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First Steps in Israel




First Steps- Introduction

Immigration to Israel requires thorough preparation processes.

You might want to do this in stages – visiting Israel, volunteering on a kibbutz, studying in a university or participating in a short-term study program for young people run by the Jewish Agency and other organizations.

You may prefer to carry out a 'pilot tour' in order to make contact with potential employers and to consult relatives and friends in Israel.

In any case, you should carefully plan the details of your immigration with the help of the Jewish Agency immigration emissaries.

Remember that the information published here is only general.
Your personal details, such as stay in Israel, change in family status, etc. might affect your eligibility to rights.
Before taking any action, contact immigrant emissaries or the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption that is nearest to your home, and check whether the information is valid for you.
In the case of a discrepancy between the information appearing here and regulations – the regulations will take precedence.

Initial Absorption Programs

In the country of origin, before immigrating to Israel, you can choose the most suitable absorption program for you.
There are several possible programs:

Direct Absorption


With the direct absorption program, immigrants receive financial assistance, rent an apartment for themselves, register at an ulpan and independently integrate into Israeli society.

The direct absorption program offers several financial assistance programs:

Absorption basket based on individual eligibility.

Customs tax grant for people from countries eligible for customs tax grant.

Assistance without the absorption basket – income insurance during the period of studies in an ulpan.

Absorption Center



Even before an immigrant arrives in Israel, a limited stay at an absorption center can be arranged through immigration emissaries from the Jewish Agency.

Following this period of time, immigrants must rent an apartment in the private market.

Kibbutz Ulpan


The Kibbutz Ulpan is considered the most suitable absorption option for young immigrants, enabling them to combine studies and work. It is designed for immigrants between the ages of 17-35, singles or couples without children.

The ulpan continues for 5 months and includes Hebrew language studies based on a Ministry of Education program and work in one of the market sectors.

Students live on the kibbutz and receive their meals in the kibbutz dining room. In addition to the Hebrew language studies in the ulpan, social and cultural activities as well as tours around the country are provided.

Registration and details on the costs for the kibbutz ulpan can be obtained from the immigration emissaries overseas, at information centers in the Department of Immigration and Absorption in the Jewish Agency in Israel and on the Jewish Agency website.

Aliyah 2000


The Department of Immigration and Absorption in the Jewish Agency, in conjunction with Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, organizes special absorption and study programs within the framework of the Aliyah 2000 program.

The programs are composed of various stages, for example:
Stage A – Hebrew studies
Stage B – Preparation for entrance exams to institutions of higher education or for professional training or retraining courses such as tourism, nursing, English teachers, doctors, lawyers, etc.

Additional information may be obtained from the immigration emissaries of the Jewish Agency and from the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption bureaus.

"Bayit Rishon Bamoledet"

In the Bayit Rishon Bamoledet program, immigrant families can rent an apartment on a kibbutz and receive all kibbutz services including meals, ulpan and schooling for their children.

Staying within this program involves a fee.
Rental period – up to one year.

For additional information, please contact project offices:
Bayit Rishon Bamoledet, 25 Haneviim Street, Tel-Aviv, 64071
Tel: 03-5280039/68/52
Fax: 03-5259953

Remember The information appearing here is general only.

Your personal information, such as stay in Israel, change in family status, etc. may affect your eligibility for said rights.
Before taking any action, please contact the bureau of the Ministry of Absorption nearest to your home, and check whether the information is valid for you. In the case of a discrepancy between the information appearing here and regulations – regulations take precedence.

Meeting the Immigrants at the Airport

Arrival at the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption Office at Ben-Gurion International Airport
After you land and before you undergo a passport check, a representative from the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption will meet you. Should our representatives not find you, you should approach the passport check area. To the left of the passport check area is a phone that you can use to directly contact our office.

If you cannot find the phone, go to the border control and present your visa that is in your passport and a Ministry representative will be sent to meet you. Another way to contact a Ministry representative in the airport is through the information desk at the airport – a Ministry representative will be called to escort you to the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption office.

Services offered at the Ben Gurion International Airport



First aid nurse for sick patients and the handicapped
Mother and baby room
Free phones for calling in Israel and abroad
Light refreshments

Which documents should you bring to the airport?


Passport with immigration visa.
Letter from immigration emissary.
Passport photo of every family member who is prevented from being physically present in the office because that member flew and was taken off the plane and immediately transferred to an ambulance.
Birth certificate.
Marriage certificate.
Divorce certificate (if relevant).
Death certificate of spouse (if relevant).
Guardianship certificate (court decision) of minors

What documents do you receive at the airport?



Immigration certificate or certificate of eligibility.
Eligibility for immigration certificate –the entire family. Single immigrant children under 21 will be included in the family certificate.
Letter of registration in the population registry, including an identification number.
Health insurance form for registration with a health fund.
Form to open up a bank account.

Where does one go to upon arrival in Israel?

Friends or relatives
An apartment that was rented in advance
A hotel for several days, until a rental apartment is found (Tel-Aviv, Haifa, Beer-Sheva)
Kibbutz ulpan
Rented apartment on a kibbutz, such as Bayit Rishon Bamoledet
Absorption centers (involves prior arrangement via immigration emissary)

What financial assistance do you receive?

A person entitled to "Absorption Basket" – first payment in cash.
A person entitled "customs grant": – first payment in cash
A person entitled to an "old age pension" – (advance) in cash.

Luggage


When you are in the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption unit, your luggage will wait in the arrivals lounge.
Once you have completed formal processes in our office and have received the documents, you can go down, accompanied with our representative, to arrivals lounge and collect your luggage.

Transportation from the airport


All immigrants are entitled to be transported with their luggage from the airport to any location they choose in Israel.
This transportation is one-time and there is a limit to the number of luggage that you can take.

Remember This is only general information. In the case of any differences between these details and the existing laws and regulations - the latter will prevail.
Before taking any action, please contact the bureau or branch of the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption nearest to your home, and check if the information you have is valid for you.

Changing your Status in Israel

Anyone who did not receive 'new immigrant' status at the airport may change their status to new immigrant at the Ministry of the Interior.

The process involves checks and presentation of documents indicating your eligibility to receive Israeli citizenship in accordance with the Law of Return.

The process may be lengthy and you must take into account that until your status is changed, you are not entitled to assistance from the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption.

Important: Time spent in Israel prior to receiving immigrant status may affect your period of eligibility. It is important that you clarify this in advance with your immigrant emissary!


Note!
Time spent in Israel prior to receiving immigrant status may affect your period of eligibility. It is important to clarify this in advance with your immigrant emissary!

TAKE NOTE!
Time spent in Israel prior to receiving the immigrant status may affect your period of eligibility. It is important that you clarify this matter in advance with you immigration emissary (shaliach aliya).

Remember, this is only general information. In the case of any differences between these details and the existing laws and regulations - the latter will prevail. Before taking any action, please contact the bureau or branch of the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption nearest to your home, and check if the information you have is valid for you.

What should one do during the initial days in Israel

Open a bank account

A bank account should be opened as soon as possible so that the monies you received at the airport may be deposited.

In addition, financial assistance that you will later receive from the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption and National Insurance grants will be deposited in this account.

NOTE!
In the case of an immigrant family - the bank account must be registered in the name of both spouses!

Documents that you will need to open a bank account: immigration certificate of both spouses, or, notarized power of attorney if one cannot come to the bank.


Visit the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption


You must arrive at the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption bureau in your district of residence during your first several days. The purpose of the visit:

To inform the Ministry of your bank details so that monies may be deposited directly into your account.

To receive information and guidance about the absorption basket or income insurance, rental assistance (rent), education possibilities for children and assistance from other ministries.

To receive information on ulpans in your area and referral to Hebrew ulpans.


Financial assistance for immigrants not entitled to the absorption basket

For an individual – income insurance depends on presenting a monthly confirmation of your participation in continuous studies in an ulpan.
For a family – income insurance depends on presenting a monthly confirmation of ulpan studies of both spouses, or general low income in the family – See chapter on Financial Assistance.
For Immigrants not requiring an ulpan – income insurance depends on presenting to the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption studies at a morning course or at a guidance center - see chapter on Financial Assistance.


Registration to an Ulpan

Knowledge of the Hebrew language is one of the most important elements in a successful absorption.
You should learn Hebrew as soon as possible after your arrival in Israel. It is not recommended to delay this, as your rights for assistance in this field is valid only for a short time following your immigration.
For additional information, see chapter on Hebrew Studies


Selection of a Place of Residence


Existing housing options include:
Renting an apartment in the private market
Renting an apartment on a kibbutz – "Bayit Rishon Bamoledet"
Temporary accommodation with relatives
Immigration centers (for people who have early arrangements)
Kibbutz ulpan

Immigrants who receive the absorption basket – receive rental assistance as part of the "basket".


Contacting Local Authorities

You can receive the following services from the Local Authority:
Reduction in city tax (Arnona) given to new immigrants during their first year in the country.
Registration in day care centers, preschools and schools – in the Education Department in the Local Authorities.
Receive special assistance for handicapped or seriously ill patients – Welfare Department in Local Authority.

Required Documented: immigrant certificate, rental contract, documents certifying disability or illness.


Registration for health insurance

You must immediately register for health insurance. Without insurance, you will not be able to receive medical care.

You must register at the Post Office by filling out a registration form stating which health fund you have chosen. Both spouses are required to be present. You must pay a registration fee. With this form, you must contact the health fund of your choice in order to receive a membership card and medical treatment as needed.

Required documents: immigration certificate, identity certificate or population registry extract.

Child allowance/ old age pension from the National Insurance Institute

Immigrants who are entitled to the absorption basket will receive these grants directly into the bank account whose details they submitted to the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption.

Immigrants who are not entitled to the absorption basket must contact the office of the National Insurance Institute closest to their home and fill in a form requesting child allowance or old age pension. The allowance is deposited directly into your bank account.

Required documents: immigration certificate and identity certificate - or population registry extract.


Application for Identity Certificate and Israeli Passport


To order an identity certificate and/or Israeli passport, and in order to change any information in your identification certificate, you must contact the bureau of the Ministry of Interior closest to your home.

Required documents: immigration certificate, birth certificate, marriage or divorce certificate, or death certificate of deceased spouse, airport registration form, passports of all family members and two passport photos.


Replacing your international driver's license with an Israeli license

If you have an international driver's license, you may use it for up to three months from the date of immigration.
After this date, you must replace it with an Israeli license.
This is done at the License Bureau.

Required documents: Immigration certificate, international driver's license.

Remember that the information published here is general. In the event of a discrepancy between the information published here and the existing laws and regulations – the laws and regulations take precedence.

Check List of Initial Arrangements

What needs to be done?Who deals with this?
Initial guidance & counseling Ministry of Immigrant Absorption
Financial assistance Ministry of Immigrant Absorption
Referral to ulpan Ministry of Immigrant Absorption
Opening of bank account Commercial banks
Returning Minors and Immigrant Citizens registration with a national health fund Post office branches
Request for child allowance Institute of National Insurance
Registration of children to day care centers / nursery schools / schools Local authority
Issue of Identification Certificate Ministry of Interior
Registration of address in Identification Certificate Ministry of Interior
Receiving Eligibility Certificate from the Ministry of Housing Branches of mortgage banks
Request for assistance in rent Matan Chen, Amidar and Migar Companies 
Pregnant women, children up to 4, development follow-up, vaccinations Family Health Centers
Referral to kibbutz ulpan Jewish Agency - Information Centers
Exchange of driver's license License Bureau
Authorization of academic degrees Ministry of Education and relevant ministries based on field of study 
NOTE!
Whenever you go to the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, make sure you take your Immigration and Identification Certificates with you.

The Personal Absorption Counselor

When you immigrate to Israel, you will be entitled to ongoing assistance and guidance from a personal absorption counselor, who speaks your language and who will provide you with overall, professional, efficient and quality service.

The service is provided through the personal counselor at one service location One Stop Shop.

Through the personal absorption counselor:
You can coordinate in advance your arrival at the bureau or branch.
You can design an absorption program in conjunction with us that is custom tailored to your needs.
You will receive computerized services through the internet, such as: access to your immigrant file in order to check use of your rights (through personal password), downloading authorizations, updating personal information from the home, completing forms, etc.
The personal absorption counselor will coordinate home visits with you with your consent as well as visits to schools and place of employment.
You will receive information about assistance, guidance and advice regarding other authorities and organizations as necessary.
You will be given the possibility to provide us with personal feedback about the service.

Ministry representatives will contact you within 24 hours of your aliyah to Israel.
Attached is a list of Ministry of Immigrant Absorption bureaus and branches across Israel.

Remember, the information appearing here is general information only. In the case of any discrepancy between the information appearing here and regulations – regulations will take precedence.

Group Aliyah and Absorption

In order to encourage aliyah, and improve absorption procedures, the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, together with the Jewish Agency and local authorities, has initiated a group aliyah and absorption plan for immigrants.

Group aliyah promises greater success in absorption in the new country.

Candidates for aliyah who are interested in joining the program can contact the relevant Jewish Agency emissary in their country of origin.

The program guarantees guidance throughout the absorption processes by a proctor who will accompany the family during initial absorption in various absorption areas such as:
Hebrew studies
Registration of children in schools
Finding employment
Social and cultural areas

Immigrants who participate in the program also benefit from additional financial assistance in order to ensure a successful absorption.

Countries relevant to the program include: France, the United States, Latin America, South Africa, Former Soviet Union and Turkey.

Today, 72 local authorities and regional councils participate in this attractive program.

Most importantly, all candidates for aliyah overseas contact Jewish Agency representatives and ask to join the program, thereby proving its necessity.

Remember, the information appearing here is general information only. In the case of any discrepancy between the information appearing here and existing laws and regulations – the laws and regulations take precedence.

Necessary Documents

ActivityDocument
Supplying bank details to The Ministry of Immigrant Absorption Immigrant Certificate
 Identity Certificate
 Certification of opening  a bank account
Arranging health insurance -new immigrants  Immigrant Certificate
 Health insurance form
Arranging health insurance - returning residents  Identity Certificate
 Returning resident's    certificate
 Passport
Arranging health insurance - immigrant citizens and returning minors  Identity Certificate
 Passport
 Eligibility Certificate
Visiting a Family Health Center  Immigrant Certificate
 Authorization from your Health fund
Referral to relevant community social services provider  Immigrant Certificate
 Identity Certificate
 Authorization of receipt of disability allowance
 Updated medical documentation
Filing a claim for special services  Identity Certificate
Filing a claim for an old-age pension  Immigrant Certificate
 Identity Certificate
 Authorization of opening a bank account
 Authorization from overseas of Eligibility for a pension form
Filing a claim for child allowances  Immigrant Certificate
 Identity Certificate
 Authorization of opening a bank account
Filing an application for an Identity Certificate  Immigrant Certificate
 Birth Certificate
 Form # 14 from the airport
 Marriage/Divorce certificate
 Passport photos
 Foreign passport
Changing demographic information  Identity Certificate
 Documentation attesting
to the change
Receiving a referral to ulpan  Immigrant Certificate
Registration to ulpan  Immigrant Certificate
 Referral to the ulpan
Referral to check eligibility for post-high school studies  Immigrant Certificate
 Identity Certificate
 Educational certificates
Checking eligibility for rent subsidies - returning citizen  Identity Certificate
 Verification of income
Checking eligibility for discounts or Exemption from taxes  Immigrant Certificate

Follow-up Arrangements at the Ministry of Absorption

What happens when I complete my ulpan studies?

At the conclusion of ulpan studies, you will begin looking for work or you will participate in licensing studies or professional training or retraining courses. During this time, you will receive assistance from the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption.

Integration in the Job Market

In order to promote the chances of integrating into Israel's job market, you must:
Register with the Employment Bureau and/or consult with the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption nearest to your home.
Contact the employment guidance center in the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption.
Explore the possibility of licensing and certification courses in your profession or the possibility of another professional retraining course.
Check the possibility of assistance from the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption for the duration of the course.
Contact various ministries, such as the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, etc. to check the requirements for obtaining a professional license.
For more information – Chapter on Employment

What financial assistance is available during this period?

You may receive income insurance. For more information see chapter on Financial Assistance.

If you have registered with the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption or are studying in morning courses recognized by the Ministry.

If you cannot register with the Bureau of Labor or cannot study due to age, family status or medical condition, you may receive financial assistance as income support, see chapter on Financial Assistance.

What happens after the end of your first year in Israel?

Rental assistance – immigrants entitled to the absorption basket will begin receiving the money directly into their bank account.

Those not entitled to the absorption basket must contact one of the following companies – Amidar, Matan Chen, Migar.

Continued Financial Assistance

If you are unemployed and register with the Employment Bureau, or are studying in a Ministry of Labor course, or have received income support from the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, you must contact the National Insurance Institute to check the requirements and terms for receiving income insurance assistance – see website of National Insurance Institute.

If you are studying in a course of the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, you will continue to receive assistance from the Ministry of Absorption until the end of the course. For additional information, see chapter on Financial Assistance.

You may participate in licensing, certification or retraining courses as well as training to improve professional standards even after your first year. You should therefore periodically check which courses are being given.
For more information, see chapter onEmployment.

Registration for a Health Fund

New Service at Ben Gurion Airport - Registration for a Health Fund

To ease your first steps in Israel, and in order to improve absorption services, it is possible to register for the health fund of your choice upon arrival at Ben Gurion airport.

This new service is in addition to the existing option of registering at a postal bank.

New immigrants are eligible for health insurance from the date of receipt of new immigrant status. As of the 7th of December, 2010, upon arrival at the airport with new immigrant status, and receipt of documentation from an absorption counselor, you can then register at the health fund of your choosing. When registering you must inform the absorption counselor of your choice of health fund (it is recommended to check the services provided by each fund in advance of your aliyah). You can contact friends or relatives in order to consult with them before deciding on a health fund.

Note that when registering for a health fund at the airport, you will not have to pay a registration fee.


Health Funds in Israel


Maccabi



Maccabi one of the leading Israeli HMO, Now with special prices and benefits! More Details

Clalit


Meuchedet


Leumit


Source: Moia.gov.il



The Ministry of Immigrant Absorption is expanding and improving its service to the immigrant public. As of 1.12.2002 the Ministry has been operating a 24- hour- a -day Telephone Information Center (until the beginning of Shabbat and immediately following the conclusion of Shabbat).

Call: 03-9733333


For FAQ Click here.









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