Chaim V’Chessed: Pilot Program to Ease Student Visa Applications

As reported by Chaim V’Chessed, the Interior Ministry has been operating an extraordinary ‘Passport Marathon’ since May 14. Originally scheduled to conclude on June 15th, the project has been extended until the end of June. 

Due to the Marathon, the Visa Department at the Jerusalem branch has been completely closed, causing significant difficulty to those seeking visas. On Sunday, July 2, the Visa Department is scheduled to reopen. For some weeks now, Chaim V’Chessed has been alerting Ministry officials to the likely crush of applicants to the Visa Department once it reopens.

We are pleased to share the first details of a pilot program which will address the expected surge and, in general, will provide much more streamlined service for visa seekers. Beginning July 2, families of FOUR or more members will be allowed to apply for new visas or renew existing visas via email

Until now, families were required to visit the Interior Ministry to drop off their documents and were not granted visas on the spot. They were then required to return weeks later to collect their visas. Now, this whole process will be scrapped in place of an automated email-based system. 

To apply, families must email the following documents to

  1. This application form
  2. Birth certificate of each applicant
  3. Marriage certificate or Israeli ishur nisuin
  4. Original letter from the student’s school or yeshiva (see sample here)
  5. Copies of each applicant’s passport
  6. Copies of the passports of the parents of the student and spouse

This process applies to both renewals and new applications. It is crucial that all documents are clearly scanned, and submitted in one compressed PDF file. Furthermore, applications which are missing documents will not be processed whatsoever. Applicants are expected to receive their visas in PDF format via email in approximately three weeks. 

Student visa applicants with families of three or less will continue to apply in person at the Interior Ministry. Additionally, applications for Permission to Work must be made in person. At the present time, appointments are not needed, and applicants may arrive between 8-10 AM, Sunday though Thursday. However, applicants may be turned away once capacity is reached. Due to the expected crowds, officials have asked Chaim V’Chessed to urge that any non-urgent visits should be delayed until after next week.

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