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How can an American Jew get a student visa?
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Oct 22 2020, 3:41 am
I have a friend in America, Jewish, 30 years old, secular, single with no kids. All of her family made Aliya without her and she just now lost her job. She desperately wants to come to Israel now (not wait 6+ months for Aliya process) but doesn't qualify for the reasons that Israel is currently letting people in (funeral, bar mitzvah, wedding), so we thought maybe we could get her in on a student visa in some kind of learning program (she is very smart).

But the question is what programs are she eligible for that are giving student visas? She's very smart but doesn't speak Hebrew (very willing to learn).

If you have any ideas please let me know!!
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Elfrida




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 22 2020, 3:51 am
Not easy. (Or really recommended to lie.) I don't think she can get a student Visa through a university programme now that the academic year has started. Obviously she wouldn't be eligible for a regular seminary.

Arguably she could try somewhere like Neve, which accept people without any specific link to semesters. To do that, she would have to pay and be accepted by Neve (or wherever else), and then they would apply for her visa. She would have to do two weeks quarantine by them, and the visa would only be valid as long as she remains a student. This would include living on campus, and following the Corona regulations that all foreign students have to follow. She probably wouldn't be allowed to visit family.

Probably not worth it.
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Oct 22 2020, 4:04 am
Absolutely no problem doing 2 week quarantine. She plans to stay here and make aliyah. But not being allowed to visit family after 2 week quarantine would make it not worth it.

When does second semester start? February? That might even be worth trying for, but we'd need a program that would accept her.
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Elfrida




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 22 2020, 4:13 am
The same rules would apply in a university programme. The institution is accepting responsibility for you. If you don't follow the rules, you're out.

She would be a lot better off just having the patience and making aliya properly.

Second semester in the universities begins late February/early March. Most foreign student programmes are for the year. I don't know if she would be accepted second semester, especially this year.a d what would she be planning to study? Will she be happy spending all her spare time with people about ten years younger than her? There are no in person university classes this semester, and it's not yet clear what will be in the spring semester.
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Oct 22 2020, 4:25 am
If there are no in person classes, why wouldn't she be able to learn from Zoom at her parents' house?

Can you get a student visa for the open university? Do they have any programs for students who only speak English?
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Elfrida




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 22 2020, 4:33 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
If there are no in person classes, why wouldn't she be able to learn from Zoom at her parents' house?

Can you get a student visa for the open university? Do they have any programs for students who only speak English?


Because the university has taken responsibility for her maintaining bidud as required, and following all the other regulations. That is a condition of the visa. This cannot be done off campus.

The purpose is to facilitate students who want the experience of studying and living here, not to provide a back door into the country for people who want to skip the regular aliyah procedures.

And no, the open university does not have english language programmes. It is aimed at Israelis. Nor do they have a foreign students programme which would offer a visa.
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DrMom




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 22 2020, 5:33 am
Some universities have special programs in English for students from abroad. Some are 1-year programs as part of an exchange program. Not sure if that is relevant if she is not enrolled in a US institution right now.

IDC Herzliya (a private university, and thus $) is all in English.

The Weizmann Institute's classes are in English by default, but that is grad school only and geared toward the sciences. Not sure what her background is.

She would need to apply to these programs and get accepted, of course.

In any case, many universities are not holding on-campus classes now, so I doubt they are granting many student visas. After all, if you are going to be learning via Zoom, you don't need to be in Israel, so why do you need a visa?
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amother




Chocolate
 

Post Thu, Oct 22 2020, 6:09 am
DrMom wrote:
Some universities have special programs in English for students from abroad. Some are 1-year programs as part of an exchange program. Not sure if that is relevant if she is not enrolled in a US institution right now.

IDC Herzliya (a private university, and thus $) is all in English.

The Weizmann Institute's classes are in English by default, but that is grad school only and geared toward the sciences. Not sure what her background is.

She would need to apply to these programs and get accepted, of course.

In any case, many universities are not holding on-campus classes now, so I doubt they are granting many student visas. After all, if you are going to be learning via Zoom, you don't need to be in Israel, so why do you need a visa?


I am doing remote learning this year via a local university, and its extremely useful to be able to get the books I need from the university library. Not all books are available online. And they usually only allow enrolled students to borrow from university libraries.

I think this is very short sighted of the Israeli government. Aliya levels will drop since so many people start off by studying or short term visits and then make aliya. My own daughter was studying at an Israeli college last year. She was not allowed to return to complete the year after Pesach and the college still can't get permission for her to enter. (they are pretty small and specialised and have no dorm) I can easily see my daughter remaining in Israel for the rest of her life, but that probably won't happen now.

Baffled why people are allowed to enter for Bar Mitzvas (!!!!!) but students who have invested time and money in starting a life in Israel are not.

My own country is doing no worse then Israel in covid numbers and ANYONE is allowed to enter for any reason, as long as they quarantine. Israelis came her for sukkos, and then returned, but my daughter still can't go.

Priorities.
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Elfrida




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 22 2020, 6:16 am
Quote:
Baffled why people are allowed to enter for Bar Mitzvas (!!!!!) but students who have invested time and money in starting a life in Israel are not. 


To clarify, people are not allowed in to celebrate their Bar Mitzvah. A grandparent is allowed to enter in order to be present at his grandson's Bar Mitzvah. You really can't understand why that is so important?

Students who left at Pesach were aware that they might not be able to return that year. The student visa was only authorized much later. If her college was willing to rent an apartment for bidud under supervised conditions and another few apartments as necessary for student accommodation, they would probably be able to get a visa for their students.

If your daughter wants to make aliyah, no one is stopping her. She is welcome to come and spend the rest of her life here. The same applies to the OP's friend. She is welcome to make aliyah and come here, corona or not. The issue here us that she is trying to use the student visa as a means to get into the country, without much interest in actually studying.


Last edited by Elfrida on Thu, Oct 22 2020, 6:33 am; edited 2 times in total
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amother




Seashell
 

Post Thu, Oct 22 2020, 6:30 am
I would contact neve. They have a few programs for older students, although I'm not sure what tbe story is now
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amother




Chocolate
 

Post Thu, Oct 22 2020, 6:43 am
Elfrida wrote:
Quote:
Baffled why people are allowed to enter for Bar Mitzvas (!!!!!) but students who have invested time and money in starting a life in Israel are not. 


To clarify, people are not allowed in to celebrate their Bar Mitzvah. A grandparent is allowed to enter in order to be present at his grandson's Bar Mitzvah. You really can't understand why that is so important?

Students who left at Pesach were aware that they might not be able to return that year. The student visa was only authorized much later. If her college was willing to rent an apartment for bidud under supervised conditions and another few apartments as necessary for student accommodation, they would probably be able to get a visa for their students.

If your daughter wants to make aliyah, no one is stopping her. She is welcome to come and spend the rest of her life here. The same applies to the OP's friend. She is welcome to make aliyah and come here, corona or not. The issue here us that she is trying to use the student visa as a means to get into the country, without much interest in actually studying.


Of course Bar Mitzvas are important. Although presumably most people with Bar Mitzva aged grandchildren are already at an at risk age are not stupid enough to risk their life to get on a plane and go to a covid rife country right now.

Israelis going on holidays and being allowed to return, not so important.

Aliyah takes months, it would be too late for my daughter. Her school is too small to have those resources. My daughter has her own apartment, so that was not the issue.

But maybe she shouldn't go and live in a country who cares so little about (Jewish!) young adults and their parents who have spent thousands of dollars on trying to study and live in Israel and learn Hebrew and perhaps aquire a love for the land in the process, and now it is just all going down the drain.

We are obviously not important.

I used to feel Israel was a safe haven for Jews. Not anymore. We happen to live in a tiny Jewish community so my daughter really needs to move somewhere else to carry on with her studies and the next phase of life. Israel is making it very very hard to do that at the moment, so she will likely go somewhere else, even though she wants to go to Israel.

How many people do you actually know who decided to make aliya without actuall spending a substantial amount of time there?

If you, a regular Israeli citizen, think this policy is normal and makes sense, then I am baffled.
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Success10




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 22 2020, 6:46 am
amother [ Chocolate ] wrote:
Of course Bar Mitzvas are important. Although presumably most people with Bar Mitzva aged grandchildren are already at an at risk age are not stupid enough to risk their life to get on a plane and go to a covid rife country right now.

Israelis going on holidays and being allowed to return, not so important.

Aliyah takes months, it would be too late for my daughter. Her school is too small to have those resources. My daughter has her own apartment, so that was not the issue.

But maybe she shouldn't go and live in a country who cares so little about (Jewish!) young adults and their parents who have spent thousands of dollars on trying to study and live in Israel and learn Hebrew and perhaps aquire a love for the land in the process, and now it is just all going down the drain.

We are obviously not important.

I used to feel Israel was a safe haven for Jews. Not anymore. We happen to live in a tiny Jewish community so my daughter really needs to move somewhere else to carry on with her studies and the next phase of life. Israel is making it very very hard to do that at the moment, so she will likely go somewhere else, even though she wants to go to Israel.

How many people do you actually know who decided to make aliya without actuall spending a substantial amount of time there?

If you, a regular Israeli citizen, think this policy is normal and makes sense, then I am baffled.


I"m sorry for what you're going through, but you don't seem to understand that there is a worldwide pandemic right now. Your complaints might be valid if the situation were normal, but it's not.
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Rappel




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 22 2020, 6:59 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
If there are no in person classes, why wouldn't she be able to learn from Zoom at her parents' house?

Can you get a student visa for the open university? Do they have any programs for students who only speak English?


I like how you think!! It's definitely worth looking into!

I don't know if the universities care where you isolate. When my FIL came in after the birth, he just needed a private room and a private bathroom in our home to qualify to stay here. And after quarantine, I believe you can visit almost anywhere right now, pending another lockdown.

But if February is her goal, she may want to try and start her aliyah now. The hardest elements of the process right now are the background check and the apostilles, I believe, since they have to be mailed in Corona times. If she gets that done first, she should be able to submit a complete application in a month to six weeks, then get her interview, and then pick her aliyah date. 4 months is a reasonable amount of time to make it.
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Elfrida




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 22 2020, 6:59 am
amother [ Chocolate ] wrote:
Of course Bar Mitzvas are important. Although presumably most people with Bar Mitzva aged grandchildren are already at an at risk age are not stupid enough to risk their life to get on a plane and go to a covid rife country right now.


That's an area where everyone has their own priorities. Personally, my father has not seen any of his grandchildren (or children) in over year, and is waiting anxiously for the next Bat Mitzvah in a few months so that he will be able to come here again.

Quote:
Aliyah takes months, it would be too late for my daughter. Her school is too small to have those resources. My daughter has her own apartment, so that was not the issue.


I know of one Ba'al teshuva seminary that is currently very small. They have rented one apartment for bidud, and one to act as a dorm. It's a matter of commitment to their students rather than size that is the issue.

Quote:
But maybe she shouldn't go and live in a country who cares so little about (Jewish!) young adults and their parents who have spent thousands of dollars on trying to study and live in Israel and learn Hebrew and perhaps aquire a love for the land in the process, and now it is just all going down the drain.

We are obviously not important.


Like every other country, Israel has taken measures which protect the health and health resources of it's own citizens. People who are committed to living here take priority over people who may come in the future.

Quote:
I used to feel Israel was a safe haven for Jews. Not anymore. We happen to live in a tiny Jewish community so my daughter really needs to move somewhere else to carry on with her studies and the next phase of life. Israel is making it very very hard to do that at the moment, so she will likely go somewhere else, even though she wants to go to Israel.

How many people do you actually know who decided to make aliya without actuall spending a substantial amount of time there?future.


A lot. More than I cam actually quantify on the spur of the moment.
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Elfrida




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 22 2020, 7:04 am
Rappel wrote:


I don't know if the universities care where you isolate. When my FIL came in after the birth, he just needed a private room and a private bathroom in our home to qualify to stay here.


They do. The rules for a student visa are very strict. They can only do bidud in an apartment that that has been approved by pikud ha'oref, who regularly come to check. I know a lot of people who've been working with this, making arrangements for various seminaries.

They probably trust the odd grandparent to follow the rules more than they do a group of students!
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amother




Dodgerblue
 

Post Thu, Oct 22 2020, 7:06 am
amother [ Chocolate ] wrote:
Of course Bar Mitzvas are important. Although presumably most people with Bar Mitzva aged grandchildren are already at an at risk age are not stupid enough to risk their life to get on a plane and go to a covid rife country right now.

Israelis going on holidays and being allowed to return, not so important.

Aliyah takes months, it would be too late for my daughter. Her school is too small to have those resources. My daughter has her own apartment, so that was not the issue.

But maybe she shouldn't go and live in a country who cares so little about (Jewish!) young adults and their parents who have spent thousands of dollars on trying to study and live in Israel and learn Hebrew and perhaps aquire a love for the land in the process, and now it is just all going down the drain.

We are obviously not important.

I used to feel Israel was a safe haven for Jews. Not anymore. We happen to live in a tiny Jewish community so my daughter really needs to move somewhere else to carry on with her studies and the next phase of life. Israel is making it very very hard to do that at the moment, so she will likely go somewhere else, even though she wants to go to Israel.

How many people do you actually know who decided to make aliya without actuall spending a substantial amount of time there?

If you, a regular Israeli citizen, think this policy is normal and makes sense, then I am baffled.


The problem here isn't the Israeli government. It's that your daughter's school wouldn't make arrangements for her. I'm sorry to hear about that, and hope she'll get back soon.
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amother




Crimson
 

Post Thu, Oct 22 2020, 7:33 am
there is a lockdown now. If she is willing to take that on with all it may entail then there must be a way. If not, not. Would definitely contact Neve. Nefesh b nefesh might have more details and options and info.
hatzlocha
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DrMom




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 22 2020, 7:38 am
amother [ Chocolate ] wrote:
Israelis going on holidays and being allowed to return, not so important.

Aliyah takes months, it would be too late for my daughter. Her school is too small to have those resources. My daughter has her own apartment, so that was not the issue.

But maybe she shouldn't go and live in a country who cares so little about (Jewish!) young adults and their parents who have spent thousands of dollars on trying to study and live in Israel and learn Hebrew and perhaps aquire a love for the land in the process, and now it is just all going down the drain.

We are obviously not important.

I used to feel Israel was a safe haven for Jews. Not anymore. We happen to live in a tiny Jewish community so my daughter really needs to move somewhere else to carry on with her studies and the next phase of life. Israel is making it very very hard to do that at the moment, so she will likely go somewhere else, even though she wants to go to Israel.

How many people do you actually know who decided to make aliya without actuall spending a substantial amount of time there?

If you, a regular Israeli citizen, think this policy is normal and makes sense, then I am baffled.

First of all, a country should prioritize its own citizens, so why shouldn't Israelis who are traveling abroad not be be allowed to return home? They have jobs, kids, etc. Why is that not important?

Secondly, many things are being put on hold these days -- not just your daughter's program. If she has invested time to prepare to live in Israel and has learned Hebrew, that is not useless knowledge! Maybe she can make aliyah at a later date.

In the grand scheme of things, waiting a few months is not the end of the world.
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Oct 22 2020, 7:43 am
I don't see how a poster can say "there is a pandemic that Trumps everything, and all your relatives can wait 6+ months to see you" and then in the next sentence say "but my father gets to see his grandchildren for their bar/bat mitzvahs, tee hee"

Very selfish.
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amother




Coral
 

Post Thu, Oct 22 2020, 7:48 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I don't see how a poster can say "there is a pandemic that Trumps everything, and all your relatives can wait 6+ months to see you" and then in the next sentence say "but my father gets to see his grandchildren for their bar/bat mitzvahs, tee hee"

Very selfish.


I hear you.

I think they're saying that the pandemic requires following the rules. And the rules don't always make sense. For example, I have a teen who is supposed to attend a therapeutic school in Israel. But she will only go if a parent flies with her. She can get in, as a student. But the country won't let a parent in to escort her. There are a lot of basic needs that aren't getting met. The country picked some because they didn't feel they could allow them all.
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