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Naturalization in Israel for Permanent Residents

Joshua Pex
Joshua Pex

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.

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.

lynn vonne

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

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.

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.

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 ????

Yossi Montrose

Very knowledgeable and professional

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!

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.

Lilian Granovsky

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

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????

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!

Priscilla Moses

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

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.

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.

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.

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

Shaltiel Devorah

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

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.

Eden Weiss

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

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!

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.

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.

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.

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

Halvor Ronning

Courteous, clear, efficient service.

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.

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.

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.

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

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


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.


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.

David De La Rosa

Very friendly, professional, and effective, highly recommended

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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 (!)

Naturalization in Israel for permanent residents; the process of obtaining Israeli Citizenship for those currently in the country as permanent residents. This complicated process is based on the Nationality Law, according to Ministry of Interior protocol. The request is submitted to the Immigration Office branch nearest to the permanent resident’s home.

Our law office – Israeli Immigration Lawyers – is experienced in obtaining citizenship in Israel for permanent residents. This article by Attorney Joshua Pex will explain what challenges arise in the process of obtaining Israeli citizenship for permanent residents and how to overcome problems in the naturalization process or with the Ministry of Interior.

Who are Israeli Permanent Residents?

Naturalization in Israel - Permanent ResidentsPermanent residents are Israeli nationals who are not citizens. They have an Israeli ID card, and are entitled to all the social rights that the state has to offer; social security, health insurance, pension funds and so on. The main difference is that permanent residents are not Israeli citizens and therefore do not have an Israeli passport. Permanent residents in Israel generally have another citizenship.

That said, there are a number of Israeli permanent residents who are not citizens of another state. Many Israeli permanent residents live in East Jerusalem and have a Jordanian passport, which is only provisionally valid. There are also new immigrants to Israel that immigrated on the basis of the Law of Return, but did not want to relinquish their former citizenship. These Olim preferred to remain the citizens of their country of origin and receiveג the status of permanent residents in Israel. Common-law foreign spouses of Israeli citizens receive the status of permanent residents. Receiving the status of permanent residence, is naturally only upon completion of the process at the Ministry of Interior.

It is important to remember that there is no significant difference between a permanent resident and an Israeli citizen in daily life. That said, permanent residents cannot vote in national elections, and there are a number of other rights granted only to citizens. Israeli citizenship is not cancelled except for in extreme circumstances. Israeli citizenship does not expire even if the Israeli citizenship settles outside of Israel. Citizenship is cancelled only if the Israeli citizen willingly renounces the citizenship, in accordance with the law’s requirements. On the other hand, permanent residence expires if the permanent resident left the country and their center of life moved abroad. The cancellation of residence is only done by the Ministry of Interior, after seven years.

Naturalization in Israel for Permanent Residents – Legal Criteria

The Citizenship Law enables permanent residents to obtain Israeli citizenship, if they meet the criteria. Firstly, the permanent resident is required to prove that their center of life has been in Israel during three of the past five year. Secondly, a permanent resident seeking to naturalize and obtain Israeli citizenship will need to persuade the Ministry of Interior clerks at that they have settled in Israel and plan on remaining in Israel. The state of Israel does not want to grant citizenship to permanent residents that will leave Israel soon after they obtain an Israeli passport. Thirdly, basic knowledge of the Hebrew language is a condition for receiving Israeli citizenship. Fourthly, giving up any other citizenship is a condition for permanent resident’s receiving Israeli citizenship. The permanent resident needs to prove that they renounced their former citizenship, if any.

Exemption from the Requirement to Renounce Former Citizenship for Permanent Residents Requesting Israeli Citizenship

An applicant for naturalization is exempt from the requirement to renounce former citizenship, or other conditions if they are:

  • Permanent residents who served in the IDF or in National Service are exempt from the requirement to renounce other citizenship and the other conditions in the citizenship law, but must prove they have settled in Israel.
  • Common law spouses of Israeli citizens (who live together but are not married) that have permanent residence status do not need to renounce their former citizenship to acquire an Israeli citizenship.
  • A fourth generation ‘Ole’ to Israel; an immigrant on the basis of the Law of Return as a great-grandchild of a Jew, who is in Israel as a temporary resident (A-5 status) is permitted to submit a request for citizenship in accordance with Ministry of Interior protocol, even if they are not a permanent resident.

Furthermore, the Citizenship Law states that the Minister of Interior has the authority to exempt a permanent resident seeking to naturalize from the law’s conditions, if the Minister finds a special reason to do so.

Israeli Citizenship for Minors who are Children of Naturalized Residents

Minors who are children of a permanent resident requesting naturalization in Israel are also entitled to receive Israeli citizenship; as long as they too are permanent residents and meet the law’s criteria. The problem arises when the child has a foreign citizenship, and in Israel as a permanent resident under the auspice of only one parent. What happens if the other parent is abroad, or objects to the child’s naturalization?

If the second parent objects to the child’s naturalization, the minor will not be able to receive Israeli citizenship until they reach the age of 18. If the second parent passes away, naturalization requires presenting a certified (and translated) death certificate. There are instances whereby the minor has no connection to the parent, or the second parent cannot be found. In these cases, their stance regarding their child’s obtaining Israeli citizenship is unknown. The procedure require submitting public certificates that testify to the legal situation. This includes sending messages to the official residence of the parent that is abroad. If the parent that is abroad does not reply to these messages, a decision will be reached without their input.

Problems for Permanent Residents in the Process of Naturalization in Israel

Over the past years, the Ministry of Interior has made the process of naturalization more difficult for permanent residents. Firstly, permanent residents seeking to naturalize, in particular residents of East Jerusalem, often times face long waiting periods before being given a date for submission of documents. Secondly, the Ministry of Interior processes applications slowly and requires numerous documents to prove a ‘center of life’ in Israel. Often it is a requirement for unnecessary documents, or documents that are hard to obtain.

Thirdly, the Ministry of Interior is likely to decline requests for naturalization of permanent residents based claims of criminal background, including instances where permanent residents lose the possibility to naturalize due to minor offenses. Fourthly, permanent residents often face difficulties in the process of proving they renounced their former citizenship, or that they want to obtain Israeli citizenship but do not want to renounce their former citizenship. Our firm has ample experience dealing with these types of requests by the Ministry of Interior. We can review your problems in the process of naturalization in Israel and provide appropriate legal advice.

Submitting the application to the Ministry of Interior’s Office – Naturalization in Israel for a Permanent Resident

Submission of an application for naturalization in Israel takes place at the Ministry of Interior’s Office; the Population and Immigration Authority branch nearest to the permanent resident’s home. The applicant must be personally present at the meeting. The applicant submits copies of the Israeli ID, foreign passports, or proof of renouncement and cancellation of the foreign citizenship. To submit the application, one must pay a fee of 175 NIS (as of 2019).

A significant element of the application is proving the applicant’s ‘center of life’ of life has been in Israel over the past years. This can be done by bringing relevant documents as evidence to the Ministry of Interior’s Office. Specifically: pay checks from employer, children’s school certificates, copies of municipal tax, water, electricity bills. The application is weighed by the citizenship department at the Population and Immigration Authority and the answer for the naturalization application is given within a few months. After the application has been submitted, further documentation may be required. Once this is done, the person applying for naturalization is summoned for an interview. Finally, if the application is approved, the permanent resident needs to schedule at a meeting at the Ministry of Interior, declare allegiance to the State of Israel and receives a certificate recognizing they are an Israeli citizen.

Obtaining Israeli Citizenship

Contact a Lawyer that is an expert on the Ministry of Interior if you have any questions about immigration to Israel, or about the procedure of naturalization in Israel for permanent residents. We will be happy to set up a meeting, to provide you with legal advice and to assist you in your situation.

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