Last Updated: Friday, 21 November 2014, 13:47 GMT

Nationality Law, 5712-1952

Publisher National Legislative Bodies / National Authorities
Publication Date 14 July 1953
Reference ISR-115
Cite as Nationality Law, 5712-1952 [],  14 July 1953, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b4ec20.html [accessed 22 November 2014]
Comments This is an unofficial consolidation. Last amendment included here is the Nationality (Amendment No. 4) Law, 5740-1980. This amendment was passed by the Knesset on the 16 A 5740 (29 July 1980) and published in Safer Ha-Chukkim No. 984 of 6 Elul, 5740 (18 August 1980), p. 222. This amendment entered into force on 18 November 1980, except Section 15(b) which came into force on 18 September 1982. In this text, oleh and aliya mean an immigrant, and immigration, under the Law of Return, 5710-1950. This Law was amended in 1988 and 1996 but the official translation of these amendments is not currently available.
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

PART I - ACQUISITION OF NATIONALITY

1. Preliminary

Israel nationality is acquired: By return (section 2); by residence in Israel (section 3); by birth (section 4); by birth and residence in Israel (section 4A); by naturalization (sections 5 to 8) or by grant (section 9). There shall be no Israel nationality save under this Law.

2. Nationality by return

(a)Every "oleh" under the Law of Return, 5710-1950, shall become an Israel national by return unless Israel nationality has been conferred on him by birth under section 4.

(b)Israel nationality by return is acquired:

(1)by a person who came as an "oleh" into, or was born in, the country before the establishment of the State, with effect from the day of the establishment of the State;

(2)by a person having come to Israel as an "oleh" after the establishment of the State, with effect from the day of his "aliyah";

(3)by a person born in Israel after the establishment of the State with effect from the day of his birth;

(4)by a person who has received an "oleh" certificate under section 3 of the Law of Return, 5710-1950, with effect from the day of the issue of the certificate.

(c)This section does not apply:

(1)to a person having ceased to be an inhabitant of Israel before the coming into force of this Law;

(2)to a person of full age who immediately before the day of his aliyah or immediately before the day of the issue of his oleh's certificate was a foreign national and who, on or before that day or within three months thereafter and while still a foreign national declares that he does not wish to become an Israel national; a person as aforesaid may, by written notice to the Minister of the Interior, waive his right to make a declaration under this paragraph;

(3)to a minor of foreign nationality born outside Israel whose parents have made a declaration under paragraph (2) and included him therein; for this purpose, a declaration by one parent shall be sufficient if the written consent of the other parent has been attached thereto or if the declarant is entitled to have sole possession of the minor;

(4)to a minor of foreign nationality born outside Israel who comes to Israel as an oleh without his parents and whose parents, immediately before his aliya or on or within three months from the day of his aliya or the day of his receipt of an oleh's certificate, declare in writing that they do not wish him to become an Israel national, provided that on the day of the declaration the parents are not Israel nationals; for the purposes of this paragraph, a declaration by one parent is sufficient if he or she has sole possession of the minor;

(5)to a person born in Israel neither of whose parents was registered in the Population Register at the time of his birth;

(6)to a person born in Israel after the establishment of the State to a diplomatic or consular representative of a foreign state, other than an honorary representative;

(d)An Israel resident on whom Israel nationality has not been conferred by reason of a declaration under subsection (c)(3) may, in the period between the eighteenth birthday and his twenty-second birthday or within one year from the termination of his regular service under Chapter Three of the Defence Service Law (Consolidated Version), 5719-1959, whichever period ends last, notify the Minister of the Interior that he cancels the declaration made by his parents in relation to him, and he shall be an Israel national by return from the date of the notification.

(e)Where a person has expressed his desire to settle in Israel, being a person who has received, or is entitled to receive, an oleh's visa under the Law of Return, 5710-1950, the Minister of the Interior may at his discretion, grant him, upon his application, nationality by virtue of return even before his aliya.

(f)The Minister of the Interior may accept a declaration under paragraph (2) or (4) of subsection (c) made within a period of three months after the expiration of the three months referred to in those paragraphs if it appears to him that the delay in making the declaration was due to causes over which the declarant had no control.

(g)The Minister of the Interior shall notify a resident of Israel on whom Israel nationality was not conferred by reason of a declaration under subsection (c) (3) or (4) of his right to cancel the declaration under subsection (d), but non-receipt of the notification shall not derogate from the provision of subsection (d). The time and manner of making the notification shall be prescribed by regulations.

3. Nationality by residence in Israel

(a)A person who, immediately before the establishment of the State, was a Palestinian citizen and who does not become an Israel national under section 2, shall become an Israel national with effect from the day of the establishment of the State if:

(1)he was registered on the 4th Adar, 5712 (1st March 1952) as an inhabitant under the Registration of Inhabitants Ordinance, 5709-1949; and

(2)he is an inhabitant of Israel on the day of the coming into force of this Law; and

(3)he was in Israel, or in an area which became Israel territory after the establishment of the State, from the day of the establishment of the State to the day of the coming into force of this Law, or entered Israel legally during that period.

(b)A person born after the establishment of the State who is an inhabitant of Israel on the day of the coming into force of this Law, and whose father or mother becomes an Israel national under subsection (a), shall become an Israel national with effect from the day of his birth.

3A. Extension of nationality by residence to additional categories of persons

(a)A person born before the establishment of the State shall be an Israel national by residence in Israel from the date of the coming into foree of the Nationality (Amendment No. 4) Law, 5740-1980 (hereinafter referred to as "the date of the 5740 amendment") if he meets the following requirements:

(1)He is not a resident of Israel by virtue of any other provision of this Law;

(2)he was a Palestinian citizen immediately before the establishment of the State;

(3)on the 21st Tammuz, 5712 (14th July, 1952), he was a resident. of Israel and was registered in the Register of Inhabitants under the Registration of Inhabitants Ordinance, 5709-1949;

(4)on the date of the 5740 amendment, he was a resident of Israel and was registered in the Population Register;

(5)he is not a national of one of the states mentioned in section 2A of the Prevention of Infiltration (Offences and Jurisdiction) Law, 5714 1954.

(b)A person born after the establishment of the: State shall be an Israel national by residence in Israel from the date of the 5740 amendment if he meets the following requirements:

(1)He is not an Israel national by virtue of any other provision of this Law;

(2)on the date of the 5740 amendment, he was a resident of Israel and was registered in the Population Register;

(3)he is a descendant of a person who meets the requirements of paragraph (1) to (3) of subsection (a).

4. Nationality by birth

(a)The following shall, from the date of their birth, be Israel nationals by birth:

(1)a person born in Israel while his father or mother was an Israel national;

(2)a person born outside Israel while his. father or mother was an Israel national

(a)by return;

(b)by residence in Israel;

(c)by naturalisation;

(d)under paragraph (1).

(b)For the purposes of this section, where a person is born after the death of one of his parents, it shall sufficient if that parent was an Israel national it the time of his or her death

4A. Nationality by birth and residence in Israel

(a)A person who was born after the establishment of the State in a place which was Israel territory on the day of his birth, and who has never had any nationality, shall become an Israel national if he applies for it in the period between his eighteenth birthday and his twenty-first birthday and if he has been an Israel resident for five consecutive years immediately preceding the day of the filling of his application.

(b)Where a person who has filed an application under subsection (a) meets the conditions set out in that subsection, the Minister of the Interior or a person empowered by him in that behalf shall grant the application: Provided that he may refrain from granting the application if the applicant has been convicted of an offence against the security of the State or has been sentenced to imprisonment for five years or more for another offence.

(c)Nationality under this section is acquired from the day of the grant of the application.

5. Naturalisation

(a)A person of full age, not being an Israel national, may obtain Israel nationality by naturalization if:

(1)he is in Israel, and

(2)he has been in Israel for three years out of the five years immediately preceding the day of the submission of his application; and

(3)he is entitled to reside in Israel permanently; and

(4)he has settled, or intends to settle, in Israel; and

(5)he has some knowledge of the Hebrew language; and

(6)he has renounced his nationality or has proved that he will cease to be a foreign national upon becoming an Israel national.

(b)Where a person has applied for naturalization, and he meets the requirements of subsection (a), the Minister of the Interior, if he thinks fit to do so, shall grant him Israel nationality by the issue of a certificate of naturalization.

(c)Prior to the grant of nationality, the applicant shall make the following declaration: "I declare that I will be loyal national of the State of Israel".

(d)Nationality is acquired on the day of the declaration.

6. Exemption from conditions of naturalisation

(a)(1) A person who has served in the regular service of the Defence Army of Israel or who, after the 16th Kislev, 5708 (29th November, 1947) has served in some other service which the Minister of Defence, by declaration published in Reshumot, has declared to be military service for the purposes of this section, and who has been properly discharged from such service; and

(2)A person who has lost a son or daughter in such service, are exempt from the requirements of section 5 (a), except the requirement of section 5 (a) (4).

(b)A person applying for naturalization after having made a declaration under section 2 (c) (2) is exempt from the requirement of section 5 (a) (2).

(c)A person who immediately after the establishment of the State was a Palestinian citizen is exempt from the requirement of section 5 (a) (5).

(d)The Minister of the Interior may exempt an applicant from all or any of the requirements of sections 5 (a) (1), (2), (5) and (6) if there exists in his opinion a special reason justifying such exemption.

(e)The Minister of the Interior may, at his discretion, grant Israel nationality by naturalisation to a resident of full age of a zone occupied by the Defence Army of Israel who has applied for naturalisation, even though he may not meet the requirements of section 5(a), if the Minister is satisfied that the applicant identifies with the State of Israel and its objectives and he or a member of his family has performed a significant act to further the security or economy or some other important interest of the State or that the grant of nationality as aforesaid is of especial interest to the State.

7. Naturalisation of husband and wife

The spouse of a person who is an Israel national or who has applied for Israel nationality and meets or is exempt from the requirements of section 5 (a) may obtain Israel nationality by naturalization even if she or he does not meet the requirements of section 5 (a).

8. Naturalization of minors

(a)The naturalization of a person confers nationality also on his minor child who is an Israel resident or a resident of a zone occupied by the Defence Army of Israel, and of whom he is entitled to have possession, on the day of the naturalization.

(b)Where the minor is a foreign national and both his parents are entitled to have possession of him but only one of them has become naturalized, nationality shall not be conferred upon the minor under subsection (a) if one of the parents declares that he does not wish him to become an Israel national.

9. Grant of nationality

(a)The Minister of the Interior may grant Israel nationality by the issue of a certificate and with effect from the date prescribed in the certificate

(1)to a minor who is a resident of Israel upon the application of this parents;

(2)to a minor child of an Israel national under section 4 (a) (2) - upon the application of his parents;

(3)to any such child of an Israel national under section 4 (a) (2) as had his Israel nationality terminated under section 10 while a minor - on application made by him to the Minister between his eighteenth and his twenty-second birthday.

(b)For the purposes of paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a), application by one parent shall be sufficient if that parent has sole possession of the minor.

PART II - LOSS OF NATIONALITY

10. Renunciation of nationality

(a)An Israel national of full age, not being a resident of Israel, may declare in writing that he renounces his nationality.

(b)An Israel national of full age who notifies that he wishes to cease being a resident of Israel may declare in writing that he renounces his nationality.

(c)Where a minor born outside Israel had Israel nationality conferred on him by birth, his parents may declare in writing that they renounce his nationality, provided that on the date of the declaration tile parents and the minor are not residents of Israel. For the purposes of this subsection, a declaration by one parent shall be sufficient if that parent has sole possession of the minor and it shall be sufficient that only that parent and the minor are not residents of Israel.

(d)Where a minor born in Israel before the date of the 5740 amendment had Israel nationality conferred on him by return and on the day of his birth his parents were not Israel nationals and were not registered in the Population Register, his parents may declare in writing that they renounce his nationality, provided that on the date of the declaration the parents and the minor are not residents of Israel. For the purposes of this subsection, a declaration by one parent shall be sufficient if that parent has sole possession of the minor and it shall be sufficient that only that parent and the minor are not residents of Israel.

(e)Renunciation of nationality under this section shall require the consent of the Minister of the Interior, and if the Minister consents to the renunciation, nationality shall terminate on the date prescribed by him.

(f)Termination of the Israel nationality of a person of full age terminates also the Israel nationality of his or her minor child if the following requirements are met:

(1)The other parent also renounces her or his Israel nationality under this section or is not an Israel national and not a resident of Israel or has agreed in writing that the renunciation shall apply also to the minor, or the parent who has renounced his or her nationality has sole possession of the mirror;

(2)the minor is not a resident of Israel or, in the case of renunciation under subsection (b), the notification referred to in that subsection says that the person making it wishes that the minor shall also cease to be a resident of Israel.

(g)Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (f) the Minister of the Interior may, if he sees a special reason justifying it, prescribe that the Israel nationality of a minor shall not terminate under the said subsection.

(h)Where the minor has completed his sixteenth year, his Israel nationality shall not terminate under this section unless he has notified the Minister of the Interior in writing that he agrees to its termination.

10A. Renunciation in order to retain other nationality.

The Minister of the Interior may, under special circumstances, consent to a declaration, by a resident of Israel of full age, of renunciation of Israel nationality conferred on him under section 2 (b) (2) or (4), provided that the renunciation is intended to preserve another nationality held by him. If the Minister consents to the renunciation, Israel nationality shall terminate on the date prescribed by him; he may prescribe that its termination shall be retroactive.

11. Annulment of nationality

(a)An Israel national who leaves Israel illegally for one of the states mentioned in section 2A of the Prevention of Infiltration (Offences. and Jurisdiction) Law, 5714-1954, or acquires the nationality of one of those states shall be deemed to have renounced his Israel nationality, which shall terminate with effect from the date of his leaving Israel. The termination of the Israel nationality of a person under this subsection shall entail termination of the Israel nationality of his minor child not being a resident of Israel.

(b)The Minister of the Interior may terminate the Israel nationality of a person who has done an act constituting a breach of allegiance to the State of Israel.

(c)The Minister of the Interior may terminate the Israel nationality of a person if it has been proved to his satisfaction that such nationality was acquired on the basis of false particulars, and he may prescribe that the termination of nationality shall also apply to a minor child of that person.

(d)Termination of Israel nationality under subsection (b) or (c) shall be by notice of the Minister of the Interior and shall be effective from the date prescribed in the notice.

12. Saving of liability

Loss of Israel nationality does not relieve from a liability arising out of such nationality and created before its loss.

PART III - FURTHER PROVISIONS

13. Interpretation

In this Law:

"of full age" means of the age of eighteen years or over or married even if under eighteen years of age;

"minor" means a person under eighteen years of age and not married;

"child" includes an adopted child, and "parents" include adopters;

"foreign nationality" includes foreign citizenship, and

"foreign national" includes a foreign citizen, but does not include a Palestinian citizen.

14. Dual nationality and dual residence

(a)Save for the purposes of naturalization, acquisition of Israel nationality is not conditional upon renunciation of a prior nationality.

(b)An Israel national who is also a foreign national shall, for the purposes of Israel law, be considered as an Israel national.

(c)An inhabitant of Israel residing abroad shall, for the purpose of this Law, be considered as an inhabitant of Israel so long as he has not settled abroad.

15. Certificate and registration

(a)An Israel national may receive from the Minister of the Interior a certificate attesting to his being an Israel national.

(b)The Israel nationality of a minor shall he indicated in his identity certificate unless he has requested that it shall not be so indicated.

16. Offence

A person who knowingly gives false particulars as to a matter affecting his own or another person's acquisition or loss of Israel nationality is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding five hundred pounds, or to both such penalties.

17. Implementation and regulations

(a)The Minister of the Interior is charged with the implementation of this Law and may make regulations as to any matter relating to its implementation, including the payment of fees and exemption from the payment thereof.

(b)The Minister of Justice may make regulations as to proceedings in District Courts under this Law, including appeals from decisions of such Courts.

18. Repeal, adaptation of laws and validation

(a)The Palestinian Citizenship Orders, 1925-1942 are repealed with effect from the day of the establishment of the State.

(b)Any reference in any provision o law to Palestinian citizenship or Palestinian citizens shall henceforth be read as a reference to Israel nationality or Israel nationals.

(c)Any act doing in the period between the establishment of the State and the day of the coming into force of this Law shall be deemed to be valid if it were valid had this Law been in force at the time it was done.

19. Commencement

(a)Thislaw shall come into force on the 21st Tammuz, 5712 (14th July, 1952).

(b)Even before that day, the Minister of the Interior may make regulations as to declarations under section 2(c)(2).

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