from service for Israeli draft evaders abroad

Michael Decker
Michael Decker

Matthias Oppliger

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.

Morgan Jones

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!

Israel iluz

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.

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!

Andreas Kelling

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.

Lauma Zariņa

This is definitely the best lawyer I know!!! very honest and super helpful he really helped me a lot dealing with immigration issues in Israel and it was very successful!
I highly recommend

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!

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 (!)

Sophie Cooperman

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.

Sveta Vashkevich

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!

Jacob Newberry

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!

Prima Lorenzo

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.

Lilian Granovsky

I can highly recommend these services!
Every time we turned to Joshua we always got a professional quick and helpful respond.

Amir Abt

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

Halvor Ronning

Courteous, clear, efficient service.

Greg Olson

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.

Priscilla Moses

competent consulting, fast processing, reliable, warm & good team. highly recommended

Adi Katina

Great Team. With no doubt, this office is actually thee best-leading office in Israel. Simply put, if you want your case to win, just join them, hand in your documents, and celebrate the victory.

Kindest regards,
Adi k.

Esty A

I had a consultation with Batya and she was very helpful. She made sure I understood all the information I needed, and was patient with me in gathering documents I needed.

Genaan Abdelall

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.

Eden Weiss

Extrmely friendly, professional and helpful. A big thank you to Irina especially from the Jerusalem office. Highly 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.

Heather Lebrun

Tomer Hila Birnbach

I received a recommendation from friends about the firm, and indeed every word is correct, a service team, professional, welcoming, a fair price for the work I requested, I am satisfied

Наталья Мажуга

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

TarcisioePotira Freitas

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.

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.

Gáspár Erőss

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 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.

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.

Dumitrascu Cristina

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.

Yossi Montrose

Very knowledgeable and professional

Stuart Safft

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.

Shaltiel Devorah

Mr. Joshua Pex is knowledgeable and Professional. I really appreciate his courteous and direct approach.

Arielle Bosch

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.

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.

Josh W-S

The firm had a quick response to my last-minute needs, they were helpful in communicating with me in English, and they fulfilled my needs in a timely fashion.

Kfir Cohen

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

Michael Soffer

I would like to recommend Attorney Yehuda Elcharar. He assisted both me and my company in a complex lawsuit. He handled negotiations that led to a favorable outcome much quicker than expected.

I am extremely pleased with choosing Attorney Elcharar. Many thanks also to the office team, Oz and Chaya, for their assistance throughout the entire process.

Thanks again ????

David De La Rosa

Very friendly, professional, and effective, highly recommended

Shurouq Hajyassin

We were very satisfied with the consultation we had.
You were very straightforward with us , You tried to help us in every way you could . we really appreciate that.
And of course the fast reply we got from you on our emails and the appointment you gave us .
You deserve more than 5 stars????


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.

lynn vonne

Excellent service, very friendly and helpful, fast responding and very patient. Highly recommend. I will choose them again next time if needed.

Paul Prince

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.

Visiting Israel as a draftee with dual citizenship / living abroad?

Can Israeli draft evaders abroad receive an exemption from military service? This is an extremely relevant issue for many young Israelis of recruitment age who live outside of Israel. Every Israeli citizen or resident aged 18 is a candidate to be conscripted into the IDF, even if they reside outside of Israel. As such, being unknowingly designated as a “draft evader” or even a deserter is entirely possible. Our Israeli law firm deals with matters of immigration to and from Israel. We are often approached by young clients or their parents who came in Israel for the first time in years, and were surprised to discover at the border crossing that they are considered candidates for military service or draft dodgers. Someone accused of draft evasion or desertion stands in danger of standing trial, possibly resulting in a criminal record. Thankfully, the problem can usually be dealt with by addressing the appropriate channels and arranging for the exemption from military service for persons who do not reside in Israel. In this article, Attorney Michael Decker will explain how to clarify the status of Israeli draft evaders abroad.

A chance to freely visit Israel for Israeli draft evaders abroad (April-May 2018)

Israeli draft evaders abroadFrom 01/04/18 to 15/05/18 (April 4th to May 15th), it is possible for persons accused of evading their military service, to enter Israel without being detained. As part of the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the State of Israel,the IDF allows for a one-time and exceptional visit to Israel for Israeli draft evaders abroad.

It is important to note that deserters are not included in this arrangement. Anyone who started their military service before traveling abroad without authorization are in danger of arrest if they enter Israel. Persons who were designated for military service, but are not listed as draft evaders will be delayed at the entrance to Israel and will not be able to leave the country before settling the conditions of their military service vis-a-vis the IDF. Before arriving in Israel, we recommend that everyone check their status(draft evader / deserter / designated for service) with the appropriate authorities. Israeli draft evaders abroad can contact the military attache of an Israeli consulate to check their status.

A similar exemption was offered between the 09/09/18 and October 10, 2018. In this instance, both draft dodgers and deserters were given the opportunity to visit their families in Israel. It remains to be seen whether the same offer will be extended in the next holiday season.

But what happens after the end of the Independence celebrations? How to arrange your status with the IDF? How to receive an exemption from military service while abroad?

Military service requirements for Israeli citizens / residents abroad and dual citizens:

All citizens / permanent residents of Israel are candidates for security service under the Defense Service Law [Consolidated Version], 1986. Dual citizens, those residing abroad, or even young people who have lived their entire lives outside Israel are candidates for service. A candidate for conscription living abroad – whether he  or she has lived there for years, or whether he oe she left Israel to avoid the draft – who does not arrange his status vis-a-vis the IDF, is considered to be “draft evader / defaulter abroad”. Entry into Israel for draft evaders is problematic. When visiting Israel, a candidate for military service may be detained and required to remain in Israel until their status is settled. If they ignore an IDF draft order, or travel abroad after receiving the order, they may be tried as an evader from military service or a deserter (if they started military service before traveling abroad, starting when they undergo the sorting process at the Bakum). Desertion is treated as a criminal offense, and a conviction can lead to possible imprisonment and a criminal record.

In light of the above, it is important that every candidate for military service take care to arrange their status with the military attache in the nearest Israeli consulate before entering Israel. Not every Israeli  diplomatic representative has a military attache. There are cases in which embassy employees who are not familiar with the matter claimed that the only option available for Israeli draft evaders abroad is to return to Israel, surrender to the authorities, stand trial, and serve the remainder of their military service. That is not the case. Anyone whose “center of life” (how Israeli authorities refer to a domicile) is abroad, can, with a little help from qualified specialists, receive an exemption from Israel’s security service, even after receiving an order to be drafted and ignoring it. There’s no need to have a trial, spend time military prison, or have a permanent criminal record.

Regulation of military status at an Israeli consulate

A person whose center of life is abroad – was born abroad or lived there for most of their life – may contact a military attache at the nearest Israeli mission, with a request to postpone service or release from the requirement of military service. They must prove that their center of life is not in Israel; that is, that they live, work, pay taxes, and plan to spend the foreseeable future outside Israel. If they can convince the military authorities that they did not move abroad simply to avoid enlistment, chances are high that the request will be accepted. The evader must present documents proving that their life center is abroad – that they lived abroad for a number of years, proof of studies, marriage certificate, salary slips, rent of apartment or real estate ownership certificate.

Possible reasons for postponement of the draft are studies abroad, family illness, etc. For those who return to Israel after the postponement period and begin military service, the duration of the service will be calculated according to their age when returning to Israel.

The main question is whether the draft evader’s “center of life” was in Israel at the time of the receipt of the IDF draft order, not when contacting the attaché to arrange status. On the other hand, if the parents (or parent who has custody) return to Israel while the candidate for military service stays abroad, the system considers the candidate’s life center to be in Israel. (Unless they left the country before age 13 or returned after the age of 21).

Who is entitled to receive exemption from service?

All residents and citizens of Israel, even those living abroad, are candidates for military service and must arrange their status in advance if they wish to visit Israel. However, the IDF recognizes three categories of candidates that are supposed to be automatically exempt from service. Provided they can prove they belong to one of the categories below, they do not have to apply for exemption on an individual basis. The categories are: “Son of emissaries”, “Son of emigrants” and “Foreign-born citizen”.

Foreign-born Israeli citizen — “at least one of whose parents at his birth had Israeli citizenship, and whose permanent residence continuously from his birth was abroad, provided that his parents didn’t live in Israel from the time of his birth until he reached the age of 16

A son of emigrants — “an Israeli citizen who moved abroad with his parents before he reached the age of 16, on condition that he lived abroad together with his parents until he reached the age of 21 (18 if their family left Israel before the child reached the age of 13)”.

Son of emissaries — “a draft candidate who lives abroad with his parents or with one of them who is representing a government, public, private or other entity of Israel”.

Representatives of these categories are entitled to visit Israel for up to 120 cumulative days per year, without losing their entitlement to exemption from security service. In addition, they will be able to take advantage of their right to a one “year of residence” in Israel without losing the exemption, as long as they do not spend more than a year in Israel. A person who lives in Israel beyond that will be considered as if they have returned to live in Israel, and therefore, a candidate for the IDF draft.

Contact our law office in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to receive legal assistance for Israeli draft evaders abroad and to help clear your status with the IDF

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