Did you know that in addition to moving to an incredible country with delicious food and good weather, when you make Aliyah you also may be eligible for a long list of rights and benefits? The Israeli government provides new Israeli citizens certain benefits upon making Aliyah, depending on their immigration status. If your status is one of the following: Mishpachot Olim, Former A-1 Visa Holder, Ktinim Chozrim, Ezrachim Olim, then some of these benefits may not apply to you. Make sure to speak to your Aliyah advisor to figure out how your status may affect your Aliyah process and benefits.
Sal Klita: Misrad Haklita (Ministry of Aliyah and Integration) offers new immigrants financial assistance. Upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, you may receive an initial cash payment, followed by additional monthly bank transfers for six months. The amount of Sal Klita given is determined by various criteria such as age and family status.
Rent Subsidy: Misrad Hashikun (Ministry of Housing) offers Olim Chadashim rental assistance beginning from the 8th month after Aliyah. The period of eligibility for rental assistance in most cases, is up to five years from the date of receiving Oleh status. The level of assistance will be defined according to your family status, and the number of years you have resided in Israel. This benefit can be affected if you are married to a veteran Oleh.
Health Coverage: Bituach Leumi (the National Insurance Institute) provides free basic coverage with any Kupat Cholim (health care provider) of your choice for the first year of Aliyah.
Arnona Discount: All cities and towns in Israel charge Arnona (municipal property tax), whether you rent or own your property. Olim are granted a discount of 70-90% (for up to 100 sqm.) on Arnona payments for a 12-month period within the first two years of Aliyah.
Ulpan: Olim Chadashim are eligible for a free Hebrew Ulpan course, available in many locations around Israel. The address that appears on an Oleh’s Teudat Zehut dictates the location of that individual’s Ulpan. Olim must apply for Ulpan within 18 months after Aliyah. A standard, subsidized Ulpan course lasts for 5 months (5 days a week, 5 hours a day).
Tuition Benefit: Until age 23, Olim Chadashim may be eligible for tuition assistance for Mechina (university preparatory year-course). Until the age of 27, Olim Chadashim may receive assistance for a BA; and MA until age 30. This benefit is provided by the Student Authority. Students who choose to study in a one-year MA program are eligible to receive two years of assistance to use towards the cost of their studies. In order to receive tuition assistance, students must begin their studies within three years of Aliyah and the studies must begin before the age limit – for example, if you make Aliyah at age 26, you will have one year to start your BA studies, as the benefit is only granted to students up to the age of 27.
Customs Benefits: Olim are allowed to bring appliances and household goods from any country tax-free for up to three years after Aliyah on up to three shipments of imported goods. Extensions are granted for military service, full time higher education study, or if you have left Israel for more than six consecutive months.
Israeli Income Tax: Olim Chadashim are eligible for discounted income tax payments on income earned in Israel. The income tax reduction works on a point system, where one point is equal to 219 NIS. New Olim receive three points per month (657 NIS) during the first 18 months after Aliyah, two points over the next 12 months, and one point during the last 12 months. Once you begin to work, make sure to let your employer know that you are an Oleh so that you receive this benefit.
Mortgage Discount: Low interest rates, compared to other market rates, for up to about 150,000 NIS. Olim need to obtain a Teudat Zakaut (Certificate of Eligibility), which is issued by the Ministry of Housing through the mortgage banks. Olim are eligible for this discount for up to 15 years after Aliyah, but only for the purchase of a first home in Israel.
Free Flight to Israel: New Olim making Aliyah from abroad are eligible for a free Aliyah flight to Israel departing from all EL AL North American hubs. Aliyah-class seats are available on select flights throughout the year including designated flights, NBN facilitated group flights, and summer charter flights. The free flight is only for the Aliyah flight itself which must be booked through NBN. Olim who pay for their own tickets are not eligible for a refund for the cost of the flight.
Taxi from Ben Gurion Airport: Upon arriving in Israel, Olim receive one free taxi ride to their first destination. This is a one-time only benefit – immediately following the Aliyah flight.
Car Benefit: For up to three years after Aliyah, Olim pay a reduced tax rate on the purchase of a new car in Israel or the import of a car from abroad. In order to be eligible for the tax reduction, Olim must hold a valid foreign driver’s license that was issued at least three months prior to the date of Aliyah. A valid Israeli driver’s license is also required. The benefit is valid only for a new car or “Passport to Passport” purchase. Importing a car is a detailed, lengthy process that should only be pursued following thorough research regarding the costs and benefits.
Foreign Income Tax: Olim are eligible for tax breaks on passive and active income earned overseas for 10 years after Aliyah. Please check with an accountant to confirm eligibility; there may be some restrictions based on residency for those who have lived in Israel for an extended time period prior to Aliyah.
Bringing in Money: The maximum amount of cash value that can be brought into Israel without having an obligation to report to the authorities is50,000 NIS. Above this amount, you will need to report to customs by filling out a form that is available online here. Practically this means just signing a waiver – you should not be questioned or investigated. The information serves the purpose of being able to assist the authorities in reducing international money laundering attempts to Israel. We recommend speaking with a qualified accountant for further details.
Daycare Subsidy: Olim Chadashim are entitled to a reduction in Maon or daycare tuition. This benefit depends on the parents’ status and in some cases can be used for up to two years. An additional reduction for tuition can also be requested based on income levels. There are certain requirements the daycare must meet, as well as requirements for the parents. For more information, please reach out to your NBN advisor.
Purchase Tax: If you are an Oleh buying a home within your first seven years of Aliyah, and as long as you are personally living in your apartment (not renting it out for example) you may be eligible for a special Purchase Tax discount on the purchase of your home. This special Aliyah tax bracket can be misleading. Don’t necessarily be tempted to use this benefit right away without consulting a tax professional (accountant or lawyer) for several reasons:
- When a resident buys his/her first apartment in Israel, there already reduced rates for single residence tax brackets which may compete with these rates.
- The Aliyah purchase tax benefit can be used even if you already own another apartment in Israel and up to seven years post-Aliyah. So, with careful tax planning, you could buy two apartments in Israel and avoid the regular tax rates, saving you significant costs in purchase tax.
Please check with a tax professional to confirm eligibility.