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.
Ezrachim Olim who are serving in the army or Sherut Leumi have the choice of determining their Aliyah date. The date can be either the one on which their service begins, or the date on which they are issued a Teudat Zehut. This allows them to maximize the time in which they can access their governmental benefits.
Who is an Ezrach Oleh?
An Ezrach Oleh (EO) is an Israeli citizen born abroad to at least one parent who held Israeli citizenship at the time of their birth (either born in Israel or made Aliyah prior to the time of their birth).
A child of an EO, who was born outside of Israel, will NOT be an EO and will be eligible for Oleh Chadash status.
A child of an EO, who was born in Israel is considered an Israeli citizen.
By law, any Israeli newborn must be registered either at the local office of Misrad Hapnim (Ministry of the Interior) or, if the child is born abroad, at the Israeli consulate. EOs are required to hold a valid Israeli passport when traveling to Israel.
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 to those who spent less than 24 months (consecutive or accumulative) 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.
What Triggers an Ezrach Oleh’s Aliyah Status?
Issuing a Teudat Zehut in Israel. Once an Ezrach Oleh is issued a Teudat Zehut booklet, their Aliyah becomes official. The period of eligibility for absorption and customs benefits will begin from the issue date of their Teudat Zehut.
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.
- IDF & Sherut Leumi service are not considered permanent returns to Israel provided that a candidate does not stay in Israel for more than 4 months before or after their army/sherut service.
- A potential EO may spend up to one year on a MASA program without the time in Israel affecting their eligibility for benefits.
“Ezrach Oleh” is a status given by both Misrad Haklita (referring to Aliyah benefits) and Misrad Hapnim (referring to Israeli citizenship). One can be an Ezrach Oleh with Misrad Hapnim but considered a Katin Chozer with Misrad Haklita (see example below).
Example: If an EO spent over 4 years in Israel before their 14th birthday with at least one parent, their citizenship status with Misrad Hapnim will be Ezrach Oleh, but they will be reviewed for eligibility of benefits by Misrad Haklita as a Katin Chozer.