Chaim V’Chessed continues to closely monitor the process which allows student visa holders to enter Israel. At the present, permission is only granted to married yeshiva students; no change is in sight for single students.
Just this afternoon, our sources in the Interior Ministry notified us of new changes to the rules. There is both good news.. and less good news.
First to the better news: Scores of yeshiva students have been refused entry permits, due to the fact that their visa was issued for a different yeshiva than the institution they currently attend. We raised this issue with government officials 15 days ago. Today, clerks were given directives to grant entry permits in such instances, provided the new yeshiva is a recognized institution.
On a less favorable note, quite a few visa holders have contacted Chaim V’Chessed seeking to travel out of Israel for a variety of reasons. These have included weddings, funerals, and even Roshei Yeshiva travelling to raise much needed funds for their yeshivas.
As of this afternoon, any student visa holder leaving Israel will not be issued a permit to return to Israel until he or she has been abroad for at least 30 days.
The logic behind this latest rule is that the government seeks to discourage travel between Israel and chutz laaretz. At the same time, this will pose considerable difficulty for those needing to travel for short, important visits. We are in dialogue with government officials on this topic.
Update June 30: Chaim V’Chessed has obtained some relief from this rule. See here.