According to Israel’s Defense Law, service in the IDF is obligatory. This law applies to:
- Citizens of the State of Israel, whether they are residing in Israel or abroad, even if they have another nationality.
- Permanent residents of Israel, even if they are not Israeli citizens.
The military authorities have authorized Consulates abroad to perform certain services pertaining to military service. These include determining if one is obligated to serve in the army, verifying information on army service, and granting deferments. For all other matters such as reserves (Miluim), or physical examinations for draftees, you must contact the IDF authorities in Israel directly. The website of the IDF - Human Resources http://www.aka.idf.il/giyus/main/.
Every Israeli citizen, including those born abroad, must establish their army status at the age of 17.
Upon entering Israel, every citizen above the age of 17 is required to show proof of his or her military status. One’s army status is determined by his or her obligation to serve in the IDF and eligibility for a deferment or release from the service. You can verify your army status through the Consulate.
As a general rule, an Israeli citizen who has left Israel with both of his/ her parents before the age of 14 (this age may be subject to change by the Israeli authorities) or a child born abroad to an Israeli parent (whose family has not returned to live in Israel) is eligible for an army deferment (not exemption). An army deferment means that the individual does not need to serve in the military as long as he/ she is residing outside of Israel.
Please Note: it is important that you secure this exemption between the age of 17 - 19.
If you are eligible for the deferment, upon review and confirmation of your status, you will be provided with a written notice that your obligation to serve is deferred for as long as you reside abroad with your parents, and you are permitted to visit Israel every year under certain conditions.
To determine whether you are eligible for the deferment, the following is required:
1. Once you are 16 and a-half years old, fill out both application forms, both forms should be signed by the applicant. [Registration and Personal Request form (Number 7202) and Request for Deferment form(Number 7325)]. (http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfaheb/sherut/tfasim/
2. Present all of your and your parent’s Israeli and Canadian passports. The passports must cover the time period between your 12th birthday and the day you come to the Consulate. The passports are required as evidence of the amount of days you and your parents resided in or visited Israel. You will need to prove that you or your parents have not resided in Israel since you were 14 years old.
3. If you are not a Canadian citizen submit your visa or Permanent Resident card.
4. Submit an original letter from your elementary and high school proving that you are/were a student (Transcripts won't be accepted). This should cover the ages of 14-17.
Please make sure to bring all the necessary documents to avoid unnecessary delays.
If applicant is more than 19 years old, Please Note that deferments of this type are bound to the decision of the military authorities in Israel and not the Consulate. This process might take approximately 8 weeks.
If you left Israel after you turned 16, you may be able to defer military service until completion of your high-school studies and applied for only one year in college.
Submit the following:
1. Your passport.
2. Registration and Personal Request form(Number 7202) and (Number 7325).
3. Present all of your and your parents Israeli and foreign passports (Israeli, Canadian and/or any nationality you might hold), including old and new passports.
4. Submit an original letter from your academic institution (college or university) stating the day of enrollment and the date the last day of studies.
5. Submit original letters from your parents' employers and a letter from your parents that explains their reason for staying here.
6. Application for a new passport or passport extension- see 'New Passport' or 'Passport Extension' Please note: deferments of this type are bond to the decisions of the military authorities in Israel, the Consulate does not have any part in making these decisions.