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Benefits for New Olim in Jerusalem – Israel

new olim benefits israel

Benefits for New Olim in Jerusalem – Israel

Israel has always welcomed new immigrants (Olim), and will continue to do so as long as there are Jewish people who want to come and live here.
What’s special about Israel’s welcome though, is that it comes with many benefits for the new Olim. These benefits offer financial support, discounts, help with learning hebrew, and much much more. Everything to get you standing strong on your feet in your new home country.
(Source: Jewish Agency.org)

 

Firstly, the benefits may start before you even set your feet on Israel’s ground, when arranging Aliyah from overseas, the Jewish Agency for Israel can make you a gift of a one-way airline ticket to Israel (from specific ports of departure). In most cases, you’ll also be entitled to additional baggage on your flight with you – speak to your local Aliyah office for specific details. And, once you arrive in Israel, having gone through initial processing at the airport, the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption will arrange free transportation to your first address.
Israel offers all new olim a Sal Klita (absorbtion basket), which is financial assistance, paid by the Ministry of Absorption (Misrad Haklita) to Olim, Ezrachim Olim and Katinim Chozrim. Total assistance is based on family size and composition. The first absorption basket payment is given to Olim at the airport and the remainder is deposited in 6 monthly payments to the immigrant’s bank account.
Below is an exemplary table of how much you can expect to get:

(Source: Jewish Agency.org)
Olim studying in an ulpan recognized by the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, 5 mornings per week, will receive income support without having to go to an Employment Office.
Now, for some more benefits:

 

Assistance for Olim Buying an Apartment (Mortgage)

New Immigrants (olim) holding a valid Oleh‘s certificate who haven’t purchased any property in Israel yet, may be eligible for assistance in buying an apartment for a period of 15 years from the day they immigrated to Israel.

The Extent of the Mortgage

  • The extent of the mortgage is conditional on the securities required by the bank, according to the Bank of Israel guidelines, regarding the worth of at least 25% of the purchase cost of the home, and the amount will be determined in accordance with the eligible points as detailed below:
    • Families in their first year of aliyah will receive assistance (automatic points) at the rate of at least 1700 points.
    • Families who have been in Israel for more than one year will receive assistance at the rate of at least 1800.
      • In addition, families may be eligible for further assistance according to their situation.
    • Individual olim from the age of 21 old and older are eligible for a secured loan at the rate of 600 points plus points according to their situation.
      • Single Olim older than 45 years old will receive an additional 400 points.
      • In any event, the total points for an individual will not be greater than 1690 points.
    • A senior citizen and an Oleh living together will accumulate points according to the seniority of the oleh in Israel and their number of children, in addition to a fixed eligibility of 700 points.
      • If the oleh is 45 years or older – an additional 400 points will be given.
    • Single parent families are automatically eligible for additional points which vary in accordance with their seniority in Israel and the length of time they have been “single-parent” families. For more information see Assistance for Single Parents in Buying an Apartment (Mortgage) (Hebrew).
    • Olim who have served in the IDF in regular service (Sherut Sadir) or National Service (Sherut Leumi) are eligible for assistance in accordance with the number of months of service.
    • Olim will be given the possibility to join in the purchase of an apartment together with their relatives in the first degree. Those joining in will be eligible for 80% of the mortgage amount in accordance with their points.
  • Click here for a chart that shows the basic mortgage amount based on the number of points (Hebrew) on the Ministry of Construction and Housing website.

Purchase tax reduction for new Olim

New Olim are eligible for a reduction in the purchase tax on their first property in Israel, in the time period of a year before their aliyah, to 7 years post-aliyah.
  • The reduction is given in the following purchases:
    • Private property intended for living, or a property intended for living and business as one, with the purpose of the oleh living there.
    • Business or agricultural land, intended for the purpose of the oleh and/or their relative of the first degree working there.
    • Free land, for the purpose of building a home or a business, the size of which will not exceed the minimal size of building allowed on that land by law, or 1000 sqm (the higher of the two).
  • Purchase tax for olim from 16.01.2020 till 15.01.2021 
    • 0.5% on the part of the property which amounts to 1,838,615 NIS.
    • 5% on the part of the property above 1,838,615 NIS.
  • Purchase tax for olim from 16.01.2019 till 15.01.2020
    • 0.5% on the part of the property which amounts to 1,788,285 NIS.
    • 5% on the part of the property above 1,788,285 NIS.

 

Choosing where to live in Jerusalem

When looking for your new home it is important to know what each neighborhood has to offer, as every neighborhood has it’s own unique feel and atmosphere.
The most popular neighborhoods among Olim ( especially from North America and Europe) are: The German Colony, The Greek Colony, Bak’a, Rehavia, Old Katamon, and Talbiya (or Talbiyeh). These neighborhoods offer close proximity to Jerusalem’s main attractions, along with plenty of cafe’s, stores, and green parks. All with large, friendly, and welcoming English-speaking communities.
© @natiwo.lf
Depending on where you live, the Municipality (through which you register for school placement) will try to place your children in the closest available school to where you live, taking into consideration your personal choices and available space.
Jerusalem is special in that there are 16 Community Absorption Managers and Community Centers that offer classes, assistance, activities, etc. In the Absorption Center, a personal connection is formed with the immigrant and a familiarity with the needs of him and his family members, for receiving information, guidance, and accompaniment in the initial stages of absorption, assistance in exercising their rights, mediating for services and various institutions, removing barriers and presenting personal absorption services to the immigrant and his family. Community Managers are available to help you acclimate into the area and feel part of the community. When you move, or even before, contact the Community Manager in order to discuss what the neighborhood has to offer.

For a list of post-aliyah managers and more information click here

Special Discounts from the Jerusalem Municipality

Arnona is a local property tax paid by each household to the local municipality / council.
In Israel, this tax is also paid by renters.
The tax rate differs widely from location to location.
The rate is set at the start of each year and is a rate per square meter of property (the larger the property the higher the arnona paid).
As an Oleh you are entitled to a discount for 12 months on your Arnona out of your first 24 months in Israel, starting from the day of registration at the Census Registration. This discount is at a rate of 90% for 100 sqm of the area of your apartment. Every meter above 100 sqm is charged at full rate.
For more information visit the Jerusalem Municipality website
And to fill out the application form (in Hebrew) click here

Rent Assistance for Olim

New Immigrants (Olim) without housing, are entitled to a rental allowance in their first months in Israel as part of the Absorption Basket given by the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption.
  • After the period of assistance through the absorption basket ends, the olim are automatically granted a rental allowance from the Ministry of Housing and Construction.
    • Olim who immigrated to Israel in April 2016 and earlier, receive assistance from the Ministry of Housing and Construction beginning their second year (month 13 from their aliyah date).
    • Those who immigrated between May and December 2016, receive assistance from the Ministry of Housing and Construction beginning in the 9th month from their aliyah date.
    • And, those who immigrated from January 2017 and on, receive assistance beginning in the 8th month from their aliyah date.
  • Single Olim and Oleh families receive the assistance for 4 years whilst single parent families receive the assistance for 5 years.
    • Single Olim receive 400 NIS per month in years 2 – 4 and 89 NIS per month for year 5
    • Couples or families receive 800 NIS per month in year 2, 600 NIS per month in year 3, 400 NIS per month in year 4, and 99 NIS per month in year 5.
  • Lone Soldiers and Olim who are not home-owners and receive income support from Bituach Leumi are entitled to additional sums for extended periods depending on specific criteria.

Health Insurance

According to the National Health Insurance Law, all Israeli residents are covered by health insurance which entitles them to the services included in the health services basket.
  • The medical services to which all residents are eligible (The Healthcare Basket) are established in the law and are updated periodically. The health services basket is the same for all those who are entitled to it, and eligibility is not dependent on which health plan someone belongs to.
  • By law, the health plans are responsible for providing the health services found in the second addendum to the law. The law requires the health plans to accept anyone who wishes to be a member, regardless of the economic status, age, sex, health condition, etc.
  • By law, The Ministry of Health is responsible for providing the health services found in the third addendum to the law.
  • The medical services will be provided in Israel subject to a professional medical opinion, reasonable level of quality, reasonable wait time and reasonable distance from the patient’s residence.
  • In general, the services included in the basket are provided free of charge, but the health plans may charge a co-payment for some of the medical services included in the healthcare basket, in accordance with the approval of the Knesset Finance Committee.
  • A list of the services for which a co-payment is required may be found in the second addendum to the National Health Insurance Law.

Discount for New Immigrants on Health Plan Services

The health plans have an established quarterly Per Family Health Plan Payment Ceiling.
  • In their first year in Israel, the family of a new immigrant is entitled to a 50% reduction of this quarterly payment ceiling.
  • Secondary Doctors: Specialty doctors, including psychiatrists that are not primary care doctors, as well as dietitians and podiatrists.
    • Primary doctors are general doctors (that are not specialists) and specialty doctors in family medicine, internal medicine, gynecology and pediatrics. There are no co-payments for visits to primary care doctors.
  • Out-patient Clinics: Clinics run in the framework of general hospitals (including mental health clinics in general hospitals).
  • Institutes:
    • Imaging institutes: x-rays, ultrasounds, nuclear medicine, CT, echocardiograms, MRI.
    • Diagnostic institutes: EEG, EMG, audiometry, ergometry
    • Institute for gastroenterology and the institute for sleeping problems
© @natiwo.lf

Higher education benefits

  • Tuition grants to cover the standard number of years for undergraduate or graduate or certificate studies or practical engineering studies. In most cases this means 3 years for Bachelor’s degrees but can be up to 5 years for Architecture or Medicine, and up to 3 years for Master’s degrees including a year of supplemental courses if necessary. (Grants are based on the standard annual cost of the recognized Israeli universities).
  • Pre-academic programs (mechinot), which prepare immigrant students for academic studies in Israel. Are now also covered in addition to degree study in cases where a mechina is required by the University.
  • New Olim students are also offeren counseling, information, advice and support, from their selected universities.

Olim are eligible for assistance from the Student Authority if they:

  • Begin their studies within 36 months of their date of Aliyah (not including compulsory military service; up to one year of service in the permanent army; Sherut Leumi– one Service year (“shin-shin“) prior to army service; up to four years’ service within the framework of the Hesder program; periods outside of Israel of more than six months)
  • Meet age criteria – begin mechinah study before their 23rd birthday; undergraduate degrees before their 27th birthday; practical engineering studies before their 28th birthday; and graduate / master’s degree studies before their 30th birthday
  • Fulfill academic criteria – completed high school; were accepted to the institution; continue to advance in their studies from one year to the next; study in recognized institutions and tracks; and are not repeating a degree level which they already hold. In some cases the Student Authority will fund a second graduate degree – special approval is required.

 

Customs benefits

In the three years following their Aliyah, Olim are entitled to:
  • Import of up to three tax-free shipments of appliances and household items in reasonable quantities for personal use.
  • The shipments, which may be as small as one item and as large as the entire contents of a house, can be sent from anywhere in the world.
  • The definition of what constitutes “Reasonable Quantities” is based on family size and is at the discretion of the Customs Authority. For most appliances, the regulation is one of each type. (Since March 2010, the Customs Authority has permitted tax-free import of two televisions and two computers.)
  • Purchase certain Israeli-made appliances in Israel with a tax exemption. There are, however, very few items that meet these criteria.
  • Import or locally purchase a car with a tax reduction.
  • This benefit is conditional upon theOleh holding a driver’s license from their country of origin issued prior to Aliyah. In addition, purchase is conditional upon the Oleh obtaining an Israeli driver’s license within a year of their date of Aliyah.
The three year period of benefits can be extended: for the entire period of compulsory military service; for full-time university studies for one year from the end of studies; and if the Oleh spends more than six consecutive months overseas during the period of rights (the latter is not applicable to those with Katin Chozer status).
Those with Ezrach Oleh or Katin Chozer status, or who held A1 status prior to October 15, 2009 must confirm their customs benefits upon arrival by presenting their Aliyah documents at the local branch of the Customs Authority.

 

Income tax

Working Olim are entitled to a reduction in their Israeli income tax in the three and a half years following their Aliyah.
Olim receive the following reductions:
  • For the first 18 months – 3 additional credit points (reduction of NIS 654 per month or NIS 7848 annually)
  • For the following 12 months – 2 additional credit points (reduction of NIS 436 per month or 5232 annually)
  • And for the following 12 months – 1 additional credit points (reduction of NIS 218 per month or NIS 2616 annually)
This benefit may be extended whilst carrying out compulsory army service and whilst studying at university or college.
Additional reductions are available for parents of young children, working mothers, discharged soldiers and many other reasons.
Apply for this benefit by filling out the relevant sections of form 101 (filled out upon start of employment and at the beginning of every year).
Income Tax bands from work income (updated 1/1/2016)
MONTHLY INCOME YEARLY INCOME MARGINAL TAX RATE
₪ 0 – 5,220 ₪ 0 – 62,240 10%
₪ 5,221 – 8,920 ₪ 62,241 – 107,040 14%
₪ 8,921 – 13,860 ₪ 107,041 – 166,320 21%
₪ 13,861 – 19,800 ₪ 166,321 – 237,600 31%
₪ 19,801 – 41,410 ₪ 237,601 – 496,920 34 %
Each additional shekel Each additional shekel 48%

 

Child Allowance

 

© @natiwo.lf
Child Allowance or Kitzbat Yeladim is a small sum of money, paid monthly to eligible families according to the number of minor children in the family.
The National Insurance Institure (HaMossad LeBituach Leumi) pays a child allowance to families living in Israel with children under the age of 18.
In most cases the payment is automatic, with Olim having their details passed to the NII following their Aliyah. It is recommended to make sure that the money is in fact going into your bank account, and to be proactive in the event that payments are not made.
The allowance is paid on the 20th of each month.

Allowance rates for children born after May 31st 2003:

Child number Additional allowance for that child Total
1 NIS 150 NIS 150
2 NIS 188 NIS 338
3 NIS 188 NIS 526
4 NIS 188 NIS 714
5 or more NIS 150

 

Allowance rates for children born up to May 31st 2003:

Child number Additional allowance for that child Total
1 NIS 150 NIS 150
2 NIS 188 NIS 338
3 NIS 188 NIS 526
4 NIS 336 NIS 862
5 or more NIS 354

 

A link to a calculator (in Hebrew) is provided to check your eligibility and the retroactive sum that you should receive.
For further information see the NII website.
More information & sources:
Jerusalem Municipality website
Ministry of Aliyah and Integration
Nefesh B’Nefesh
The Jewish Agency for Israel
Kol Zchut
Useful Guide to the New Immigrant
Written by: Daniel Bouzaglo, Natalia Volkov.

 

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