Child Registration
St. Yves succeeds to register a child
2014-12-18

St. Yves succeeds to register a child and to get a permit for the mother. In January 2007 A., a resident of Jerusalem, married his cousin. His wife is holder of a Mexican passport and therefore needs a permit to remain in Jerusalem for which a family unification needs to be granted by the Israeli officials.

In January 2007 A., a resident of Jerusalem, married his cousin. His wife is holder of a Mexican passport and therefore needs a permit to remain in Jerusalem for which a family unification needs to be granted by the Israeli officials. Before the family unification of the young family, for which they had applied in March 2007, was approved, the wife got pregnant and gave birth to a little boy on 24th of December 2007.

A. went to the Ministry of the Interior in February 2008 in order to register his son and was asked to bring his wife to the office. When they arrived together, the couple was separated and questioned by the Ministry’s employees. The questioning mainly focused on information like how many rooms their flat has (the husband answered 3, the wife 4), why the municipality tax (Arnona) states, that the size of their place is just 24sqm and whether the family has land in the Westbank.

It has to be mentioned, that the hearing was held in Spanish for the wife, but in Hebrew for the husband, who understands Hebrew but cannot sufficiently express himself in this language. During the hearing, A. did not mention that his father had recently enlargened the flat, but had not yet informed the Arnona, as he did not want to get his father into trouble. He truthfully answered, that his family indeed owned land in the Westbank, but emphasized the fact, that there is no building on the land.

After the hearing, the Ministry of the Interior informed the family, that both their applications for family unification and child registration were rejected on the grounds that the couple had lied in the hearing and furthermore owns land in the Westbank, which led to the conclusion, that their center of life was not Jerusalem. A. was presumed to have grown up not in Jerusalem, but on his family’s land in the Westbank. As another proof for this conclusion, the Ministry stated the fact that the couple had married in Bethlehem (as do lots of Jerusalemites).

At this point A. came to St. Yves to ask for assistance. The lawyers of St. Yves prepared an objection against the Ministry’s decision, which included proof of A.’s continuous life and residency in Jerusalem in the form of all his school reports, reports from college after school and salary slips. Furthermore they explained that the wedding had been held in Bethlehem because of numerous family members unable to enter Israel. They also included a document from the Arab village, where the family land lies, proving that there is no building on the ground. Finally the new Arnona bill (with the correct flat size) as well as a Israeli National Insurance examination , which concluded that the couple is indeed permanently living in Jerusalem, was added to the appeal.

This objection was rejected by the Ministry of Interior without explanation.

St. Yves then took the case to court. The judge ruled that the Ministry of Interior could not ignore the strong evidence presented. Furthermore, the unannounced hearing had not been in order. The Ministry was ordered to hold a second hearing and to reassess the case within two months. When the Ministry did not react, St. Yves informed the Ministry’s that it was preparing to go to court again. Two weeks later –one year and four months after the application – the Ministry registered the child and issued a 12-month permit for the wife, who could finally leave the country to visit her mother in, who suffers from cancer.

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