Is it possible to leave Israel and keep insurance and zagran?
When I wrote on social networks about my repatriation to Israel, I did not even suspect how many of my acquaintances are thinking about the idea: “Do I get Israeli citizenship? So, just in case. ” Getting Israeli citizenship is easy. But it’s not so easy then to go to live in another country, and not cut yourself off to return to Israel. Moreover, if very much is written about repatriation, then information about the reverse process should be collected in crumbs.
Israeli citizenship “in reserve”?
Before you get Israeli citizenship “in reserve”, understand to yourself why you need it. I met two arguments: to get an Israeli passport – Darcon. Get access to high-class Israeli medicine. Perhaps, after reading the article to the end, you will understand that with the darconom and with medicine, it’s not so simple.
In any case, the departure from Israel has its own specifics. You need to know it so as not to get into unpleasant situations in the future. It does not matter why you leave Israel. Did you make citizenship “just in case”, did you get an interesting job offer from another country, had to take care of a sick relative abroad or just did not feel like an Israeli … You hardly want to “burn the bridges behind you”.
The crux of the problem is this. In Israel, there are many compulsory payments. Payment for most services is carried out exclusively in the mode of auto payments (in Hebrew – “Oraat Keva”). Any debt that has arisen after your departure, with age, accrues interest. Some debts are extinguished with time, some are piling up. I talked with one “choser” (a man who returned to Israel in 20 years). He at the airport, at the passport control, was surprised to learn about the debt of 700-odd shekels, which turned into a miserable debt to the bank, which arose at the time of closing the account. He was given a printout and said that there are two options: not to enter the country or in the near future to contact the bailiff service and determine the schedule for repaying the debt.
The size of some debts can be a serious problem for the return: no one will want to work solely on its coverage. Yes, by the way … Guys and girls who left on the eve of the 18th anniversary can be accused of evading military service. But this is a completely different story.
How are debts created in Israel?
One of the main duties of every Israeli is payments to the National Insurance Office (“Bituy Leumi”). Contributions must be paid by everyone, even the unemployed. If you leave for a long time, that is, cease to be a resident of Israel, these payments cease (you only need to notify the “Bitumi Leumi”). But it is necessary to leave a contact address in Israel, whereby the Office can send notices. Next, you need to make sure that you have paid all taxes, disconnect the phone number and the Internet, close the bank account. Closing a bank account is mandatory: for his conduct a fee is charged. And on a negative balance, interest is charged. By the way, if someone thinks that you can do without opening an account, know – it will not work. In Israel, the account is needed not only to receive salaries and benefits, but also to pay for many services. For example, the most profitable rates for mobile operators you simply can not pay in cash.
Problem point: any of the mandatory payments can come after you close the bank account. And then you will have a duty. In this case, it will be useful to leave a real address in Israel, where you can be contacted and notified about the debt. If you do not do this, notifications will be sent to the last Israeli address. It will be insulting when other people will simply throw out bills and warnings. If for some reason you can not give the address of friends or relatives – try to “rent” the address for a small fee.
By the way, if you thus close all cases, then upon return you will be connected to the social security system (including the health insurance fund) only after six months.
Continue to pay contributions to the health insurance fund.
If you are not sure that you are leaving Israel for a long time, or intend to visit doctors from time to time, then you must continue to pay contributions to the health insurance fund (NIS 100-180 monthly, depending on the age and the insurance program) and the National Insurance Office a little less than 200 shekels for the unemployed).
The payment of the sickness fund, for example, I was able to bind to the Russian account (Vis Sberbank card). I did it because I expected constant income in rubles. (To the Russian map, at first, they reacted with a mistrust: I insistently asked to try, whether it’s paid off – everything turned out okay.This card was also accepted by the mobile operator after some persuasion on my part.Everyone promised that I could change the attached card ).
But, of course, the norm is to tie payments to the Israeli account. You can replenish it from abroad in this way. You, except for the account in shekels, open an account in foreign currency. You leave an order for automatic conversion of the incoming currency into a shekel. Another option is to transfer money to friends or relatives (via instant money transfers) that are ready to replenish your bank account.
This scheme has one minus. “Bitumi Leumi” from time to time conducts “cleansing” of Israelis, who permanently reside abroad. What is “permanently” is not clearly defined. That is, even regularly paid contributions do not protect against exclusion from the social insurance system.
Citizenship does not guarantee medical care.
Many Israelis leave for several years, pay all fees and return without problems. Here – how lucky. The exception is pensioners and people with serious illnesses. With retirees everything is clear. They can be absent no more than 3 months a year. At the end of this period, the operation of the health insurance fund is stopped. By the way, the old-age benefit is paid only when the pensioner is in the country (this does not apply to a pension formed from pension contributions, which is paid regularly to all who worked in Israel, regardless of the country of residence). After the return, the services of the health insurance fund can be used only after 6 months (waiting is sometimes suggested to be replaced by a significant fine, it is a sum of not less than 10 thousand shekels). That is, Israel encourages retirees to spend the accumulated money inside the country, and not somewhere else.
People who have undergone complicated operations, oncological patients are under more careful control. I was told about a woman who, after a long treatment for cancer, left Israel. Her whole family remained here. When my daughter went after five months of another dose of medicine for my mother, she heard: “Let my mother be treated where she now lives.” Needless to say, all fees were paid on time.
The conclusion is clear: Israel guarantees medical and social assistance not to all citizens, but only to those who live permanently in the country (or work abroad for Israeli companies).
Do you want to have a passport? Live in the country.
The Israeli passport (Darcon) is another goal for those who think about Israeli citizenship. It allows you to enter without visas (or get visas at the border) to 131 countries of the world. But the darkon is issued only after a year in the country (after 11 months, if you did not go out once). And, for the first time you can give it only for 5 years. Prolong the Darkon only if you prove that the “center of your vital interests” is in Israel. It is possible to extend the Darkon only in Israel. The exception is people whose activities are aimed at the benefit of Israel. But this, indeed, is an exception. In this case, only ministers can apply for an application for issuing a passport.
Abroad, Israeli citizens receive another document – teudat maavar (literally – “certificate for crossing the border”, known as “lesse-passa”). Read more about it in this article. It is also issued to all new citizens three months after the repatriation. The term “teudat maavar” is 2 years (and if issued abroad – that year). Very often Israeli citizens working in other countries, instead of the end of the Darkon, are given Teudat Maavar. This gives rise to certain inconveniences. For example, the Canadian immigration authorities refuse to put a work visa in a document whose validity is a year. Because the visa itself is issued for a longer period.
Teudat Maavar is not convenient not only for a short period of validity. The scope of its application is limited. For example, Ukraine does not recognize it as a legitimate document.
Conclusion. As you can see, Israel does not very favorably treat those citizens who live outside of it. Therefore, before getting citizenship “just in case”, think about whether you really need it.
Question or comment?
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Is it possible to leave Israel and keep insurance and zagran?