When one applies for Aliyah they are basically applying for two things:
- Citizenship: Every Jew is entitled to make Aliyah under the Law of Return. If the candidate is already Israeli (through birth, family history or previous Aliyah), they are not eligible for Aliyah according to the Law of Return, they do not require an Aliyah visa to move to Israel, and they can move to Israel under the Law of Citizenship. However, Israeli citizens who meet the criteria are still eligible for certain Aliyah benefits (see number 2 below).
- Benefits: Every Oleh is entitled to Aliyah benefits granted by several government offices. Misrad Haklita (the Israeli Ministry of Aliyah and Integration) determines Aliyah status of those who are eligible for benefits according to their guidelines (as will be explained later).
For people with an Israeli background (born in Israel, parents are Israeli, etc.) it is important to establish your Aliyah status. The Jewish Agency for Israel and Misrad Haklita will review your documents and confirm your status, thus allowing you to prepare for your Aliyah knowing which rights and benefits you are eligible for.
Who is a Katin Chozer (Returning Minor)?
A Katin Chozer (KC) is someone who received Israeli citizenship in Israel and left Israel before the age of 14 with at least one parent. This applies to people who:
- Were born in Israel to at least one Israeli parent
- Made Aliyah with at least one parent before the age of 14
- Were born in Israel to a parent who held an A1 temporary resident visa at the time of birth. In this case, the applicant will receive the status of a Katin Chozer and is considered an Israeli citizen according to Misrad Hapnim.
Katin Chozer is a status given by Misrad Haklita
In order to be eligible for the status of a Katin Chozer:
- 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 previous 5 years before their return, then the applicant will not be recognized as a Katin Chozer.
What Triggers the Katin Chozer’s Aliyah Status?
- Issuing a Teudat Zakaut from Misrad Haklita is, in fact, making Aliyah and all Aliyah benefits will be calculated from that date.
- Spending over 4 months in Israel (consecutive or accumulative) in a calendar year will affect the candidate’s benefits and will be considered a permanent return to Israel (=Aliyah) retroactively to the first entry date of that calendar year. However, this accumulation of time spent in Israel does NOT carry over from one calendar year to the next.
For example: If you were in Israel from October 1, 2016 through March 15, 2017, this would NOT be considered a permanent return to Israel and would NOT trigger your Aliyah (3 months in 2016 and 2.5 months in 2017 – the total time is more than 4 months, but not in the same calendar year).
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.
- A KC is permitted to spend up to one year on an “authorized study program” recognized by Misrad Haklita. Such programs include university, Yeshiva, etc. KCs are permitted to spend one year on a MASA program and then spend an additional year in Israel on another recognized program without this time affecting their benefits.
- Note: Remaining in Israel for 4 months prior or immediately after studying in Israel on a recognized program may put into effect your Aliyah as a KC.
- IDF service is not considered a permanent return to Israel (assuming a Teudat Zakaut has not been issued) provided the candidate does not stay in Israel for more than 4 months before or after their army service.
- Sherut Leumi service that is recognized and approved by the Ministry of Defense (political-social division) is not considered a permanent return to Israel (assuming a Teudat Zakaut has not been issued) provided the candidate does not stay in Israel for more than 4 months before or after their Sherut Leumi service.
* Note: When a KC exceeds the 4-month period, the issue date of their Teudat Zehut may differ from the date they officially receive KC status (“Kabalat Ma’amad”) and may differ from the date they receive their Teudat Zakaut (benefits booklet), as determined by Misrad Haklita.
Please note: Issuing a Teudat Zehut booklet will NOT affect Aliyah benefits for a Katin Chozer.