Published September 14, 2022 12:54 PM IST
As reported by Chaim V’Chessed, in March 2022, the Interior Ministry issued a blanket extension of student visas. This ruling meant that visas which expired between March 1 and September 1 were granted an additional six months validity beyond their original expiration date.
In July, Chaim V’Chessed detailed various complications which arose due to the blanket visa extension. One such issue arose in relation to arnona (municipal property tax).
Sizeable discounts on arnona payments are offered to eligible residents. However, if those residents are not citizens, they must present valid student visas in order to obtain a discount. In recent months, numerous Jerusalem residents applying for arnona discounts were rejected, due to their not holding valid visas. In reality, their visas were set to expire, but were in essence extended by the Interior Ministry ruling. Jerusalem Municipality officials were apparently unaware of this ruling.
At the same time, the Interior Ministry would not even grant these people appointments to receive renewed visas in their passports, since they claimed – rightfully – that the visas were automatically extended!
Chaim V’Chessed’s Governmental Department contacted Jerusalem Municipality officials regarding this snafu. To resolve the issue, Chaim V’Chessed arranged a conference call between municipality officials and Interior Ministry representatives, who shared details of the visa extension with municipal officials.
Today, Yuval Dar, head of the Jerusalem Arnona Department, informed Chaim V’Chessed that the entire arnona department has been apprised of the new rules. Hence, foreign residents included in the visa extension are once again eligible for arnona discounts. We salute Mr. Dar for his speedy resolution of this matter.
For details on applying for an arnona discount, see Chaim V’Chessed’s helpful guide.