Contact us

Do you have a question or are facing a problem? Do you have an idea how we can optimize our service? We would be happy if you would get in touch with us by email.
Contact us

Guide Concerning Compulsory Army Service for Israeli Citizens Born Abroad and Children of Migrants

For the benefit of visitors to the site, we prepared a detailed and clear guide concerning Israeli army service for an Israeli citizen born abroad who established the center of his life in Israel.


What is the IDF Enlistment Law?
 
By law, every minor who is an Israeli citizen living abroad with his parents, is required to arrange his military status when he reaches the age of 17, before he becomes 18 years old and is obligated to serve.
The Defense Service Act and the compulsory army service which requires all Israeli citizens to do army service, applies to every Israeli citizen including those living abroad.
A minor's citizenship is determined by the nationality of his parents and not his place of birth. Therefore, one born abroad to Israeli parents is also considered an Israeli citizen concerning compulsory army service.
However, because they understand that there are Israelis who live abroad permanently, they have adopted the policy that any potential enlistee, boy or girl, who lives abroad permanently has the possibility of acquiring the status of a “child of migrants”, “Israeli citizen born abroad” or a “child of Israeli emissaries” who can defer their duty of enlistment to the Israeli Defense Forces as long as they are defined as permanently residing abroad (the center of their life is abroad) and they fulfill the conditions below until they become fully exempt from army service upon reaching the age of 26.
It is therefore important that when he/she reaches the age of 17, he/she must appear in the nearest consulate to their place of residence to register themselves and arrange their status or defer their army service. If he is in Israel at that time, he should go to the regional recruitment office nearest to the place where he is living.
 
Remember! If you do not arrange your status as a child of migrants / citizen born abroad / child of Israeli emissaries, you will be considered as a draft dodger with all of its ramifications.


Terms and Definitions:

יליד חו״ל  — Foreign-born citizen — A foreign-born Israeli citizen, at least one of whose parents at his birth had Israeli citizenship, and whose permanent residence continuously from his birth was abroad, provided that his parents didn’t live in Israel from the time of his birth until he reached the age of army recruitment (18). 
If his parents are divorced or separated, he will still be considered "foreign-born" even if one of his parents moved to Israel, as long as he continued to permanently live abroad with his custodial parent until he reached military age.
 
בן מהגרים - A son of migrants — an Israeli citizen who had lived in Israel and moved abroad with his parents before he reached the age of 16, on condition that he lived abroad together with his parents until he reached the age of 21. 
If he left Israel and went abroad with his parents before he reached the age of 13, it is sufficient that he lived abroad until the age of 18 to be considered the son of migrants. 
If his parents divorced or separated, he will be considered a “son of migrants” even if one of his parents moved back to Israel or if one of his parents remained in Israel when he moved abroad. He only has to prove that he was in the custody of the parent living abroad until he reached army age. 
In the case that his parents returned and are living permanently in Israel, see above concerning whether he will have the status of an immigrant or son of migrant.

בן שליחים - Son of emissaries — a potential enlistee who lives abroad with his parents or with one of them who is representing a government, public, private or other entity of Israel.

קונסוליה — Consulate — a diplomatic representation abroad with less jurisdiction than an embassy but more jurisdiction than a liaison office. A consul runs a consulate. When a consulate supplies all the services of an embassy including full consular services, it is called a general consulate and is headed by a general consul.

קונסול — Consul — a diplomatic representative of the State of Israel abroad who serves as head of the consular division. He is delegated authority [in army affairs] by the Minister of Defense under Article 36 of the Defense Service Act
.


The duty to register for enlistment / deferring army enlistment:

An Israeli citizen who lives abroad is obligated to arrange his Israeli army status.
When he reaches the age of 17, he must show up in an Israeli consulate to arrange his military status. A minor (under age 18), must come with a parent. If he is already 18, he can come alone.
To arrange your status to defer army enlistment and prove that your permanent place (center of your life) is with your parents abroad, you will have to show the Israeli and foreign passports (both old and new, if such exist) of both your parents and yourself, covering the period since your birth until the time you showed up in the consulate.
You must bring confirmation of your studies from the age of 16 (the number of years that you already studied and the number of years that remain until you graduate). Your parents must also show confirmation of their work, studies or any other confirmation which proves permanent residence abroad (center of life).
If the parents are divorced, the parent who has custody should present a divorce document and proof of custody.

A foreign-born citizen or the son of migrants - who wants to postpone the date of enlisting for military service, should fill out the form "Personal request of a potential enlistee living abroad” (Form 7202) and should sign three copies of thesein addition forms. one copy should be sent to the Overseas Division of the Enlistment Administration, he should keep the second copy and a third will be filed at the consulate. One may get a sample form in our office or download it here.

The child of emissaries - can defer his army service only until the age of 20, or until the conclusion of his parents’ assignment abroad, whichever occurs later. 
 In addition he has to fill out the ''Application to defer army enlistment" (Form 7325 — Israeli citizens living abroad). One may get a sample form in our office or download it here.
 
After the consul checks the forms and finds the potential enlistee’s permanent center of life is abroad and he fulfills the conditions mentioned above, he will be given confirmation that he has the status of a "son of migrants" or a "foreign-born citizen" or “child of emissaries”. This means that his enlistment to the Army will be deferred as long as he maintains his status and lives abroad permanently with his parents.

Important! One who is not recognized as the son of migrants or as a foreign-born citizen is not eligible for deferment of army service and must return to Israel to do his army service.


What are the periods of time one can visit Israel without losing one’s status?


A son of migrants or a citizen born abroad who is liable for enlistment can under the following conditions visit Israel without having his status as living permanently abroad cancelled:
One can visit Israel up to a cumulative period of 120 days per calendar year (from January 1 until December 31 of the same year).
One can also make a one-time consecutive visit which is called “a year’s stay” (shana she’hiya) which lasts from 121 days to one year (calendar year)
Only if he never visited Israel before for 60 consecutive days, no matter what his legal status was. After he has utilized the year’s visit, he won’t be able to visit in Israel for 60 consecutive days, no matter what his legal status will be.

Please note! A potential enlistee who was recognized as a “citizen born abroad” or as a “son of migrants” and deviated from the permitted visit period (as mentioned above), his status as the son of migrants or an Israeli citizen born abroad will be cancelled, and he will be considered as one who came to live permanently in Israel. He will be obligated to enlist and his army deferment will be cancelled. He should therefore be careful not to exceed the time limit he is allowed to stay in Israel.


Studying in a high school in Israel:


A foreign-born citizen or the son of migrants is eligible to study in an Israeli high school without losing his status and without being obligated to serve his compulsory army service. This is only if during his studies in Israel, his parents were living permanently abroad.
 
A son of migrants - can learn only if he emigrated from Israel together with his parents before he turned 13.

High school studies in Israel are possible in two different tracks:
1.  Studying in Israel only for 10th and 11th grade and afterwards he must leave Israel.
2.  Studying in Israel only for 12th grade (after studying 10th and 11th grades abroad).
 
The period of his high school studies in Israel will be counted as the full utilization of his year’s stay in Israel (a one-time visit from 121 days up to a year) as mentioned above.


Academic (and yeshiva) studies in Israel

A son of migrants or a citizen born abroad who left Israel will be allowed to study in the country towards his B.A. for up to four complete years, in all accredited academic institutions (as well as studying in yeshiva), and to convert his “year’s stay” for studying in Israel without being obligated to serve in the army. During those years, he will be able to enter and exit Israeli without limit on condition that he keeps the following conditions:

• He is a son of migrants who left the country with his parents before the age of 10.
• He studied at only one academic institution (or yeshiva).
• He did not utilize the one year stay in Israel (a one-time visit of 121 days within a year) as mentioned above.
• The school year will not start before he turns 17.
• He did not visit Israel no matter what his status for 60 days before his studies commenced, and will not stay at the end of his studies no matter what his status for the following 60 days.
• He has a confirmation that he is a student from the relevant institution that includes the dates he commenced and concluded his studies (as well as a current confirmation of his status at the beginning of each year).

Important! Even if you reached the age to get an exemption from military enlistment (26), upon graduation you are required to leave Israel for two years, during which you will be entitled to visit Israel for a cumulative period of not more than 120 days for each calendar year.
 
Remember: The head of the Recruitment Administration or his deputy is authorized to make an exception for special reasons and approve periods exceeding the above-mentioned periods (for a visit or high school studies) for one obligated in the draft who is recognized as an Israeli citizen born abroad or a son of migrants.


Arranging your studies in Israel

To arrange studying in an institution in Israel without affecting your status:
You can fill out a personal request form explaining in detail the reason for your request and your full information and how to get in touch with you. In addition, you should include confirmation from the place you want to study that includes the date when you are beginning and ending the studies.
 Submit your application documents to the consulate closest to where you live, or send them to “Meitav” (Meitav Service Center) by fax: 03-7388880. One may get a sample form in our office or download it here.
The request form will be examined and they will send a reply after two weeks. Phone for inquiries: 03-7388888 (Meitav Service Center).


Exemptions for Daughters of Migrants or Citizens Born Abroad

The daughter of migrants — is entitled to an exemption from national service when she reaches the age of 20, as long as she maintained her status all this time and didn’t stay in Israel beyond the permitted visit period (described above). 
If she had used the "year’s stay" (described above), she is entitled to an exemption from recruitment when she reaches the age of 22.
 
A daughter born abroad to an Israeli citizen — she is entitled to an exemption on reaching the age of 17, as long as she maintained her status all this time and didn’t visit in Israel beyond the permitted visit period (described above).
 
A daughter of migrants and a daughter born abroad to an Israeli citizen - are also eligible for an exemption from military service on religious grounds.
The law stipulates that a woman has freedom of religion and her religious beliefs are respected.  A woman or girl will be given an exemption from army service if she declares in writing before a judge or rabbinical judge that she can not do army service for religious reasons, and she declares that she keeps kosher and doesn’t travel on Shabbat.
She has to submit this declaration not later than 90 days before the date set for her initial enlistment, together with an identification document. 


Losing one’s status and becoming liable for army service
 
A citizen born abroad - who was recognized as a citizen born abroad but whose status was cancelled because he became a permanent Israeli resident, for instance, he lived in Israel longer than permitted, or his parents returned to Israel, and / or he himself wants to cancel his status, is liable to be drafted to the army similar to a “new immigrant.” (The compulsory army service of an immigrant is shorter than the compulsory army service of an Israeli citizen as we will explain below.)

A son of migrants - who was recognized as a son of migrants but whose status was cancelled because he became a permanent Israeli resident, for instance, he lived in Israel longer than permitted, or his parents returned to Israel, and / or he himself wants to cancel his status, is liable to be drafted to the army similar to a “new immigrant” only if he left Israel with his parents before he became 16 thereby canceling his status or if he cancelled his status after he reached the age of 20. But if his parents left Israel together with him before he reached the age of 13, he has the same status vis-à-vis his army service as a “new immigrant”, even if he cancelled his status or his status was cancelled after he reached the age of 18.
If he cancelled his status or his status was cancelled before he reached the age mentioned above, he is liable for compulsory army service like any other Israeli citizen.


Compulsory recruitment periods for a new immigrant
 
An immigrant’s recruitment age, and the time and type of army service which he has to do is determined by the age of the immigrant when he arrives in Israel, his medical profile, and his marital status at the time of recruitment.
New immigrants will be invited by the recruitment center for their army service after they have lived in the country for one year.
Definitions and Concepts:

A new immigrant — will become a soldier if he arrived in Israel at the age of 16 years and older.
 
Arrival in Israel — this means that the length of his army service is determined by his age on arrival to Israel rather than the date he officially immigrated. For example: if he arrived in Israel at the age of 19 and only sought to immigrate when he was 20, the army will determine the length of his service according to his age when he entered the country instead of the day he immigrated.
 
Regular service —  compulsory military service in the Israeli army for Israeli citizens.
 
Reserve service — is compulsory in Israel for Israeli citizens who have completed their compulsory military service, and were integrated in the reserve forces to reinforce the regular army in an emergency.
 
(Reserves) Database — this means that he is not drafted automatically, but might be called for military service (reserves) according to the needs of the army (for instance, if there is insufficient manpower).
 
Note! that the following (first) table relates to men only. Woman of all ages are exempt from military service.

If he arrived in Israel by May 31, 2015:

Army service if he arrived in Israel by June 1, 2015:
The calculation for a doctor or a dentist :
Male doctor: up to the age of 32 — must do 18 months of regular service.
Dentist: Until age 29 — must do 18 months of regular service.


Contact information :
 
For anything to do with the Defense Ministry and IDF, contact the Israeli consul closest to where you live. You can also direct your inquiries to Meitav to: 03-7388888, Fax: 03-7388880. 
Questions and Answers:
I was born abroad to an Israeli parent. Do I have to do military service
Answer:
You have the status of a foreign-born citizen who has to arrange his army deferment or join the draft. For details, refer to the Guide.
I was born in Israel and moved abroad with my family. Do I have to do military service
Answer:
Your status is that of a son of migrants who can defer his army service. For full details refer to the Guide.
If a son of migrants, or a citizen born abroad came to study in an educational institution in Israel, will his stay in the country affect his status
Answer:
No. For the permitted time limit and conditions of the visit, refer to the Guide.
My status as a son of migrants, or a citizen born abroad was canceled. How long of an army service do I have to do
Answer:
Your status concerning army service is the same as an immigrant. For information about the army draft regulations, consult the Guide.
If I am a son of migrants, or a citizen born abroad, do I have to arrange my status concerning army service when I turn 18
Answer:
Yes. He must go to the consulate nearest to where he lives to arrange your status.
Is the daughter of migrants or a girl who is a citizen born abroad exempt from service on grounds of religion
Answer:
Yes, but she must arrange her status in the consulate nearest to where she live.
Email is must
Invalid email
Last name is must
First name is must
Phone is must