Permanent residence in Israel

A “permanent resident” in the State of Israel is defined as a person whose center of life is in Israel, a “permanent resident” visa entitles the holder to reside in Israel for the rest of his life as long as the residency has not expired.

Permanent residency in Israel is the final status of residency which granted at the end of the graduated procedure to a Foreign spouse, who’s not married, but in a relationship (A publicly known couple) with an Israeli citizen, and a Foreign spouse who’s married to an Israeli permanent resident.

Permanent residency --  rights

Permanent residency grants most of the rights granted to a citizen, with the exception of the rights to hold an Israeli passport and the right to vote in elections. The graduated process to achieve a permanent residency among a publicly known couple is much longer and lasts about 7 years, while a graduated process of foreign spouse legally married to an Israeli citizen (Including same-sex couples who were legally married in a civil marriage) is shorter (4.5-5 years) and in its end  the civil status granted is Israeli citizenship


The steps for obtaining permanent residency in Israel:

At the beginning of the graded procedure and after the application is principally approved (assuming the spouses are in a sincere and genuine relationship, their center of life is in Israel and there is no security or criminal impediment of the spouse’s to stay in Israel) the foreign spouse is given a temporary residence permit of type B /1 for a period of at least six months, when usually after that he will be given a permit of  type A /5 (Temporary residency) for a period of one year at a time, the foreign spouse will be registered and a temporary identity card will be issued.

During the graded procedure of mixed spouses (foreign and Israeli), whether married or publicly known, before any further extension of the license, an interview will be conducted for the spouses and tests will be conducted each time, re-examining the sincerity and existence of the spouses life in Israel, And if no security or criminal incident related to the foreign spouse has occurred during the year from the last inspection. If everything is well, these exams will be taken place every year before the extension of  the  temporary residency.

At the end of the graded procedure and before granting permanent residency, the authority will check again the conditions of the application. If one of the conditions is no longer compliant, even in that advanced stage of the process, It can lead to the postponement and even cancellation of the entire graded procedure, along with the possibility of obtaining permanent residency. If all the conditions are correct, the authority will issue the foreign spouse a new identity card with a permanent residency.

A foreign spouse married to an Israeli permanent resident is required to meet the conditions of Procedure No. 5.2.0011 “Procedure for granting status to a foreign spouse married to a permanent resident”.


Residency will be given to the foreign spouse’s minor children from earlier marriage only if all the procedural conditions for them have been completed (presentation of a verified and translated original birth certificate, valid foreign passport for at least two years) but especially if  there is  an Explicit consent for granting a residency by the additional parent.


As stated, most civil rights in Israel are given to permanent residents as well as to an Israeli citizen; Social rights and health insurance, and rights under the National Insurance Law for unemployment benefits, income support, disability pension and old age. However, permanent residency is not a stable status as a citizenship and is fundamentally different from it in this respect, and may be revoked if one of the conditions for granting it ceases to exist.


The right of Israeli citizens to return to Israel at any time, regardless of how long they have been abroad, or to any additional residency or citizenship they have received abroad is reserved only for citizens and is not granted to permanent residents; A permanent resident residing outside Israel without a valid visa, or for a period of seven years or more,  will lose his permanent residence in Israel and will not be able to return, and so if he received citizenship or permanent residency in another country, or if the relationship that by  its virtue he received a permanent residency has expired.


Despite this, there are cases in which permanent residency can be returned; if it is proven that the center of the applicant’s life was and remains in Israel; Continuous contact with the nuclear family in Israel, most of the connections are to Israel, temporary stay abroad due to conditions that are not in the applicant control (duration of studies, professional qualification, etc.).


Among permanent residents born in Israel, even after the expiration of the permanent residence permit, there is no impediment to applying for the status back. The courts in Israel have established rules in their rulings for obtaining the status of a permanent resident back.


permanent residents may lose their Status due to lack of attention, or leaving Israel abroad without Accurate calculation.  Permanent Residency is complicated to obtain, confronting the difficulties piled up by the authorities, and after expiration can be difficult and full of bureaucracy gaining it back.


David Angel Law Office is one of the leaders in Israel of civil status and immigration law, with exclusive experience and successfully handling applications of civil status in Israel over two decades in front the Ministry of the Interior in all instances.

Contact us for legal advice or direction on maintaining permanent residency, or for legal treatment of revocation of permanent residency.


You are welcome to contact us at any time for professional legal advice and assistance in our areas of expertise.


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