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Immigration to Israel of minors who are not entitled to make Aliyah (accompanying minors)

Joshua Pex
Joshua Pex

Is it possible for minors who are not entitled to make aliyah to immigrate to Israel? Absolutely, but the immigration to Israel of “accompanying minors” is different to normal immigration procedure.

Despite the the Law of Return being the cornerstone of Israeli immigration policy and the impressive brevity of the text, many Israelis and those eligible for Aliyah do not know it or understand its meaning. According to section A4(a) the right to make Aliyah to Israel is “vested in a child and grandchild of a Jew, the spouse of a Jew, the spouse of a child of a Jew and the spouse of a grandchild of a Jew,”. This means that the right to immigrate to Israel via Aliyah is not reserved for Jews only (a common mistake among the general public), and in addition to children, grandchildren, and minor great-grandchildren of Jews, the children of spouses, even from previous marriages, are also entitled to immigrate to Israel.

In this article we will explain the conditions for the immigration of minors who are not entitled to Aliyah with their family, the difference in the immigration conditions between minors who are entitled to make Aliyah and “accompanying minors”, and possible problems that may arise.Immigration to Israel of minors who are not entitled to make Aliyah (accompanying minors)

Who are “accompanying minors” who can only travel with their parents?

These are children of grandchildren of Jews (minor great-grandchildren of Jews) or children of spouses of those eligible for aliyah. They are entitled to immigrate to Israel when accompanying their parents, as long as they are under the age of 18. Unlike minors entitled to make Aliyah in their own right, accompanying minors cannot immigrate without their parents. Their status in Israel is based on the family’s right to stay together during the immigration process.

Do accompanying minors get citizenship in Israel?

Not immediately. The minors initially receive a temporary resident status – A/5. But after 3 years, when they reach the age of 18 in Israel or during military service, they are usually given the opportunity to become naturalized citizens or receive permanent resident status in Israel. On the other hand, receiving citizenship is conditional upon settling in Israel. Unlike Olim, who can get an Israeli passport at the airport and board a flight back abroad, an accompanying minor who leaves Israel before reaching the age of majority and receiving Israeli citizenship, will usually not be able to receive citizenship in the future.

What are the minors’ parents required to prove so that they can immigrate to Israel?

That they are really the parents, that there is a family relationship between them and the minor, that they have custody of the minor, and that there is nothing preventing the minor from entering the country.

For this purpose, you must present:

  • Original birth certificate, verified and translated into Hebrew
  • The other parent’s consent to the child’s immigration to Israel, or a court verdict that grants the immigrating parent sole custody / a translated death certificate of the other parent. Same process as the immigration of a minor accompanying the spouse of an Israeli
  • Recent photos of the child
  • Passport – valid for a period of at least 6 months.

In addition to the above, if the child is 15 years old or older, it must be proven that he was in the custody of the immigrating parent for at least two years before the immigration application – the goal is not to allow the child to immigrate with a parent he does not really live with, to receive Israeli citizenship on a fictitious basis. This evidence is based on a legal document such as a divorce agreement, verdict, etc.

Finally, before the child’s immigration is approved, the system checks that there is criminal or security reason to deny the application.

Contact Israel immigration experts

If you encounter any problems with the immigration procedure of minors who are not entitled to make Aliyah to Israel, our office is at your service. If you need help proving the family relationship, the consent of the other parent or your sole custody custody, or if the Ministry of the Interior claims that the center of the minor’s life was not in Israel until he reached adulthood, we can help you obtain Israeli citizenship.

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