The right to make Aliyah to Israel and receive Israeli citizenship - Israeli lawyer advice
Aliyah to Israel is the act of immigrating to Israel according to the law of return and receiving Israeli citizenship. Aliyah in Hebrew means literally “going up” - this indicates the concept that in coming to Israel a person goes up in life.
After the establishment of the modern State of Israel in 1948 the right to Aliyah according to the law of return was originally given to every Jew. The first paragraph of the law says: “every Jew has the right to make Aliyah to Israel”. However, the law didn’t describe who is a Jew. Later on in 1970 the law was extended, so that also children and grandchildren of Jews were permitted to make Aliyah. On the other hand, at the same time, the law was narrowed and a Jew was defined as the son of a Jewish mother or a person who converted to Judaism. This way the law adopted the Jewish orthodox definition of who is a Jew.
What problems do people face trying to make Aliyah?
those seeking to make Aliyah run into are various; First of all, sometimes it’s difficult to collect and present documents to prove an applicant is Jewish, or of Jewish origin. It is not uncommon that family documents get lost, especially during troubled times, such as wars. Second, Aliyah applicants may be eligible for Aliyah, but have a criminal background. Israel is open to receive immigrants under the law of return, but obviously Israel is not a shelter for criminals escaping the Justice system in their home countries. In these cases, each case is examined individually. The right to make Aliyah will depend on the nature of the crime, how long has passed and likelihood the new immigrant will be a threat to the Israeli public. Thirdly, applicants for Aliyah to Israel may be suspected of being members of a different religion. If a person is deemed by the immigration officers to have has converted to Christianity for example, the Aliyah process will be extremely difficult.
Legal action in case Aliyah applications are denied
The Israeli Supreme Court is the judicial authority that rules on the issue of Aliyah to Israel, because this issue is considered at the core of the identity of the State of Israel, therefore issues that are not solved at the level of the Ministry of Interior are appealed to the Supreme Court.
Which government institution in Israel processes Aliyah applications?
The Israeli Ministry of Interior (in Hebrew called Misrad Hapnim) is the government office responsible to regulate immigration to Israel, as well as grant or deny applications for Aliyah to Israel.
Help with Aliyah to Israel by an Israeli lawyer
If you are seeking to make Aliyah to Israel but have run into trouble, it’s advisable to check out your rights with the help of an Israeli lawyer, experienced with issues of immigration to Israel and Aliyah.