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Notarized translation of documents for filing a joint-life application to obtain legal status in Israel

Michael Decker
Michael Decker

Foreign citizens who want to live with their Israeli spouses in Israel must file a joint-life application with the Interior Ministry. This application involves submitting various documents, most of them from the foreign spouse’s country of origin. A notarized translation of these documents is generally required for filing the application. In this article we explain what a notarized translation is and what you need to know about it.

Our offices provide comprehensive legal services for couples seeking to obtain permanent legal status in Israel. In our office you can find attorneys who are qualified notaries, with extensive and proven experience in assisting many couples seeking to establish joint lives in Israel.Notarized joint-life application

A short explanation of the joint-life application and the documents required

Under the Citizenship Law, foreign spouses of Israelis should be entitled to permanent legal status in Israel. To that end, they must meet the requirements of the Interior Ministry dealing with legal status for married couples or common-law couples. In addition to requiring that the couple present themselves at the Population Authority office, the regulations require evaluation of the sincerity of the couple’s relationship, the existence of a joint center of life in Israel, and a lack of a security or criminal hindrance to granting permanent legal status to the foreign spouse. This series of articles published on our site includes separate articles describing the regulations applying to married couples and common-law couples who are not married.

Another issue of crucial importance when filing a joint-life application is that there are quite a number of documents that the Interior Ministry demands in order to approve the application. We discuss the required documents in detail in another article on our site. It is important to distinguish between official documents from the foreign spouse’s country of origin and additional documents, mostly intended to prove the sincerity of the couple’s relationship.

What is a “notarized translation” and which documents must undergo such a translation?

A notarized translation is intended to give legal force to documents from a foreign country, written in a foreign language. This certification is provided by a notary public, an experienced attorney who has been certified by the Justice Department to verify and approve official documents. The Notary Public Law states that certification of a translation from the original language to the local language must be done by a notary public who is fluent in both languages. For example, marriage documents of a couple who got married in Cyprus require certification of a notarized translation from Greek or English to Hebrew.

As a rule, all the official documents from the foreign spouse’s country of origin must undergo, in additional to consular authentication or an apostille stamp, notarized translation as well. This includes a birth certificate, a certificate of good conduct (lack of a criminal record), and a single status certificate (to ensure a lack of bigamy or polygamy on the part of the foreign spouse). If the couple were married in a foreign country (such as Cyprus or the Czech Republic, or in a process of proxy marriage with one or both spouses absent), the marriage license must also undergo notarized translation.

What if a notary public fluent in both languages cannot be found?

In cases where there is no notary public fluent in both the original and local languages, the Authentication of Public Documents Regulation of the Population Authority states that it is enough to provide a notarized translation from a foreign country into a language in which an Israeli notary public is fluent. That is, the document will need to undergo a double notarized translation. For example, if the original is from an African country whose official language is not spoken by any Israeli notary public, a notarized translation of the document can be made into French in the country of origin, and then a second notarized translation made from French to Hebrew.

Contact an attorney and notary public specializing in Israeli immigration law and arranging legal status

Many legal issues arise surrounding notarized translation of documents for filing a joint-life application. This procedure often proves to be complex, and therefore it is always advisable to obtain assistance from an attorney and notary public who is experienced in this field. If you need help in preparing notarized translations or any other issue related to obtaining Israeli legal status, we are at your service. At our offices, you will find attorneys who are certified as notaries and have extensive experience in representing couples in the process of obtaining legal status in Israel.

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