Army Service – Length of Service for Olim

Important Update from the IDF

New regulations for Length of Service have been put into effect by the IDF. Katinim Chozrim and Ezrachim Olim (in army terms, Bnei Mehagrim), have different regulations and need to refer to the article Information for Bnei Mehagrim for information about their length of service.

This is the most current information released by the IDF. Any further changes to these regulations will be updated here.

For any and all questions you have about your Age of Arrival and length of service, email army@nbn.org.il

Determining Age of Arrival:

Length of Service for Olim is determined by their “Age of Arrival.”  Please note that a person’s Age of Arrival (their age on the date that they began a significant stay in Israel) is not necessarily their age on the date that they made Aliyah.
Age of Arrival is determined by the Oleh’s entries and exits to Israel, as well as the length of stay of each visit. To this end, one may report to the Israel Ministry of Interior and request a Berur Knisot V’Yitziot Meha’aretz – בירור כניסות ויציאות מהארץ (a report of one’s entries and exits into Israel).  The new guidelines apply only to Olim.

Guidelines for Determining Age of Arrival

NOTE: The guidelines for determining Age of Arrive found below apply to everyone – Olim Chadashim, Ezrachim Olim and Katinim Chozrim (Bnei Mehagrim).

  • If the Oleh has not spent significant time in Israel (up to 120 days in a calendar year), Age of Arrival is considered from their Aliyah date.  If you have questions about your status, email army@nbn.org.il
  • If the Oleh visited Israel for a one year period (either on a recognized or non-recognized program) and chose to stay in Israel, the army will consider Age of Arrival from the time they first entered the country.
  • If the Oleh participated in a program that was one year in length (recognized by The Jewish Agency for Israel as a Masa program) and then left the country for a period of at least 12 months, the army will consider Age of Arrival from the time of their return. During this period they can visit Israel 120 days per calendar year, as long as there is a clean break of 60 days out of the country from the end of the program until the first visit.
  • If the Oleh was in Israel for one year or more, NOT on a recognized program, and left the country for a period of at least 24 months, the army will consider Age of Arrival from the time of their return.  If the Oleh would like to visit Israel during that 24 month “away” period, they can visit for 120 days per calendar year (every year).  For further clarification, please be in touch with the Meitav representative in NY.  The Meitav representative can be contacted at: JuliaN@newyork.mfa.gov.il or 212-499-5314.

Army Requirements for Olim

Please note that the chart below applies only to Olim who entered the country at age 18 or older. Olim who arrived in Israel at 17 or younger will be required to serve 32 months, regardless of family status.

Determining Length of Service:

  • Age of Arrival (see above to determine age of arrival)
  • Family status (single, married or married with children) at the time of enlistment.
Age of Arrival
18-19 20 21 22-27 28+
Male Oleh,
Ben Mehager who left Israel before age 10, or Ben Mehager who was born abroad to Israeli parents
32 months 24 months 24 months Volunteer service:
Minimum 18 months
Exempt/
Not eligible for
volunteer service
Male Ben Mehager who left Israel between 10-16 32 months 24 months 24 months 12 months
Married Male
without Child
24 months 18 months 18 months Volunteer service:
Minimum 18 months
Married Male
with Child
Volunteer service: Minimum 18 months
Single Female
(all Aliyah statuses)
24 months 12 months Volunteer service:
Minimum 12 months


Doctors and dentists (male):

For information about army service, please see: Army Service for Physicians

Women:

*Religious women can get a Ptur (exemption).  Click here for the process.
Married women have an automatic exemption from service in the IDF.
There is NO requirement for women to do Sherut Leumi instead of military service.  Click here for more information about Sherut Leumi.

Date of Enlistment

After making Aliyah, the government of Israel allots Olim one year of acclimation before they are drafted. A Tzav Rishon (first IDF notice) will be sent to your residence roughly 9 months after receiving a Teudat Zehut.

If you are interested in expediting your army process once you make Aliyah, please be in touch with our Lone Soldiers department army@nbn.org.il.

The following is a list of Lishkot Hagiyus:

  • Tel Aviv, Tel Hashomer base – Shaar Kiroon – 03-738-8888
  • Jerusalem, Rashi 103 – 03-738-6666
  • Haifa, 12 Rechov Omar Kayam – 04-860-0700
  • Beer Sheva, 22 Rechov Yed Veshem – 08-629-8888
  • Tveria, Rechov Nazereth – 04-672-9888

**Ezrachim Olim and Ktinim Chozrim should refer to the Lishkat Hagiyus after their Aliyah in order to get a letter clarifying their army status. This letter is requested in order to issue a Teudat Zakaut from Misrad Haklita and for your final status to be recognized by the Customs Authority.

Additional Resources

For information about a range of army programs, please see Army Service Programs.

Certain benefits may “freeze” during army service. For more information, please see: Extension of Rights for Olim.

If you have any questions, please email: army@nbn.org.il

Compensation for Soldiers from Employers:

A soldier who leaves a job because of the draft will receive compensation from his employer.
As of February, 2012, the Knesset approved two laws that relate to soldiers. According to the first, someone who leaves his or her job in order to be drafted into the army or do Sherut Leumi is entitled to receive special compensation from his or her place of work.
Similarly, the Knesset approved a law that establishes that a released soldier that works in Avoda Muadefet (“preferred work”) and is called to serve in Miluim will be entitled to a monetary grant, even if he or she did not complete six months of work.

The role of FIDF and Nefesh B’Nefesh is to assist new immigrants to Israel who are drafted to the IDF.  It is not the objective, or part of the scope of operational activities of either organization to help recruit soldiers for the Israel Defense Forces.