Life Partner and Spouse visa
The procedure for granting legal status in Israel for partners of Israelis residing in Israel is a three-step process.
First Step: the foreign citizen receives a work permit in Israel (a B/1 visa that makes it possible to legally work in the country).
Second Step: In this step, the spouse of the Israeli receives temporary residence status in Israel (this is the A/5 temporary resident visa in Israel). This special Identity Card is usually granted each time for a limited period of up to one year.
Third and Final Step: The foreign spouse receives permanent status (residence or the possibility of obtaining the Israeli citizenship).
The length of this process for married couples is about five years, while the length of the same process for couples who are living in a civil relationship is about seven years.
The clerks of the Ministry of Interior have the right to extend the length of the process if they are of the opinion, according to their discretion, that there is a need to continue to examine the sincerity of the relationship.
The same jurisdiction the clerks of the Ministry of Interior Affairs can also shorten the period stated above, but this is done only in very rare cases an under special circumstances.
The Ministry of Interior will check besides the requested documents also the sincerity of the actual relationship of the couple by interviewing those separately. The idea behind this procedure is to see how good the couple actually knows each other.
The more answers are a match the better, it can proof that the spousal relationship is sincere and genuine or not.
The clerk of the Ministry of Interior are liable to misjudge in their assessment of the couple’s spousal relationship and decide not to approve legal status in Israel for the foreign citizen, despite the fact that the relationship is sincere and genuine. In this case, it is possible to appeal against the decision of the ministry.
If the appeal is not accepted, the possibility to turn to legal forums in order to prove that the spousal relationship between them is real and those have the right to live together in Israel.
Documents for proving a shared life include:
- A joint tenancy agreement
- One bank account
- History of correspondence through letters, social networks, etc.
- Printouts of telephone conversations or any other communication channel where conversations between the spouses can be tracked.
- Shared photographs
- Receipts indicating time spent together.
- Letters of support from family and friends.
Any document, which can prove a spousal relationship, is acceptable to submit to the Ministry of Interior – the more the merrier.
Documents requested from the foreign spouse:
- Birth Certificate: Has to be translated and legally authenticated by a representative of the Israeli Consulate in their country of origin or by an apostille.
- Confirmation of personal status: single, divorced, widowed.
- Confirmation of a clean Criminal Record.
All official documentation, which originates outside of Israel, must be legally authenticated and translated accordingly.
If any documents are missing, the couple has a period of 45 days to hand in the missing documents. Should this not happen during this period, the file will be closed and the couple will only be able to re-open the “shared-life” file once the missing documents have been submitted.
Sum – up:
It is recommended to have legal advice from an Immigration Lawyer during this process as documents should be checked prior handing them over to the Ministry of Interior and to make this journey as smooth as possible.
Please note that some declarations from the Ministry of Interior will have to get signed before a lawyer.