Nefesh B’Nefesh is unable to facilitate the processing of an A-1 visa. A-1 visa holders who decide to make Aliyah are welcome to apply for NBN assistance.
A Temporary Resident (A-1) Visa is a special tourist visa that is granted only to those who are eligible to make Aliyah according to the Law of Return. It is a visa that allows individuals to experience Israel before making the commitment of becoming Israeli citizens.
A-1 visa holders are entitled to receive a Teudat Zehut booklet (similar to the one issued to Israelis but in a different color) which includes a Teudat Zehut number. A-1 visa holders are not Israeli citizens and are not entitled to hold an Israeli travel document.
The visa is valid for three years, and you can apply to extend it for another two years. You cannot exceed a period of five years in total. At the end of this time period, you can either apply for Aliyah or apply for an A-5 visa, which can be extended every two years. The A-5 visa allows you to maintain a Teudat Zehut, work in Israel and receive health coverage through Bituach Leumi(National Insurance Institute).
1. Advantages and Benefits for A-1 visa holders:
- The ability to legally work in Israel
- The ability to register with an Israeli healthcare provider through Bituach Leumi after spending 183 days in Israel (consecutive).
- Income tax reduction (on income earned in Israel)
- Purchase tax reduction
- Anyone who has Israeli parents (e.g. an Ezrach Oleh) is not eligible to apply for temporary resident (A-1) status. By law, those who qualify for Israeli citizenship must apply for an Israeli passport.
- A-1 visa holders are not allowed to vote in Israeli elections
- A-1 visa holders are not obligated to serve in the IDF as long as they are on an A-1 visa
Once an A-1 visa holder decides to make Aliyah, the time they spent in Israel on the A-1 visa will be deducted from the period of eligibility for all of the above-mentioned benefits. For example: If you spent two years on a temporary resident visa and then decide to make Aliyah, you will have five years remaining in which to use the purchase tax reduction (which is granted for seven years after Aliyah).
Please note that if you spend more than 24 months in Israel in the three years prior to your Aliyah you will not be entitled to Sal Klita.
3. How do I apply for an A-1 visa?
- If you are applying from abroad, please refer to your local Israel Aliyah Center of The Jewish Agency for Israel. For a list of shlichim, please click here.
- If you are in Israel, please refer to Misrad Hapnim (Ministry of the Interior). For a list of branches, click here.
Required Documents an A-1 Visa Application (all documents must be original):
*All certificates must have an Apostille unless it was issued within Israel.*
Birth Certificate: Please make sure that your parents’ names appear on the birth certificate.
Civil Marriage/Divorce/Death Certificate: If you are/were married to an Israeli you will need to provide the relevant certificates of marital status with apostille certification.
Passport: Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months after the date you are issued your A-1 visa.
Proof of Judaism: Acceptable proof of Judaism is a letter from a recognized rabbi in North America or the UK, confirming how the rabbi knows you and stating that you are Jewish and born to a Jewish mother*.
- This is required for all adults in the family making Aliyah.
- The letter must have been written in the past year on official letterhead.
- *If you are Jewish through your father/grandfather, please provide a letter from a recognized rabbi in North America or the UK, who can confirm your Jewish lineage.
- Israeli citizens may have additional options for the proof of Judaism requirement
- Please contact your Jewish Agency for Israel Shaliach to discuss your options if you cannot obtain this letter.
- Some other requirements of the letter are as follows:
- The letter must be in English or Hebrew.
- The letter must appear on official synagogue letterhead. It must state the name, location and telephone number of the congregation, and include your full legal name (as appears on your passport) and parents’ names (and grandparents’ names, where relevant).
- The letter must bear the rabbi’s signature, and the rabbi’s name and title should appear on the letterhead.
- If you converted to Judaism, you will be required to submit different documentation proving your completion of the conversion process. You will receive further instructions during the application process.
Fingerprinting for FBI Background Check: All US citizens between the ages of 17-75 require an FBI background check unless the following applies to you:
- You are under the age of 17 or over 75. You will instead require a lawyer declaration.
- You have resided in Israel for over 10 years.
FBI background checks with an apostille can be attained through Nefesh B’Nefesh for a fee of 450 NIS.
By appointment only, Call 02-659-5800
To read more about the Law of Return, click here.
Last Updated: May 20, 2019!