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Guide to Joining or Cancelling Bituach Leumi for a Foreign Citizen

For the benefit of visitors to the site, we prepared a detailed and clear guide concerning Bituach Leumi and the conditions to obtain it or cancel it, and how to pay for it. (Israel’s National Insurance, similar to Social Security in the US and National Insurance in Great Britain)

Every Israeli resident 18 years old or older is required by law to be insured by Bituach Leumi and pay national insurance and health insurance premiums to the Bituach Leumi Institute.
A foreign citizen will be considered an Israeli resident concerning eligibility for Bituach Leumi under the conditions listed below in the guide.
It’s important to register in Bituach Leumi that you are a resident because if you are not registered, your Kupat Cholim will not be obligated to give you the full medical coverage mandated by the government health basket.
Also, a Kupat Cholim (health fund, HMO) will often not agree to give even basic coverage due to a person’s medical state or age, while Bituach Leumi can obligate the Kupat Cholim to accept any person who is a resident and provide him immediate medical services.
The Bituach Leumi and Health insurance premiums that you pay to Bituach Leumi exempts you from having to pay premiums to your Kupat Cholim.
To avoid paying twice for your Kupat Cholim, as soon as you join Bituach Leumi make sure your Kupat Cholim no longer bills you.
In the case that a person was recognized as an Israeli resident by Bituach Leumi retroactively from the day he requested membership, and was considered a member from the beginning of his 6 months’ stay in Israel contingent on him having a valid visa (and sometimes even from the date that the visa was issued), and in this period, he also paid medical insurance privately to the Kupat Cholim, or he had other medical expenses that were not included in the Kupot Cholim arrangement, he is eligible to receive a refund for these expenses. See the Guide for Getting a Medical Insurance Refund and Reimbursement for Medical Expenses.
Every resident must arrange his membership in Bituach Leumi and payment of his premiums to avoid losing his rights.
A booklet containing 12 vouchers to pay your Bituach Leumi premiums is issued at the end of each year and sent to your mailbox. For the ways to pay the premiums, see the end of the Guide.
Since some of the grants are according to law designated only for the mother, such as the birth grant and Children’s Allowance, make sure that the mother has her own Israeli bank account or is a partner in her husband’s Israeli bank account. For the Guide to Open an Israeli Bank Account for a Foreign Citizen, click here.
Important note: If you are a member of Bituach Leumi, make sure you renewed your passport visa before it expired in the Ministry of the Interior, and immediately update it again in Bituach Leumi, to forestall them canceling your membership in and eligibility for Bituach Leumi. For the documents needed after renewing your visa, see below.

What are Bituach Leumi and Health Insurance?

Bituach Leumi - is a government mechanism offering different levels of protection for the economic interests of Israeli citizens through various stipends and benefits such as hospitalization grants, birth stipends, maternity grants, children’s allowance, and stipends for the work disabled.
Health Insurance (which is included in the Bituach Leumi premiums) - According to the National Health Insurance Law, all Israeli residents who are registered in Bituach Leumi automatically have health insurance and are eligible to receive the basket of health services (including medications) stipulated by law from the Kupat Cholim that they register themselves in.

Benefits Included in the Bituach Leumi Basket of Allowances: 

                                                     • A yeshiva and kollel student are eligible for allowances such as: Children, Army reserves, Casualty, Disability, Special services for the severely disabled, Mobility, Injury when volunteering, Family members of a person killed in a work accident, Nursing assistance, Ringworm victims, Blood Transfusion victims (AIDS), Prisoners of Zion, Terror victims, Family members of a terror victim, Survivors, Payment to newborn whose mother died during delivery.
•  A college student are also eligible for allowances such as: Maternity, Child support, Guaranteed income.
• An employee is also eligible for allowances such as: Maternity, Work injury, Guaranteed income, Unemployment, Bankruptcy of the employer,   Liquidation of a corporation (however, an employee who is a foreign resident is entitled only to maternity, work injury, and bankruptcy of the employer). (Likewise, an under 18 employee and self-employed, is entitled to receive an allowance only for a work injury.)
The benefits and retirement stipends are contingent on specific criteria such as time, status, economic situation, etc.

When is a foreign resident considered equal to an Israeli resident concerning eligibility for Bituach Leumi?

Even though every “Israeli resident” is eligible for Bituach Leumi and Health Insurance, the National Insurance Act does not define who is an Israeli resident. The courts have determined that an Israeli resident is a person for whom the center of his life is in Israel. For example: his family is in Israel, his work in Israel, he owns property in Israel and so on. For a person to be deemed a resident of Israel, he must meet the following conditions:

                                1. One must be legally allowed to live in Israel (by having Israeli citizenship, permanent residency visa, etc.) as explained below and has to have legally resided in Israel 183 consecutive days or 183 non-consecutive days within 12 months (the “waiting period”) with the same visa.
2.  He must pass the “center of one’s life” test by his actual place of residence being in Israel and by him perceiving Israel as the center of his life. The more he can prove that his relationship to Israel is established and significant, the more likely he will be recognized as a resident of Israel.
 The center of his life is in Israel if: a person’s permanent place of residence is in Israel. His family’s permanent place of residence is in Israel. His children are studying in Israel. His main workplace is in Israel.
To be recognized as a resident of Israel and be able to join Bituach Leumi, a family head should complete a questionnaire to determine his residency (Bituach Leumi form 625), and a questionnaire to register each family member (Bituach Leumi form 1050) for each person in the family including children up to 18, accompanied by all the necessary documents.
Bituach Leumi will review the residency based on the questionnaire and provided documents, and other proofs as needed. To the degree that it is convincing that one has made his permanent residence in Israel, Bituach Leumi will expedite the recognition of a person as a resident of Israel.
Note! Bituach Leumi only considers you a resident if you plan to reside permanently in Israel.

Remember: You are only entitled to submit your request to Bituach Leumi for recognition as a resident of Israel after a waiting period that involves staying in the country at least 183 consecutive days or 183 cumulative days within 12 months from when you received a visa that verifies that you are a resident.

How long is the waiting period? 
After one received his visa, he has to live in Israel at least 183 consecutive days or 183 non-consecutive days within 12 months from the day he received the visa to be considered a resident (besides the additional criteria of proving that the center of his life is in Israel; see paragraph 2 above).

Types of visas which entitle the applicant to join Bituach Leumi: 
Holders of A / 1, A / 2, A / 5 visas, and A / 4 companions to A / 2 visa holders, are eligible to join according to the conditions mentioned above.
In addition, a B / 1 visa holder, a foreign worker who is a woman, or the wife of a foreign worker with a work permit in Israel are eligible for Bituach Leumi social rights only (hospitalization grant, maternity grant, maternity allowance, child allowance) on condition that the visa holder or the visa holder’s spouse worked six consecutive months in Israel, and provided she gave birth in Israel.
They will also be entitled to work disability, and insurance against corporate liquidation or employer bankruptcy.

What documents does one need to join Bituach Leumi? To print the instructionsclick here
                              1.  Fill in the Person Registration questionnaire (Bituach Leumi form 1050) separately for each family member who is included in the application and include a copy.You have to fill out the form in Hebrew. You can receive a sample form in our office or may download it here.
2.  Fill in the Establishing Residency questionnaire (Bituach Leumi form 625) — one form per family. You have to fill out the form in Hebrew. You can receive a sample form in our office or may download it here.
3.  Show the passport, two photocopies of the passport and a valid resident visa (A4 or A2) for all family members who are applying for Bituach Leumi (a separate copy for each person).
4.  A passport picture for each family member should accompany the application.
5. List of entries and exits from the country for each family member who is applying for Bituach Leumi (which may be obtained at the Ministry of the Interior in the applicant’s presence).
6.  The details of the couple’s active joint Israeli bank account to enable the transfer of the allowances.
7.  A valid rental contract (for at least a year).
8.  Proof of student enrollment from his institution of learning with the amount of stipend that the family head is receiving.
9.  Show your marriage certificate and provide a copy of it.
10.  If children are included in the application, include their birth certificate.
If one only wants to add a child to Bituach Leumi:

                    1.  Show his birth certificate and provide a copy of it.
2.  2. A filled out registration form for each person (B / L 1050) with a copy of the filled-out form attached. You can get a sample form from our office or download it here.
3.  A form requesting Children’s Allowance (Bituach Leumi form 5052). You can receive a sample form in our office or maydownload it here.
4.  The newborn’s passport + a copy.
5. A paper detailing the child and parents’ entries and exits from the country, (from the Ministry Of Interior).
6.  The parents’ passports that include a valid visa + copies.

The forms required after renewing an expired visa for those who are already members of Bituach Leumi.

                1. A passport and a photocopy of the passport and the new valid visa.
2. in some scenarios Original entries and exits list (provided by the Ministry of Interior when the applicant comes personally to request it).

Please note:
It can take up to two months to process it.

What is the amount of theBituach Leumi premiums? 

Bituach Leumi payments and health insurance payments are calculated according to the insuree’s level of work and non-work income, and his insurance status: employee, self-employed, unemployed, having non-work income, or having no income at all. 
•  A university student, yeshiva or kollel student: The Bituach Leumi premium is 22.00 NIS, and the monthly payment for health insurance is 103.00 NIS. The total per month: NIS 125 NIS.
•  One who is not working (excluding a homemaker whose spouse is insured): The Bituach Leumi premium is 67.00 NIS, and the monthly payment for health insurance is 103.00 NIS. The total per month: NIS 170 NIS.
•  One who doesn’t work but has revenues - One who makes up to 60% of the average market wage (5804 NIS) pays 268 NIS for Bituach Leumi and 290 NIS for health insurance.
One who makes more than 60% of the average wage (over 5805 NIS) until the maximum income which is charged Bituach Leumi fees (43,240 NIS), pays a 7% Bituach Leumi insurance fee and 5% health insurance fee equaling 12% of their income.
•  Self-employed - A self-employed person that is over 18 but has not reached the age of retirement will have the payment deducted from the wage that he reported, according to the following calculation: 
The part of his income that is up to 60% of the average monthly wage (5805 NIS), he pays 268 NIS for a Bituach Leumi premium, and 290 NIS for his health insurance premium.
From the part of his income that is above 60% of the average monthly wage (from 5805 NIS) until the maximum income which is liable for insurance premiums (43,240), he pays a 12.83% Bituach Leumi premium, and 5.00% health insurance premium, for a total of 17.83%. 
Remember: At the end of each year the Bituach Leumi receives an annual assessment report from the Tax Authority. In the event that the calculation shows that your income was less than the salary you submitted, your account will be credited. If they find that your income is higher than the salary that you submitted, your account will be charged the difference.
Employee: The employer is responsible for paying the premiums for their employees based on their income, and to deduct nationa insurance and health insurance premiums from the employee's salary.
An Israeli resident who is employed by a foreign employer who does not pay premiums for him must pay them himself.
Very important: If the husband doesn’t work and his wife also doesn’t work, the obligation to pay the Bituach Leumi premium mentioned above only applies to the husband. However, if the wife works, her employer must deduct her Bituach Leumi premium when he pays her and her husband must pay the Bituach Leumi premium like every other citizen.Employee: 

Who is exempt from paying Bituach Leumi premiums? 
                                                    •  A housewife — a woman whose husband or partner is insured and she does not work outside the home. (However, a homemaker who receives an elderly pension or her spouse get a supplement to his elderly pension must pay it.)
•  An employee — an employer must pay Bituach Leumi premiums for the duration of the time she works (including the amount that is deducted from the worker’s wage), so that her rights will not be affected due to her employer’s delay in paying the insurance premiums.
•  A disabled person — One who receives a 100% permanent work disability pension and one receives a minimum 75% general disability pension, permanently or temporarily, for a continuous period of at least one year — for the period he is receiving the allowance (even if he has other income).
•  An immigrant — one above the age of 62 who became a resident of Israel.
•  A resident of Israel who lives in another country that is a signatory to a social security convention with Israel, and pays national insurance premiums to the state — is exempt from paying Bituach Leumi premiums during the period he paid them to the country abroad. However, he is still obligated to pay health insurance premiums during the period he lived in that country. One who has no income still has to pay the minimum health insurance premium.
The following are exempt from paying Bituach Leumi premiums, as long as they have no work income and no income from other sources or has income from other sources not exceeding 5% of the average wage, which is NIS 463:

  One who receives an allowance from Bituach Leumi or from another public body - (except for one receiving unemployment benefits for a full month).
•  A new immigrant (including a returning minor and a returning Israeli citizen) - are entitled to an exemption for a period of up to 12 months from the day they immigrated to Israel. 

I’ve stopped being an Israeli resident and am planning to leave Israel. What do I have to do?  

 To cancel your residency and be exempt from Bituach Leumi payments, you must fill out a form at the Bituach Leumi branch nearest your home before you leave Israel. To print, click here.
If you already moved or returned abroad, and you didn’t manage to cancel your residency before you left to avoid unnecessary billing, you can send your request to cancel residency abroad by fax.
To determine the fax number in your region, please contact the call center for Israelis living abroad: 972-8-9369669 (The service is available on Sunday - Thursday from 8:00 to 15:00). Make sure that they received the fax and are processing it.

 How to pay Bituach Leumi premiums:

You can pay your Bituach Leumi premiums in one of the following ways:

                       1.  Go to the post office nearest your home with the payment voucher sent to you. Payment may be made with cash only.
2.  By telephone, with a service representative. Dial  *6050 (Sunday - Thursday 8:00-17:00), then press 1 #, 1 #, then press your ID number and #, your 4-digit PIN code and # (optional), 1 # 2 #.
3.  By a monthly direct debit from your bank account, after you completed and submitted the Bituach Leumi form and it was approved by the Bank. To download the form, click here.

Remember! You can not pay your monthly premium at the Bituach Leumi web site. 

How to get a PIN number:

In every telephone call to Bituach Leumi, you have to identify yourself with the ID number (teudat zehut) which you were given when your registration for Bituach Leumi was approved. In addition, you must also identify yourself with a 4-digit PIN code which can be obtained in one of the following ways:

                                1.  Get it from the Bituach Leumi branch nearest you. 
2.  By telephone. Ask them to send your PIN by post to your home address. It may take a week to arrive. 
To get a service representative, dial *6050 (Sunday - Thursday 8:00-17:00). Afterwards, click 1 #, 1 #, your identity card number and #, *, 1 #, 2 #. When the representative answers, give the name of the insured and his ID number which is listed on Bituach Leumi documents.
3.  The Bituach Leumi web site. You can request that they send the secret PIN by post to your home address. (It may take a week to arrive. For the link, click here. Fill in your ID number, and your full date of birth.

Contact information: 

Bituach Leumi Institute. 

For inquiries on any Bituach Leumi subject, you can call from any phone: *6050 
For personal inquiries, you have to identify yourself with a 4-digit personal identification number (which can be obtained at Bituach Leumi branches).

Reception hours at the branch in Jerusalem : 

4 Ben Shetach, Jerusalem. 9414704.
Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday between the hours of 8:00-12:30 (Employee, Self-Employed, Elderly and Survivors departments). 
On Monday, 15: 00-17: 00 (self-employed only).
 20 Ben Sira Street, Jerusalem.
Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday between the hours of 8:00-12:30 (Children, Maternity, Child support, Nursing services, Reserves, General disability, Disabled child, Special services, Medical committee, Work victims, Mobility, Victims of hostilities, Guaranteed Income and Unemployment).

Reception hours for Beitar Ilit branch :
17 Rabbi Akiva Street. Zip code 99879. Monday and Wednesday 8:00-13:00. 
Monday Wednesday from 15:00-17:00 (Work injury, Children, Maternity, Reserves).

Questions and Answers:
What does a foreign resident have to do if he wants to cancel his membership in Bituach Leumi
Fill out form 627 and fax it to 02-675-5443 (the Jerusalem branch). After 24 hours, check with Bituach Leumi’s department that deals with foreign residents (08-936-9669) to ensure that the fax reached the department.
I want to renew my membership in Bituach Leumi. Do I have to present an Entries and Exits page
No, it is sufficient to just show the visa.
Do forms have to be filled out only in Hebrew
No, it is also possible in English.
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