As of September 2021, the Population and Immigration Authority launched an online form in which applications for grating a foreign partner legal status in Israel can be filed. These applications are applicable for both marriages and other partners living together ("common-law couples")
Completion of this form is intended to be in lieu of the first meeting at the Population and Immigration Authority's offices, during which the application file is opened. If all the required documents have been uploaded alongside the form, then the couple will encounter Immigration Authority's officials for the first time only at the interview stage. It is at this stage that the couple will also be required to present the original copies of those documents that they submitted online.
Sounds great, so…?
Whereas the intention behind this digital service was to simplify the services provided to people in need of immigration services, and to reduce the waiting period for appointments, in practice many applicants will find that filling out the form is a difficult and even grueling task, which that does not even save them time (neither before submission nor after).
For example, as part of filling out this online form, the couple is required to submit, at the onset of the process, original certificates relating to the foreign spouse from his/her country of origin (e.g. such as birth certificate, police certificate, etc.). This demand essentially contradicts the Immigration Authority's own guidelines, according to which these documents can be submitted at a later stage and do not serve a precondition for submitting the application. However, as the new online form is presently structured, these documents have now essentially become a precondition. This may well cause delays for many couples who face obstacles in obtaining these certificates from abroad.
In addition, as part of completing the online form, the couple is required to upload forms and affidavits that are likely unknown to them (such as an "A6 form" or and a "A3 form") or which they may not know where to locate.
Naturally, those who are not accustomed to working regularly on a computer, or for whom digital services are not accessible, will find it extremely difficult to properly fill out this form. This could lead to the rejection of their application merely because they failed to fill out the necessary documents correctly.
Therefore, it is highly recommended retain the assistance of an attorney who specializes in immigration law when submitting the online application. A lawyer that specializes in this field can ensure that you have all the required documents in advance and save you the "headache" of properly uploading all the files. Of course, also with respect to the later stages vis-à-vis the Population Authority, and especially ahead the the couple's interview, it is recommended to obtain the services of an attorney, so to ensure that the Immigration Authority will act in accordance with its own guidelines, treat you in a respectable and appropriate manner, and ensure that the entire process goes as smoothly and successfully as possible.