Returning resident to Israel
Returning resident to Israel
A returning resident – an Israeli citizen who returns to Israel after several consecutive years abroad – is eligible for a number of benefits on his return to Israel, similar to a new immigrant. What are these benefits and how does one obtain them?
At the law offices for aliyah and obtaining legal status in Israel – Cohen, Decker, Pex, Brosh, we recently published an explanation on obtaining the status for an immigrant citizen / returning minor. This article explains the conditions for and restrictions on obtaining the status of returning resident.
Who is a returning resident?
A returning resident is defined as an Israeli citizen who was also a resident of Israel (that is, not someone who obtained citizenship abroad as a child of an Israeli citizen, for example), who is over 17 years old and resided abroad for several consecutive years before his return to Israel and his application for the status of returning resident.
How does one obtain the status of returning resident?
The main criteria for obtaining the status of returning resident is proof of continuous residence abroad, on the one hand, and intention to make Israel the center of one’s life, on the other.
The resident must furnish documents showing that he is a resident of Israel who has resided outside it; an Israeli identity card and a passport documenting his stay abroad.
What are the benefits to which the returning resident is entitled?
- If the person is recognized as a returning resident before returning to Israel, he may receive a flight coupon. The coupon can be used on any El Al flight in order to receive an additional luggage allowance. This allows the resident to bring additional suitcases with more weight to Israel at no additional cost.
- Someone who resided abroad for more than 3 years is eligible for assistance in starting a business.
- Someone who resided abroad for more than 10 years is exempt from reporting income from abroad, and paying taxes on it, for 10 years. Applying for an “acclimation year” upon return to Israel will provide an exemption from Israeli taxes for one year.
- Guaranteed minimum income for several months of acclimation.
- Renewal of stipends and insurance – stipend for children, old-age pension, and other rights accruing to Israeli residents.
- The site of the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration includes a full list of benefits.
Receiving benefits in Israel for a returning resident
After proper registration with the Interior Ministry (at the nearest office of the Population Authority), it is recommended to visit the Aliyah and Integration Ministry to receive explanation and help. One should come with the details of his bank account in order to receive financial assistance.
Among other topics, one can receive an explanation on registering or re-registering for a health fund and for National Insurance. If the applicant resided abroad for more than 5 years, the Aliyah and Integration Ministry will automatically transfer some of the documents to official bodies (such as National Insurance), but certain benefits still require meeting with the relevant body.
Renewing membership in a health fund / National Insurance
To register with National Insurance, the applicant must show that the center of his life is in fact Israel. A returning resident is required to reside for several months in Israel in order to prove that he has made Israel the center of his life. However, it is also possible to pay a certain sum (over 10,000 shekels) to obtain immediate access to health insurance.
Who is not eligible for assistance as a returning resident?
Anyone who received assistance as a returning resident in the past – cannot receive it a second time for 10 years, of which at least 6 must be spent residing abroad.
Someone who has previously received assistance as a new immigrant cannot receive assistance as a returning resident for two years.
Talk to an attorney regarding obtaining legal status in Israel
The law offices in Jerusalem and Petach Tikvah of Cohen, Decker, Pex, Brosh, specialize in immigration to Israel, including the status of returning resident. If you would like to find out about your rights and how to take advantage of them, we will be happy to assist you.