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Judgment in HaMoked's appeal: the Ministry of Interior must ensure the continuous legal status in Israel of people who act according to its own procedures

On October 10, 2018, the Appeals Tribunal issued a judgment in HaMoked's appeal against the Ministry of Interior's refusal to extend the visa of a young woman who was born in East Jerusalem and has lived in the city her whole life. For years, the young woman held temporary status (an A/5 visa) which must be extended annually, granted to her as part of a child registration procedure with her mother, who is a permanent resident. However, following her marriage to a resident of East Jerusalem in March 2018, the young woman was required to submit a request for status via a family unification procedure with her husband, and the extension of her visa was conditioned on approval of the couples' request. By refusing to extend the young woman's visa while her request was being reviewed, the Ministry of Interior left her with no legal status in her home.

In its judgment, the Court ruled that "a visa held by a person lawfully, will be extended so long as there is no response to his request to extend it or his request for referral to a different status procedure". In an effort to prevent similar incidents in future, the Court enumerated the types of situations to which its instruction applies: applicants for status on humanitarian grounds whose graduated procedure ended due to the death of a spouse, divorce with children or separation from a violent spouse; people who are in the process of moving from one procedure to another (as in the present case); and applicants who are in the graduated procedure, but whose request for status renewal has not yet been decided on because the security officials' position has not yet been received, or due to internal consultations in the Ministry of Interior.

Notably, in an additional recent judgment of the Appeals Tribunal, it stated that the visas of family unification applicants who have acted in accordance with the Ministry's regulations must be extended even if the security officials' position on their request has not yet been received. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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