Immigration: The Policy and the New Police
Recently the new government decided that the Immigration Police will be a separate and independent unit. Unlike in the past, they will have a larger budget and more power to implement its policies. The court decision, as described below, strengthens the new policies of immigration in Israel seeking to minimize the number of foreigners working in Israel.
Israelis are allowed to conjugate (when one of the couple is not Jewish) with foreigners, but this does not give automatic rights to the other partner to have permanent residence in Israel. The Law of Return does not automatically apply in this case.
Children of Foreign Parents
One of the critical issues is when one of the foreign workers, or the partner, has a child. The question is if there are any legal prohibitions to expel the foreigner because he has a child in Israel. The government decided in June 2006 to create new criterion to address cases in which the couple has a child. In general, every case is specific, and one should inquire with the Ministry of Interior about their individual case.
- The child is in Israel.
- The child has been living in Israel for at least 6 consecutive years, on the condition that when he entered Israel he was under 14 years old (a short visit outside the country will not be considered as a breach of the criterion).
- Before the child was born, the parents entered Israel legally with a visa.
- The child is learning in an Israeli school, or has finished learning in an Israeli school.
- The child speaks Hebrew and is assimilated into Israeli society and culture.
Criterion to Receive a Permanent Resident Visa for the Family
- Family is considered to be the parents of the child and siblings of the child, on the condition that they all live in the same household in Israel continuously.
- They are all residing in Israel when a final decision concerning their request is given.
- The permission is temporary and will be renewed every year until the child reaches the age of 21. Only then, the child can request a permanent visa.
I wish to clarify some questions about the police right to search residences and work places. If there is any suspicion that an illegal foreigner is in a certain dwelling, the police are entitled, with the agreement of the owner of the property, to make a search of the property. If there is no agreement, the police must obtain a search warrant. In any case, the owner of the property is not allowed to refuse entry to police who show a court order authorizing a search of the property. There is no appeal in this subject.
Regarding business properties, no agreement is needed to search. The police can use reasonable force against the owner of the business to proceed with the search.
Recently there has been an increase in the number of people informing the immigration authorities about illegal foreigners, especially children. The details of those informing the police remain secret by law and will never be released by the immigration police. The denouncement can also be anonymous, but in this case, it may slow down the process or make it impossible to check because of lack of details.
Recent Court Decisions Given on this Subject
Since 2007, the court has been more rigorous towards foreigners. Their legal situation has worsened.
This is a state decision to implement the law concerning immigration. The State of Israel has a special interest not only in stopping the number of foreigners entering Israel, but also lowering the number of those who will be given a permanent visa to Israel.
There are laws and legal possibilities to receive a permanent or temporary visa, but the legal procedures are now longer, more complicated and much more expensive. It is important to emphasize that the possibilities of receiving any easing beyond the letter of the law is almost impossible.
The law and the police are very strict with anyone who employs or aids in any way those that are in Israel without a visa or license.