Skip to Main Content

Australian Aliyah Explained: Your Comprehensive Guide to Moving to Israel

In a revealing 2017 survey by Generation17, it was discovered that a remarkable 93% of Australian Jews have made the pilgrimage to Israel at least once in their lives. This profound connection to the Holy Land serves as a testament to their enduring bond. Consequently, it is hardly astonishing that 20% of Australian Jews have embraced the opportunity to reside in Israel for a year or more, with tens of thousands opting to undertake the transformative journey of Aliyah."

Let’s say you’re considering following your fellow Australians to Israel. If that’s the case, you can rest assured that you’ll be a part of a vibrant community deeply rooted in a shared history. But before you start preparing to move, you must ensure you’re eligible for Aliyah, as well as thoroughly research and plan your journey.

This guide is here to help you with everything, from submitting your Aliyah application to setting up the internet in your new Israeli home.

Who Can Make Aliyah From Australia?

Who Can Make Aliyah From Australia?

Before exploring what the process of making Aliyah from Australia looks like, you must first be 100% sure you’re eligible for this life-changing move. Under Israel’s Law of Return, Australians who are recognized as Jewish or have Jewish ancestry (a parent or a grandparent) are generally eligible for Aliyah. The same goes for spouses or children of Australian Jews.

Making Aliyah From Australia: A Step-by-Step Guide

Making Aliyah From Australia

When making Aliyah from Australia, you have two options. One, rely on a third-party organization like Ebenezer Operation Exodus to assist you throughout the process. Or two, go directly through The Jewish Agency for Israel, the largest Jewish non-profit organization in the world serving as the main link between Israel and Jewish communities worldwide.

This guide will walk you through the second option, but the following steps will also help you know what to expect when working with a mediator.

Step 1: Aliyah Application

The first step is a given – you must submit an Aliyah application. You can do so online by visiting The Jewish Agency’s website. Alternatively, you can contact the agency’s Melbourne or Sydney offices directly and open an Aliyah file.

The friendly people from the agency will help you determine your Oleh status, guide you through the necessary documentation, and inform you of your next moves.

Step 2: Gathering and Submitting Documentation

Step 2: Gathering and Submitting Documentation

Once you learn which documents you must submit to complete your Aliyah application, you should start gathering them immediately. Why? Well, you’ll need quite a few records, as you’ll soon see.

Here are the documents most Australians making Aliyah will be required to gather, authenticate, and submit:

  • A valid passport. Your passport must be valid for at least one year from the anticipated date of Aliyah.
  • A legal birth certificate. This document is needed for every family member making Aliyah. However, you might also need to submit birth certificates for your parents or grandparents if they are your “link” to Israel.
  • Marital status proof. Depending on your marital status, you might need to submit a single status certificate, a marriage certificate, a divorce order, or your spouse’s death certificate.
  • Proof of Judaism. There are several acceptable documents when it comes to proving your Jewish identity. A letter from a recognized rabbi is arguably the No. 1 choice in this regard. Other than that, you can submit your marriage certificate or the birth certificates of your (grand)parents clearly stating that they are of Jewish origin.
  • Official passport photos. You’ll need to submit four official passport photos for every member making Aliyah, each to be used for a legal document later on.
  • A supporting statement. Craft a statement explaining why you want to move to Israel and what you’ll do post-Aliyah. You should include any details that might enhance your candidacy. 
  • A Health Declaration Form. You’ll receive this form during the application process, and it is to be completed by you, not a physician. 
  • A National Police Certificate. This certificate contains all your criminal history information or a lack thereof. Of course, the latter option is the only acceptable one for making Aliyah.
  • International movement records. This form should detail your entries to and exits from Israel in the past seven years. 
  • A Waiver of Confidentiality. This document is also provided during the Aliyah process. By signing this waiver, you allow The Jewish Agency to share your information with the relevant governmental agencies and Olim associations. 

You should only submit copies of these documents and save the originals for the next step – the interview.

Step 3: The Interview

After reviewing your documentation, The Jewish Agency will (hopefully) give the green light to set up an interview with your local Aliyah department. Contact the local Melbourne or Sydney offices to arrange this interview.

At the interview, a representative (Shaliach) for The Jewish Agency will discuss the following topics with you:

  • Jewish background
  • Family status
  • Israeli past
  • Employment history
  • Health condition
  • Motives for making Aliyah
  • Post-Aliyah plans

The representative will also review the original copies of your documents and discuss all the Aliyah benefits (and how to apply for them).

Step 4: Receiving Approval

After submitting your documents, all that’s left is to wait for the approval. This approval will come in the form of an email, often referred to as the “Mazal Tov” letter. In this letter, you’ll also find instructions on what to do next.

Step 5: Obtaining the Aliyah Visa

Step 5: Obtaining the Aliyah Visa

Before traveling to Israel, you must obtain an Aliyah visa (Visa Oleh or A/1 Temporary Resident Visa). The only exceptions are Australians who already have an Israeli passport. To acquire a visa, you must submit some of the same documents from Step 2 to Israel’s Ministry of Interior and wait up to 18 business days. The exact procedure for Step 5 will be outlined in your “Mazal Tov” letter.

Step 6: Registering as a Resident

After receiving your Aliyah visa, you can safely travel to Israel and start your new life. As soon as you land in Israel, you’re technically considered an Oleh Chadash, i.e., a new immigrant. Your first step should be to visit the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration’s Ben Gurion airport branch.

Here, you’ll need to re-submit some documents, and you’ll also receive some:

  • The Immigration Card (Teudat Oleh)
  • The Identity Card (Teudat Zehut)
  • A registration form for a health fund of your choice (Kupat Cholim)
  • A form for opening a bank account 

Depending on your prior applications (and approvals), this office might also give you the first payment of the so-called Absorption Basket (Sal Klita), the Ministry’s financial grant for new immigrants.

Step 7: Obtaining an ID Card and a Passport

Step 7: Obtaining an ID Card and a Passport

Be careful – the ID card you receive at the airport is only valid for three months. To become an Israeli citizen, you’ll need to apply for a biometric ID card with the Ministry of Interior. While you’re at it, apply for an Israeli passport, too, as the Australian one will only serve you for 90 days from the arrival date.

Step 8: Setting Up Your Life in Israel 

Well done! You’ve officially completed the Aliyah process. Now, you should take care of a few more steps to ensure you have everything you need for a successful and comfortable life in Israel.

If you haven’t arranged it already, start with finding a place of residence. From there, you should consider the following actions:

  • Applying for a Hebrew language course (ulpan)
  • Registering children for a school, preschool, or daycare center 
  • Replacing your Australian (or international) driver’s license with an Israeli one
  • Opening a bank account
  • Contacting the local authorities to receive reductions in municipal taxes
  • Arranging your telecommunication needs

For the last item on this list, you’ll greatly benefit from working with an Anglo telecommunication company like TCS Telecom, especially if you struggle with Hebrew.

Aliyah Made Easy

Aliyah Made Easy

Given how challenging making Aliyah can be, it’s perfectly understandable if this process scares you. But there’s no need for this. Armed with the knowledge from this guide, you can take it step by step, becoming an Israeli citizen with ease.

  • Share