Israel Eases Immigration Terms for Families of Ukrainians Who Are Jewish Under Religious Law
Israel’s Interior Ministry has eased citizenship requirements for Ukrainian families looking to immigrate to Israel if the family member eligible to receive automatic citizenship is Jewish according to religious law. This, despite the fact that the country’s Law of Return makes any individual with at least one Jewish grandparent eligible to immigrate to Israel and receive citizenship automatically, as well as the spouse and children of that individual. News of the relaxing of the requirement for halachic Jews, or Jews who have a Jewish mother, came on Monday during a special session held by the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee. Under the special requirement put in place by the Interior Ministry, the non-Jewish spouse and children of Ukrainians who qualify to immigrate to Israel can enter even if the eligible spouse or parent is not with them, as long as that person is Jewish according to religious law. Currently, Ukrainian men between the ages of 18 and 60 are prohibited by the Ukrainian government from leaving the country in order to ensure that there is a fighting force available there. More than 10,000 Ukrainians have contacted the Jewish Agency for Israel expressing an interest in immigrating to Israel, some 30% of them immediately. The Immigration and Absorption Ministry has prepared for an influx of at least 12,000 new immigrants due to the conflict in Ukraine.