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Guide for getting or canceling citizenship status

For your benefit, we prepared a detailed and clear guide concerning how to acquire and cancel Israeli citizenship. We divided the guide according to the following topics:
 
            . * The conditions necessary to obtain Israeli citizenship .
* Waiving Israeli citizenship .
* Relinquishing citizenship for an adult or family. 
* Waiver of citizenship for a minor only.
* Losing citizenship.  
 
When you acquire citizenship, you acquire both rights and duties in the country in which you are a citizen.
 
 
Definitions and Concepts: 

Citizenship Act -
is the law that determines the conditions for obtaining Israeli citizenship.
Citizen - is one who has acquired or received citizenship under the Citizenship Act. Citizenship bequeaths duties and rights as prescribed by law to one who is a citizen of a country. In most cases, obtaining citizenship in another country usually does not affect one’s eligibility to receive Israeli citizenship. Similarly, an Israeli citizen who also has another citizenship is legally an Israeli citizen in every way (except he cannot serve as a member of the Knesset).
Population Registry - is a registry that includes information about the population in Israel including permanent residents (except those with a transit, visitor, or diplomatic passport visa).
An identity card — is the official document that identifies its bearer as a legal resident of the State. It contains his personal details. Every citizen from age 16 is required to obtain an identity card and carry it with him.
A citizenship document — is a document that testifies that the holder is a citizen. One can get it from Interior Ministry branches or Israeli consulates. 
Passport — is an official document for a citizen that wants to visit foreign countries, which allows the person to enter to and exit from it.
An Israeli citizen who also has a foreign passport, can only enter or exit from Israel using his Israeli passport.
Every citizen is entitled to receive a passport allowing him to enter or exit Israel.
An adult — is a person 18 or older, or a person who is married even if he is not yet 18.
A minor — is an unmarried person 18 and younger.


The conditions necessary to obtain Israeli citizenship. 
 
The seven conditions for receiving and acquiring citizenship:
 
A. Eligibility for the Law of Return - The Citizenship Law automatically grants Israeli citizenship to any Jew to whom the Law of Return grants the right to immigrate to Israel or whom the Law of Return considers an immigrant based on the Law of Return (unless he was granted citizenship by birth or by the Ministry of the Interior as we wexplain below). 
The Law of Return gives several possibilities for a person (a Jew) to be entitled to immigrate, or to be considered an immigrant. The Citizenship Law stipulates when citizenship begins for each possibility as follows:
 
 
                   
1. A person who immigrated or was born before the establishment of the State, shall be considered an immigrant from the day of the establishment of the State (1948).
2. A person who decided to immigrate after the establishment of the State (and received an immigrant visa) shall be considered a citizen from the day of his immigration.
3. A person born in Israel after the establishment of the State shall be deemed a citizen from the day of his birth.
4. A person who lived in Israel and decided to settle in Israel shall be considered a citizen from the date he received an immigrant certificate. 
 
 
In addition to the above-mentioned possibilities, the law was emended to allow the Interior Minister to grant citizenship to those who are eligible for the Law of Return, who expressed their desire to settle in Israel since 1971, and have received or are eligible to receive an immigrant visa — even before they immigrate to Israel.
 
Important: The Law of Return applies only to Jews, and the definition of a "Jew" is "a person who was born to a Jewish mother or who converted to Judaism and who is not a member of another religion. Moreover, a person entitled by the Law of Return to become an Israeli citizen who wishes to settle in  Israel, is also entitled to bring his spouse, child, son/daughter-in-law and grandchild (except if they were Jews who voluntarily converted out).
 
Note: The Law of Return does not apply to anyone engaged in activities against the Jewish people or to those who may endanger the public health or the state security. The Law of Return also does not apply to an applicant for citizenship who has a criminal record that is liable to endanger public safety.
 
Despite the above-mentioned possibilities which grant a person Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return, in the following certain cases a person may have his citizenship revoked:
 
                                                           
1. A person who ceased to be a resident of Israel prior to 1952.
2. Before the day of his immigration, or before receiving his immigrant's certificate, and up to three months after, he stated in writing that he does not wish to be an Israeli citizen.
3. A foreign national minor who was born outside of Israel and immigrated with his parents to Israel and then they declared (and included it in a declaration) from before the day of his immigration up to three months after that they don’t want to be an Israeli citizen. In the event that only one parent immigrated with him, it is sufficient for the immigrant parent to make the declaration combined with the consent of the second parent. If the immigrating parent has custody of the minor, there is no need for the consent of the other parent.
However, in the period between his 18th and 22th birthday or within one year after the end of his military service in the regular army, a minor whose parents gave up his citizenship may give notification canceling his parents’ declaration and become a citizen by virtue of the Law of Return from the day he cancelled his parents' declaration.
4. A foreign citizen minor whose parents are not Israeli and who was born outside of Israel and immigrated or settled in Israel without his parents and just before the day of his immigration or receiving an immigrant's certificate and up to three months after, his parents declare in writing that he does not wish to be an Israeli citizen. If one parent has custody of the minor, it is sufficient for that parent alone to make the declaration.
5. A person born in Israel after the establishment of the State to a diplomatic or consular representative (not including an honorary ambassador).
6. One born in Israel since 1980 and at the time of his birth, neither of his parents was registered in the Population Registry. 
 
Important: According to clause 6 mentioned above, until the 1980's, even children born to Jewish foreign citizens automatically acquired Israeli citizenship. In 1980 the law was changed, and only if the parents appear in the Population Registry (including those with A / 1 or A / 5 visas or permanent residents), will the newborn be considered an Israeli citizen automatically based on the Law of Return.
 
B. Residence in Israel - a person who has fulfilled one of the following possibilities with its requisite conditions, can become an Israeli citizen:
 
                                                                  
1. A person who is not entitled to citizenship by the Law of Return, but prior to the establishment of the State (1948), lived in the Land of Israel as the "subject of the British Mandate" and on March 1, 1952 was registered as a resident under the Population Registry Ordinance (1949), and was an Israeli resident on July 17, 1952 and from the date of the establishment of the State until 1952, he was in Israel or in an area that became Israel after its establishment or during that period he entered Israel legally — he will be considered an Israeli citizen from the establishment of the State.
2. A person who is not entitled to citizenship by the Law of Return, and was born after the establishment of the State (1948), and on July 17, 1952 was a resident of Israel and his father or mother were Israeli citizens according to the case mentioned in the previous section — he is considered an Israeli citizen from the day of his birth.
3. A person who is not entitled to citizenship under any other provision and prior to the establishment of the State (1948) lived in the Land of Israel as a subject of the British Mandate and on July 14, 1952 he appeared as a resident under the Population Registry Ordinance (1949), and in 1980 was a resident of Israel and registered in the Registry, and is not a citizen of the list of countries mentioned in the Infiltration Prevention Law, 1954, Section 2A — shall be an Israeli citizen from 1980.
4. A person who is not entitled to citizenship by virtue of any other provision and was born after the establishment of the State (1948), and in 1980 was a resident of Israel and registered in the Population Registry and is a descendant of a person who was a subject of the British Mandate and who was registered on July 14, 1952, as a resident under the Population Registry Ordinance (1949) — shall be an Israeli citizen from 1980. 
 
 
C. Birth - This citizenship is given from the day of birth to one born in Israel, if his father or his mother were Israeli citizens at his birth.
Citizenship is also given to one born abroad if his father or his mother were Israeli citizens at his birth abroad. However, the children born to him outside Israel are not Israeli citizens. The grandchildren are still eligible for Israeli citizenship by the Law of Return (if they are Jews) or if they are granted citizenship by the Ministry of the Interior. 
Even one born after the death of a parent who is Israeli, is considered an Israeli citizen as long as his parent was an Israeli citizen at his death.
 
D. Birth and residence in the country - This citizenship is given from the day that the application was approved for one who was born after the establishment of Israel (1948) in Israeli territory and is not a citizen of any other country. He can request Israeli citizenship during the period between his 18th and 21st birthday, on condition that he resided in Israel five consecutive years immediately before submitting his application.
 
E. Naturalization - An adult who is not an Israeli citizen can obtain Israeli citizenship on the date of his declaration if he meets the following requirements:
              
•  He lives in Israel.
  He resided in Israel for three out of the five years immediately before filing his application for citizenship.
  He is eligible for a permanent residency visa to live in Israel.
•  He settled in Israel, or intends to settle.
  He has basic knowledge of Hebrew.
•  He relinquished his previous citizenship or proved that he would relinquish his previous citizenship upon becoming an Israeli citizen. 
Even after his citizenship was confirmed, the applicant has to make a declaration when he receives his citizenship to the effect of: "I confirm that I will be a loyal citizen to the State of Israel."
If one partner of a married couple is an Israeli citizen or sought to become a citizen, and fulfilled the conditions stated above in section 5, his partner can obtain Israeli citizenship by naturalization even if he/she did not fulfill the conditions stated in paragraph 5 above. However, the process until the partner eventually gets citizenship is a slow one.
A person’s naturalization also gives citizenship to his minor children if they are Israeli residents. If only one of the parents became a citizen and both parents have joint custody, the other parents must give his consent.
Despite the above, there are those who are exempt from the aforementioned conditions, such as: one who served in the standing IDF army or another service that the Defense Minister decided was akin to military service, or one who lost a son or daughter in this kind of military service.
 
F. Granting citizenship - The Interior Minister may grant Israeli citizenship if he wishes to honor a person, such as a righteous of the nations who is living in Israel, or he is convinced that the person identifies with the State of Israel and its objectives and he or a member of his family did active service in the Israel Defense Forces or acted to promote its security, economy or any other important State matter, or it is a special interest of the State to grant the citizenship, etc. Likewise he can given citizenship to a minor who is a resident of Israel at the request of his parents or a minor born abroad to Israeli grandparents. The citizenship is conferred from the day appearing in the citizenship certificate.
 
G. Adoption — citizenship is granted from the day of a minor’s adoption by an adoptive father or mother who is an Israeli citizen and the adoption was made under Israeli law, or he was adopted outside of Israel and his father or mother were Israeli citizens (by virtue of the Law of Return or by virtue of residency, naturalization, birth or adoption) but not Israeli residents on the day of adoption, provided that both adoptive parents agree to it. 
  
 
Relinquishing citizenship for an adult or family: 
 
An adult Israeli citizen who is not a resident of Israel and lives abroad may submit a declaration relinquishing his Israeli citizenship at an Israeli consulate abroad. If a family request is submitted, they have to fill out a separate declaration form for each adult. Minors who are not Israeli residents are included in the declaration form of one of the parents (it is preferable to include the minor in the father’s form). 
Both parents must consent to relinquishing the minor’s Israeli citizenship. If only one parent relinquishes his citizenship, the consent of the other parent is required to include the minor in the application, but if the second parent is not an Israeli citizen, the consent of the parent who is an Israeli citizen is sufficient.
If the parents are divorced, the parent who is the applicant must present a court verdict stating that he has exclusive custody of the minors, or the consent of the other parent.
Although the minor is included in the request of his family (the parents), a minor from 16 years of age must appear personally in order to give his consent to give up the citizenship, both personally and in writing.
 
Please note: The policy of relinquishing citizenship requires the applicant to prove that she resides abroad for at least three years out of the five years preceding the request to relinquish citizenship. The decision to approve the relinquishing of citizenship is vested exclusively in the hands of the Interior Minister or a person authorized by him. As long as this consent is not given, the person remains an Israeli citizen.
 
Note! Giving up Israeli citizenship does not exempt one from prior civil obligations before the citizenship was canceled. For example: if one was required to join the draft due to the Israeli National Service law, relinquishing citizenship will not exempt one from the draft. 
Deliberately or intentionally providing false information relating to his or another’s acquisition or loss of Israeli citizenship will result in punishments prescribed by law.
 
Documents required to relinquish citizenship:

The applicant to relinquish citizenship must personally arrive at the Israeli mission in his area of residence. The applicant is required to provide with his application:

 
                                  
  An Israeli / foreign ID card or passport.
  He may be requested to provide evidence of his personal status abroad up to the point in time that he submitted the request for the waiver, as well as proof of residency status abroad.
  A document attesting that he has settled his duties to the IDF.
•  A filled out "Adult Declaration to Relinquish Israeli Citizenship" form. He has to explain the reason for the waiver. You can get a sample form in our office or download it here.
•  Proof that he has another citizenship, or an official letter from the local authorities guaranteeing the receipt of local citizenship when his Israeli citizenship is revoked. (The authorization must be valid and within two years of its issuance. The certificate is valid only in English or translated into Hebrew.)
•  A letter explaining the reason for the waiver.
•  If minors from the age of 16 are also included in the application, they must appear in person in order to give their written consent to relinquish their citizenship.
•  Fee payment. 
 

 Waiver of citizenship for a minor only:
  
A minor who was granted citizenship by virtue of birth (see section C above), his parents can revoke his citizenship and submit a declaration relinquishing his Israeli citizenship at an Israeli consulate abroad. This is conditional on the parents and the minor no longer being Israeli residents (even if his parents do no relinquish their citizenship).
If the parents are divorced, the parent who is applying for the waiver has to present a court verdict that gives him or her exclusive custody of the minors, or the consent of the other parent.
A minor who is 16 years of age or older must present himself in person in order to give his or her consent to relinquish citizenship, both personally and in writing.
If the second parent is not an Israeli citizen, the consent of the parent who is an Israeli citizen is sufficient.
 
Important: A minor who was granted citizenship for reasons other than birth can not waive his citizenship independently, even if he provides his parents' consent.
 
Documents required to relinquish citizenship:
 
The applicant for waiving the citizenship must personally arrive to the Israeli mission in his area of residence. The applicant must provide with his application:

                                     Presenting an Israeli / foreign ID card or passport.
•  He may be requested to provide evidence of his personal status abroad up to the point in time that he submitted the request for waiver, as well as proof of residency status abroad.
•  A document attesting that he has settled his duties to the IDF.
•  Filling out the "Adult Declaration to Relinquish Israeli Citizenship for a Minor"  form. He has to explain the reason for the waiver. You can get a sample form in our office or download it here.
  Proof that he has another citizenship, or an official letter from the local authorities guaranteeing the receipt of local citizenship when his Israeli citizenship is revoked. (The certificate must be valid and within two years of its issuance. The certificate is valid only in English or translated into Hebrew.)
•   A letter explaining the reason for the waiver.
  Minors from the age of 16 who are applying to relinquish their citizenship, must appear in person in order to give their written consent .
  Fee payment.
 
Please note: The policy of relinquishing citizenship requires the applicant and his parents among the rest to prove that they resided abroad for at least three years out of the five years preceding the request for a waiver of citizenship. The decision to approve the waiver of citizenship is vested exclusively in the hands of the Interior Minister or a person authorized by him. As long as this consent is not given, the person remains an Israeli citizen.
 
Note! Giving up Israeli citizenship does not exempt one from prior civil obligations before the citizenship was canceled. For example: if one was required to join the draft due to the Israeli National Service law, relinquishing citizenship will not exempt one from the draft. Deliberately or intentionally providing false information relating to his or another’s acquisition or loss of Israeli citizenship will result in punishments prescribed by law.
 
 
 Losing citizenship:

Israeli citizenship will be canceled under the following conditions:

                       An Israeli citizen illegally left Israel for an enemy country or acquired its citizenship. (Cancellation of citizenship will also apply to his minor children who are not residents of Israel).
•  If he did an act which constitutes a breach of loyalty to the State of Israel.
 If it can be shown that he obtained citizenship based on fraudulent information. (Cancellation of citizenship will also apply to his minor children).
Note! 
Note! 
Note! 
Waiver of citizenship for a minor only
Waiver of citizenship for a minor only
Waiver of citizenship for a minor only
Questions and Answers:
I was born abroad and one of my parents who was born abroad is an Israeli citizen by virtue of his parents. Am I considered to be an Israeli citizen by virtue of my parent
Answer:
No. Because your parents were born abroad, you do not have Israeli citizenship by virtue of your parents.
I am an Israeli citizen who lives abroad. Can I cancel my Israeli citizenship
Answer:
If you lived abroad permanently over five years, you may apply to relinquish your citizenship at a Israeli consulate.
After I relinquish my Israeli citizenship, am I exempt from my obligations as an Israeli citizen, (army service, paying Bituach Leumi premiums, etc.)
Answer:
Any civil duties you were required to do prior to the cancellation of citizenship must be done even after your Israeli citizenship was no longer in effect.
A minor who was included in the Israeli citizenship of his parents, and one of his parents canceled their citizenship, does he need the other parent's consent to revoke the minor’s citizenship
Answer:
Yes, he requires the consent of both. If only one parent gives up his citizenship, the consent of the other parent is required to include the child
Can a minor revoke his Israeli citizenship independently
Answer:
A minor can not revoke the citizenship even with the consent of his parents.
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