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.
Life is complicated, and often people wanting to obtain their own legal status or that of a loved one in Israel due to family ties or a domestic relationship cannot do so due to unique circumstances that fall outside the categories recognized by the Population Authority. In such cases one can submit a request to the humanitarian committee regardless of concrete procedures. The humanitarian committee can also be appealed to under certain procedures, for instance when the domestic relationship expires (because of domestic violence or if the Israeli spouse has passed away) before the end of the graduated process, or if ending the process of obtaining legal status would cause harm to minors or to the applicant himself or herself.
Among those have appealed to the committee over the years are foreign spouses who had begun to obtain their legal status under the graduated process which has ended for whatever reason, status-seekers who have come to Israel as foreign workers, asylum seekers whose reason for seeking asylum falls outside the reasons specified in the refugees convention, minors whose family members’ legal status has been settled in Israel by government resolution, and many many more.
In addition to the humanitarian committee, there also exists the “Humanitarian Committee Pursuant to Section 3a1 of the Provisional Directive,” which is authorized to deal with requests from residents of the area (the Territories). Among others, this committee deals with Palestinians from Gaza and with Palestinians under the minimum age for a “regular” DCL permit (25 for women, 35 for men), with requests of spouses whose Israeli spouse has died and who need to care for their children, with special circumstances arising from medical conditions (be they of the invited partner or the Israeli one) and so on. Although the committee is empowered to grant the status of a temporary resident (an a/5 visa) it usually contents itself with granting a DCL permit with all that entails.
Aside from these two committees it is possible in unique cases to submit humanitarian requests directly to the Minister of the Interior under the power vested in him by the provisional directive. Seeing as the minister has a broad mandate for judgment, it is most important that the request be as detailed as possible and accompanied by documents and other relevant evidence.
Our office provides consultation, accompaniment and representation services in requests for obtaining legal status (and appeals against their rejection), requests for upgrade of status (and appeals against their rejection) and judicial procedures following non-response to requests submitted. In addition our office also provides representation in requests for a driver’s permit in Israel due to humanitarian reasons.
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