Skip to content
Contact Us: 03-3724722 | 055-9781688 | [email protected]

Renouncing foreign citizenship

Joshua Pex
Joshua Pex

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.

In what cases is it necessary to carry out a procedure to renounce a foreign citizenship? A requirement to renounce foreign citizenship may come from a foreign country that prohibits multiple citizenships, for a citizen of that country about to receive Israeli citizenship. Likewise, there may be a requirement to renounce foreign citizenship on the part of the Israeli authorities, for example for certain public positions or when recruiting for special units in the IDF. Below, attorney Joshua Pex, a partner in our office and an expert in Israeli immigration law, will explain these circumstances and the required process.

Renouncing foreign citizenship

Renouncing foreign citizenship – how do you deal with the uncertainty?

In Israel, many citizens hold a second citizenship, or even several citizenships, besides Israeli citizenship. There are also foreign citizens, such as spouses or family members of Israeli citizens, who are in the process of obtaining legal status in Israel, at the end of which they may be eligible to receive Israeli citizenship. Often, due to the requirements of the law in Israel, or those of foreign countries, there is an obligation for Israeli citizens or foreign citizens to renounce a foreign citizenship that they hold. Naturally, this raises many legal issues, and often involves dealing with bureaucracy in more than one country.

As attorneys who deal with Israeli immigration law and foreign citizenship applications for Israelis, we meet many clients who are left in uncertainty and feel at a loss when faced with the requirements of the authorities in Israel or abroad to carry out a foreign citizenship renunciation procedure. In order to alleviate some of the uncertainty, below we will explain, based on our experience, when renouncing foreign citizenship may be required in practice, how the process is carried out and when it may still be possible to retain the foreign citizenship, despite the requirement to renounce it.

In which cases may the need to renounce foreign citizenship arise?

The requirement to renounce foreign citizenship may arise in a wide variety of situations. It may come from the authorities in Israel, in cases where foreign citizens are undergoing naturalization procedures which are not based on the Law of Return. Among the requirements of the Israeli Citizenship Law for obtaining citizenship in these cases is renunciation of previous citizenship. The requirement may apply, among other things, to partners of foreign citizens (although in general the requirement does not apply to married couples), family members who wish to immigrate to Israel, and in other cases of permanent residents who wish to undergo naturalization.

The requirement to renounce foreign citizenship may also apply to Israeli citizens in certain cases. For example, Israeli youths who wish to serve in certain IDF units may be subject to strict requirements, including that of renouncing foreign citizenship. Also, specific requirements have been established in Israeli law to renounce foreign citizenship in order to hold certain public positions (including a member of Knesset and a minister). In addition to all of the above, the demand to renounce foreign citizenship may come from foreign countries, such as countries that do not allow dual or multiple citizenship. In light of this, there may be situations in which those entitled to the Law of Return or foreign citizens undergoing naturalization procedures in Israel will be required to give up their additional citizenship, even when the Israeli authorities permit them to hold multiple citizenships.

How is the process of renouncing foreign citizenship carried out?

The answer to this question is complex, as the process depends on the requirements of each country. Even before carrying out the process, it is important to contact the relevant officials in the foreign country and find out from them whether renouncing the foreign citizenship is required under the specific circumstances. It is also necessary to find out from them what the specific legal requirements are regarding the renunciation process and what documents are required for this purpose. Sometimes the process may be quite complex, and require the presentation of various documents from Israel and other countries. Accordingly, it is recommended to seek the assistance of an attorney specializing in immigration law as part of the process.

Are there cases in which it is still possible to keep foreign citizenship when the law requires renouncing it?

There may certainly be cases in which it is possible to submit a special request in order not to be subject to the obligation to renounce the additional citizenship. A relevant example regarding foreign citizens undergoing naturalization procedures in Israel is the possibility that may exist in some cases to request that the provision of the Citizenship Law requiring them to renounce their foreign citizenship not be applied. The request will be evaluated by the Minister of the Interior, who will decide on it at his discretion. In recent years, this has become possible, for example, in cases of athletes working in Israel (such as the soccer player Miguel Vitor and the athlete Lonah Chemtai-Slepter) who came from foreign countries, but in light of their significant contribution it was decided to allow them to hold Israeli citizenship alongside their other citizenship. For more information on the subject, see an article published on our office’s website about the Interior Minister’s discretion regarding granting citizenship.

Renouncing foreign citizenship – contact our immigration law experts

In conclusion, there are quite a few cases in which Israelis or foreign citizens are required to renounce a foreign citizenship that they hold. For any individual question or need for advice and assistance on the matter, you can contact our office and we will be glad to help. Our law office, in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, specializes in immigration law and provides comprehensive legal assistance on a variety of topics and issues in the field of immigration to Israel. Also, our office assists in matters of acquiring foreign citizenship, and maintains contact with immigration authorities in a wide variety of countries overseas.

Contact Us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Scroll To Top