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Obtaining an Israeli Friendship Visa: What to Expect During an Interview

Joshua Pex
Joshua Pex

Eden Weiss

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

David De La Rosa

Very friendly, professional, and effective, highly recommended

Yossi Montrose

Very knowledgeable and professional

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.

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.

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????


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.

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

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!

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.

lynn vonne

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

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.

Shaltiel Devorah

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

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.

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.

Lilian Granovsky

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

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 ????

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.

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.

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!

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.

Halvor Ronning

Courteous, clear, efficient service.

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

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.

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

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.

Priscilla Moses

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

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!

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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 (!)

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!

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.

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!

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.

Questions that are frequently asked during relationship interviews when gaining a friendship visa

In some cases, Israeli immigration laws allow foreign citizens to obtain an Israeli friendship visa. This allows them to enter Israel and eventually gain permanent legal status in the country. If a foreign citizen is married or in a serious relationship with an Israeli citizen or permanent resident, and they are living together, they are eligible for this opportunity.

The gradual process for granting Israeli citizenship to foreign spouses or partners is complicated. There are several legal guidelines and stages that last between 5-7 years. This process is known as the gradual process and is managed entirely by the Israeli Ministry of Interior (also known as Misrad Hapnim).

The friendship visa application requires the submission of various documents and several in-depth interviews. This is to establish if the couple qualifies to obtain legal status in Israel. These documents must be submitted at the Population and Immigration Authority’s office. Following this, the couple undergo an interview process.

In this article, we will explain regarding the questions that are most likely to be asked during the interview process.


Tips for the gradual process

It is essential for couples who are trying to obtain status in Israel to undergo the gradual process in the most efficient way. Nearly 3,000  couples go through this process each year, so it is highly important to ease the burden placed on interior ministry clerks and help them help you. Your primary priority is to remain organized, even resorting to professional help. Israeli immigration lawyers can make the process more successful and orderly in terms of document submissions and suggested behavior for interviews.

Terminated process and appeal to the special committee

There are many factors that can lead to the termination of a gradual process; problems with obtaining documents, difficulty proving the authenticity of the relationship, or separation of the couple. If a couple gets divorced or separated before the foreign spouse gains permanent status in Israel, the case will usually be referred to a special committee, in order to determine the right to stay in Israel.

The committee will review the relationship between the Israeli and foreign spouse, and the reason for their separation. For example, if the foreign spouse is experiencing violence at the hands of their Israeli spouse, and this is the reason why the couple split up before the process is completed, a Population Authority employee will review the situation. Depending on whether or not the couple had kids and evidence proves it was a genuine marriage; the foreign spouse can be referred to the humanitarian committee, where they can then possibly receive a temporary residence permit lasting up to two years.

Similarly, if the Israeli spouse dies before the process is completed, and their widow(er) wishes to remain in Israel, they must undergo an interview to determine if the relationship was genuine. Following that, their case is determined and they can receive a permit to stay in Israel for longer as well. Here to, having children with the Israeli spouse will help prove the relationship was “sincere”. Of course, each situation is complex and dependent on specific circumstances. 

Questions during relationship interview – be prepared

The interview process at the Israeli Ministry of Interior consists of a series of questions that are meant to examine the sincerity of the relationship, which then leads to the decision of whether the partner should be allowed to have Israeli citizenship.

The interview process is meant to review the entire history of the relationship, including how the couple met, how they fell in love, etc. It is important for partners to be highly familiar with each other’s lives, background and their relationship as a whole, in order to avoid any contradictions within the interviews. Although most spouses in real relationships will not have to memorize an immense amount of new information about each other, immigration lawyers do suggest that couples get to know each other better, and keep intimate details in mind – things like dates of birth, names of family members, etc.

Additionally, spouses are advised to provide well-organized files that are easy to navigate through; this is to show the clerks at the Israeli Ministry of Interior that you orderly, motivated, and serious about gaining Israeli citizenship. This includes providing notarized translations of documents from abroad, complete with apostille stamp, and having all of the necessary evidence to show the authenticity of the relationship.

While all of this is important, it is also important to remain calm and handle the gradual process with proper manners and respect for Ministry of Interior workers. Failing to do so and creating a hostile environment with the employees handling your case may result in the process being delayed or terminated even if you have all the documents. In the event, it is important for couples to know their legal rights and stand up for them when necessary, even appealing negative decisions to the MoI or the Israeli court system.

What are some frequently asked questions in the interview?

As mentioned previously, there are various sets of questions that couples are expected to answer within the interview; some of these questions may seem out of nowhere or irrelevant to the situation, but it is important to answer everything clearly and honestly. Here is a compiled list of some general questions couples should be prepared for:

  1. How, when, and where did you meet?
  2. How many relatives does your spouse have? (including siblings, their names, parent’s names, and where they live)
  3. What is the relationship between the spouse and their relatives?
  4. How many spouses have they had before?
  5. What is their birthday?
  6. Where was the spouse born? When did they make Aliyah?
  7. Did they serve in the army? If so, where?
  8. Who are their best friends?
  9. How did they celebrate birthdays? Where? With whom? Did they get any gifts?
  10. How did they celebrate holidays? Were they together? Where? With whom?
  11. How many children do they have, if any?
  12. When you were abroad together, who met you at the airport?
  13. What expenses does each spouse participate in?
  14. What is your apartment address? What floor do you live on? How many rooms are in the apartment?
  15. What property is in the apartment? What furniture is in the apartment? Where is the furniture? What are the colors of the curtains? What are the colors of the bedding?
  16. Do you have pets? If so, who and what are their names?
  17. What gifts have you bought for each other?
  18. What events have you attended together?
  19. What do you do on the weekends?
  20. What did you do yesterday? (what time they woke up, what they did, what they ate)
  21. What is their favorite food? What is their least favorite food?
  22. What is the role of everyone in the house? (who cooks, cleans, washes, does the shopping)
  23. Working hours of the spouse? What do they like to do? What is their education/ work?
  24. Where do they shop?
  25. Does the spouse shave? Do they wear perfume?
  26. What is the spouse’s bank and HMO (kupat kholim)?
  27. Do they use a credit card? Is there a joint account?
  28. How much does the spouse earn? Does the foreign spouse work?
  29. How do you pay for the rent? (credit/cash/the landlord comes to collect)
  30. Drinking habits? (coffee/tea/sugar)
  31. How did you get to the hearing at the Ministry of the Interior?
  32. When did you get up on the day of the hearing?
  33. Which side of the bed do you sleep on?
  34. Common goals for the future? (house/car/travel)
  35. Do you celebrate New Year’s Eve? How?
  36. Do you go to a hairdresser? Is there a regular look?

What are contradictions in the interview? How do you avoid them?

Within each interview, the Ministry of Interior clerks check for contradictions to determine if the couple should be rejected for status in Israel. Unfortunately, the MoI determines about 10% of joint-life applications between Israeli and foreign citizens to be false. To avoid granting citizenship to false couples, officials look for contradictions in the interviews that can be objectively proven. Substantive questions are ones that ask about the couple’s joint-life together; each spouse is expected to give the same answers to questions concerning where their first date was, where they ate yesterday, etc.

If there are many mistakes or guesses for answers, the Israeli MoI officials may assume that the relationship is not real. Moreover, any differing answers about the relationship is also considered suspicious and can lead to problems with granting citizenship (mainly questions about money). Ultimately, however, Interior Ministry officials are not looking to entrap partners. Most questions should be easy to answer for couples who are living together in the same household.

Contact us for more information

If assistance is needed regarding this topic, our law firm is here to help. With specialization in immigration law, our lawyers are capable of guiding the entire gradual process. Working to obtain legal status for foreign spouses in Israel can be complicated; however with our help you will be able to reach success. Feel free to contact our offices.

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