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Making Aliyah as an American citizen. Possible right now?

 
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amother




OP
 

Post  Tue, Oct 20 2020, 7:18 pm
I'd love to move to Israel.
We were advised to stay American citizen for a few reasons which I cannot go into right now.
Is there a way for us to get into Israel through student visas? Or any other options?
Thank you.
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tichellady




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Oct 20 2020, 7:33 pm
I’m confused by your post. Do you want to make aliyah or just move to Israel? I don’t think you need to give up American citizenship to make Aliyah
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essie14




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Oct 20 2020, 11:32 pm
Israel and America allow you to keep dual citizenship. You can make aliyah and stay a US citizen for the rest of your life, as most people do.
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chanchy123




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Oct 21 2020, 12:09 am
Do you mean that you don’t want to become Israeli citizens so want to make Aliyah in a practical sense by not to officially become Israeli citizens? I don’t think that is possible now, as non-Israelis cannot come in to the country, unless maybe you become students at some institution.
There obviously is no problem maintaining a dual citizenship, unless you are elected to the Knesset.
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Elfrida




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Oct 21 2020, 12:14 am
Situations like this are normally about the army. As a general rule there are ways to stay here and get a Visa as a permanent resident without making aliyah and becoming a citizen. I'm not sure how it works, but I have neighbours who have lived here on a student visa for more than twenty years.

Right now, with Corona, I don't know if that option is available. You can enter the country when making aliyah or as a returning citizen. Student visas and entry permits are arranged through the institution where you will be studying. I don't know if its possible to indefinitely extend them at the moment.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Wed, Oct 21 2020, 12:21 am
Thank you.
It's not about the army. But I need to keep my American citizenship. I'll find out if being a dual citizen can work for us. I appreciate the responses.
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amother




Silver
 

Post  Wed, Oct 21 2020, 12:30 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Thank you.
It's not about the army. But I need to keep my American citizenship. I'll find out if being a dual citizen can work for us. I appreciate the responses.


Why do you think keeping American citizenship wouldn't work for you? Almost all olim keep their original citizenship and just take on Israeli citizenship as well.

As mentioned above, if you get elected to the Knesset, you'll have to renounce your US citizenship. You might also do it so you don't have to file US taxes, but that's really not a good reason. If you renounce your citizenship, you'll need a visa to travel to the US.

If you become an Israeli citizen, your future children, wherever they are born, will be subject to the draft. As you probably know, there are exemptions if that's your philosophy.

ETA, I reread your original post. Did you mean to say that you want to move to Israel without becoming an Israeli citizen? I don't really think that's an option for now, unless you enroll in a school or have some kind of family situation which makes it necessary to be here.

You say that you "were advised" but don't say by whom. An accountant? A rabbi? Friends in Israel? That matters too.
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chanchy123




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Oct 21 2020, 12:34 am
Most people I know who never became Israeli citizens did it because of taxation concerns, not the army. Anyhow, 99.9% of Olim keep their original citizenship and maintain dual citizenship status, that’s the standard.

Last edited by chanchy123 on Wed, Oct 21 2020, 12:35 am; edited 1 time in total
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Elfrida




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Oct 21 2020, 12:35 am
Almost every Oleh that I know has dual citizenship, myself included. Children born in Israel would also be eligible for US citizenship, or wherever else you come from.

I know one woman from Spain, and they do not allow dual nationality (at least not with Israel), so she has permanent resident status. She's the exception, not the rule.
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Elfrida




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Oct 21 2020, 12:48 am
chanchy123 wrote:
Most people I know who never became Israeli citizens did it because of taxation concerns, not the army. Anyhow, 99.9% of Olim keep their original citizenship and maintain dual citizenship status, that’s the standard.


Fair enough. That's also a consideration. But among chareidim the army (sometimes for their children) is at least an equally important factor.
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essie14




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Oct 21 2020, 1:16 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Thank you.
It's not about the army. But I need to keep my American citizenship. I'll find out if being a dual citizen can work for us. I appreciate the responses.

Its actually harder to renounce your American citizenship than to be a dual citizen.
As said above, 99.9 % of olim keep their original citizenship. If it's a tax issue, there are hundeds of accountants who deal with dual US-Israeli citizens and figure everything out for you.
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Teomima




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Oct 21 2020, 1:18 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Thank you.
It's not about the army. But I need to keep my American citizenship. I'll find out if being a dual citizen can work for us. I appreciate the responses.

Of course you can have dual citizenship. I've never heard of anything giving up their American citizenship when making Aliyah. It's no problem. The only difference is you'll have non-residence status in the US, but that doesn't affect anything really. You still have to file (and pay, if applicable) US taxes, you still get to vote in national elections, you still get tax benefits such as the child tax credits, you can still fly freely to and from the States (just keep your US passport up to date, which you can do from here). Any kids born here are automatically US citizens, as long as you meet the criteria for transferring citizenship. Ask the related bureaucracy (getting passports, SSNs, CRBA, etc.) can all be dealt with from Israel. You can still keep your US bank accounts and investments. Nothing really changes.
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chanchy123




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Oct 21 2020, 1:42 am
Elfrida wrote:
Fair enough. That's also a consideration. But among chareidim the army (sometimes for their children) is at least an equally important factor.

It makes sense, not in the real world I’ve only encountered avoiding usually citizenship for tax reasons. It was almost exclusively very wealthy people, and they had to leave the country every X amount of months.
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Raisin




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Oct 21 2020, 3:40 am
There is a visa that allows you to live and work in Israel without actually making aliya. Cant remember what its called. It's available to anyone who would be eligible to make Aliya.
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DrMom




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Oct 21 2020, 3:43 am
Raisin wrote:
There is a visa that allows you to live and work in Israel without actually making aliya. Cant remember what its called. It's available to anyone who would be eligible to make Aliya.

FYI: Many of your "rights" (financial breaks and other goodies) as an oleh are time-dependent starting from when you first started living in Israel, so if the clock starts ticking when you acquire this visa which Raisin is talking about (I am not familiar with it), make sure you are aware of this.
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shabbatiscoming




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Oct 21 2020, 4:12 am
Op, id ask nefesh bnefesh your question. Im sure youd get a straight answer from them. Or at least be told eho to ask if they cant help you directly.
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Jewishmom8




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Oct 21 2020, 4:34 am
I know many people who have done this.
You can do it.
It is complicated with flights and covid but you can definitely live in Israel and have American citizenship only. Its annoying with special visas but you can do it.
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amother




Gold
 

Post  Wed, Oct 21 2020, 5:04 am
I've been living in Israel for more than 15 year and I own my apt. here but we never made aliyah.
We're on my husband's student visa with an additional work visa for me. We get regular Israeli insurance, kitzvat yeladim and all benefits.

The reason we didn't make aliyah is because initially we only came for a few years and by the time we realized that we didn't want to leave, we were here for so long that we lost all the benefits of making aliyah. We can still technically make aliyah but we have no reason to do it now. I work for an Israeli company and get full benefits - bituach leumi, pension, maternity leave etc.
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amother




Gold
 

Post  Wed, Oct 21 2020, 5:06 am
To add to the above, during Covid, you can come if you can get your visa before coming. If you would come on a student visa, speak to the school and they will help you get it.
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