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Israeli Permanent Residence Cancellation – When Is the Ministry of Interior Entitled to Cancel Permanent Resident Status for an Israeli?

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.

Israeli Permanent Residence Cancellation and Suspension of National Insurance Payments

In this article Advocate Joshua Pex, an Israeli immigration lawyer from our law firm, will explain what happens when the Ministry of Interior decides to cancel Israeli permanent residence for a person who holds Israeli permanent resident status but is living outside of Israel. In addition, you will find useful information about when Israeli National Insurance payments will be stopped.

Expiration of permanent resident status is likely to be a problem for Israelis residing abroad who are not Israeli citizens but only permanent residents. The problem for Israeli permanent residency holders is that, during their stay outside Israel’s borders, they might lose the right to return to live in Israel.

What Is a Permanent Resident?

Permanent residents are Israelis who hold Israeli identity cards but are not citizens of the state of Israel; therefore, they do not hold Israeli passports. Practically speaking, only citizens hold Israeli passports and are entitled to vote in general elections; however, permanent residents are entitled to vote in municipal elections.

When Does a Person Stop Paying National Insurance?

Israeli Permanent Residence Cancellation - A Permanent Resident holds an Identity Card but not a PassportThere are Israelis who are staying outside of Israel but would like to continue to be considered residents of Israel and continue to pay National Insurance in order to continue to be eligible for benefits of National Insurance or to protect their eligibility for medical treatment in Israel. For example, Israelis who are staying outside of Israel for long periods of time might want to maintain health insurance in Israel for financial reasons, so that if, God forbid, they require expensive medical treatment abroad, they will be able to return to Israel and receive medical treatment in the country. The state of Israel usually detects when an Israeli, citizen or permanent resident, is staying outside of Israel permanently and will send a message stating that the decision has been made to stop recognizing him/her as a resident of Israel with regard to National Insurance.

Note that the subject of permanent residence expiration (in other words: Israeli permanent residence cancellation) and suspension of National Insurance payments are two different issues, yet they are related to one another. Suspension of National Insurance payments is done according to the National Insurance Law the moment a person is no longer considered a resident of Israel. The National Insurance Law does not define who a resident of Israel is; however, the courts have determined that a resident of Israel is considered a person whose center of life is in Israel. For example, a person whose family is in Israel, whose work is in Israel, who owns property in Israel, and so on.

How Is Center of Life Defined?

A person’s “center of life” is examined according to two tests: an objective test – the individual’s actual place of residence is in Israel; and a subjective test – from the individual’s point of view that the place is the center of his/her life. The individual must pass both tests.

The more significant ties a person has to Israel, the higher the chances that he/she will be recognized as a resident of Israel. It should be emphasized that a person can continue to be considered an Israeli resident, even if he/she is staying outside of Israel but only if the stay abroad is temporary (for example, for studies, a trip, temporary work, etc.) and as long as that person’s center of life continues to be in Israel.

When Is Israeli Permanent Residence Cancellation Done According to the Law?

Note that everything mentioned above applies only to decisions regarding suspension of National Insurance payments, with implications on health insurance, but with no connection to the status “permanent resident” in Israel. The conditions for Israeli permanent resident status expiration / Israeli permanent residence cancellation – which are specified in the law – include settling permanently outside of Israel for a period of seven years, receiving permanent status in another country, or receiving citizenship in another country after going through a naturalization process. Note that the state of Israel does not always enforce the law described above.

Even after the expiration of a permanent residence permit, there is nothing to prevent a person from asking for the status to be returned, and the court has established a holding in its rulings about when permanent residence permits can be returned. One of the conditions for strengthening an application for receiving the return status is that permanent residence was given since birth. Despite all this, it is preferable of course, if possible, not to even reach a situation where the Ministry of Interior is likely to cancel the permanent residence and to try to prove as much as possible an objective connection to Israel and a strong subjective connection to the state, family, and friends in the country.

Contact Us

Advocate Joshua Pex from our law firm practices Israeli immigration law. We have a few branches of our law firm located in various areas around the country for the convenience of our clients.

Please contact us if you have a question about Israeli permanent residence cancellation or immigration to Israel, and we would be happy to assist you.  

Israeli Permanent Residence Cancellation

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