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The Law on Repatriation to Israel

March 30, 2022 174 Time to read: 5 min.

It is not by chance that the Law of Repatriation to Israel is also called the Law of Return. The document, in fact, proclaims that every Jew has the right to repatriation, that is, to return to his historical homeland – to Israel. This law has been in force since 1950, and it is still relevant.

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    Rules of repatriation to Israel

    The Law reflects the rules of repatriation to Israel. According to him, people who are able to prove their Jewish origin, as well as their relatives, can become citizens of the Israeli state. At the same time, not all Jews indiscriminately can become citizens of this country. There are reasonable exceptions.

    The Law on Repatriation to Israel

    The Law reflects the rules of repatriation to Israel

    The Law on Repatriation to Israel does not allow persons to obtain citizenship:

    • participating in acts against persons of Jewish nationality;
    • threatening the well-being and security of society and the country;
    • criminal elements planning to escape from justice in another state.

    The Law on Return regulates issues related to repatriation. But if everything is clear in theory, then in practice there are many situations that do not have unambiguous solutions. It is no coincidence that a huge number of auxiliary legal acts have been created in addition to the Law. And often, in establishing Jewish roots, the decision is made based on many additional individual factors.

    Difficulties in using the Law on Repatriation

    The most difficult problem from a legal point of view is the accuracy of establishing the presence of Jewish roots in a person. This issue is key, because the main goal of creating the State of Israel is to form a country exclusively for Jews. In turn, it is quite easy for a Jew to obtain citizenship of the desired country, but to do this for a non–Jew is fraught with many obstacles.

    So, in the 1970 amendment to the Law on Repatriation to Israel, the following criteria are given for establishing belonging to Jewish nationality:

    • a person born to a Jewish mother and who has not changed his religious affiliation is recognized as a Jew;
    • A Jew is a person who has adopted the religion of Judaism.

    Also, the Law on Return allows the closest relatives of Jews, who at the same time are not representatives of the Jewish nation, to come to the Promised Land and receive the same rights and benefits there as other repatriates.

    Thus, the Law on Repatriation fully applies not only to Jews, but also:

    • on the children and grandchildren of Jews,
    • on the wives (or husbands) of Jews,
    • on the wives (or husbands) of Jewish children,
    • on the wives (or husbands) of Jewish grandchildren.

    However, it is considered unacceptable if a Jew has changed his religion of his own free will. In this case, although he has Jewish blood, but in a fairly religious Israeli state, he is not considered a full-fledged, real Jew. And, in accordance with the rules of repatriation to Israel, he will not be able to obtain a citizenship document.

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      Amendment to the Law of 1999

      An interesting point of the Law is the amendment of 1999. It regulates the conditions for obtaining Israeli citizenship if a foreigner or a foreigner marries a person who already has a passport of a citizen of the country. Firstly, of course, we should be talking about an official marriage, not a civil one, which is not registered anywhere.

      Secondly, the spouse does not automatically receive Israeli citizenship. Therefore, fictitious marriages usually do not take place here. So, a foreigner must first go through a multi-stage procedure for granting him citizenship, and only then can get the coveted passport. This process is called naturalization, and the Law on Naturalization is already beginning to take effect here, and not the Law on Repatriation to Israel that we are discussing.

      However, we repeat that this provision will not apply to spouses where the husband or wife falls under the Law on Return. But then their marriage must necessarily be concluded before repatriation to the Jewish state.

      It remains to add that the Minister of Internal Affairs controls the implementation of the legislative rules of repatriation in Israel, as well as a special commission dealing with legislative issues.

      If you are interested in additional information about repatriation to the Israeli state, then contact our specialists for advice. They will help to use the Law on Repatriation to Israel in practice, and become a citizen of this state as quickly as possible and without unnecessary problems.

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