Israeli passport [Illustrative].
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
The Ministerial Committee for Legislation voted on Sunday in favor of supporting an amendment to the Passports Law (1952) that will allow new immigrants to receive their passports soon after aliya. The bill received the support of all ministers including the Interior Minister Arye Deri (Shas) whom the bill concerns.
Currently, Interior Ministry regulations allow olim to submit their request for an Israeli passport only a year after their arrival, and during that time they are entitled to a temporary travel document (teudat ma’avar).
Yisrael Beytenu MK Oded Forer, who initiated the bill along with his faction colleague Yulia Malinovski, said that Israel is on its way to fix many years of injustice. "It made the olim class B citizens that are good enough to be drafted to the military or pay taxes, but not enough to receive a passport.
The explanatory notes of the bill say that this situation in which citizens have no proper permanent travel document is harming olim and imposes unnecessary restrictions on them.
“While Israeli passport holders can enter any state in the world that Israel has visa agreements with without obtaining a visa, a temporary travel document-holder must get one,” say the notes. They also state that “getting a visa requires an expensive service and usually takes a long time.”
After receiving the ministers' approval, the bill will have to pass three readings in the Knesset.