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The Ministry of Interior withdrew from it's demand to receive a foreign certificate that did not exist, and an Israel's foreign spouse received residency

Y was born in the USA and grew up from the age of two in Japan. In her adulthood, she met N, an Israeli citizen, and they fell in love. They came to the Tel Aviv office of the Ministry of Interior and asked that Y be granted a visa that would allow her to live with N in Israel.

Despite this, the Ministry of Interior raised difficulties and demanded that the couple present a criminal record certificate from the USA, despite Y having never lived in the USA since the age of two. After the intervention of Attorney Michal Luft, the Ministry of Interior withdrew this demand, accepted certificates from Japan only, and granted Y a B/1 visa,

which allowed her to live and work in Israel.

Two years later, the couple got married and requested from the Ministry of Interior to grant Y with an Israeli identity card and residency permit in Israel (A/5 visa), in accordance with regulations. Once again, the Tel Aviv office raised difficulties, this time demanding that Y present an official certificate from the USA confirming her status as married within the USA. However, such document do not exist in cases where marriages have not been conducted within the USA but rather in another country. In the United States, there is no “registration of personal status” of US citizens as such, and registration regarding marriage exists only when couples have married within the United States. Furthermore, Y had not been registered within any US state since she had left the country at a young age.

Despite the obviousness of the situation and the Ministry's knowledge of these facts, and despite the fact that other offices of the Ministry do not impose this requirement on American citizens, the Tel Aviv office insisted that the couple present the document as a precondition for obtaining an identity card. Moreover: the office clerk threatened the couple that if they did not present the document, the Y would not even be eligible to remain in Israel with her visa, and the process would be terminated.

Following Attorney Michal Luft's intervention with the Tel Aviv office director, the matter was transferred for clarification with the Israeli Embassy in the United States, and then, “miraculously”, after several months, a response was received confirming that indeed there is no such document indicating the personal status (marriage) of an American citizen married abroad. As a result, Y has recently received temporary residency and an Israeli identity card.

It is sad and unfortunate that, due to the unnecessary insistence of the Tel Aviv office of the Ministry of Interior, the couple “lost” an entire year in the process. A year in which the foreign spouse could have already been in possession of an identity card and, as such, been entitled to health services and national insurance in the country. Despite this, by referring the matter to Attorney Michal Luft, the issue was resolved in the best possible way, without the need to resort to litigation. 



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