Request for a temporary residency visa (A/5)
In this following short article, we zoom in on the temporary residency permit, known also as an "A/5 Visa" or "temporary ID". We will answer questions commonly posed by clients regarding this visa and you are welcome to submit your own questions or raise additional problems you have faced in connection with this permit.
Q: What is a temporary residency visa (A/5)?
A: a temporary residency (A/5 type) visa is a permit that allows its holder to reside and work in Israel without limitation. In addition, the permit grants its holder subsidized medical insurance (through one of Israel's recognized HMOs, as all other Israeli residents or citizens), rights under Israel's National Insurance Institute, as well as the right to drive an automobile within Israeli (apart from Palestinians, who are not authorized to drive).
A recipient of such a permit receives a standard identification card, which states that it serves as a temporary residency permit. The permit is renewed every one or two years, subject to the holder proving that his/her center of livelihood over the past two years has remained in Israel.
Q: Who is entitled to receive an A/5 Visa?
A: a long list of persons in Israel are entitled to receive an A/5 visa. Some are foreigners in the process of receiving legal civilian status due to being in a relationship with a permanent Israeli resident or citizen. Such foreigners typically maintain such a visa for a 4-year period. In addition, there are many Palestinians who married Israelis in the 1990s (or prior to this) and obtained an A/5 visa as part of the family reunification process that was then in place. There are also some Palestinians who collaborated with Israel and were subsequently granted (along with their children) A/5 visas. Beyond this, there are also certain asylum seekers who were recognized as refugees or who, in view of their age and origin, were granted A/5 visas by the Ministry of Interior. There are also some persons who have been granted A/5 visas for humanitarian reasons.
Q: Can one travel overseas and return with an A/5 visa?
A: Yes. In general, said permit usually confers the right to repeatedly enter and leave Israel (what is generally referred to an "Inter-visa"), thus allowing overseas travel. That having been said, it is important for such visa holders to ensure that they do not reside overseas over a lengthy period, in a manner that could jeopardize their right to renew the visa (on the grounds that Israel is no longer their center of livelihood). With respect to Palestinians holding A/5 visas, until recently such visa holders were not allowed to exit Israel via Ben Gurion Airport (but rather only through the Allenby Crossing). However, pursuant to a High Court of Justice ruling on November 2020, today they may file a request at the Immigration and Population Authority and receive a permit allowing them to exit Israel through Ben Gurion Airport.
Q: How can one "upgrade" their A/5 Visa to the subsequent superior visa (i.e., permanent residency)?
A: This depends on the identity of the visa holder as well as on what basis the permit was initially granted. Foreigners in a spousal relationship with Israelis who have completed the required permit under the A/5 visa will receive, upon conclusion of the process, permanent residency or citizenship (if their partner is an Israeli citizen). On the other hand, pursuant to applicable law, Palestinian holders of an A/5 visa cannot “upgrade” their permit to permanent residency status, even if they have lived in Israel for many years. All other holders may petition the committee for humanitarian matters and ask to upgrade their permit due to humanitarian grounds.
Q: Are holders of A/5 visas entitled to enter a family reunification process with other foreigners in Israel?
A: No. Only Israeli permanent residents and citizens can file a request to confer status to a foreign partner within Israel.
Q: If holders of A/5 visas have children in Israel, what is the status of these children?
A: According the Entry to Israel Regulation, a child born in Israel receives the legal status of his/her parents. Accordingly, if one such parent holds an A/5 permit, his/her child is also entitled to receive this status.