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Canada to Israel: The Ultimate Aliyah Guide for Canadians 

Israel has become a chosen home for tens of thousands of Canadians who have embraced the transformative journey of Aliyah, returning to the Holy Land to build their lives anew. Among them, you'll encounter a diverse array of individuals: young professionals seeking opportunities, families with children planting roots, and retirees enriching Israel's Anglo community with their experiences and wisdom.

If you're contemplating joining this dynamic and diverse community, you're likely curious about the process of making Aliyah from Canada. This comprehensive guide is designed to demystify the journey, offering clear, step-by-step insights to navigate the transition with confidence. Whether you're pondering practical considerations or seeking reassurance about the path ahead, this guide aims to provide clarity and support every step of the way.

Let’s begin.

Who Can Make Aliyah From Canada?

Who Can Make Aliyah From Canada?

The entire process of making Aliyah to Canada rests on a single factor – the Jewish identity. So, before going through with the Aliyah application, you should first ensure you’re eligible to make Aliyah.

Under Israel’s Law of Return, the following individuals are eligible for an Israeli citizenship:

  • Canadian citizens of Jewish origin
  • Canadian citizens with Jewish parents or grandparents
  • Spouses and children of Canadian citizens of Jewish origin

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

Making Aliyah From Canada: A Step-By-Step Guide

If you’re making Aliyah from Canada, you’ll be happy to know you might have it somewhat easier than people from other countries, thanks to Nefesh B’Nefesh, a non-profit organization facilitating Aliyah from North America.

Nefesh B’Nefesh cooperates with The Jewish Agency for Israel, responsible for the Aliyah process, to ensure a streamlined and supportive experience for individuals making Aliyah from Canada.

Keep reading to learn what this experience looks like step by step.

Step 1: Aliyah Application

Nefesh B’Nefesh makes it easy to apply for Aliyah. All you have to do is use the organization’s application portal. The entire application process is interactive and straightforward. Still, if you struggle with it at any point, you can contact Nefesh B’Nefesh via live chat.

Shortly after submitting your application, you’ll receive login credentials for a personal page you can use to check the status of your Aliyah application or upload the necessary documents. 

As far as documents go, Nefesh B’Nefesh will inform you precisely which documents you need to gather based on your application. But remember – additional documents can be requested at any stage, which is where your personal page comes in handy.

Nefesh B’Nefesh will also assign an advisor to guide you through the rest of the process. 

Step 2: Gathering and Submitting Documentation

Step 2: Gathering and Submitting Documentation

Once you receive the documentation request from Nefesh B’Nefesh, it’s time to get to work. You need to carefully gather all the necessary documents and submit them to the organization. Remember to only turn in copies and keep the originals for your interview with The Jewish Agency during Step 3.

Here’s a quick overview of the documents you’ll likely need to make Aliyah from Canada:

  • A valid passport (valid for at least one more year)
  • A long-form birth certificate
  • A marital status certificate (e.g., a marriage certificate, a divorce order, or a spouse’s death certificate)
  • Proof of Jewish identity
  • A Health Declaration Form (filled by you)
  • A police certificate confirming no criminal record
  • An in-depth list of all your entries and exits from Israel in the past seven years (even if you haven’t been to Israel in the past seven years)
  • Passport photos
  • A good-quality photo of the individual(s) making Aliyah (families should submit one image with all members)
  • A supporting statement (Why should you be approved to make Aliyah?)

Besides the listed documents, you’ll also need to fill out and sign a Waiver of Confidentiality, allowing The Jewish Agency to share your information with the Israeli government and other relevant Olim associations. 

All public records must be verified by a chain of signatures from the local Canadian government to the Israeli Embassy or Consulate.

As far as proof of Jewish identity goes, this is the only item that isn’t as clear-cut as the others. Generally, all Canadian applicants will need a letter from a recognized synagogue rabbi from North America confirming their Jewish identity. However, those seeking Aliyah through a parent, grandparent, or spouse must deliver the appropriate document to show their familial connection (e.g., a birth certificate or a marriage certificate).

Step 3: The Interview

After completing your application and submitting the necessary documents, The Jewish Agency will review your application. If all goes well, the agency will invite you for an interview. You should schedule this interview yourself by reaching out to the agency’s representative (Shaliach) in Canada.

You can find one in Toronto at the following address:

4600 Bathurst St.

Toronto, Ontario M2R 3V3

Schedule your interview by calling 416-633-4766 or writing an email to [email protected].

During your interview, the agency’s representative will ask additional questions, check your original documents, and walk you through Aliyah benefits.

Step 4: Receiving Approval

In Step 4, you’ll know whether your Aliyah application has been approved or not. If it has, you’ll receive the “Mazal Tov” letter in email form. This letter will also tell you what to do next, including when you’ll find out whether you’ve been approved for specific Aliyah benefits.

Step 5: Obtaining the Aliyah Visa

Step 5: Obtaining the Aliyah Visa

All Canadian residents who don’t possess an Israeli passport must obtain an Aliyah visa. The steps to do so are included in the “Mazal Tov” email but generally include submitting most of the same documents as in Step 2.

The only thing to remember is to apply for the visa at least one month before departure, as it can take more than 18 business days to be issued.

Step 6: The Aliyah Flight

When making Aliyah via Nefesh B’Nefesh, you’ll be eligible to receive a one-way ticket to Israel on the organization’s scheduled flight. If approved, you can choose one of the available dates and officially make your Aliyah.

Step 7: Registering as a Resident

Step 7: Obtaining an ID Card and a Passport

As soon as you arrive in Israel, you must register as a resident. You can do so right at the airport, at the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration’s offices. After submitting the necessary documentation and filling out all the forms, you’ll receive two documents – the Immigration Certificate (Teudat Oleh) and the Identification Card (Teudat Zehut).

You might also receive the following, depending on your prior arrangements:

  • The first installment of the Sal Klita financial grant 
  • The authorization of your registration for a healthcare service provider (Kupat Cholim)
  • A SIM card with 200 free call minutes
  • A form for opening a bank account 

Step 8: Obtaining an ID Card and a Passport

The ID card you receive at the airport is only valid for 90 days. To obtain a permanent (biometric) ID card, you must apply for it at the Ministry of Interior. The same goes for your passport.

Your Canadian passport will only be valid for the first 90 days. Afterward, you’ll need an Israeli passport to leave the country. 

So, make sure to apply for both of these crucial documents on time to avoid any problems with your residency and travel.

Step 9: Adjusting to Life in Israel 

Step 9: Adjusting to Life in Israel

Now that you’re officially an Israeli citizen, there’s nothing left to do but to make the most out of your new life. To do so, you’ll need to take care of a few more details.

  • Finding housing 
  • Opening a bank account
  • Registering for a Hebrew language course (ulpan)
  • Obtaining an Israeli driver’s license (Your Canadian one is valid for the first year.)
  • Inquire about taxes in Israel and back home (e.g., income, personal, and deemed disposition tax)
  • Open a file with the customs to receive shipments from Canada (e.g., furniture and your other belongings)
  • Set up your internet and other telecommunication needs (ideally with an Anglo provider like TCS Telecom)

Step 10: Enjoy Your New Life

Thanks to the highly supportive individuals from Nefesh B’Nefesh, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Israeli ministries, and TCS Telecom, your move to Israel should be a breeze. After setting up everything you need to feel as comfortable as you did in Canada, you can gradually immerse yourself in the dynamic Israeli lifestyle and vibrant Anglo communities in Tel Aviv and beyond.

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