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Institutions of higher learning in Israel may employ visiting researchers holding doctorates.  These researchers are eligible for “B/1 work visas for a researcher/scientist,” which is granted by the Ministry of Interior (PIBA).

The academic institution must submit the application to employ the researcher/scientist together with a recommendation from the president of the institution or from his/her representative.  Prior to review of the application, the institution must receive a permit from the Ministry of Interior’s Permits Department.

If the application is approved, a one-year visa will be issued, which can then be renewed for a maximum period of four years.  A request to renew the visa after the fourth year requires a recommendation from the president of the academic institution and an approval from the Ministry of Interior. Even with the extension, the maximum period one may reside in Israel with a researcher visa is 63 months.

As a general rule, the researcher’s visa allows for the relocation of the entire family.  An accompanying spouse and children will receive tourist visas (B/2) during their stay in Israel.

The Ministry of Interior is the government body responsible for tourist and work visas in Israel (East Jerusalem is Israeli territory under Israeli law).  A prerequisite for submitting an application to work in an international NGO is the receipt of a positive recommendation from the Department of International Relations in the Ministry of Welfare and Social Services.

Once the Ministry of Ministry of Welfare and Social Services makes its positive recommendation, the NGO worker will be allowed to enter Israel and receive a tourist visa.  Soon after the worker’s arrival, the worker will be summoned to the Ministry of Interior, and if there is no grounds for denial, will receive a “B/1 work visa for international NGOs” that may be renewed.

At times, approvals are delayed based on political grounds, including the Ministry of Interior’s desire to curb the activities of international humanitarian organizations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

If a decision has not been granted within a reasonable time, you can submit an appeal (for non-answer) to the Appeals Tribunal.

The Gaza Strip is currently under blockade.  Despite Israel’s disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005, Israel continues to control various aspects of life in Gaza: territorial waters, airspace, land crossings, the Palestinian population registry, etc.  Since 2007, Israel has been operating a seige on Gaza.

As a result of the blockade, entry into and exit from Gaza is largely restricted.  Israel will grant foreign nationals entry if such nationals can prove that they will provide humanitarian assistance to Gazan residents.

If you would like to provide humanitarian aid, you can submit your application for entry into Gaza with the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) and with Israel’s District Coordination Office (DCO) in Gaza.  In the event of a denial or in the event of non-answer, you can file a petition with the High Court of Justice.

An amendment to the Prevention of Infiltration Law allows the Ministry of Interior to order the detention of asylum-seekers in the Holot “open” detention facility.  Although Holot is defined by the state as an “open facility,” it is essentially a prison designed to pressure asylum-seekers to “voluntarily” leave Israel.  According to the current version of the law, the maximum period of incarceration in Holot is 20 months.  Israel’s High Court of Justice recently ruled that the law was constitutional, but that 20 months was disproportionate and that detention must be temporary limited to 12 months and the law be revised.

Despite the High Court’s ruling, the Ministry of Interior recently expanded its criteria for detention.  As a result, thousands of Eritrean and Sudanese nationals have received a summons in recent weeks, even though “Holot” can only house 3,000+ individuals.

The law, in its current version, does not allow for the detention of minors, women, males over 60, parents who are supporting their children in Israel and persons whose health will be adversely affected (including their mental health) by detention in Holot.

Before the Ministry of Interior orders an asylum-seeker to the Holot facility, the Ministry is required to provide the person with a hearing.  During your hearing, you can raise all your claims against the decision to detain you.  You may also be represented by an attorney during the hearing.  If the Ministry of Interior orders that you be sent to Holot, you can submit an appeal to the Appeals Tribunal.

The Ministry of Interior (PIBA) denies family unification applications on different grounds.  For example, reasons include a security denial against the West Bank spouse or his/her family members; a denial based on criminal activity; or a denial for failure to prove “center of life” in Jerusalem.  Since 2003, family unification applications that do not fall under the exceptions listed in the Law of Citizenship and Entry into Israel (Temporary Order) have been denied as well. For example, if your wife is younger than 25, your application will be rejected out of hand and will not even be reviewed.

If your application has been denied, you can submit an appeal to the Ministry of Interior.  If the Ministry upholds the denial or if you did not receive a timely response, you can submit an appeal to the Appeals Tribunal.