Last year, Israel saw a surge in the immigration from both Russia and Ukraine after the beginning of Moscow’s invasion. Media reported that some 13,000 families are waiting to immigrate to Israel from Russia.
Making an appointment at the Israeli consulate in the country that has been engaged in the war with Ukraine since February 2022 takes about eight months. The current government has canceled the plan launched by the previous coalition for immigration from combat zones in Eastern Europe.
According to the data, about 70,000 immigrants arrived in Israel under the program, and only four percent of them were found to be ineligible for Israeli citizenship and returned to their country.
Minister of Aliyah (immigration) and Absorption Ofir Sofer said that “the decision to reduce the aliyah centers after a year and a half of operation has been discussed with the ministry professionals and, according to the data, most immigrants from Russia, about 3,000 in June, prefer to immigrate through the normal immigration procedure, against only a small number (200 immigrants) who prefer the express procedure.”
Over the past two weeks, only about 60 applications have been submitted for the accelerated procedure. Last year, Israel saw an influx from both Russia and Ukraine after the beginning of Moscow’s invasion.