Changing Your Status to New Immigrant in Israel

AACI Status Articles
Changing Your Status to New Immigrant in Israel
U.S. Israeli Citizenship
Returning Residents
U.S. Citizenship of Children
Update: October 2009

If you are interested in changing your status in Israel, it's a good idea to FIRST make an appointment with an AACI counselor in the branch office of AACI closest to you, to review the procedure and check whether any information written here has changed.
You will need to make an appointment with your closest branch of the Ministry of Interior (Misrad Ha'Pnim) to apply to change your status to Oleh.
The procedure takes approximately 3-4 weeks. Listed below are regional addresses of the Misrad Ha'Pnim. Please clarify with your AACI counselor or check the Ministry’s Website:; Email:
Shlomzion HaMalka 1
02 629 0222
Sderot Menachem Begin 125
03 7632534
Remez 13, 2nd fl.
Visa Section 2:30-3:30
09 830 2111
09 830 2121
09 830 2116
Kiryat Hamemshalah
Sderot Palyam 15
04 863 3380
Beer Sheva
Kiryat Hamemshalah
Rechov Tikva 4
08 626 3840
  • Current passport.
  • Proof of Jewish heritage, such as: 1. A notarized letter from a recognized rabbi overseas. 2. Burial papers of parents or grandparents in a Jewish cemetery. 3. Your marriage certificate (Ketubah) or that of your parents. 4. A Get (divorce papers) if you are divorced. 5. Bar or Bat Mitzvah Certificate with other documents of Jewish living. 
  • If you are a convert, also bring all your conversion papers, with a description of the conversion course and the date it started and finished and including a notarized letter of recommendation from the rabbi(s) who taught and converted you, a letter from the Mohel (circumciser) if you are male and full contact information on the Beth Din (Jewish court). 
  • 2 passport photos for each member of the family. (Israeli passport size)
  • A hand written statement explaining why you wish to make Aliyah, or be prepared to make one upon request.
  • Birth certificates, marriage and/or divorce certificate with apostil* when valid.
  • If you are a single parent, you will also need a notarized and apostiled letter signed by your ex-spouse stating that your child(ren) under 16 years of age have been granted permission to move to Israel and under which status.
  • Record of good standing with an apostil.
*Be prepared to wait- you may want to bring a book or magazine.
Ask for the application form for applying for Oleh status according to The Law of Return (Lefi Hok Ha'Shvut), which you can fill out while waiting to be called.
When your number is called, bring the above documents to the clerk who will open a file (Tik) for you, and then wait until your last name is called.
Proceed back to booth or desk when called. You will be asked for your proof of Jewish heritage and to verify the information in your Tik. You will then be given a file number (Mispar Tik) and a date on which to return, usually one month later. The clerk will note in your passport the date that you have applied to become an Oleh, and stamp it. This, however, does not mean you are an Oleh yet! Find out which room or line that you will to come to need upon return.
Generally, one month later, you will return to the Misrad Ha'Pnim, and bring:
  • Your passports
  • Your slip with your Tik number
  • Two more pictures per person
At the information desk ask for the application form for an Israeli Identity card (Teudat Zehut) for each adult member of the family over the age of 16.
When you are called, the official will check your file, one more time, and fill out a form listing what will appear on your Teudat Zehut. Carefully check the spelling of each name in Hebrew. If you want to change your name at this point, also ask for a name change (Shinui Shem) form, and submit it. Check to see that your family status such as single, married, or divorced is listed correctly, and that your spouse and children are all properly listed.
You will receive a stamp in your passport saying you are now an Oleh, Lefi Hok Ha'Shvut – according to the Law of Return.
You will also be given a piece of paper with your ID number on it, which will serve as a temporary Teudat Zehut. Keep this with you at all times until you get the permanent one in the mail. After receiving your teudat zehut, you may apply for a Teudat Oleh at the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption (Misrad HaKlitah). (see step 3)
Israeli Citizenship
The stamp of Oleh Lefi Hok Ha'Shvut, means that you have the status of Oleh. You are not yet a citizen of Israel. Israeli citizenship will be automatically bestowed upon you three months after becoming an Oleh, if you have not chosen to opt out of Israeli citizenship.
If, before the three months are up, you refuse Israeli citizenship, through a declaration at the Misrad Ha'Pnim, you will receive the status of Permanent Resident. There are three differences between Israeli Citizen and Permanent Residence Statuses:
  • A Permanent Resident can vote only in local elections, an Israeli Citizen can vote in both local and national elections.
  •  A Permanent Resident is not issued an Israeli passport, but the foreign passport is stamped indicating PR status.
  • A Permanent Resident cannot receive Returning Resident status with its accompanying benefits even after the Permanent Resident has lived abroad for the requisite period of time.
  • It is important to note that the Permanent Residents serve in the Israeli Army on the same basis as citizens.
*Most North American Olim become dual citizens. If you do not object before the three months are up, Israeli citizenship is bestowed upon you, thus, "passively acquired", which enables Americans to retain their dual citizenship.
Once you have become an Oleh, you should go to the local office of the Ministry of Absorption (Misrad HaKlitah) Website: Email: Bring all the documents you brought to Misrad HaPnim, your current and past passports, your Teudat Zehut and 2 passport photos in order to receive your Immigration Booklet (Teudat Oleh). Also bring a letter from your bank with the details of your immigrant shekel bank account. Any monies you are entitled to will be deposited into this account.
See chart below for the nearest Misrad HaKlitah :
Hillel 15
1 599 500 923
02 625 0977
Tel Aviv
Esther HaMalka 6
1 599 500 901
03 520 9173
Bareket 3, 9th floor
1 599 500 905
Sderot HaPalyam 15, 3rd floor
1 599 500 922
Beer Sheva
Zalman Shazar 31
1 599 500 921
08 623 8810
The personal advisor will get a computer print out of all your entrances and exits to Israel in order to see if your period of eligibility for Klitah rights will be altered. Speak to an AACI counselor about this so you fully understand beforehand. If all is O.K., you will be given a Teudat Oleh, a blue booklet in which the use of your rights is recorded. Make sure that all your details are correctly listed in it.
Get your yellow Health Insurance (Bituach Briut) voucher from Misrad Haklitah, which entitles you to the first twelve months of health coverage free if you are not employed.
Your personal advisor will explain your rights to you and will give you a form to register for an Ulpan. You should be entitled to a free 5 month Ulpan at one of the authorized Ulpanim. You can alternately wait and request this benefit later on within your first few months as well. You may be eligible for the Absorption Basket (Sal Klitah). Ask your personal advisor at Misrad HaKlitah. Give the advisor the letter from your bank with your account details so that any payments may be deposited directly into your bank account.
After you change your status, follow the guidelines in the AACI post-Aliyah checklist. Make an appointment with an AACI counselor or attend an AACI post-Aliyah seminar to receive a full explanation of all your Oleh privileges.
Oleh Chadash or Temporary Resident (A-1)
The Temporary Resident (A-1) status is given at the discretion of Misrad HaPnim. A-1s are no longer given Ministry of Absorption (Misrad HaKlitah) rights, such as housing and ulpan benefits. An A-1 does not receive a Teudat Oleh. The A-1 status is given for a maximum of three years, at which time you may apply to become an Oleh Chadash, as described above. See the AACI information sheet.
*See the AACI Apostil information sheet.
Be'hatzlacha - Good luck!

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