- By Adv. Dotan Cohen
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Foreigners who are interested in studying in Israel may be eligible for an A/2 student visa. Studying in Israel on a visitor visa is not permitted, and a student must take the appropriate steps to obtain a student visa according to the regulations set out by the Israeli Ministry of Interior (“MOI”).
For the student visa to be granted, the institution and program must be recognized by the MOI. The A/2 student visa may be available for those at various levels of study, that is, for high school, university, or graduate or post-graduate programs. Upon deciding to participate in such a program in Israel, the foreign student is responsible for obtaining an A/2 visa for his expected stay. In most cases, the visa application should be submitted prior to the student’s arrival, yet a student who holds a valid B/2 visitor visa can refer to the local Ministry of Interior department and request to change the status of his visa.
A representative of the institution, or alternatively, the visa applicant (if he is in Israel), should submit an A/2 Student Visa application along with the following documents: 1. A completed and signed Visa Application form 2. A copy of the student’s passport valid for at least six months past the expected stay 3. An original Birth Certificate. While a copy of the Birth Certificate may suffice, it is recommended to have the original certificate. 4. A current passport picture 5. Minors are required to present signed permission from both parents. It should be noted that parents who live outside the country should sign their permission in front of the Israeli consulate. Parents who live in Israel should sign the permission at the local Ministry of Interior department. 6. An invitation letter from the institute. The letter must be signed by an institute representative. 7. The visa applicant is required to present proof of income to support his stay in Israel, inclusive of grants, loans and scholarships.
Foreign students who hold an A/2 Student Visa are not allowed to work with this visa. An A/2 visa permits the student to study only, which explains the Ministry of Interior’s requirement for a proof of income.
However, foreign students who are also “Zakaey Shvut” – persons eligible under the Law of Return, are allowed to work during their stay on a part time job which enables them to continue studying. Students who would like to work and are eligible must present documents as proof of their eligibility under the Law of Return. Once again, it should be noted that such students are allowed to work part time only.
The above is general information only, it should be noted every case is considered individually. If you have additional questions regarding the process, please contact us for further information
All said and explained in this article does not constitute a legal opinion and does not replace legal advice. Responsibility for using the wordings and opinions conveyed in this article relies solely and entirely on the reader.
This article was written by Dotan Cohen Law Offices, working in the field of immigration law in the United States, Canada, Australia and England.