NATIONALITY LAW, 5712-1952*
PART ONE: ACQUISITION OF NATIONALITY
||1. Israel nationality is acquired-
- by return (section 2),
- by residence in Israel (section 3),
- by birth (section 4) or
- by naturalisation (section 5 to 9).
- There shall be no Israel nationality save under this Law.
- (a) Every 'oleh** under the Law of Return, 5710-1950(1), shall
become an Israel national.
- (b) Israel nationality by return is acquired-
- (1) by a person who came as an 'oleh into, or was born
in, the country before the establishment of the State - with effect
from the day of the establishment of the State;
- (2) by a person having come to Israel as an 'oleh after
the establishment of the State - with effect from the day of his
- (3) by a person born in Israel after the establishment of the
State - with effect from the day of his birth;
- (4) by a person who has received an 'oleh's certificate
under section 3 of the Law of Return, 5710-1950 - with effect from
the day of the issue of the certificate.
- (c) This section does not apply-
- (1) to a person having ceased to be an inhabitant of Israel before
the coming into force of this Law;
- (2) to a person of full age who, immediately before the day of
his 'aliyah or the day of his 'oleh's certificate
is a foreign national and who, on or before such day, declares that
he does not desire to become an Israel national;
- (3) to a minor whose parents have made a declaration under paragraph
(2) and included him therein.
- (a) A person who, immediately before the establishment of the State,
was a Palestinian citizen and who does not become a Israel national
under section 2, shall become an Israel national with effect from the
day of the establishment of the State if -
- (1) he was registered on the 4th Adar, 5712 (1st March 1952) as
an inhabitant under the Registration of Inhabitants Ordinance, 5709-1949(2);
- (2) he is an inhabitant of Israel on the day of the coming into
force of this Law; and
- (3) he was in Israel, or in an area which became Israel territory
after the establishment of the State, from the day of the establishment
of the State to the day of the coming into force of this Law, or
entered Israel legally during that period.
- (b) A person born after the establishment of the State who is an inhabitant
of Israel on the day of the coming into force of this Law, and whose
father or mother becomes an Israel national under subsection (a), shall
become an Israel national with effect from the day of his birth.
|4. A person born while his father or mother is an Israel national
shall be an Israel national from birth; where a person is born after his
father's death, it shall be sufficient that his father was an Israel national
at the time of his death.
- (a) A person of full age, not being an Israel national, may obtain
Israel nationality by naturalisation if -
- (1) he is in Israel; and
- (2) he has been in Israel for three years out of five years
proceeding the day of the submission of his application; and
- (3) he is entitled to reside in Israel permanently; and
- (4) he has settled, or intends to settle, in Israel, and
- (5) he has some knowledge of the Hebrew language, and
- (6) he has renounced his prior nationality or has proved that
he will cease to be a foreign national upon becoming an Israel
- (b) Where a person has applied for naturalisation, and he meets
the requirements of subsection (a), the Minister of the Interior,
if he thinks fit to do so, shall grant him Israel nationality by the
issue of a certificate of naturalisation.
- (c) Prior to the grant of nationality, the applicant shall make
the following declaration:
"I declare that I will be a loyal national of the
State of Israel."
- (d) Nationality is acquired on the day of the declaration.
ditions of na-
- (1) A person who has served in the regular service of the Defence
Army of Israel or who, after the 16th Kislev, 5708 (29th November
1947) has served in some other service which the Minister of Defence,
by declaration published in Reshumot, has declared to be
military service for the purpose of this section, and who has
been duly discharged from such service; and
- (2) a person who has lost a son or daughter in such service,
are exempt from the requirements of section 5 (a), except the
requirement of section 5 (a) (4).
- (b) A person applying for naturalisation after having made a declaration
under section 2 (c) (2) is exempt from the requirement of section
5 (a) (2).
- (c) A person who immediately before the establishment of the State
was a Palestinian citizen is exempt from the requirement of section
5 (a) (5).
- (d) The Minister of the Interior may exempt an applicant from all
or any of the requirements of section 5 (a) (1), (2), (5) and (6)
if there exists in his opinion a special reason justifying such exemption.
|7. The spouse of a person who is an Israel national or who has
applied for Israel nationality and meets or is exempt from the requirements
of section 5 (a) may obtain Israel nationality by naturalisation even if
she or he is a minor or does not meet the requirements of section (5) (a).
|8. Naturalisation confers Israel nationality also upon the minor
children of the naturalised person.
- (a) Where a minor, not being an Israel national, is an inhabitant
of Israel, and his parents are not in Israel or have died or are unknown,
the Minister of the Interior, on such conditions and with effect from
such day as be may think fit, may grant him Israel nationaiity by the
issue of a certificate of naturalisation.
- (b) Nationality may be granted as aforesaid upon the application of
the father or mother of the minor or, if they have died or are unable
to apply, upon the application of the guardian or person in charge of
PART TWO: LOSS OF NATIONALITY
- (a) An Israel national of full age, not being an inhabitant of Israel
, may declare that he desires to renounce his Israel nationality; such
renunciation is subject to the consent of the Minister of the Interior;
the declarant's Israel nationality terminates on the day fixed by the
- (b) The Israel nationality of a minor, not being an inhabitant of
Israel, terminates upon his parents' renouncing their Israel nationality;
it does not terminate so long as one of his parents remains an Israel
- (a) Where a person, having acquired Israeli nationality by naturalisation
- (1) has done so on the basis of false particulars; or
- (2) has been abroad for seven consecutive years and has no effective
connection with Israel, and has failed to prove that his effective
connection with Israel was severed otherwise than by his own volition;
- (3) has committed an act of disloyalty towards the State of Israel,
a District Court may, upon the application of the Minister of the
Interior, revoke such person's naturalisation.
- (b) The Court may, upon such application, rule that the revocation
shall apply also to such children of the naturalised person as acquired
Israel nationality by virtue of his naturalisation and are inhabitants
of a foreign country.
- (c) Israel nationality terminates on the day on which the judgment
revoking naturalisation ceases to be appealable or on such later day
as the Court may fix.
|12. Loss of Israel nationality does not relieve from a liability
arising out of such nationality and created before its loss.
PART THREE: FURTHER PROVISIONS
|13. In this Law -
"of full age" means of the age of eighteen years
"minor" means a person under eighteen years of age;
"child" includes an adopted child, and "parents" includes adoptive parents;
"foreign nationality" includes foreign citizenship, and "foreign national"
includes a foreign citizen, but does not include a Palestinian citizen.
- (a) Save for the purposes of naturalisation, acquisition of Israel
nationality is not conditional upon renunciation of a prior nationality.
- (b) An Israel national who is also a foreign national shall, for the
purposes of Israel law, be considered an Israel national.
- (c) An inhabitant of Israel residing abroad shall, for the purposes
of this Law, be considered an inhabitant of Israel so long as he has
not settled abroad.
|15. An Israel national may obtain from the Minister of the Interior
a certificate attesting his Israel nationality.
||16. A person who knowingly gives false particulars as to a matter
affecting his own or another person's acquisition or loss of Israel nationality
is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to fine
not exceeding five hundred pounds, or to both such penalties.
- (a) The Minister of the Interior is charged with the implementation
of this Law and may make regulations as to any matter relating to its
implementation, including the payment of fees and exemption from the
- (b) The Minister of Justice may make regulations as to proceedings
in District Courts under this Law, including appeals from decisions
of such Courts.
of laws and
- (a) The Palestinian Citizenship Orders, 1925-1942(3), are repealed
with effect from the day of the establishment of the State.
- (b) Any reference in any provision of law to Palestinian citizenship
or Palestinian citizens shall henceforth be read as a reference to Israel
nationality or Israel nationals.
- (c) Any act done in the period between the establishment of the State
and the day of the coming into force of this Law shall be deemed to
be valid if it were valid had this Law been in force at the time it
- (a) This Law shall come into force on the 21st Tammuz, 5712 (14tb
- (b) Even before that day, the Minister of the Interior may make regulations
as to declarations under section 2(c)(2).
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Minister of the Interior
Chairman of the Knesset
Acting President of the State
||* Passed by the Knesset on the 6th Nisan, 5712 (Ist April, 1952). and
published in Sefer Ha-Chukkim No. 95 of the 13th Nisan, 5712 (8th
April, 1952), P. 146; the Bill was published in Hatza'ot Chok No.
93 of the 22nd Cheshvan, 5712 (21st November, 1951), p. 22.
** Translator's Note: 'oleh and 'aliyah mean respectively
a Jew immigrating, and the immigration of a Jew, into the Land of Israel.
(1) Sefer Ha-Chukkim No. 51 of the 21st Tammuz, 5710 (6th July,
1950), p. 159.
(2) I.R. No. 48 of the 5th Shevat, 5709 (4th February, 1949), Suppl.
I, p. 164.
(3) Palestine Gazette No. 1210 of the 16th July, 1942, Suppl. 11,
p. 1193 (English Edition).