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Israeli Citizenship by Marriage

May 8, 2024 87 Time to read: 8 min.

It is not easy to become an Israeli citizen without Jewish roots. Such people have to work very hard to become nationals of this very country. Even if you married on Israeli/Israelite, you will have to endure many years of complicated procedures to obtain the coveted documents. Read on to learn about the intricacies of obtaining Israeli citizenship through marriage.

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    Local marriage Laws and special considerations for non-jewish consorts

    jewish weddingWhile it is possible to marry despite different religions and nationalities in Israel, however, it is worth remembering that certain difficulties cannot be avoided in such a case.

    To obtain citizenship, you must abide by the laws and traditions of the local community. For example, weddings here can only be contracted in the synagogue. We must also mention that marriages are a very sensitive topic there in general. At the end of the course, it is believed that the future husband and wife will stand before God with a double responsibility for upkeeping the domestic hearth.

    Also, if one of the spouses is not Jewish, it will not be possible to get married in a synagogue. One way or another, one of them will have to convert to Judaism first. Sure do, you can get engaged even without this, but such a status will not be recognised and confirmed by an official document.

    Evidence is another important component in marriage. All who marry have to prove the purity of their intentions. Especially when one of the partner is not Jewish. In fact, cases of marriage forgery to obtain citizenship have been increasing – especially in 2022 – 2024.

    Jewish marriage ceremonies registered in Israel
    Number of Jewish marriage ceremonies according to Statista 2024

    So now the attitude to such things is strict and sensitive. In order to avoid these processes, the Union carries out compulsory tests. We will talk about this a little later. In the meantime, if an Israeli’s partner is an illegal alien, the applicant still may claim that they live under the same roof and share the same household. And begin a gradual legalization process. Sure do, the assistance of an attorney is mandatory in some cases.

    In addition, it is not always possible for a foreigner to leave the country of permanent residence (in this case, Israel) for an indefinite period of time. And not every couple is willing to separate for the purpose of completing documents and other procedural tasks.

    Becoming a citizen: step-by-step

    But let’s start in order – that is, with a brief description of the procedure:

    1. Opening a case – the first stage, which consists in submitting a petition and collecting the necessary documents to be sent to the proper Ministry.
    2. Interview with a representative – the second stage. Now, the Misrad Hapnim worker interviews each companion separately, although both are invited at the same time.
    3. Examination of the results – at this stage a decision on the case is made, but only a preliminary one.
    4. Issuance of a B1 visa – this one gives the right to legally stay and work in the country, yet only for six months.
    5. Filling in an application form – this includes an interview at the special department.
    6. Obtaining a temporary residence permit (A5 visa) – after a thorough examination of all documents and the interview, the husband or wife receives an official permit to stay for one year.
    7. Repeated and multiple visits to the Ministry of Interior – every year it will be necessary to visit the country to renew the status. In fact, the process likely will take about four or five years. This is necessary to prove that the marriage is not fictitious.

    Requirements and documents for Citizenship application

    An Israeli citizen and a citizen of another country can only marry outside Israel. Usually this takes place in the country of which the foreign spouse is currently living. But some countries, such as Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Denmark, and Spain, do offer easy access as well. You can register here with your loved one without any severe problems. By the way, it is possible to get married online in the state of Utah, USA in certain cases (when one of the spouses has restrictions on crossing state borders).

    It goes without saying that each visit to Misrad Hapnim involves the preparation of a package of documents. For the first interview you will need to take with you:

    • Marriage certificate (or cohabitation contract);
    • The passport of the foreign partner;
    • Certificate of no criminal record (required in the country of origin);
    • Photos 3.5 * 5.

    Plus, you will need to fill out an application form to change the status from tourist to spouse. In addition to the papers mentioned above, there are a few more informal things that are required. Like a detailed description of how the relationship developed: try to provide family photos, correspondence, and shared things. It is also desirable to prepare letters from several relatives or friends living in Israel. But only if these letters can confirm that you and your spouse are really experiencing all the hardships of living together. (That also means that these letters should be from close friends) You will also need an epistle from the manager of the house where you are currently living.

    Nothing superfluous will be superfluous, so even receipts from restaurants, cafes, etc. will confirm the fact that you are spending the time together with your loved one.

    Various scenarios of obtaining a Darkon

    darkon by marriageIt is pretty important to know in which branch of the Ministry of the Interior you are going to open a case. Internal policies, document requirements, visa requirements, etc. can vary widely. Often a couples, who have almost the same situation, goes through the process in different cities in Israel, receiving different results. There is no silver bullet here. However, if you follow our tips, you will increase chances many times over. It is also recommended that you do not apply in the country’s capital – this is where the most rigorous and principled checks are usually carried out.

    The role of the Israeli Ministry of Internal Affairs

    Misrad Hapnim is a government body that deals with immigration. Immigrants apply for Teudat Zehut (identity card), Darkon and other documents at the Population Registration Department of the Ministry of the Interior. Accordingly, Misrad Hapnim is the primary authority that will oversee the granting of citizenship by marriage.

    Case studies and potential questions

    First of all, it is important to understand that Misrad Hapnim’s staff are just officers of the law, doing their job. Given the situation, they can ask any questions (even the most intimate and bizarre) that only people who have lived together for decades can answer clearly. Such questions might be:

    • What did you do together on the first of June last year?
    • What was your spouse drinking the Saturday before last?
    • What shoes was your spouse wearing when you met?
    • Do you know all of your spouse’s jobs throughout his/her working life?

    These questions may sound… Ridiculous. Do they really have anything to do with sovereignty?

    The answer is yes. They are 100% related, because such a tricky question is probably the only way to make sure the marriage is valid. Many couples are rejected precisely because of inconsistencies in their answers. Even if they have passed the test for several years, if they fail on the fourth or fifth time, the exemption will not be recognised.

    To avoid so, it is essential to seek professional advice beforehand. Any experienced lawyer will know what to say and how to behave in an interview. They will help you. Good luck in getting the citizenship of your dreams!

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