It is already becoming a pattern: One bright afternoon, Interior Ministry officials issue new, difficult guidelines. Chaim V’Chessed learns of the decree, gets involved – and the issue is resolved!
Yesterday afternoon, we announced a new restriction on entry permits being issued to foreign residents of Israel. We had learned that student visa holders leaving Israel will not be issued a permit to return to Israel until he or she has been abroad for at least 30 days.
Within the hour, Chaim V’Chessed representatives protested to government officials about the undue hardships that this new rule would create. Numerous people have need to travel for weddings, funerals, and other short, important visits. Furthermore, we were contacted by passengers who already had departed Israel, with the intent of returning shortly. Would they now be stuck in chutz laaretz for a month?
We are pleased to announce that understandings have been reached with Interior Ministry officials. The institution applying for an entry permit must add a brief line to such requests explaining why the student left Israel (i/e/ wedding, funeral, medical appointment, etc.). Assuming a satisfactory reason given, permits should be issued even after short departures from Israel.
Based on previous experience, we are far from confident that this will work smoothly. Will the government start requesting proof of each overseas event? Will we see arguments regarding which type of simcha, or which level of relationship is required? Only time will tell – please share your experiences with us, and notify us if you have difficulty in this matter.
UPDATE: The authorities continue to be parsimonious with permits for less than 30 days, even when a valid reason is provided. We continue to interface the government on this issue…