Immigrants from which countries in Israel the most? How to get a tourist visa to this country and how to get a long-term visa? What criteria must meet the applicant for a residence permit, permanent residence and citizenship? Detailed information, links to official portals and a list of necessary documents – in our material.

Israel is one of the most popular immigration countries in the world. According to the OECD, the share of those who live in this country, being born outside of it, reaches 25%. That is, every fourth resident of Israel is a foreigner. The number of immigrants today exceeds 2 million people.

According to the Israeli Statistical Bureau, in 2018, the country accepted 37,000 immigrants. At the same time, most of them were from Russia (27%) and Ukraine (25%). Following are the representatives of France (13%) and the United States (10%).

More than 80% of all immigrants in Israel move here under the Jewish repatriation program, the second significant group are those who resettle for work.

Visa regime in Israel

Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians can stay in Israel for a maximum of 90 days out of 180 days for tourist purposes without an entry visa.

For visa-free entry, the following documents are required for presentation at the border:

  1. Passport, which is valid for at least six months from the date of entry into Israel.
  2. Tickets confirming your departure from Israel within 90 days.
  3. Listing of hotel reservation.
  4. An invitation from friends, relatives or host if you are visiting or on a business trip.
  5. A letter from a medical institution if your goal is treatment.
  6. Medical insurance policy for the provision of services abroad.
  7. Proof of your solvency.

If you are a citizen of Kazakhstan, then you will not be able to do without an entry visa. You can see the list of documents for its receipt on the website of the Israeli Embassy in Kazakhstan .

Visa for property owners

Acquisition of real estate in Israel does not provide additional visa benefits. But you can repeatedly enter Israel to visit the object you purchased without a visa for up to 90 days out of 180 days, if you are a citizen of Russia, Belarus or Ukraine.


In Israel, the equivalent of a residence permit, in fact, are long-term visas. They give the right to stay in the country for a limited period. Long-term visa is needed if you are going to spend more than 90 days in Israel. Depending on the purpose of your request, it is divided into several types:

  • Student visa – A / 2
  • Clergy Visa – A / 3
  • Visa for spouses and children – A / 4
  • Work Visa – B / 1

The list of documents for obtaining a long-term visa can be found on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel .

Permanent residence permit

The conditions for issuing a permanent residence permit in Israel are governed by several laws at once. The most important – the Law of Return of 1950 – concerns repatriation. There is also the Law on Entry into Israel of 1952 , which sets the rules for the entry of foreigners into the country, as well as the Law on Foreign Workers of 1991 , which considers all aspects related to the employment of foreigners.

Thus, in Israel it is officially possible to obtain the status of a permanent resident of the country on the basis of a long-term visa. But, according to lawyers, in fact it is impossible to do.

At the end of the work visa, the alien must leave Israel. Moreover, the issuance of work visas is strictly regulated – and the state ensures that there are no attempts to stay in the country at the end of its validity period. The same applies to student visas – Israel is ready to “export” educational services, but is not ready to leave former students as permanent residents.

With family reunification, the situation is different – here we are talking about a five-year procedure that begins as a temporary resident, continues as permanent resident, and ends with citizenship. But for this you need to have a spouse in Israel.

The only real chance to move to Israel for permanent residence is to prove Jewish roots, that is, to become a repatriate. Repatriates immediately receive Israeli citizenship.

How to become a repatriate

The following categories of foreigners can obtain Israeli citizenship:

  • Jews who are eligible for repatriation to Israel under the Law of Return.
  • Israeli citizens born outside the state of Israel, while having at least one of the parents – an Israeli citizen born in Israel.
  • Returning minors. A juvenile is considered to be a teenager who was born and / or lived in Israel and was removed by parents from Israel abroad under the age of 14 years and decided to return to Israel for permanent residence at the age of 17 years. At the same time, his continuous stay abroad must be at least four years.

In addition, the following categories of persons may repatriate:

  • Children of jews
  • Grandsons of jews
  • Spouses of jews
  • Widows and widows of Jews
  • Spouses of Jewish Children
  • Widows and widowers of Jewish children
  • Spouses of Jewish grandchildren
  • Widows and widows of Jewish grandchildren
  • Adopted or adopted by Jews, Jewish children or Jewish grandchildren
  • Jews, children of Jews, grandchildren of Jews – even adopted by non-Jews

If you decide to repatriate to Israel, the first step will be to contact the Israel Jewish Agency (“Sohnut”), which provides assistance to those who decide to return to Israel. Then you will need to contact the Consul in the repatriation department of the Embassy of the State of Israel in your country , making an appointment.

List of required documents

By the date of the visit, you need to prepare the following documents:

  • Confirmation of your Jewish roots (for example, confirmation from a rabbi or Beit Din, certificates, certificates issued by registry offices, extracts from house books, archival documents, etc.).
  • Documents about your current civil status (birth, marriage, divorce, death of a spouse) certificate. Please note that documents issued after 1988 require apostilization, sometimes a notarized translation or other appropriate certification.
  • Passports
  • Other foreign passports and / or other documents that demonstrate the length of stay in Israel and abroad (certificates of study, documents about the end of the school year, except diplomas, official certificates from foreign tax departments and national insurance services).
  • List of visits to Israel, and their duration.
  • Medical certificate of health.

Read more about the repatriation process and the necessary requirements on the website of the Jewish Agency of Israel (“Sohnut”) .

If the visa of the new immigrant is obtained in advance at the consulate, then citizenship can be obtained immediately at the airport.

Reasons for denial of repatriate status

  • The change of religion, and it is only about the “mother” line
  • Inability to prove Jewish roots;
  • Criminal record;
  • The presence of a contagious or psychiatric disease;
  • Insufficient number of documents;
  • The consul asked to apply in Israel;
  • Other non-standard situations: adoption, birth out of wedlock, etc.

The failure of the consulate can be challenged in the Supreme Court of Israel.

What rights does Israeli citizenship provide?

Israeli citizenship, in addition to the right to reside in a country with a resort climate, sustainable economy and advanced medicine, also gives the right to receive a passport, called “dark”, with which you can travel without a visa to 152 countries of the world.

Among the visa-free countries for the citizens of Israel are all continental Europe, England, Canada. And in the US, Israelis get a visa immediately for 10 years.

Another significant advantage of Israeli citizenship – it provides the right to a ten-year tax holiday on income received outside of Israel.

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