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If your Israeli partner visa (B1 or A5) is about to expire and you still don’t have a scheduled renewal appointment, it means you are already late! We recommend carefully reading and learning the information in this article as soon as you receive your first partner visa, and set reminders and schedules accordingly, in order to avoid issues in the future.
This article outlines the official rules for B1 and A5 visa renewals/extensions based on PIBA procedures 5.2.0008 (married couples) and 5.2.0009 (non-married and same-sex couples). While local offices may provide varied instructions, the official, written rules are a crucial benchmark, especially if unexpected circumstances arise.
Let’s dive in!
How to Apply for a Partner Visa Renewal?
Check validity of your visa
Make sure you know the exact expiry date of your/your partner’s visa. You can find the expiry date of the visa on the visa sticker in the passport. While visas are usually given with 1 year validity, it is possible you were given a shorter visa, for example, if your passport was about to expire.
In addition, your visa may have longer validity than stated in the passport, for example, due to a digital extension.
Prepare renewal documents (“center of life”)
Every partner visa renewal calls for the submission of your update relationship proofs and center of life documents. These documents include: the shared explanation letters, recommendation letters, rent contract, municipal bills, bank statements, pay slips, health coverage approval and more.
Check our list of required documents for additional information about each type of document. Make sure you start collecting (and scanning) documents in time to submit them at least three months before the expiry of the current visa.
Submit a visa extension application
At least 3 months before the expiry date of your B1 or A5 visa, submit a visa renewal application:
- In the online form – choose the type of application (married or shared life (non-married couples)).
- Enter the form and fill in your personal details in step one
- In step two, choose “הארכה בקשה קיימת” (“Extension of existing application”)
- Continue filling the form and submit your documents in the required fields.
- Are you eligible for a visa upgrade? Add a note about it on step 3 of the form (first field).
Response from PIBA
After submitting the renewal application, PIBA will check your application and respond accordingly by phone/email:
- No missing documents – PIBA will schedule a visa renewal appointment which both partners must attend. If you have followed the rules and submitted an online renewal application at least 3 months before the expiry of your visa, PIBA must summon you before your visa expires.
- Missing documents – PIBA will list the missing documents in your application and ask you to complete them (usually via email) or bring them with you to the meeting.
*PIBA may also give you further instructions about your meeting – for example, what to physically bring with you to the meeting.
Partner Visa B1 or A5 Renewal Meeting
Arrive to your visa renewal meeting as scheduled, and have several additional hours to spare, just in case.
Bring with you to the meeting;
- Israeli IDs – of the Israeli partner and non-Israeli partner (when applicable)
- Passport – of the non-Israeli partner
- 2 Passport photos of each partner
- Credit card for payment – Renewal application fee of 195 NIS
Depending on the office, PIBA may require you to bring and submit physical copies of the documents you submitted online. In addition, it is recommended to bring the “missing” center of life documents which accumulated in the 3 months since the online application was made and submit them, too.
If PIBA did not give any specific instructions regarding submission of physical copies of the documentation, it is always recommended to bring physical copies, just in case.
Note: you may be required to show original documents (for example, municipal bills).
According to the procedures, PIBA must conduct a full shared interview for every yearly extension of the partner visa.
In practice, most offices follow this process, but not all. Some offices may not conduct any interview at all, while other offices conduct “lighter” interviews – for example with both partners present, without any separate questioning.
Note: the submission of documents and the interview may take place in two separate meetings.
Getting the extension
The decision about a new visa, valid for one additional year, can be given on the spot or at a later time.
PIBA is encouraged to make an immediate decision. In case a decision about the yearly extension cannot be made on the spot, PIBA is required to give a 6-month extension instead (to be paid for by the couple).
In case you were not given the yearly extension at the extension meeting and two weeks have passed without an answer, we recommend inquiring about the status of your application.
Tip! When getting the new partner visa, don’t forget to ask for a new Intervisa, too! (additional fee of 195 NIS)
The gradual process timeline
Don’t forget to keep up with the timeline of your gradual process. Always check how much time you have completed with your current status (including digital extensions!), as you might be eligible for a status upgrade. The gradual process timelines are as follows:
B1 visa for up to 6 months → A5 visa for 4 years → A choice between Israeli citizenship or permanent residency*
B1 visa for a minimum of 3 years → A5 visa for 4 years → Permanent residency → An option to apply for an Israeli citizenship
If you’re due for an upgrade, ensure PIBA is aware in advance so they can accommodate the longer upgrade meeting and make the necessary preparations/checks on their side. We recommend informing them about it via email, or when they reach out to you for scheduling after the submission of the renewal form.
Note! Eligibility for upgrade does not make the renewal application process redundant. Submit a renewal application at least 3 months prior to the expiation date of the visa as listed above.
It is possible that upgrade eligibility is reached in a date that does not coincide with the expiry/renewal of a current visa. In this case, contact your office or fill the renewal form at least 3 month prior to completing the required criteria, to apply for an upgrade meeting.
*same-sex married couples must get permanent residency before they can apply for citizenship.
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