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Differences Between Katin Chozer & Ezrach Oleh

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If you have an Israeli background, it is important to establish your Aliyah status and benefits. 

Who is a Katin Chozer (Returning Minor)?

-An Israeli citizen who left Israel before the age of 14 with at least one parent. (In the case of divorce, the applicant will need to provide proof that he/she left the country legally with one of their parents).

-A dual foreign/Israeli citizen who made Aliyah with his/her parents as a minor and left Israel before the age of 14 with at least one parent.

-A foreign (non-Israeli) citizen who lived in Israel as a minor on a temporary resident visa and left with both parents before their 14th birthday. In this case, the applicant will receive the status of a Katin Chozer from Misrad Haklita, but will be defined as an Oleh/Olah by the Ministry of Interior. He/she will travel to Israel with his/her foreign passport and will need an Aliyah visa.

Terms and Conditions: 

The applicant must have spent at least four consecutive years abroad with at least one parent, and they must return to Israel after the age of 17.

If the Katin Chozer’s parents were employed by an Israeli employer such as JNF, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs or other private Israeli companies over the past 5 years, then the applicant will not be recognized as a Katin Chozer. 

Who is an Ezrach Oleh?

An Israeli citizen born abroad to at least one parent who held transferable Israeli citizenship at the time of their birth. 

Parents of Ezrachim Olim are requested to refer to their local Israeli Consulate upon their child's birth in order to report the birth to the Israeli government. 

Ezrachim Olim are required to hold a valid Israeli passport when traveling to Israel. 

Applicants must have spent at least four consecutive years abroad with at least one parent, and they must return to Israel after the age of 17.

Please note that these rules are general and subject to change. To verify that this information is current, please contact The Jewish Agency (either directly or by asking Nefesh B'Nefesh to direct your question to the appropriate contact), or you may contact your local branch of Misrad Haklita prior to your Aliyah.

The main differences between an Ezrach Oleh and a Katin Chozer can be summarized as follows:


Ezrach Oleh

Katin Chozer

Visits to Israel before making Aliyah

If an Ezrach Oleh has never held a Teudat Zehut booklet, they will be held to the same guidelines as an Oleh Chadash:

For example, Sal Klita is granted only for those who spent less than 24 months (consecutive or cumulative) in Israel during the 3 years prior to their Aliyah, and no more than 3 years in Israel during the 7 years prior to their Aliyah.

For more details please see Benefits Affected by Previous Visits to Israel.

Exceptions:

Customs Benefits: Visits to Israel will be counted from when the applicant first issued an Israeli passport / Teudat Zehut number / ID booklet. From that moment on, the candidate may only visit Israel for up to 4 months per year (calendar or 12-month period) or the applicant may spend up to one year on an “authorized study program” without jeopardizing their customs benefits.

Once an Ezrach Oleh issues a Teudat Zehut booklet, their Aliyah becomes official. The period of eligibility for absorption and customs benefits will begin from date when their Teudat Zehut was issued.

Exceptions:

  • IDF service is not considered a permanent return to Israel provided that the candidate does not stay in Israel for more than 4 months before and after their army service.
  • An Ezrach Oleh may spend up to one year on a MASA program without affecting their eligibility for benefits.
Issuing a Teudat Zehut booklet will not affect any Aliyah benefits.

Any visit over 4 months in a calendar year, or which continues from one calendar year to the next, will affect the candidate's benefits and will be considered a permanent return to Israel.

For example: If you spend October through January in Israel, this will be considered a permanent return to Israel, even if you leave the country for a short trip.  If, however, you spend June through August in Israel, and then return again in January for one month, it will not be considered a permanent return to Israel.

Exceptions:

  • A Katin Chozer is permitted to spend up to one year on an "authorized study program" recognized by Misrad Haklita.  Such programs include University, Yeshiva, etc. You are permitted to spend one year on a MASA program and then spend an additional year in Israel on another recognized program without affecting your benefits. 
  • Note: Remaining in Israel for 4 months immediately after studying in Israel on a recognized program may jeopardize your status as a Katin Chozer.
  • IDF service is not considered a permanent return to Israel (assuming a Teudat Zakaut has not been issued) provided that the candidate does not stay in Israel for more than 4 months before and after their army service.

* Note: When a Katin Chozer exceeds the 4 month period, the date their Teudat Zehut is issued may differ from the date they officially receive Katin Chozer status (“Kabalat Ma'amad”), as determined by Misrad Haklita

The following table lists the differences in Aliyah benefits for an Ezrach Oleh and Katin Chozer.

Benefits

Ezrach Oleh

Katin Chozer

Teudat Zakaut

Issued at Ben Gurion Airport

Issued at the local branch of Misrad Haklita (not at the airport upon arrival)

Sal Klita

If the candidate spent more than 18 months in Israel in the 3 years prior to their Aliyah, they will not be entitled to Sal Klita.

If the candidate spent more than 3 years in Israel in the 7 years prior to their Aliyah, they will not be entitled to Sal Klita.

If the candidate spent more than one year in Israel prior to their Aliyah (unless they were on a recognized study program), they will  not be entitled to Sal Klita.

Health Coverage

  • Entitled to free health insurance from Bituach Leumi.
  • Eligible for health services shortly after registering with Bituach Leumi.
  • If their Teudat Zehut number was issued prior to Aliyah, the candidate may be able to register for health coverage at the post office.
  • If their Teudat Zehut number was issued at birth or several years prior to Aliyah, the candidate will need to register through their local branch of Misrad Haklita. The candidate must fill out residency forms and sign a healthcare registration form. The candidate will have to present an updated Teudat Zehut and Teudat Zakaut. Registration for health coverage can take up to 3 weeks.

The candidate should register for Kupat Cholim at their local branch of Misrad Haklita, where they will fill out residency forms and sign a healthcare registration form. The candidate will have to present an updated Teudat Zehut and Teudat Zakaut. Registration for health coverage can take up to 3 weeks.

Benefits that apply to Olim as well as to KC and EO

Sal Klita, free flight, Hebrew Ulpan, rent subsidy, free higher education, customs benefits (tax-free shipments and a tax reduction on a new car – candidates must open a file with the Customs Authority to confirm their eligibility for customs benefits).

Income Tax Reduction

Ezrachim Olim are eligible for this benefit.

If the candidate lived abroad for more than five consecutive years, they may receive income tax benefits as an Oleh Chadash.

Municipal Tax Reduction - Arnona

Ezrachim Olim are eligible for this benefit, while Ktinim Chozrim are not.

IDF

If the candidate has a Teudat Zehut number:

The candidate may spend up to one year in Israel on a recognized study program or up to 120 days in Israel and then leave the country without being drafted into the army.

If the individual stays in Israel beyond the permitted time frame, then the length of their army service will be determined based on their date of entry to Israel and not based on the date they officially make Aliyah (Hakarat Maamad).

Every Israeli citizen living abroad should report to their nearest Israeli Consulate upon reaching age 16 in order to clarify their army status before visiting Israel.

Good luck and b'hatzlacha!