Israeli Police certificate for foreign workers
Can foreign workers ask for an Israeli police clearance certificate? The law in Israel allows any person, whether or not he or she is a resident of Israel, to request information from the records of the Israeli police detailing whether there is any criminal information about them. If the applicant for the certificate does not have an Israeli identity number, the certificate must be requested at the Israeli embassy abroad or at a police station in Israel (with a power of attorney if the person is not in Israel). In this article, Michael Decker, lawyer, notary, a partner in our firm and an expert in Israeli immigration law and labor law, will explain how to receive an Israeli Police certificate for foreign workers.
Hundreds of thousands of foreign workers reside in Israel. Many of them live in Israel for several years. At the end of their stay, they return to their country of origin, or immigrate to other countries. Our office regularly deals with handling the legal affairs and rights of foreign workers, and in this context we witness a problematic phenomenon that many foreign workers encounter after leaving Israel: the authorities of the foreign country to which the foreign workers immigrated, or their new employers, demand to receive a reference attesting that they were not involved in crimes during their stay in Israel. This reference is known in Israel as a “police clearance certificate” \ “certificate of integrity” (teudat yosher), but foreign workers often have real difficulty getting it.
This is a service that the police and enforcement authorities in Israel usually provide to citizens and residents of Israel. The computerized systems for receiving a police clearance certificate require an Israeli identity number and are not configured to accept a foreign passport number. However, the law in Israel explicitly states that this is a right that everyone is entitled to, whether they are Israelis or foreigners (including foreign workers). Below we explain the process for obtaining a police clearance certificate for foreign workers.
What is the process of obtaining a police clearance certificate?
As mentioned above, any person may submit an application for a police clearance certificate that specifies whether or not there is any criminal information about that person. This route is also available to foreign workers who have stayed in Israel. The request can be submitted at any police station in Israel. Those who do not reside in Israel at the time of submitting the application can submit it at Israeli missions abroad (embassies and consulates). Today it is even possible to apply for a police clearance certificate through an online form.
In order to submit the application, identification through a valid identity card or passport is necessary, and the application can also be submitted at a police station in Israel through a proxy (which can be a lawyer, relative, acquaintance, etc.). In these cases, the authorized representative must present a photocopy of the first page of the applicant’s passport, with all the personal details.
It is important to note that in light of the need to issue the certificate for entities outside the State of Israel, the certificate must be authenticated with an apostille stamp. For this purpose, an apostille fee must be paid and the receipt for payment of the fee must be attached when submitting the application at the Israel Police or at the Israeli embassy abroad. In cases where the police clearance certificate is ordered through the Israeli embassy abroad, the receipt number will be recorded on the certificate, and it will be forwarded to the embassy through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
When is a translation of the certificate required?
As a general rule, the police clearance certificate will be issued in Hebrew and English. To the extent that there is any criminal information about the foreign workers in the records of the Israel Police, the information will be detailed in Hebrew only. The reason is that the system that maintains the criminal records in Israel is managed in Hebrew. In many cases, the authorities or employers will request a notarized translation of the certificate. For more information on what a notarized translation is and how much it costs, see the article published on our website on the cost of a notarized translation.
Police clearance certificate for foreign workers – contact a lawyer who specializes in immigration law to Israel
In this short guide we have explained the process for obtaining a police clearance certificate for foreign workers. If you have specific questions or need any assistance on the matter, please contact us and we will be happy to help. Our firm, in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, specializes in immigration law to Israel and provides a comprehensive legal response to foreign workers and employers. To contact an Israel immigration lawyer from our office, click here.