Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Things to Know Before Making Aliyah: Some of the Red Tape I've Encountered

I figured I'd post a few things about Aliyah I've learned, since I did massive searches on the topic and this information still managed to elude me.

I decided that I wanted to make Aliyah while I was traveling in Australia, I called the Jewish Agency For Israel and they told me it wasn't a problem, just come to Israel and make it here.

The first problem I ran into was in the airport. I went to check in to my flight to Israel and they told me I couldn't fly because I had a one way ticket into Israel. I explained to them that I was planning on making aliyah but they still made me get a two way ticket and I almost missed my flight.

The next thing: Someone while I was in Israel told me that I'd have no problem working here if I was Jewish. First of all, unless you have citizenship or a working visa you can't work in Israel! Until I get my Tudat Zehut (Israeli ID, the last thing I'm waiting on for citizenship) I'm getting by on babysitting jobs.

Third and the thing that almost cost me the most: The Misrad Hapanim now requires a police report in order to make Aliyah. I was not informed of this before coming here, and when I found out I called my local police department from the states and was told I needed to be there in person to get it, obviously a problem as I was in Israel. Nefesh B'Nefesh (an organization that helps with the aliyah process) worked something out with the Misrad Hapanim (Office of the Interior, who finalizes the Aliyah) so I could submit a paper signed by a lawyer. You need this police report in order to get a work permit as well! If I had wanted to update my visa only to a working visa I would not have been able to do it as Nefesh B'Nefesh only assists with making aliyah!

Also, I planned my Aliyah very poorly, and I'm pretty dependent upon it coming through so I can really start my life here. Nefesh B'Nefesh told me it should take under two months from the date they process my application (November 1st) to process my application. It's been almost two weeks longer. Nefesh B'Nefesh has been helpful in general, but they don't have complete control over when get your Tudat Zehut, the Misrad Hapanim does since they have to go through them, so plan accordingly. I'll update this when I actually get my Tudat Zehut.

Some Resouces
www.janglo.net (for once you're in Israel)