Knesset Votes Passports for New Immigrants Without 12-Month Waiting Period

YERUSHALAYIM -

The Knesset passed a law Monday that will enable new immigrants to receive a passport immediately upon being granted citizenship, eliminating the current 12-month waiting period.

The bill, introduced by Yisrael Beytenu MKs Oded Forer and Yulia Malinovsky, was voted through without opposition, 28–0.

The bill was approved despite opposition from the police, who say it will make it easier for criminals and oligarchs to abuse their Israeli citizenship and cause damage to the image of the State of Israel around the world.

“We have managed to correct a real injustice in an archaic law and equalize the conditions for new immigrants with the conditions for those who were born in the country,” Forer said after the final vote.

“The new law will regulate the basic right of every citizen, who, along with receiving Israeli identification papers, is expected to serve in the IDF, has the right to vote or be elected, and should have the right to a passport,” Forer said.

“Many immigrants to Israel whose work requires commuting abroad will now be able to continue their occupation and live in Israel without interruption. The days when a new immigrant was considered a second-class citizen who isn’t entitled to a passport are over.”

Until now, a new immigrant was issued a transit certificate, which placed restrictions on travel abroad that a regular passport does not.