How to obtain legal status for a foreign partner without documents?
The following has last been updated in the summer of 2016. Due to periodical changes in Interior Ministry policy, and in light of the unique characteristics of each family, the information offered here should not be taken as legal advice, but only as general data.
According to Population Authority, when the invited partner has no identifying documents the request must be denied out of hand until the documents are produced. However, at times the invited party will be unable to produce the required threshold documents and is unlikely to be able to do so in the foreseeable future. In such cases it is the duty of the Authority, like that of any public authority, to exercise its judgment on a case-by-case basis. However practical experience shows us that usually the Population Authority neglects this duty and rejects the request just because the documents have not been provided. The rejection of the request is not the end of the line. It often happens that following a judicial appeal the request is accepted even without documents, or a unique framework is worked out in accordance with the situation, allowing departure to a third country in order to obtain or authenticate the documents.
Absence of documents from Eritrea or Sudan: In this exception, the Population Authority guidelines state that when the foreign partner comes from Eritrea or (Northern) Sudan, and is therefore unable to obtain the identifying documents, the request is not to be rejected, but rather a test of veracity of relationship should be carried out following which the invited partner is to be given a section 2(a)(5) visa pursuant to the Entry to Israel Law, which is to be renewed every six months. When the invited partner is able to produce a passport or other identifying document, he or she will be granted a tourist visa with permission to work (a b/1 visa) which will be extended until the rest of the threshold documents are produced in accordance with the procedure.
At this time asylum seekers who wish to obtain legal status due to being spouses of Israelis, and are unable to obtain documents from their homelands, must turn to judicial appeals in order to obtain a specific ruling on their individual case – temporary permit, b/1 permit, letter of passage for travel to a third country to obtain or authenticate documents, and so on.
For more information on family reunification and obtaining legal status in Israel due to a spousal relationship
For more information on family reunification with a Palestinian spouse
For more information on humanitarian requests