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The Legal Procedure for a Humanitarian Visa to Israel

Joshua Pex

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, Ofir & 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, Ofir & 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.

The Israeli Ministry of Interior is the governmental office that is authorized to issue special visas and legal status in Israel for foreign residents. The Ministry of Interior operates under the Laws of Israeli Citizenship and Entrance to Israel, but specifically each visa has its own regulation and detailed procedure. However, there are cases in which a person is not eligible for legal status in Israel under any regulation,  but a sense of justice indicates that he or she should stay in Israel. This is the reason the Ministry of Interior established the interdepartmental committee for granting legal status in Israel for special humanitarian reasons.

In this article, Israeli immigration lawyers from our law firm explain the legal procedure to submit requests to the interdepartmental committee for humanitarian affairs for a special visa and the regulations under which the committee operates.

In order to facilitate and expedite this process, we recommend using the services of our expert legal team from our law firm. Among the members of our team you will find an expert in naturalization and immigration to Israel, a lawyer with expertise in this procedure.

Who Can Use This Service?

This committee for granting humanitarian visas in Israel hears cases from foreign nationals requesting status in Israel, whose requests do not conform to the criteria specified in the respective naturalization and immigration to Israel procedures.

Where Should the Request Be Made?

The request should be made in Israel at the Population Authority’s regional bureau closest to the domicile of the person making the request.

The Committee’s Structure and Operation Model

The committee for humanitarian visas to Israel is chaired by the Population Authority’s general manager, and its members are composed of representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Social Services, the National Insurance Institute, the Israeli Police and the Liaison Bureau (Nativ).

The committee convenes monthly and hears approximately 20 cases while in session.

Before Submitting a Request 

Before submitting the request, one must ensure that the following issues are in order.

  1. Physical presence is mandatory.
  2. The relevant documents are prepared for the humanitarian visa to Israel which requires:
    1) filled and signed request forms,
    2) the appropriate photos,
    3) an explanatory letter, properly signed,
    4) any documents that bear relevance to the request.
  3. Full and proper registration in the Population Registry. One must ensure all of the personal details are properly and accurately registered before requesting a humanitarian visa to Israel.

Fees for the Humanitarian Visa

The charges for the service for a humanitarian visa to Israel are listed in the Authority’s fee schedule. As of 2015 the fee is around 200 NIS, but this fee may change from time to time.

How Is the Request Handled?

When the request is submitted:

  1. At the time the request is submitted a Population Authority employee will evaluate all of the details and documents. The applicant shall be asked to submit any missing documentation within 45 days, after which the request shall be further evaluated. The applicant may refuse to provide certain details in which case the request shall be evaluated without them. It is not permitted to submit the request without the minimal set of documents mentioned above.
  2. The bureau manager shall check whether:
    1) the applicant has previously infiltrated into Israel or
    2) there is no real justification for the request. In either of these cases the request will be summarily denied, and a written explanation notice shall be provided.

The hearing at the Ministry of Interior office:

  1. If the request has been approved for a hearing in the committee, the applicant shall be summoned for an interview and asked to present their case in detail. The procedure only allows for an Israeli lawyer to accompany the applicant for the humanitarian visa to Israel interview.
  2. A summary of said interview shall be prepared and presented to the committee members.
  3. The final decision shall be taken at the Authority’s headquarters. Upon denial of the request, the file shall be returned to the bureau within 14 days along with a written explanation.
  4. During the hearing, the committee members shall review the file and present their comments, after which the committee chair will make a decision. Their decision shall be sent via mail to the applicant within 14 days of the hearing.

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If you are looking for more information on a humanitarian visa to Israel or immigration to Israel, please contact us.

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ייעוץ משפטי 03-3724722


רחוב עמל 37 פתח תקווה 4951337 ישראל, [email protected]

You can find a link to the complete procedure for Israeli an humanitarian visa on the Ministry of Interior’s website:

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