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The Law of return – Repatriation

What is the Law of Return? Following the foundation of Israel in 1948, the Knesset passed the “Law of Return” (Aliyah), affirming every Jewish person’s inherent right to return (family reunification) and become a citizen of Israel, no matter where they are born. To apply for Israeli citizenship through the Law of Return (repatriation), however, a person must meet requirements related to their Jewish ancestry or relationship with a Jew–as defined by the 1970 amendment to the law.

Today, many Jews are considering reuniting from around the world, but some can face difficulties due to lost documents and disconnection from their Jewish roots. In other cases, immigration candidates do not know what to do to bring their loved ones without a Jewish background to Israel, including partners, wives, and children.

If you are considering making Aliyah, Efraim Tankhil’s office can provide you with the correct information and the best services so that you will not face any difficulties.

Who is eligible for repatriation to Israel?

To be eligible to acquire status under the Law of Return, a person must be:

  • Halakhic Jews–people born to a Jewish mother
  • Children of Jews (so-called “paternal Jews”) 
  • The grandchildren of Jews (third generation)

The law equally applies to all spouses–wives of Jews, husbands of Jews, children, and grandchildren of Jews. Even Jewish widows and widowers of Jewish women, children, and grandchildren of Jews can apply for repatriation to Israel.

Required documents

    • Birth certificates
    • Documents confirming changes in personal data (optional)
    • Certificate of marital status
    • Police certificate
    • A passport valid for at least one year
    • Adoption or death certificate (optional)
    • Genetic test/Ancestry analysis (optional)

    Note: the applicant should notarize and translate all documents into Hebrew.


Applicants who meet all the Ministry of Interior requirements and can produce the relevant documentation listed above, including a police certificate and medical approvals, should contact the Immigration Office in Israel or the Israeli Embassy in their current country to start their application.

If your application has been denied by the Ministry of the Interior or the Israeli Embassy, you should contact our office for assistance. We can represent cases in an administrative court within an appeal or an administrative petition. Our office will help you begin the process and establish the right to gain Aliyah (repatriation) under the Law of Return, and we will represent your case to the Israeli Ministry of the Interior and the court.

If you cannot prove your Jewish background

Suppose the applicant is unable to produce the complete set of documents listed above to establish its Jewish roots. In that case, they can use alternative methods in lieu of those documents, including analysis, house books, military records, letters and personal photo albums, photos of graves, etc. Our office can help you determine the eligibility of your records.