Israeli Student Visa
Do you wish to study in an Israeli school, yeshiva, college or university? If so, you should know that foreign citizens who wish to study in Israel must have an Israeli student visa in order to legally study and stay in Israel.
The first major step is submitting an application for an Israeli student visa. It is essential to be familiar with the main points of the appropriate Israeli Ministry of Interior procedure in order to operate efficiently and without frustration while dealing with the Ministry of Interior office workers who have the authority to approve or deny the application at the end of the process.
The procedure for granting or extending an Israeli student visa relates to routine cases and also to special cases.
In this article we will discuss the main points in the “Israeli student visa” procedure. The complete procedure can be found in the Immigration Authority at the Ministry of Interior website.
Israeli Student Visa Procedure
- The application for an Israeli student visa is submitted either by the applicant at the Israeli Consulate in their home country or by the institution in which the student is intending to study in Israel. Normally, the application must be submitted before the student arrives to Israel. Extension of the student visa application must be submitted in Israel.
- If the application was filed at the Israeli Consulate abroad, then the decision will be made by the consulate. If the application was filed at the Ministry of Interior bureau in Israel, then there is a hierarchy of three authorities — Head of Visas branch, Visas Coordinator and Director of the Bureau — which (in this order) have the authority to approve the application or transfer it to the next higher authority. The Director of the Bureau of Immigration to Israel may refuse the request.
- Israeli student visas are usually granted one year at a time, with the option to extend it for up to four or five years depending on the desired academic degree. There are special permits to extend the visa for a longer period. The extension request will be filed by the student or by the academic institution at one of the Ministry of Interior bureaus, depending on the geographical location of the institution. An extension of an Israeli student visa requires approval from the academic institution on the basis of graduation during the previous year.
- In the case of denial of the application, if the applicant is staying in Israel, he or she will be required to leave Israel within 14 days.
- Before granting a student visa, the Ministry of Interior thoroughly examines the applicant’s past in many aspects (illegal stay in Israel, criminal background, security issues, etc.). The bureau collects information and is associated with all the relevant sources (police, security forces, government information systems, etc.). The information submitted by the applicant is also verified and checked. All the information and any findings regarding the applicant are taken into consideration. This procedure is also performed when there is a request to extend the student visa to Israel.
- It is important to know that the state of Israel will likely refuse student visa applicants with a history of illegal stay in Israel. Our suggestion is to never stay in Israel after the expiration of the visa and to make sure to file a request for an extension at the right time. Staying in Israel without a valid visa or violating visa conditions may lead to a denial of entry to Israel for up to 10 years.
- An Israeli student visa does not include a work permit in Israel, except in certain cases. Working illegally is considered a violation of student visa conditions.
- You can get a multi-entry permit (inter visa) to Israel during the student visa period.
- The procedure for an Israeli student visa requires that the authorized educational institutions will coordinate the care of foreign students in front of the local Ministry of Interior bureau.
- In the procedure for receiving a student visa to Israel, there is special treatment for those students who are eligible for aliyah to Israel according to the Law of Return, such as granting a visa for three consecutive years and five-year extensions. Information from police or security officials about applicants are treated with thoughtfulness. Under certain conditions, work permits are granted to those with a student visa if they are eligible for aliyah. These students are also exempt from paying the student visa fee.
Documents Needed When Applying for an Israeli Student Visa
- Two Israeli student visa application forms. You can find them in the following links: Application for entry to Israel. Application for residency.
- The applicant’s foreign passport, valid for at least six months beyond the period of the requested stay.
- An updated passport photo of the applicant.
- The applicant’s birth certificate; only required in the initial application for an Israeli student visa.
- A letter of invitation and confirmation of acceptance, signed by a representative of the institution, which will state the purpose of the visit to Israel and the expected period of stay.
- Evidence for means of support regarding the Israeli student visa applicant, if necessary. This includes: approval for scholarships, tuition fee, bank statement, etc. Keep in mind that, generally, foreign students are prohibited to work in Israel.
- If the applicant is a minor, an authorization signed by both parents is mandatory. If the parents are living abroad, the signature must be made at the local Israeli Consulate. If the parents are in Israel, the signature must be made at the Ministry of Interior or the applicant must present their legal guardian’s approval.
- Ministry of Interior fee.
It is recommended to use the services of an experienced lawyer for immigration to Israel or while submitting a request for an Israeli student visa. If you have any questions and/or problems in the process of obtaining a student visa to Israel, we at Cohen, Decker, Pex & Brosh law firm are at your service.
Please contact us for professional assistance with an Israeli student visa.