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Israel speeds up aliyah process

Immigrants will receive ID cards at the airport.

Some 300 new immigrants from France arrive at Ben-Gurion Airport on a flight organized by the Jewish Agency, July 23, 2018. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.
Some 300 new immigrants from France arrive at Ben-Gurion Airport on a flight organized by the Jewish Agency, July 23, 2018. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.

Israel’s government decided on Sunday to issue national identity cards to new olim, or immigrants, at its main airport in a move to reduce crowds and wait times.

Starting in June, new immigrants arriving in Israel will receive ID cards at Ben-Gurion Airport through a branch office of the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration.

This will eliminate the need for immigrants to go through the difficult process of scheduling an appointment at the Ministry of the Interior.

“We are doing the best of our ability to balance the needs of the population with what the Interior Ministry is able to offer. I congratulate my friend, Minister of Aliyah and Integration Ofir Sofer, for his partnership and commitment to new olim,” Interior Minister Moshe Arbel said in a statement.

Sofer said, “Immediate issuance of identity cards will allow the new olim to start leading a proper lifestyle in Israel. This is great news for aliyah, and I pledge to do whatever possible to help olim become more comfortable in Israel.”

The ministers also agreed that they will work together so that the ID cards issued to new olim by the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration will be biometric identity cards, which until now are only issued at Interior Ministry offices.

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