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Immigration Laws

The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs are in charge of immigration law and visas.  As they periodically update these laws, please refer to their website for information.

The information below is accurate as of November 2013:

Immigration visa

The Law of Return, 5710 - 1950 determines the right of every Jew to immigrate to the State of Israel. The law is an expression of the connection between the Jewish people and their homeland. Jews returning to Israel are considered people who were away - or whose ancestors were away - from Israel, and are now returning to their country. With regard to the law, "A Jew is a person born to a Jewish mother, or who is a convert to Judaism, and is not a member of another religion."

According to an arrangement between the government of Israel and the Jewish Agency, the latter handles immigration (aliya) to Israel: checking candidates, providing advice and guidance, seeing to absorption arrangements, referrals to immigrant centers, places of study, employment, etc. An aliya emissary of the Jewish Agency who recommends a person's immigration, transfers the application together with his written recommendation to an official representative of the State of Israel.

According to the law, the authority to issue the immigration visa lies solely with the diplomatic / consular representative. Therefore, this representative examines the application and the recommendation of the aliya representative. The diplomatic / consular representative may request additional details, both from the applicant and from the immigration representative. In cases of doubt, the diplomatic / consular representative may transfer the application to the consular section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a decision.

Those interested in commencing the process of immigrating to Israel should contact the aliya representative of the Jewish Agency who is responsible for the area in which they reside. To obtain information on how to contact an aliya representative, please see the chapter on General Information.