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Legal Status in Israel for Partners of Israelis

Joshua Pex
Joshua Pex

Jacob Newberry

A really excellent firm. They knew exactly how to handle my situation effectively and efficiently, and we got the result I needed without much fuss. Adi Berger was a wonderful advocate for me and I am deeply grateful for her help!

Josh W-S

The firm had a quick response to my last-minute needs, they were helpful in communicating with me in English, and they fulfilled my needs in a timely fashion.

Sophie Cooperman

Oded Ger did an excellent job by reviewing a modeling contract I was offered. Explained the bad clauses in the contract, and their possible consequences. Thank you for your amazing job, your professionalism, your consultation and honesty. You showed me from your experience how it can be done differently. It was the best decision choosing you as my lawyer.
I highly recommend this firm, especially Oded Ger.

Greg Olson

We highly recommend Adv. Mike Decker and have know him for many years. He has helped our family with many battles over the years. We recently received our permanent residency after 23 years in Israel. We so much appreciate Mike’s representation of us.

Michael and Ariellah Waizman

For Advocate Joshua Pex.

We were in a devastating situation when my wife received an order from the immigration office to leave Israel within 30 days, without any explanation, after we have been married and in the process for six and a half years. We heard of Advocate Pex through a friend of a friend. We contacted Mr. Pex and he was ready to help us when he heard of our situation.

The service is amazing! Always ready to assist without regard to the time it takes. The advice Mr. Pex gave us was great, such as what to do, he gave useful links, and advice about which officials to contact. The price for the service was great!

The process until we received the extension for another year for my wife was not long (3 months). Things started moving once Mr. Pex came into the picture.

We highly recommend Advocate Joshua Pex! We achieved our goal and the fear of deportation has been lifted!

Gáspár Erőss

If you need to solve any complicated legal issue in Israel, don't hesitate to contact them. Otherwise you will loose hours/days/weeks with things that they can solve in minutes. They helped me to obtain my expert working visa in Israel and even after that they responded further questions and gave me advices related to administrative issues in Israel which saved me a lot of time. Irena Rosenberg and Michael Decker worked on my case, they are very professional and helpful. They will not let you down, feel free to contact them.

Dumitrascu Cristina

Best lawyer house from Israel! I couldn’t dealt with my situation without their professionalism and effectiveness. Their dedication to every legal aspect and their drive it’s how a true lawyer house can be!
Working in European market and international now, I couldn’t dare to let myself wide my wings on countries unknown to me. Definitely they’ll be the lawyers representing me, my business at every international aspect and on personal development.
When you hear Decker,Pex,Ofir &Co, you hear 10+ class services, luxurious professionals, confidentiality and exclusive attention to your needs.

Arielle Bosch

Incredibly knowledgeable, approachable, accessible, and evident across the board that they truly care about the people they are helping. They are quick to respond, engaged, and obviously top-notch lawyers. I couldn't recommend them highly enough. Thank you, Joshua and Itamar for your help with our Joint Life Application. You were a calming energy during a storm - always breathed a sigh of relief after speaking with you. It is so difficult to get straight answers from the Misrad Hapnim, but you guys are straight shooters. I appreciate your candor and evident integrity. Hope to work with you in the future, and will send everyone I know in need of legal aid your way. Thank you for your guidance and support.

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 & 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 & 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.

Yossi Montrose

Very knowledgeable and professional

Prima Lorenzo

I admire the Austrian citizenship team in Tel-Aviv branch! They deserve more then 5 stars!! They are very friendly and professional. I've got Austrian citizenship in 4 months for all family members which consists of 12 people! The entire team is very friendly and responsive. They are always answering questions and support during the process. I recommend to everyone. Was 100% satisfied.


We were very pleased and content with the services of this law firm. They supported us 100% and solved our case successfully, we couldn't be happier.

Paul Prince

The team of lawyers and assistants are incredibly professional. Aiming to give their clients the advice possible regarding the normative and the law of Israel. With well trained and professional secretary at the front desk to the lawyers team, I could say that I had one of the most professional services possible. I'm super glad of choosing Joshua Pex of Law office for immigration solution, lawyers to advise in my case, to me, it is remarkable.

Наталья Мажуга

Great lawyers Joshua Pex and Nechama and Michael Deker who really want to help you and I have very trustful relationships with them. All my cases they took they won. Thank you and let’s keep working together

Shurouq Hajyassin

We were very satisfied with the consultation we had.
You were very straightforward with us , You tried to help us in every way you could . we really appreciate that.
And of course the fast reply we got from you on our emails and the appointment you gave us .
You deserve more than 5 stars????

Halvor Ronning

Courteous, clear, efficient service.

Lilian Granovsky

I can highly recommend these services!
Every time we turned to Joshua we always got a professional quick and helpful respond.

Esty A

I had a consultation with Batya and she was very helpful. She made sure I understood all the information I needed, and was patient with me in gathering documents I needed.

Matthias Oppliger

I have been receiving services from this Law Firm for several years now and I want to say THANK YOU to the team, especially Joshua Pex. They are doing outstanding work. The services I have received for both our Israeli non profit association but also our social business have helped us solve many issues at hand and provided solutions in complicated situations. Personally, I am grateful for support in visa issues as a foreigner living now in Israel for many years.

Andreas Kelling

We have been working with Decker, Pex & Co - Law Firm in Tel Aviv for many years very well. Because we appreciated their lawyers services, we recommended businesses and individuals again and again to go there as well.

Joshua Pex was both an amazing human being and an inspiring human rights attorney. I reported directly to him for various activities I performed as in intern. I was impressed with his incredibly solid character. He is trustworthy, fair, and goes above and beyond to advocate for the vulnerable. He is completely trustworthy and high caliber in his work. His partners and employees are very blessed to work with him. I am honored to know them.

Heather Lebrun

Morgan Jones

The team at Decker, Pex & Co have been awesome to work with in helping our US company establish banking in Israel and in providing counsel for legal needs in Israel. I highly recommend!

Michael Soffer

I would like to recommend Attorney Yehuda Elcharar. He assisted both me and my company in a complex lawsuit. He handled negotiations that led to a favorable outcome much quicker than expected.

I am extremely pleased with choosing Attorney Elcharar. Many thanks also to the office team, Oz and Chaya, for their assistance throughout the entire process.

Thanks again ????

lynn vonne

Excellent service, very friendly and helpful, fast responding and very patient. Highly recommend. I will choose them again next time if needed.

Lauma Zariņa

This is definitely the best lawyer I know!!! very honest and super helpful he really helped me a lot dealing with immigration issues in Israel and it was very successful!
I highly recommend

Michelle Long

Josh has been helping me on and off for a few years now. I have needed legal advice and assistance with immigration due to a complex situation of mine, and he has been extremely available and responsive, honest and clear about my route and how to proceed. Very much recommended!

Genaan Abdelall

I cannot recommend Nechama enough! Her expertise, professionalism, and dedication to her clients is unparalleled. From the moment I reached out to her, she provided clear and concise communication, and helped me navigate through a complex legal issue with ease.

Throughout the entire process, Nechama went above and beyond to ensure that I was informed and comfortable with every decision. She demonstrated a deep knowledge of the law, and was able to offer sound advice that ultimately led to a positive outcome.

What sets Nechama apart is her compassionate and empathetic approach to her clients. She truly cares about the well-being of her clients, and it shows in the way she handles every case.

If you are in need of a lawyer, I highly recommend Nechama.

Alexander P Gutterman

EU PASSPORT ! Big news! Thanks to Michael Decker and the other good people at the law office, as well as to the virtue of my ancestors, the cruelty of the Inquisition, reparations issued in the Iberian Peninsula, and etc, I am delighted to be on track for Portuguese and European Union Citizenship! A truly incredible development and one which brings me deep joy.

Sveta Vashkevich

We (myself and my husband) came to Mr. Joshua Pex – for his professional advice – and we received such human warmth and caring attitude, that our hearts melted …

His attention to our details and our situation peculiarities, combined with his professionalism and knowledge, helped us to map out what needs to be done on our part: we appreciate and recommend You, Mr. Joshua!

Priscilla Moses

competent consulting, fast processing, reliable, warm & good team. highly recommended


We had a pleasure of working with Irena Rosenberg who assisted in getting our two U.S. born children registered in Israel and supported visa process for my wife in 2021. During the pandemic, my wife and I decided to move to Israel where I am originally from after living in the U.S. for over 20 years, but we had no idea how to go about securing visas before and after arriving in Israel. Irena is knowledgeable, reliable and competent lawyer who always had answers to all our questions which made us feel confident that everything would be fine with her assistance. We are now happily living in Israel and are so grateful to have Irena who is a genuinely nice person as our lawyer.

Dongdiet & Nellie

We are very happy with the services. Somehow they managed to translate the law lingo into language we actually understand 😉 and their outstanding YouTube videos helped us to have a better grasp of what process we had to go through. Their patience, clear explanation and experience are very valuable. It's also very nice to know that you will receive response promptly; it made us feel we can really trust their services. We recommend all those looking for immigration lawyers to get in touch.

Eden Weiss

Extrmely friendly, professional and helpful. A big thank you to Irina especially from the Jerusalem office. Highly Recommended.

Tomer Hila Birnbach

I received a recommendation from friends about the firm, and indeed every word is correct, a service team, professional, welcoming, a fair price for the work I requested, I am satisfied

Kfir Cohen

We were searching for a law firm that will be honest with us and really work hard for a satisfying result, it wasn't an easy task
We found them online; they were the only law firm from all of our searchings which were completely honest and NOT gave us just what we wanted to hear
Using them guaranteed honesty above all. A legal team that is friendly and cares for a superb result
They really care about helping their customers without any other interest
Nadia gave us service behind what we expected; she was professional which lead to fast and easy process with great result
We definitely recommend using them

TarcisioePotira Freitas

I really recommend the law office's services. The service is very professional and efficient, the price is right. I am satisfied with the services I needed and happy to have known them.

Marce Ruth St. Rey

Party time in the heart, my beloved husband received his residence after so much time of battles and faith. Gratitude, God has blessed us with wonderful beings who have accompanied us, including a "precious angel" who touched our hearts, our excellent and fantastic lawyer: Maria Chernin Dekel, sweet and wonderful human being, who has guided us and stayed On our side. side in this intense legal transit whom we bless on every occasion. God bless you dear Maria, you have exceeded your professional duty by containing us and collaborating with us in hard times, very hard, for that we want to thank you publicly, you are unique!!!
We bless and thank the entire team at Decker Pex Tal Ofir Law Firm.

Adi Katina

Great Team. With no doubt, this office is actually thee best-leading office in Israel. Simply put, if you want your case to win, just join them, hand in your documents, and celebrate the victory.

Kindest regards,
Adi k.

David De La Rosa

Very friendly, professional, and effective, highly recommended

Amir Abt

The best lawyer firm I’ve had dealt with. I would like to thank Anat Levi and Ariel Galili from the Jerusalem branch for all of their efforts and patience, we could not have been Able to reach to where we are now without them

Sergei m Vashkevich

We came to Mr. Joshua with so many questions (and most of all, with so many concerns and worries) …

When we explained our case to him, first of all, he calmed us down and helped us to see the big picture, which took away our fears;

Then he presented us with a detailed explanation and a few options to explore, and a timeline, how things work and necessary steps to undertake on our part,

We thank and highly recommend Mr. Joshua for showing us so much empathy, care and professionalism (!)

Israel iluz

We were very satisfied with the service of Nehama. She was very professional in all her dealings and kept us informed all the way.
We highly recommend this law firm. They proved to be reliable, efficient and pleasant to work with.

Shaltiel Devorah

Mr. Joshua Pex is knowledgeable and Professional. I really appreciate his courteous and direct approach.

What You Need to Know

Lawyers from our law firm in Israel explain the legal process through which foreign citizens who are partners of Israelis may receive legal status in Israel. What do you need to know about the procedure to obtain legal status in Israel for partners of Israelis and opening a shared-life file at the Ministry of Interior (Misrad HaPanim) in Israel?

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As we know, love has no boundaries. Therefore, it is also reasonable for Israeli immigration laws to allow foreign spouses of Israelis the right to live alongside their Israeli spouse in Israel. The law is a reflection of the realities of life. Immigration laws in most countries of the world provide the possibility of obtaining a marriage visa and legal residence permit in the country for foreigners who desire to live under one roof in the homeland of the man/woman of their choice.

Nevertheless, sometimes Western countries which promote strict immigration policies justifiably worry that this provision will be sorely abused for residence by foreigners who will become a burden on social services in the country. The state of Israel is no different on this point. Therefore, the Ministry of Interior oversees the process of granting legal status in Israel for foreign spouses of Israelis.

The Legal Right for Foreign Spouses of Israelis to Settle in Israel

The 1952 Citizenship Law stipulates that the foreign spouse of an Israeli citizen can obtain Israeli citizenship through naturalization. It should be noted that this right for naturalization for foreign spouses of Israeli citizens, which was first granted to married couples, has also been extended to include common-law couples who are in a committed relationship and run a common household. Moreover, the right to grant legal status in Israel for spouses is not only given to Israeli citizens, but also to permanent residents in Israel who are in a spousal relationship with foreign citizens.

Gradual Process Procedure to Obtain Legal Status for Foreigners Currently in a Spousal Relationship with an Israeli

The procedure for granting legal status in Israel for partners of Israelis residing in Israel is called the “gradual process.” This is because legal status in Israel is awarded gradually in three phases: 1) First the foreign citizen receives a work permit in Israel (a B/1 visa which makes it possible to legally work in the country). 2) In the second stage the foreign citizen spouse of the Israeli receives temporary residence status in Israel (an A/5 temporary resident visa in Israel). This identity card is granted each time for a limited period of usually one year. 3) In the final stage the foreign spouse receives permanent status in Israel; in other words, permanent residence or the possibility of obtaining Israeli citizenship.

What Is the Duration of the Gradual Process?

status in Israel for partners of Israelis

The length of the gradual process for married couples is about five years, while the length of the gradual process for couples in a common-law relationship is about seven years. It should be noted that the procedure grants the Ministry of Interior clerks the discretion to extend the length of the process if the Ministry of Interior clerks are of the opinion, according to their discretion, that there is a need to continue to examine the sincerity of the relationship. Moreover, sometimes time passes until the couple manages to open a shared-life file at the Ministry of Interior, however the time that lapsed until opening the file and obtaining a work visa will not be considered.

It should be noted that Ministry of Interior clerks have the legal authority to shorten the duration of the gradual process. This is in accordance with the Ministry of Interior procedure. At the same time, shortening the duration of the gradual process is only done in rare cases on the basis of a request under special circumstances.

Why Does the Ministry of Interior Use the Gradual Process for Granting Legal Status in Israel?

The rationale underlying the gradual process is clear and reasonable. The goal of the Ministry of Interior, the Population and Immigration Authority, is to give Ministry of Interior clerks a reasonable period of time to examine the sincerity of the couple’s spousal relationship. The state of Israel’s concern is that foreign citizens may display a false representation of a spousal relationship with an Israeli in order to obtain legal status in Israel. There are cases of very fictitious marriages, the sole aim being a legal residence permit in Israel. Ministry of Interior clerks examine the sincerity of the spousal relationship over several years, year after year; only afterwards is permanent status in Israel granted to the foreign citizen.

In What Manner Is the Sincerity of the Relationship Examined?

The primary means used by Ministry of Interior clerks for examining the marital relationship is to inspect documents submitted to the Population and Immigration Authority office where shared-life files are managed. In addition, Ministry of Interior clerks conduct a personal interview for each spouse regarding the nature and quality of the spousal relationship between them. A comparison of the couple’s answers indicates whether the spousal relationship is sincere and genuine or not. It should be noted that Ministry of Interior clerks are liable to err in their assessment of the couple’s spousal relationship and decide not to approve legal status in Israel for the foreign citizen, despite the fact that the spousal relationship is sincere and genuine. In these cases it is possible to appeal against the decision to close the shared-life file. If the appeal is not accepted, the possibility is open for the couple to turn to legal forums in order to prove that the spousal relationship between them is genuine and that they have the right to live together in Israel.

What Are the Required Documents? 

The required documents for opening a shared-life file at the Ministry of Interior are documents which prove the nature and sincerity of the spousal relationship, although the emphasis is on documents which prove a shared life and common household management. Documents for proving a shared life include: a joint tenancy agreement, one bank account, a history of correspondence through letters or social networks, printouts of telephone or Skype conversations, shared photographs, receipts indicating time spent together, and letters of support from friends and family. In fact, any document which proves a spousal relationship is acceptable to submit to the Ministry of Interior.

In addition, foreign spouses are required to bring an original birth certificate from abroad legally authenticated and translated by representatives of the Israeli Consulate in their country of origin or by an apostille. They must also provide documentation confirming personal status: single, widowed, divorced; and documentation confirming their lack of a criminal record. All official documentation and records which originate outside of Israel must be legally authenticated and translated accordingly.

What Happens If Documents Are Missing?

After submission of documents for opening a shared-life file at the Ministry of Interior, if it is discovered that some documents are missing, the couple will be given a period of 45 days to replace the missing documents. If the missing documents are not submitted within this period, the file will be closed. The couple will have the opportunity to open a shared-life file only after obtaining the missing documents.

Are Legal Services from an Israeli Immigration Lawyer Necessary?

Legal services of an Israel immigration lawyer during the process of opening a case to receive legal status in Israel for partners of Israelis at the Ministry of Interior is recommended in order to assist in fulfilling the requirements for documentation, reviewing documents before submission to the Ministry of Interior, and guiding the couple in their conduct with the Ministry of Interior. A lawyer who is familiar with the process for opening a shared-life file can assist the couple in getting through the process as quickly and simply as possible. It should be noted that some declarations from the Ministry of Interior must be signed before a lawyer.

Contact Us

Our law firm has among its partners Israeli immigration lawyers with experience in the process of immigration to Israel, including obtaining legal status in Israel for partners of Israelis at the Ministry of Interior. We would be happy to assist couples who are interested in arranging legal status for their foreign spouse in Israel at any stage of their proceedings with the Population and Immigration Authority at the Ministry of Interior.

Please call us for more information on legal status for partners of Israelis or any question regarding status in Israel for partners of Israelis.

Contact Us

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