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1 August 2010, Tel Aviv, Israel – The Government of the State of Israel announced that it has reached a decision to accept the recommendations made by an inter-ministerial committee on the issue of the status of 1,200 children of foreign workers who have lost their legal status in Israel.

There are six (6) guidelines that must be met in order for the Israeli government to allow children and their parents to remain in Israel:

1. The child must have been enrolled in the Israeli school system in the past year;

2. Said child must be enlisted for the next school year in the first grade or higher;

3. Said child must have lived at least five years in Israel;

4. If born in another country, the child must have entered Israel before the age of 13;

5. The child must be a Hebrew speaker; and,

6. The parents of the child entered Israel using a valid visa

According to the Israeli government's announcement, it is estimated that out of the 1,200 children who have fallen in this category, 800 would most likely qualify while the remaining 400 children might not meet the criteria.

The Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv anticipates that many Filipino children would be eligible under the newly issued guidelines and these eligibles will have to submit all necessary documents to support their application. The Israeli government has given applicants a period of 21 days to file their applications at the Ministry of Interior.

For its part, the Philippine Embassy is ready to facilitate the issuance of necessary legal documents to all applicants. In anticipation of the possible surge in the number of applicants during the 21 day period, the Embassy has set up a task force in the Consular section specifically to address the needs of these children.

On the 400 applicants whose applications might be denied and while the exact number of Filipino children is not yet known, the Israeli government assured the Philippine Embassy that the disqualified applicants will be departing Israel with dignity and will be treated humanely.

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