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Re-connecting with Israel: All the Benefits of Being a Returning Resident (Toshav Chozer)

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As a Jew, there’s no denying the strong connection you feel to Israel. It’s like a part of your soul is calling out to you. And while you may have been born and raised elsewhere, there’s nothing that can compare to finally being able to call Israel home.

Returning residents have many benefits when it comes to making Aliyah. Not only do you get all the support and resources necessary for a smooth transition, but you also get the chance to re-connect with your roots in a very real and tangible way.

If you’ve been considering making Aliyah, there’s no better time than now. Come see all that Israel has to offer and fall in love with your heritage all over again.

What is a Toshav Chozer and what it entails?

A “Returning Resident” is a term used in Israel to refer to an individual who was born in the country or has lived there for an extended period and has since relocated to another country but now wishes to return to Israel. There are several benefits that come with being classified as a Returning Resident in Israel:

  1. Tax Benefits: Returning Residents are entitled to several tax benefits, such as an exemption from Israeli income tax on foreign income for many years following their return. This is a significant benefit for individuals who have built up savings and investments in another country.
  2. Healthcare: Returning Residents are eligible for national health insurance immediately upon their return, even if they have not yet satisfied the residency requirements. This means they have access to comprehensive healthcare services, which can be particularly beneficial for those with pre-existing medical conditions.
  3. Housing: Returning Residents can receive housing benefits, such as access to public housing and a reduced purchase tax rate for their first property purchase in Israel.
  4. Education: Returning Residents can enroll their children in public schools and receive subsidies for private education.
  5. Job Opportunities: Returning Residents can benefit from the many job opportunities available in Israel, particularly in high-tech industries. The government offers various programs and incentives to encourage entrepreneurship, which can be particularly beneficial for individuals looking to start their own businesses.
  6. Cultural and Social Connections: Returning Residents can reconnect with their roots and reconnect with family and friends who live in Israel. They can also immerse themselves in the unique culture and history of the country.

The regulations of Toshav Chozer (returning resident) in Israel

The regulations for returning Toshav Chozer (returning resident) in Israel are complex. To be accepted as a returnee, it is necessary to prove that you were part of the Israeli community at least one year before any application for residency will be accepted and you must also provide evidence that ties you to that specific community.

Those who meet these requirements may be granted the status of Toshav Chozer and subsequent access to most benefits available to Israeli citizens. Furthermore, various documents must be obtained in order for returnees to obtain employment and open a bank account, obtain a driver’s license, buy health insurance and find housing in the country. Despite its complexity, the proper documentation can help those returning to resettle quickly.

Government benefits for returning residents in Israel

When returning to Israel as a resident, the Israeli government offers many benefits and financial support. These benefits are provided through such programs as tax exemptions, subsidized healthcare, pensions, employment rights and other social services.

You can check these benefits in the Misrad HaKlita’s website.

When dealing with national insurance payments, individuals might also be eligible for special allowances due to their personal circumstances. Furthermore, the Israeli government provides assistance in finding suitable housing along with free professional advice to ensure that everyone is safely settled into their new homes.

Returning Israelis can rely on all these resources when transitioning back into everyday life in the country and building their new homes.

Tax benefits for Toshav Chozer

As a Returning Resident in Israel, you may be eligible for significant tax benefits, including exemption from Israeli income tax on foreign income for many years, depending on certain conditions, following your return. This tax exemption applies to foreign income, capital gains, and passive income, such as interest, dividends, and rental income. In this way, the tax benefits for Returning Residents are intended to encourage and incentivize repatriation and contribute to the country’s economy.

To qualify for these tax benefits, there are specific criteria you must meet. You must be a Returning Resident who has not been a resident of Israel for at least six years. You must also have been a resident of Israel for at least four years before your departure. Additionally, you must not have been considered a resident of Israel for tax purposes during the six years before your return.

If you meet these criteria, you will be eligible for the following tax benefits:

  1. Exemption from Israeli income tax on foreign income for ten years following your return. This means that if you earn income from abroad, such as from employment, business, or investment, you will not be subject to Israeli income tax on that income for the first ten years after your return.
  2. Reduced tax rates on certain types of Israeli income. If you earn Israeli-source income, such as employment income or business income, you will be subject to reduced tax rates for the first two years after your return. After two years, you will be subject to the regular Israeli tax rates.
  3. Exemption from reporting foreign assets. If you hold foreign assets, such as bank accounts or securities, you will be exempt from reporting them to the Israeli tax authorities for the first ten years after your return.

It is essential to note that these tax benefits are subject to change, and it is important to consult with a tax professional to ensure that you are eligible for the benefits and to understand how they apply to your specific situation.

Steps to applying to return as a returning resident in Israel

If you’re an Israeli citizen and an expat who wishes to come back home, the process of reapplying to be a returning resident of Israel is not particularly complex.

Check the Misrad HaKlita’s checklist for more information.

The most important step is to file an application with the Ministry of Interior prior to entering the country so that new residency status can be granted on arrival. You’ll need to provide proof of your identity and Israeli citizenship, a valid passport and plane tickets, documentation related to your service in the Israeli Defense force (if applicable), as well as any immigration papers from foreign countries if you have been away for more than two years.

Submit all necessary paperwork about three weeks before leaving for Israel, and then follow up when arriving at Ben Gurion Airport in order to enter the country with no issues. Following these steps properly should help ensure that your return is a smooth and stress-free experience.

How to get the benefits of a Toshav Chozer in Israel

Becoming a Toshav Chozer in Israel is a great way to receive the benefits of local citizenship. To become a Toshav Chozer, you must be Jewish and resident in Israel for at least two years. After two years of living within the country, you can apply with authorities for the status of Toshav Chozer. As a Toshav Chozer, you will enjoy free public healthcare and access to subsidized education opportunities for yourself and your family. In addition, you will also be eligible for discounts on many expenses such as travel, entertainment and services from government offices.

Concluding Remarks

Living in Israel can be one of the most rewarding experiences a person can have—especially when you know what you’re doing. As a Toshav Chozer (returning resident), it’s important to understand the rules and regulations, as well as be aware of which government benefits are available. We’ve outlined some steps on how to apply to become a returning resident, and how possible it is to gain access to the benefits that come with being one. It’s great for individuals who want to return home in order to take advantage of all that Israel has to offer!

As you already know, Olim Paveway is here to assist you with our expert Melavim service, even if you are a returning citizen! Click here to know more.

All in all, becoming a Toshav Chozer offers great opportunities when moving back to Israel. You will be able to take advantage of its many benefits and have peace of mind that comes from knowing you are registered with the government in a legal capacity.

There’s much more than meets the eye when it comes to making Aliyah again, so make sure you think carefully before deciding if returning residency is right for you – your future self will thank you later!

Picture of Chaim Apsan
Chaim Apsan

Chaim is the Interactive Media Coordinator of Olim Paveway. Having made Aliyah 8 years ago, he now works writing articles and taking care of the technical aspects of the website.

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