After four months of many trips to the Interior Ministry, exhausting and at times futile discussions with heartless immigration clerks, sending off and waiting patiently for additional documents from England, I am now finally in the possession of a 1 year Israeli work visa.
With our final outstanding document in hand – a criminal record check from the UK – we now had the full set of documents necessary to persuade the immigration officers into allowing me to stay and work in Israel.
However, as we handed over this last document, the disinterested immigration clerk responded that we would need yet again, to provide evidence that we are living together; such as shared utility bills etc., etc. As we had already once gone to great lengths to prove that Asya and I are a genuine couple still living together here in Jerusalem it did feel that this was another attempt to delay the process by yet again moving the goalposts. Having recently read news stories of behind-the-scene political moves by far-right political parties to reduce non-Jewish immigration, I did for a moment fear the worse – that there would always be one document or one outstanding issue preventing me from obtaining this elusive visa.
As everything was conducted in Hebrew I can only guess to the specifics of what was being said, but the tone by which Asya responded to these new demands were enough to tell me that things weren’t looking good. Thankfully, Asya’s perseverance and steadfastness by not taking no for an answer, along with the reasonable argument that they had not once told us to bring additional proof our relationship meant that it wasn’t long before the woman begrudgingly began filling my passport pages with the necessary visas.
At least this now gives us a bit of stability. I know that I’m definitely able to stay here, to travel in and out of the country as I please as well as being able to apply for jobs . Although the visa is only valid for one year, according to all accounts renewing the visa next year should be a far easier and painless experience. Let’s hope so…