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My wife was born in the US, and has lived her whole life here except for two years studying in seminary in Jerusalem.

According to something I just read (on the Nefesh b'Nefesh website), any child born to an Israeli parent is considered an Israeli citizen, even if the child has never set foot in Eretz Yisrael.

(So long as the parent didn't renounce his/her Israeli citizenship.)

My father-in-law (alav ha-shalom) was Israeli. That makes my wife Israeli. When I told me wife, she was very surprised.
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My wife was born in the US, and has lived her whole life here except for two years studying in seminary in Jerusalem.

According to something I just read (on the Nefesh b'Nefesh website), any child born to an Israeli parent is considered an Israeli citizen, even if the child has never set foot in Eretz Yisrael.

(So long as the parent didn't renounce his/her Israeli citizenship.)

My father-in-law (alav ha-shalom) was Israeli. That makes my wife Israeli. When I told me wife, she was very surprised.


I think that's nonsense. My grandchildren who have an Israeli-born father are not Israeli citizens. They visited Israel earlier this year using US passports. If you are an Israeli citizen you are required to enter Israel with an Israeli passport.

Israeli parents can register their foreign born children as Israeli citizens, if they choose to do so. That's true in many countries. And in Israel particularly it's nothing extraordinary because all Jews have a right to Israeli citizenship anyway.

Of course, if a non-Jewish Israeli citizen wants to register his foreign born children as citizens I bet the interior ministry will refuse.

Elan
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It's not nonsense. We're planning Aliyah, and she must get an Israeli passport before we go.

Technically, she should have used one on her previous trips, but neither she nor the Israeli govt knew she was Israeli.

Would you like me to cite my source?
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From the Nefesh B'Nefesh website:
If one or both of your parents held Israeli citizenship at the time of your birth, you are considered by the State of Israel to be an Israeli citizen and therefore must obtain an Israeli passport.
Source: http://www.nbn.org.il/aliyahpedia/getting-started/aliyah-pro...

From the Misrad HaHutz (Ministry of Foreign Affairs):
Acquisition of Nationality by Birth is granted to… Persons born outside Israel, if their father or mother holds Israeli citizenship… (boldface in the original)
Source: http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFAArchive/2000_2009/2001/8/Acquis...
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Mazal Tov Steven, when are you planning to go?
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It's not quite nonsense. Since my father is Israeli (actually strictly speaking "Palestinian", having been born there before 1948), I required both a passport and an army exemption when I went to volunteer work on a kibbutz in 1982 during the first Lebanon war.

I got both things at the nearest Israeli consulate.
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We're planning Aliyah

Mazal Tov and good luck!

Keep in mind that it is possible that your aliyah benefits may be [slightly] different due to your wife's status. However, it may only be a matter of additional paperwork. Make sure you have all her old passports that indicate how much time she may have spent in Israel on any trips previous to aliyah.
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From the Misrad HaHutz (Ministry of Foreign Affairs):
Acquisition of Nationality by Birth is granted to… Persons born outside Israel, if their father or mother holds Israeli citizenship… (boldface in the original)
Source: http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFAArchive/2000_2009/2001/8/Acquis......


A careful reading of this indicates to me that your wife is not now an Israeli citizen, but must become one when she settles in Israel.

It says -
"Acquisition of Israeli Nationality

Israel's Nationality Law relates to anyone wishing to settle in Israel, as well as those already residing or born there..."

In other words, once she declares her wish to settle in Israel she is considered an Israeli citizen, because her father was a citizen.

Conversely, if someone has an Israeli parent but does not wish to settle in Israel, he is not an Israeli citizen.

Elan
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In other words, once she declares her wish to settle in Israel she is considered an Israeli citizen, because her father was a citizen.

That's consistent with what Nefesh B'Nefesh told us — that she'd have to get an Israeli passport to make Aliyah.

(Should Aliyah be capitalized?)
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Should Aliyah be capitalized?

I don't think so. It's just a word you can find in the dictionary. But I'm really not sure.

Elan
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Mazal Tov Steven, when are you planning to go?

We hope to go next Summer.
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it is possible that your aliyah benefits may be [slightly] different due to your wife's status.

We were concerned about that. But according to NBN, since she's never lived there, her benefits will be the same as any other oleo.
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