The Cabinet decided to allow most children of people working in Israel illegally, who meet the criteria established by the inter-ministerial committee on their status, to remain in Israel.

(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
 
The Cabinet this morning (Sunday), 1 August 2010, decided to allow most children of people working in Israel illegally, who meet the criteria established by the inter-ministerial committee on their status, to remain in Israel. According to the decision, the Interior Minister will issue permanent residency permits to children in Israel illegally, provided that they meet all of the following conditions regarding integration in the country:
 
1. The child studied in the Israeli educational system, including kindergarten, during the 2009-2010 academic year.
 
2. The child is registered for studies in an Israeli school for the 2010-2011 academic year.
 
3. The child has resided in Israel for at least five continuous years and – provided he/she was not born in Israel – entered Israel prior to his 13th birthday.
 
4. The child speaks Hebrew.
 
5. The child’s parents entered Israel with a legal visa or permit.
 
In special or borderline circumstances, the Interior Minister will decide in accordance with his legal authority, in consultation with the inter-ministerial committee of experts that formulated the above criteria.
 
It was also determined that the Interior Minister is entitled to issue temporary residence permits to the child’s parents and siblings, if they live with him/her in a joint household since his/her birth or entry into Israel and live with him/her on the date this decision was made. In the absence of cause, the permit will be renewed annually until the child turns 21, when the parents and siblings may request permanent status.
 
According to the committee’s recommendation, those who meet the criteria will be afforded 21 days – from the date this decision is officially published in the daily newspapers – in which to submit their applications. The clerk may allow an additional 21 days if the principal documents will have been submitted. The applications must include the child’s original birth certificate or legally verified documents, the passports on which the parents entered Israel, permits from the education system, etc., as will be specified in the aforesaid newspaper notices.
 
Applicants who do not meet the determined criteria will be required to leave Israel within 30 days of the official publication of this decision or from the day their application will have been rejected. In borderline cases, the interior Minister will consult with representatives of the inter-ministerial committee.
 
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted that this was a balanced and considered decision to this sensitive problem. "This decision is influenced by two main considerations – of humanity and Zionism. We are searching for a way to absorb and take into our hearts children who grew up here and were educated here as Israelis. On the other hand, we do not want to create an incentive for hundreds of thousands of illegal labor migrants to flood the country."