Who is an Israeli resident?

Is deemed Israeli resident a person whose center of life and majority of ties are located in Israel.

Since the National Insurance Law does not give a definition of an Israeli resident, when reviewing the determination of Israeli resident status, we hence rely on the jurisprudence of the courts.

To be considered Israeli resident, one must pass two tests, verifying the center of life:

  • Objective test - are his place of residence, family, work and assets located in Israel.
  • Subjective test - where is, in the individual's personal view, the center of his life.

It is important to know that an individual won't be recognized Israeli resident unless he stays legally in Israel and hold one of the visa types bestowing residency: Israeli citizenship, permanent residence permit , visa of category A/1, A/2, A/4 and A/5.

Determining residency for someone staying abroad

An Israeli resident traveling abroad continues to be registered as resident with the National Insurance Institute in the firs 5 years following his departure oversees.

During that time, his eligibility to various benefits and public health insurance is preserved.
The National Insurance Institute may review the residence of an individual even before 5 years of stay abroad have elapsed, if, for instance, the Institute holds information showing that this individual has apparently ceased to reside in Israel.
5 years after moving abroad, residency will be denied; there is however a possibility to file an appeal against this decision.

Submitting a request to extend residency beyond 5 years

In order to extend residency beyond 5 years of stay abroad, one must prove that the stay outside of Israel remains temporary, and that the center of life is still in Israel.
To that end, one must fill out a questionnaire for determining residency of persons living abroad, with relevant proofs in attachment, and submit it to the Insurance and Collection Department of a NII's local branch or by means of the website

For instance, a person staying abroad for purposes of studies or to support his family who remained in Israel, the National Insurance Institute may keep recognizing him as Israeli resident beyond 5 years, and in practice without time limit. This, so long as his stay abroad is mainly intended for purposes of studies or work, his family remains in Israel, and he comes from time to time for homeland visits, even if lives abroad most of the time.

Residency test for the elderly

Old people spending more time abroad than in Israel can, in specific cases, continue to be recognized as Israeli residents, even beyond 5 years. The National Insurance Institute is aware that the elderly are more prone to go on urgent trips oversees, and we therefore take into account the number of years of residency in Israel accrued by the elderly overtime, and perform a residency test.

For instance, regarding an Israeli citizen living in Israel for many years who, closely before or after reaching the age of retirement, start making many trips out of the country in order to visit his children or for vacation. Most of the time, the NII will continue to recognize his Israeli residency and his entitlement to health services under State Health Insurance Law will be maintained, even if he spends more time abroad than in Israel on average, and provided that he did not move his center of life oversees.

Submitting an application for early termination of residency

A person who left Israel and fully moved his center of life abroad, can approach the National Insurance Institute and ask for the termination of his residency prior to 5 years.
For that purpose, he needs to fill out a questionnaire of residence determination for a person staying oversees , with proofs of end of center of life and its relocation abroad in attachment. The questionnaire must be submitted to the Insurance and Collection Department of a NII's local branch or by means of the website
In most cases, residency will be terminated since the day notification to the Institute.

Please note,

  • We strongly advise you to maintain your residency in Israel, in order to guarantee the continuation of provision of health services and to save your social rights with the National Insurance Institute.
  • Most of the time, the relocation of center of life abroad is a gradual process, especially concerning a family intending from the outset to stay temporarily abroad then return to Israel; therefore, you are advised to carefully weigh your decision to terminate residence with the National Insurance Institute.

Family cell examination

During the review of the request for residency termination, we examine the family cell as a whole. In other words, the an individual's residence termination request will not be approved if his spouse and children are staying in Israel.

Likewise, if the spouses request the end of residency, and after a while they return to Israel - their residency will be examined retroactively (including over the period when residency was terminated). In this case, if it appears that, in retrospect, their center of life has not been fully transferred abroad - they will be recognized retroactively as residents, including for the period when residency was already terminated.

For instance, a couple approached the National Insurance Institute after half a year spent abroad, declared that they were not residents any more and, as a result, their residency has been terminated. After two years, when they returned in Israel, their residency was reviewed over this whole 2-year period, and if it is found that their center of life remained in Israel, whereas their stay abroad was temporary - they will be recognized residents during the whole period, and be liable for insurance contributions accordingly.