Inviting a foreign spouse to Israel – documents required by the Ministry of Interior
Which documents are required when inviting a foreign spouse to Israel?
When inviting a foreign spouse to Israel, certain documents and procedures are required. Israeli citizens who maintain a relationship with a citizen of a foreign country are entitled (per the Citizenship Law and court rulings) to receive a Friendship Visa inviting them to live in Israel with their spouse / partner. But what are the documents required for the procedure of inviting a foreign spouse to Israel? The procedure for inviting your partner to Israel, and opening a cohabitation file, in accordance with the family unification procedure of the Ministry of the Interior, is subject to the guidelines of the Population and Immigration Authority. This article by Joshua Pex, an Israeli immigration lawyer, details the process and the required documents.
Invitation of a foreign spouse to Israel – the essential points of emphasis:
Personal presence of the inviting spouse at the Population and Immigration Authority’s office nearest to their place of residence is compulsory.
The Israeli citizen applies to ask for legal status for the foreign spouse and for an entry visa into Israel.
Payment is required for both applications.
Most official documents require authentication via an apostille stamp or consular legalization.
The inviting spouse should produce the original documents as well as copies, as the MoI does not copy documents.
Invitation of a foreign spouse to Israel – Required documents:
- Israeli spouse’s current ID.
- A photocopy of the foreign spouse’s passport, valid for at least the next two years.
- Original, certified and verified marriage documents (original + photocopy) completed with a notarized translation into Hebrew as needed.
- Three passport photographs of each spouse.
- Proofs of cohabitation (joint photos of life together, proof of correspondence between the couple such as printout of phone calls, letters from relatives and friends, etc. – attach a photocopy of the passport or Israeli National ID of the person who wrote the letter of recommendation) and a letter explaining the couple’s shared life, manner and duration of their acquaintance.
- Affidavit from the spouses testifying that the documents presented are authentic, and they’ve been notified of their duty to inform the Ministry of the Interior of any change in circumstances.
- Criminal records check (“police clearance”) for the foreign spouse, translated and authenticated by a notary.
- Official documents attesting to the previous personal status of the foreign citizen spouse (that they were free to marry their Israeli spouse) – translated and authenticated by an Israeli notary.
- Original birth certificate of the foreign citizen spouse (the original birth certificate issued for the foreign spouse on the year of their birth). If the original birth certificate is lost, then a new birth certificate can be submitted, but it must be translated and authenticated by a notary.
- A letter from the workplace or employer and salary slips from the last year.
- Payment of fee.
If the application includes minors from a previous marriage of the foreign spouse:
- Birth certificate of accompanying minor (original + notarized translation).
- The consent of the other parent to permanent residence and the naturalization of a minor in Israel. OR, an authenticated custody judgment of the Court translated by a notary stating that custody of the minor is granted exclusively to the invited spouse.
- Photocopy of the minor’s passport, valid for at least the next two years.
- The required documents must be verified by an Apostille or by the Israeli Consulate in the country they were issued in, authenticated and translated by a notary in Israel.
Note: It may be that after the application for a foreign spouse is submitted, the Israeli Ministry of Interior officials who handle the application will require additional documents. In any case, the advice of an immigration lawyer will help speed up a lengthy process.
If you wish to invite a foreign spouse to visit Israel as a tourist, we recommend this article.
For additional questions and legal advice, contact Cohen, Decker, Pex & Brosh – Law Offices in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv specializing in Immigration to Israel.