Legal Updates

The process of obtaining Israeli status on the basis of marriage will not automatically be cancelled as a result of separation due to violence

September 13, 2018

A foreign citizen married an Israeli and a few months after their daughter (who received Israeli citizenship at birth) was born, the couple decided to separate because of violence of the Israeli spouse. The Ministry of Interior refused to allow the mother to continue the process of obtaining Israeli citizenship.


The Supreme Court held that the dissolution of the family unit - whether due to divorce or due to the death of the Israeli spouse - would usually lead to the end of the gradual process of granting Israeli citizenship to a foreign spouse and would lead to the deportation of the foreign spouse from Israel. However, in order to prevent the concealment of cases of violence and abuse by a violent partner of the status of the other spouse, in a situation in which the termination of the relationship occurred due to proven and clear violence, the genuineness of the relationship have been proven and the spouses have a common child who is in a relationship with the violent spouse, there is a special committee in the  Ministry of Interior that will decide after considering the child's best interest and the relationship between the applicant and the child and its connection to Israel, whether the foreign spouse should be allowed to receive status in Israel despite the completion of the graduated process. In the Committee, consideration of the best interests of the child is together with the considerations of the connection to Israel and to the violence, may lead the committee to regulate the status of the foreign parent. Here the committee did not consider the considerations of violence, and therefore it was held that its decision was not lawful and that it is required to re-examine the matter.