Asylum seekers in Israel – A brief guide

Preface

Entitlement to an asylum is granted to people recognized as refugees. These raise the following issues: who is a refugee; how does one get formally recognized as a refugee by the state’s institutions, and what can one do when his request is rejected.

In Israel, there are many people who seek asylum. Some of them entered Israel legally and are holding a valid visa, and some crossed the border illegally and are exposed to arrest and deportation. Many of those people came to Israel as a result of persecution, oppression, and other different kinds of dangers in their countries of origin.

In the following paragraphs we will try to deliver a basic guide, which, we hope, will be helpful for people who seek asylum in Israel, and wish to be recognized as refugees.

Naturally, this guide does not presume to include all aspects of this complicated issue, and is not, and cannot be, a substitute to legal advisement.

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Written by: Gie David, Adv.

Refugee status

In the year 1951, and as yet another Impact of world war two, a convention was signed in Geneva, for the purpose of protecting refugees all over the globe.

Israel is one of the countries which signed the convection and who are therefore obliged to enforce it.

The convection sets the definition of the term refugee, specifies the obligation of the country that handles an asylum seeker’s request, and lists the basic rights of an asylum seeker.

The institute responsible for monitoring the countries in the aspects of Compliance with the conditions of the convection is the UN refugee agency, known as the UNHCR.

The most important meaning of a recognition as a refugee is that the person is protected and cannot be deported to a place where his life would be in danger due to one of the elements stated in the convention. Also, it is stated that a person will not be deported from the moment he files his request for asylum and until there is a final and explained decision in his case.

The definition of refugee appears in the convention as:

“A refugee is a person who… owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; “

This short quote is the base of many regulations and procedures all over the world as well as in Israel. Also, this matter is being examined frequently by different types of tribunals, and it is the heart of every asylum request.

The burden of persuasion lies on the asylum seeker, who is expected to demonstrate that he holds a genuine and well founded fear for humself, and it must be because of one of the elements above-mentioned.

Protection for refugee and asylum seekers

The protection of refugee and asylum seekers is, first of all, the protection of deportation to a place where there is danger to their lives.

The principle of not deporting in these cases is stated in the convection as follows:

“Prohibition of expulsion or return (“refoulement”)

1. No Contracting State shall expel or return (“refouler”) a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.

2. The benefit of the present provision may not, however, be claimed by a refugee whom there are reasonable grounds for regarding as a danger to the security of the country in which he is, or who, having been convicted by a final judgment of a particularly serious crime, constitutes a danger to the community of that country”

As mentioned, the countries are obliged not to deport a refugee or an asylum seeker to a place where his life will be in danger on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.

However, there is an expansion to that principle, and the country of Israel will not deport an asylum seeker Evan if his case does not fall under the mandate of the convection criteria, in condition that his life are in danger for any reason(including Reasons not stated in the convection)

This exception is binding in Israel by the power of court and was recently reapproved in an asylum seeker case handballed by our firm, attorney Amit Sol.

The procedure of an asylum request

Step one

A foreign national who wishes to file for asylum in Israel, has the permission to submit his application at the offices of the Population, Immigration and Border Crossings, within a year of entry into Israel. A foreign national found in custody and requests to apply, submit a request to representatives of the Authority in custody.

The Authority will ensure that in custody, local authority offices and on the Authority on the Internet will find pages of information about how to apply for political asylum in Israel, a procedure to process requests and about the rights of an asylum seeker to contact the legal representative of their choice and the scope of representation which he is entitled the procedure.

Basic interview

At the end of the process of registration and identification, if there is a suspicion that the foreign nationality is not what he claims to be or not subjects of the state declared as the state of citizenship, making it impossible to continue the interview his case will be Transferred for a team leader in the unit of the RSD (refugee status determination) which will decide in the question of the identity and nationality of foreign nationality.

If the team leader decided that the foreign citizen is not who he claims to be, or not a citizen of the state declared as the state of his citizenship, his application is rejected out of hand and a decision that includes the point of rejecting of the request will be delivered to him.

After the registration and identification process, if the identity and nationality of foreign nationality were not refuted, there will be a basic interview.

The basic interview will take place in the official language of the applicant’s country of origin or any other language understood by him, and if necessary, the interview will be conducted through an interpreter.

The applicant will be asked to confirm in writing that he understood the content of the interview. If the interview was conducted through an interpreter, the interpreter will confirm in writing that the applicant confirmed that the interview was conducted in a language understood by him.

Presence of an attorney

Permitted the presence of an attorney is permitted during the basic interview, as long as participation will be limited to comments which can wake before the interview, or at the end, but not during.

If the asylum seeker said he is represented by a lawyer – or if an attorney presented a power of attorney – a notice regarding the interview will be delivered, if possible, to the attorney client 48 hours before the interview.

Outright rejection

Following the interview, in case the claims and the facts underlying the request, even if proven all, are not forming one of the foundations set out in the Refugee Convention, the matter will be handed to a chief of staff to approve the outright rejection.

The decision will be reasoned and detailed as possible and will be delivered by hand to the applicant along with a copy of the basic interview that was conducted.

Comprehensive interview

Providing that the interviewer decides after the basic interview, to refer the applicant to edit a comprehensive interview, the applicant twill be given an invitation to an extensive interview, and as the applicant is staying in Israel illegally, he will receive a 2 (a) (5) visa.

The interview will be held in the official language of the State of nationality of the applicant or in any other language understood by him. If necessary, the interview will be conducted through an interpreter.

The applicant will be asked to confirm in writing that he understood the content of the interview. If the interview was conducted through an interpreter, the interpreter will confirm in writing that the applicant confirmed that the interview was conducted in a language understood by him.

The presence of an attorney, who represents the asylum seeker during the extensive interview, is permitted, as long as participation will be limited to comments which can wake before the interview, or at the end, but not during. If the asylum seeker said he is represented by a lawyer – or if an attorney presented a power of attorney – a notice regarding the interview will be delivered, if possible, to the attorney client 48 hours before the interview.

An asylum seeker may request that his case will be interviewed by an interviewer of the same gender as him and the unit will operate as possible to hold this request.

Delivery of decisions

The asylum seeker has the right to receive a reasoned decision in his case, which will include the essence of the RSD’s Evaluation, and in case there are discrepancies between the basic interview and the comprehensive interview, the decision will also specify the main gaps. The applicant will be given a copy of the interview protocol.

Review

Supposing a request for political asylum is rejected, the asylum seeker may request reconsideration within two weeks from the day receiving the rejection of his request.

Request for reconsideration, which is not submitted on time or do not include a breakdown of the change in circumstances relevant to the decision, will be deleted outright and a decision about shall be delivered to the asylum seekers.

Request for reconsideration which shall be submitted on time and includes details of the change in circumstances relevant to a decision, shall be review by a committee (there are different methods of examinations).

Asylum seeker that submit a request for reconsideration of the decision rejecting his application for asylum, and the request for reconsideration was not deleted out of hand, will not be expelled from Israel until there is a decision regarding the Request for reconsideration.

Remember –

  •  It is essential to make a thorough preparation to the interviews, as their content is critical to your request.
  •  if case reconsideration is rejected, there is still an option of applying to high court, in case you believe that the decision in your case is misguided.
  •  It is strongly recommended to consult an attorney that practice international law.

Gie David, Advocate.

David, Sarusi, Sol – Law Offices

159 Yigal Alon St., Tel-Aviv 67443

Tel- 972-77-5150116 Fax- 972-77-5150118

2018-06-04T13:54:51+00:00
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