This article will briefly describe specific procedures that are typically involved in the process of a joint-life application between an Israeli and non-Israeli citizen
General Procedure – Marriage of Joint life between an Israel and foreigner
After marrying an Israel citizen, it is quite common for the foreigner to request a visa application for legal status and eventually Israeli citizenship if the couple chooses to continue their life together in Israel. This process is lengthy (between 5 to 7 years) and complex, and requires a series of documents and other proof in order to prove the sincerity of the relationship at hand.
The 3 general requirements of this gradual process towards Israeli citizenship
The Israeli immigration officers, who oversee this legal process, will generally check for three main points: the center of life in Israel, the authenticity of the relationship, and lack of criminal history, or any security threat to the state by the foreign visa applicant. At the end of the gradual process, if all criteria are met, the foreign partner will be able to apply for Israeli permanent residence or citizenship.
The interview – Proving your relationship is real
Along with the application process and submission of a series of documents and forms, the couple will have to go to the ministry of interior for an to be questioned regarding the sincerity of the relationship. The couple is questioned individually and together, and may be asked very specific questions to ensure the legitimacy of the relationship. Even if the relationship is 100% authentic and sincere, one of the partners may forget an answer or accidentally give an incorrect answer, which can potentially affect the end result for the foreign partner. Due to this, it is commonly said by couples that they wish the immigration authority could just come to their house and see the legitimacy of the relationship first-handedly.
Surprise Visits of Immigration Authority to People’s Houses
Clerks from the Immigration Authority have the right to unexpectedly show up to the home of a couple going through this process in order to ensure the legitimacy of the relationship. Although these surprise visits are extremely rare, they can happen during the timeline of this process to ensure authenticity of the relationship.
Typically, these visits occur early in the morning to throw the couple off guard. By showing up early in the morning, the clerks can ensure that the couple truly lives together. Our experience has been that most of the time, the relationship is authentic, and they will see that they live together and their belongings are coexisting.
Legality of the Surprise Visits
Typically, the searching of a private home without a warrant is considered to be illegal under Israeli Law. However, what most people do not know during this process is that at the beginning, the couple is required to sign a series of documents and declarations. Within these documents, typically in small letters, it does say that you will allow immigration authorities to visit the house and failure to cooperate can affect the outcome of the case. Further, this legal process is not considered under criminal law but rather under administrative law, so the individuals do have the right to refuse this from occurring.
Reasoning behind why Home Visits are so Rare
Along with the fact that the Immigration Authority can usually see the legitimacy and authenticity in a relationship without a home visit, there are several other factors that contribute to their rarity. The biggest and most practical reason that contributes to this is the lack of resources for this process; the reality is simple – there are not enough clerks to visit the homes of each couple in a reasonable amount of time. Further, they are very difficult to conduct, and it could usually be done without this.
Legal Assistance during the application for legal status in Israel for a foreign spouse
With any questions regarding this process, or if you would like legal assistance while applying for Israeli Citizenship through a legal marriage, or long term relationship, please reach out to our experienced immigration lawyers. Our firm has many talented and educated lawyers who can ensure your success in this process.