A word to the wise for new immigrants to Israel: make sure you hang on to that passport from your country of origin.
Newly installed Interior Minister Aryeh Deri has instructed the Population Authority to prepare a new policy requiring new immigrants to prove they are remaining in the country before they can receive an Israeli passport.
As of 2017, anyone who becomes a citizen automatically becomes eligible for an Israeli passport. In past years, however, immigrants were only eligible for a passport one year after their date of Aliyah.
“The ‘air train’ in which people eligible [for citizenship] under the Law of Return are taking advantage of their right to a passport and ‘absorption package’ [of government benefits], and then going back to where they came from is unacceptable,” Deri said in a statement on Tuesday.
But new immigrant benefits – such as tax discounts, housing subsidies and other stipends – are already automatically frozen if a new citizen leaves the country.
“We should give status and a passport only to those who are settling in Israel, not to those looking to get benefits they’re not entitled to.”