Aliya expert: Children of converts

LXXXI: I converted to Judaism and married an Israeli. I have a daughter from my 1st marriage who did not convert nor is she Israeli. They won't grant her permanent residency. What should I do?

aliyaexpert88 (photo credit: )
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The expert is Maurice Singer, Senior Aliyah Consultant at the Jewish Agency. While every care and attention is made to give accurate answers, no responsibility can be taken by the writer or the Jewish Agency if the information offered may prove to be misleading. Send us your questions and please leave your comments on the Q&A below.
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  • For Vol LXXVIII to Vol LXXIX click here * * * LXXXI Q: We are going to be buying a car soon and using our oleh rights. The car dealer says he needs our Teudat Oleh and both our Israeli and American licenses to send to the Ministry of Transportation. I asked him how one is supposed to drive for the 10 days without our license and he said that I would need to drive without it. Is there any procedure to follow for this. Can you receive a temporary license until you get your original one back from the Ministry of Transportation? What happens if you get stopped by the police? A: If you are in the first year of your Aliyah and you have an international Drivers licence then you can drive using it. If not then either don't drive or drive so fast that the police cant catch you!!!! Q: I am a non-Jewish male, married to a Jewish woman. If my wife and I made Aliyah, would I be eligible for citizenship along with her? A: Yes Q: Hello, I intend to make aliyah but I don't want to take Israeli citizenship as I will lose my German one which I would like to keep for the time being. How difficult will it be to apply for an Israeli one at a later stage (once it has been revoked within the first 3 months after arrival as I am supposed to do). What does the procedure then entail and how much will it cost? A: If you wish to claim Israeli Citizenship after previously rejecting it you will need to make special application to The Israeli Ministry of Interior; The cost is small but their decision is not automatic and each case is considered on its own merits. Q: I am a Mexican citizen living in the United States, I been doing constant research about my ancestry and it seems that I do have Jewish heritage from both my mother and father's side of the family. I have consulted several surname/ancestry sites and searched for family last names, also I been told that I should get a DNA exam done. I am still confused about how to go about Aliyah, or if i even have a shot at it. Please give me some guidance. A: If your heritage is further back the your grandparents, then you do not qualify for Aliyah. The guidelines for Aliyah are based on the Law of Return which refers only as far back as grandparents. So DNA testing will be of interest possibly but that's all. Q: We are 3 brothers (we accomplish with law of return)* and our mother is not Jew and she wants to do Aliyah with us, our father is full Jewish (Mother and Father) but he doesn't want to do Aliyah. Can we bring our Mother with us? What will be her status and what kind of rights will she have in Israel? Will she need special documentation or document approval from her husband? What will happen with her if our father decides to divorce her, could she travel and do Aliyah? A: If there are no other Siblings then yes she could come as a dependent. She would be a resident with basic permission to stay in Israel.(A-5 Visa). Her husband has to sign a "Family Obligation Form". She would name be making aliyah, she would be coming as a dependent. Here is the definition of 'new immigrant', fyi. A new immigrant is a person who came to Israel and received the status of "new immigrant" from the Ministry of Interior, according to the Law of Return - 1950. The Law of Return states that every Jew, his/her spouse, his children and grandchildren and their spouses are entitled to immigrate to Israel (except for several irregular cases that are mentioned in the Law of Return.) Persons with a "new immigrant" status are entitled to special assistance given to immigrants by governmental ministries and various other organizations, according to predetermined criteria Q: I would like to ask the question of where does the requirement/law for Israeli-born people to enter Israel with an Israeli passport come from? Why do I have to have an Israeli passport in addition to my Canadian passport. A: Apart from the Law of Return there are a few other laws you might want to check out such as "The Law of Entry and the Law of Citizenship" You will find your answer there. FYI most countries like Britain USA Israel etc. demand that their citizens enter and leave their own country on their National passports. Q: I am an American Christian Arab, my parents were both born in Israel and now live here in America. I am 18 and I would like to move there. I was told on my last trip that I cannot stay there longer than 3 months. What do I need to do to be able to live in Israel legally? What papers do I need to fill out? I don't want to get married to become a citizen. Do I have to be in Israel to start on the paper work or can I do it from here? Can I become an Israeli citizen without giving up my American citizenship? A: The second part of the question is easier. Both Israel and USA recognizes dual nationality so that is not an issue. The first part is quite delicate due to the obvious political situation. After 3 months in Israel on a tourist, you might try applying for a work permit in order to stay longer. Q: I am 37 years old and looking to make Aliyah in the next 6 months... My question is, I would like to get my nursing degree in Israel, being an olah chadash, would I be able to receive assistance in getting my nursing degree? A: As an Olah Hadasha the answer is no. Q: I converted to Judaism last year and after that married an Israeli. We have one daughter together who was born before we married. She converted together with me together and is now an Israeli Citizen. However, I have another daughter who is an offspring of my first marriage. She did not convert to Judaism and therefore is not an Israeli Citizen. That is why we have constantly problems with her Visa. She has only a Tourist Visa and they do not want to grant her permanent residency. Should there not be a rule that the minor daughter (10) of a Jewish Israeli would have the right to live with her mother and new father in Israel? A: There are so many different cases and combinations, different families with special circumstances that it is just impossible to make laws to cover every case. As cumbersome as it is, the bottom line is that The Ministry of Interior will not separate you from your daughter. Q: I am 63 and single and I want to make Aliyah before next Rosh Hoshanah. I want to work with developmentally disabled people in Israel; I have experience in this area. Please tell me if you know of any organizations in Israel that I should contact. Also, what are the eligibility rules for 6-months of housing at an Absorption Center? Thank you for your help. A: The age limit for housing at an Absorption Center is 55. I suggest you google "organizations for the disabled in Israel" and you will get all the necessary information. Q: I am a 20 year old medical student from Romania. If I move to Israel, will the years I've studied be recognized or do I have to start from the 1st year? A: You might have to begin again but you should contact different Medical Schools in Israel to check their exact requirements. Q: I am studying in Israel. I do not want to make Aliyah because I believe it will affect my family in the future with regards to Army obligation. Now if I marry an Israeli woman, what would be my children's obligations to the Army be if A) I were to reside in Israel with a work permit only or B) I were to live outside Israel. A: If I understand you correctly you are a young man studying in Israel. You don't yet have a wife and seemingly no children. So assuming you get married in the next couple of years and let's say that within a year your wife gets pregnant. That means having a child within the next 4 years and then plus 18 years until he (assuming you child will be a male) will need to do Army service. So you are asking me now which Visa is likely to be the best one for him projecting 22 years ahead?? Q: I am currently finishing my students in Israel with a student visa. My father is Jewish and my mother isn´t. Which process do you suggest I follow to ask for the temporary residence permit and not aliyah. For how long is this residency valid? And what do I have to give them in order to apply to it? A: Just apply for Aliyah in the usual way and bring evidence of having a Jewish Parent Q: I went to Israel on Aliya in 1988, returned to Brazil in 2002. I paid for my airfare, took 6 month ulpan-kibbutz and used some rental help from the Jewish Agency. I am now thinking of returning to Israel and would like to know what help could I get, where could I live initially and so on. I am 47, single and I speak very good Hebrew. Thanks for your attention. A: You are a Returning Israeli and as such you are expected to make your own housing arrangements. In the same way you made a decision to leave Israel, so must you expect when you return. Q: I have been studying for a reform conversion at a local synagogue. I understand that potential olim who are immigrating on the basis of a conversion need to show involvement in their local community for at least a year following conversion. Must this be at the same synagogue they attended during the process of conversion? I am about to relocate for grad school, and I intend to be active in the local Jewish community near my destination school. If I finish my conversion here, however, with the rabbi and community who know me well, will I be eligible for aliyah after several years of activity in a synagogue near my university, without spending a first post-conversion year at my "home" synagogue? Thanks for your help. A: Involvement in any Synagogue and Jewish community is OK. It doesn't have to be where you actually converted. * * * LXXX Q: My brief visits to Israel do not qualify as a "pilot trip" at Nefesh B'Nefesh, so I am looking for assistance from other sources. (I have spoken to the Jewish Agency Shaliach in Chicago.) My work specialty is bringing specific start-up companies from raw start-up to second round financing, so there's plenty of work in Israel for me. I would prefer to start with some Ulpan time, though. The Catch-22 is to find air ticket assistance, a prerequisite for employment, which is a prerequisite for aliyah assistance. Suggestions? A: Maybe you should organize some "second round financing" for your pilot tour. You must ask yourself whether you are able to move permanently to Israel at this time or save some money first. Q: My wife, 58 and I, 62, are planning to move to Israel. I came from a somewhat observant family (kosher home, Jewish education) my wife from assimilated secular German Jews who have been in the US for generations. How do we prove we are Jewish (other than my obvious schtetl punim)? We have a katubah and my wife's mother has a get. I also attend services at and help support a local Chabad. A: The best way would be to show proof that one of your (presumably deceased) parents are buried in a Jewish Cemetery. Q: My husband was born to a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother. We have two children. We all made giur [conversion] before a Masorti [Conservative] Beth Din in London. If we make Aliyah, he would be granted Israeli citizenship. What would happen with my children and I? A: If your husband can prove that he had a Jewish father then all of you are included within the Law of Return and as such are eligible to make Aliyah. As far as recognition of being Jewish you will have to battle with the Rabbinate regarding their attitude as to the Masorti Giur. Q: I am a Jewish-American citizen. My mother is Jewish, but my father is a non-Jewish Armenian-American. I do qualify for Aliyah, but if I were to ever make Aliyah with my family would my father be able to do so, as the parent of Jews, or would he have to go through the regular naturalization process? A: You qualify for Aliyah as the son of a Jew and you father qualifies as being married to a Jewess so welcome home!! Q: I´m Brazilian and I'm planning to make aliyah at the end of 2009. As an oleh chadash can I import kitchen and laundry appliances from the USA? And about importing cars? What is the best way for an oleh to buy a car, furniture and kitchens appliances? A: Today, Olim are allowed to import household appliances, furniture and cars from anywhere in the world. The best way for an Oleh to buy a car is to buy it in Israel from the local authorized dealer. Of this I have absolutely no doubts whatsoever. Q: Being secular and arriving here 5 years ago in my late 40s I see there is no chance to earn a decent living here, and I've found something back in the US. Anyway, I have faxed Meches several times and received no answer. Any suggestions? A: If you wish to remove the lien on the car you purchased with a customs tax reduction, you must go to them with all the cars papers, your passport, Teudat Zehut and Teudat Oleh. Afterwards you will be at liberty to sell the car. Q: I am a citizen through my parents, lived in Israel during my early childhood, and have Oleh rights. My girlfriend is not a Jew, but has Jewish roots being traced back to her maternal great grandmother - a crypto-Jew, descendant from anusei sepharad. An DNA test would show she's halachically Jewish. Can this allow her to make aliyah on her own? If not, can it speed up a conversion process and then enable her to make aliyah? She is interested in living her life as a Jew. A: The answer to both your questions is no, I'm afraid Q: I was born to a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother. My wife and I both had an orthodox conversion with the same Rabbi and the same Beit Din (Vaad of Queens, NY) before we were married. We've been members of the same shul in our city for over two years. Given the above information, would my wife have any problem with obtaining Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return? Also, we recently were blessed with a daughter. What would her status be as far as Israeli citizenship is concerned? A: All three of you would be able to obtain Israeli citizenship Q: I made aliyah when I was 17 with my mother, she is the granddaughter of Jewish grandparents. She has citizenship and a blue identity card. I have a pink identity card and an A-5 visa, which is renewed every year. Now I turned 18 and soon I will have to renew the visa. Is it possible to have it changed it by a citizen or will I continue to have this status? Will an A5 visa allow me to serve in the army? Should I expect to be a permanent resident or citizen? A: Generally an A-5 visa is renewable for about 5 years. During this time you are not considered a citizen of Israel. The Army does also recruit Permanent Residents. I suggest that you apply to the Army recruitment office nearest to your home. Q: We are a Jewish couple with a five year old daughter with an autistic disease. Would we be allowed to move to Israel through a normal aliyah process? How can we get information regarding the treatment of autistic children from the point of view of state-citizen relationship. A: The Aliyah process is the same as anyone else but you should give a full medical report to your local Aliyah Office. They will pass it to the dept in Jerusalem that needs to give an assessment of where your child will get the care that is needed Q: My son, his wife and six children aged 1 through 11 have been living in Israel for the past 5 years. He is on a student visa and none in the family are at this stage citizens. He is now planning to buy an apartment for approx 1,000,000 NIS. Are there any benefits available for them to make official aliyah at this time? A: If he changes his status to Oleh now, he will have mortgage benefits with Misrad HaShikun. * * *
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