Dual Citizenship In Israel

Dual Citizenship In Israel: An Expats Guide

Embarking on the journey of obtaining dual citizenship in Israel opens doors to a world of opportunities and connections. Need to know about more essentials? Don’t Worry! We’ve got your back!

In this comprehensive guide, we explore the intricacies of navigating the dual citizenship process, providing clarity and insight for expats seeking to broaden their horizons and deepen their ties to the Holy Land.

Let’s dive in!

What Is Dual Citizenship?

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If someone has dual nationality, they are legally recognized in both countries as a citizen. They share the same rights and responsibilities as citizens without dual nationality.

Sometimes, dual citizenship happens automatically. 

For example, in the United States, if a child is born to parents of another country, by default, they will be citizens of both the US and their parent’s home country.

Dual nationality is also often granted through legal processes, such as marriage. 

If someone marries a citizen of another country, they may be entitled to citizenship of their spouse’s country, and vice versa.

Not all countries allow their citizens to hold dual nationality. It is necessary to check whether the country you are currently a citizen of allows it before attempting to apply for a new citizenship.

In countries that do not allow dual citizenship, citizens must surrender their nationality to become citizens of another country.

What Are The Benefits Of Dual Citizenship?

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There are many benefits to being a dual citizen, from quality of living to global mobility.

Security: A second passport from a stable country can be life-saving in any political, economic, or social unrest in one’s home country.

Global Mobility: Passports are restrictive in their visa-free mobility, forcing citizens to obtain visas whenever they need to travel abroad. 

A second passport can offer individuals from these countries increased global mobility.

Business: New business opportunities open up to dual citizens who can now do business in the host country and travel abroad more freely.

Tax Optimization: Dual citizenship may prove advantageous for tax optimization purposes. For example, some countries only tax income earned from that country and do not subject capital gains to taxes. 

This allows investors to manage their wealth more efficiently and effectively.

Quality Of Life: Second, citizenships can offer access to world-class health care, education, and an improved lifestyle.

What Is Citizenship In Israel?

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It is possible to obtain Israeli citizenship by making Aliyah. It is also possible to automatically inherit mandatory Israeli citizenship at birth.

  • One who makes Aliyah or is born in Israel to at least one Israeli parent automatically becomes a first-generation Israeli. Additionally, anyone who was born in Israel before the year 1980 is a first-generation Israeli citizen, unless their citizenship was actively revoked.
  • One who is born outside of Israel to a first-generation Israeli automatically inherits mandatory citizenship as a second-generation Israeli.
  • Those born outside Israel to a second-generation Israeli do not inherit citizenship. This concept is referred to in Hebrew as dor shlishi, lit. third generation.

An Israeli citizen is required to enter and leave Israel on an Israeli passport. 

While many second-generation Israeli citizens across the world are legally registered with Israel and carry Israeli ID numbers and passports, many others are not. 

When non-registered second-generation Israeli citizens come in contact with the Israeli authorities, either at the airport or in Israel’s Ministry of Interior, they are usually flagged for further investigation.

This ultimately instructed them to put their citizenship in order.

Those who are born to a first-generation Israeli parent outside Israel are without question Israeli. 

This applies whether or not the citizenship – or the citizen’s existence! – has been properly registered with the Israeli authorities. It is a mandatory acquisition that applies automatically at birth.

For foreign citizens living in Israel, holding a student visa is vital because it legalises residency and grants holders access to critical benefits, including health insurance, tax discounts, and government-funded Kollel support known as data.

Those who are essentially Israeli but have not been registered with the authorities are legally unable to obtain a student visa. 

When their Israeli roots are discovered by the Ministry of Interior, they are either confirmed immediately to be Israeli and instructed to put their citizenship in order, or they are flagged for future investigation.

This effectively bars them from obtaining a visa at any future point.

In the past, undisclosed Israeli citizens would employ various methods to obtain student visas despite their questionable status – and often got away with it. 

Misrad Hapnim has increased scrutiny over the past several years and is highly attuned to attempts to avoid citizenship. 

They also now demand original birth certificates. If an individual in this state does receive a student visa, he may continue to be legally viewed as a foreigner, but it is questionable how long it can last.

Some harbour an innate fear of “being Israeli.” 

Others are, rightfully, afraid of living under an illegal pretense without knowing when it will be exposed. If your stay in Israel will be long-term, it is critical to properly legalise your Israeli status.

The process of legalisation as an Israeli citizen is simpler when arranged abroad. 

There are fewer legal requirements, personal documents are more readily available; and parents are often able to be physically present, which avoids the extra step of long-distance parental consent.

Does Israel Allow Dual Citizenship?

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According to the Citizenship Law, obtaining Israeli citizenship “does not require forfeiting previous citizenship, except in the matter of naturalisation.” 

Furthermore, nothing in Israeli law mandates that one give up their Israeli citizenship to get another citizenship. 

In other words, Israeli citizens are permitted to own two or more citizenships. For instance, in addition to an American passport, an Israeli person can also possess a Polish passport.

There are several exceptions to this rule. One exception concerns those who go through a naturalisation procedure, outside the context of making Aliyah based on the Law of Return.

In these cases, a condition for obtaining Israeli citizenship is the forfeiting of previous citizenship. 

However, it should be noted that there may be exceptional cases in which it is possible to request an exemption from this condition, by the authority granted to the Minister of the Interior according to the Citizenship Law.

Two other exceptions concern Knesset members and ministers. The Basic Law: 

The Knesset established that those who have been elected to the Knesset and hold additional citizenship, from a country that allows its citizens to forfeit their citizenship, are not allowed to serve as members of the Knesset.

This is unless they forfeit their additional citizenship. 

Regarding government ministers, a similar arrangement is established in the Basic Law: 

The Government, according to which an appointment as minister requires doing everything necessary to remove additional citizenship, insofar as allowed by the laws of the country from which the additional citizenship was granted.

It should be noted that in any case, Israeli law considers Israelis with dual citizenship to be Israeli citizens. 

That is when entering and leaving Israel, you must present an Israeli passport, even if you hold one or more additional passports.

What Is The Legal Situation In Other Countries Regarding Dual Citizenship?

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As previously stated, while dual citizenship is permitted in many nations, each country has a unique legal framework. 

For instance, it is illegal to hold more than one citizenship in Singapore and India. 

Certain nations, like Japan, have laws that permit the revocation of citizenship in situations where their residents have obtained additional citizenship. 

On the other hand, dual citizenship is typically permitted for citizens of the US and Canada. 

Similarly, holding more than one citizenship is now unrestricted by law in the majority of EU nations. This rule does have some exceptions, though, which we shall discuss below.

Do Dual Citizens Pay Taxes In Both Countries?

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Typically, yes, you will be subject to taxation obligations in both countries if you hold dual citizenship.

If the tax rates in the 2 countries are different, you’ll pay the higher rate of tax. The tax year may start on different days in different countries.

You are eligible for potential tax obligations for both countries in which you have citizenship. 

This could be foreign income tax, residency tax if you own property in either country or other situations where tax is payable.

You should always double-check if you are subject to paying income tax in either of the countries that you hold citizenship for or the country you are residing in. 

There may also be tax in the country where the income was earned.

Most countries submit that taxation should be only national, not global.

The two exceptions lie in the United States and China, which both require their citizens living abroad to pay domestic taxes on worldwide income, regardless of whether they are resident aliens or not.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Dual Citizenship?

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So, what are the advantages of dual citizenship? A dual citizen is obliged under the national laws and regulations of both countries with which they have citizenship.

For instance, some disadvantages could include:

❌ Career limitations

❌ Double taxation in line with tax laws

❌ Dual responsibilities and obligations

❌ Complex citizenship process

❌ Limited assistance from your native country.

Conclusion

As we conclude this guide, may you feel empowered with the knowledge and confidence to pursue dual citizenship in Israel.

Stay tuned for more resources and support on your journey toward embracing all that Israel has to offer.

Duality Defined!

But wait! There’s lot more that you might be interested in following:

  • Citizenship In Israel
  • Permanent Residence In Israel
  • Temporary Residence In Israel

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