Caution - Register a He’arat Azhara (Cautionary Note)!היזהרו! לרשום הערת אזהרה!

What is a he’arat azhara (הערת אזהרה = Cautionary/Warning/Inquiry Note)?

Once the purchase contract for your new home is signed and the down payment has been made, the first action to be taken by the lawyer representing you is to register a “cautionary note.”

Caution!
This is a note registered in the Land Registry, or the Israel Land Administration – the Minhal, to warn/alert any prospective purchaser (to whom the seller might, conceivably, try and resell the property, following the signing of the contract) that a purchase contract has been signed for this property and the sale is in progress. The recording of a cautionary note does not in itself constitute a final record of the purchase transaction, but protects the purchaser’s interest, as it prevents any deal being registered which is inconsistent with the buyer’s rights, unless agreed to in writing by the buyer.

A cautionary notice provides immunity to its owners and priority over parties who might attempt to place liens against the property, before the property is registered in the buyer’s name. It also grants its owners priority in the event that the seller declares bankruptcy or enters into receivership. By contrast, if no cautionary notice is recorded, the buyer will not be able to exercise his/her rights to the property in the event that the seller has debtors and declares bankruptcy, or in the event that a lien is placed against the property.

To register a cautionary note, a request form is completed and the original purchase contract between the parties presented to the title registry recording authority, together with a nominal fee.

In accordance with the Israeli Sale (Apartments) Law, a contractor selling an apartment must guarantee the buyer’s money. This can be done via the recording of a cautionary note in favor of the buyer. Other legitimate ways include the provision of a bank guarantee, an insurance policy indemnifying the buyer for the amounts paid to the contractor in the event the buyer does not receive the apartment, or a lien against the apartment in favor of the buyer;

Where the property is not registered with either the Land Registry or the Israel Land Administration, the mechanism of a he’arat azhara does not exist. Instead, a pledge/charge (mishkun) should be registered at the Registrar of Pledges (Rasham HaMashkonot). In addition, notice of the transaction should be sent to the body recording the transaction (e.g. Housing Corporation (Chevra Meshakenet) or the Chativa Le’Hityashvut in the World Zionist Organization (Histadrut HaTzionit Ha’Olamit)).

Guide to the Process of UK Passport Applications / Renewals (“UK in France”) and Certified Translations of Documents בקשה לדרכון/חידוש דרכון בריטי ותרגומים מאושרים של מסמכים

Guide to the Process of UK Passport Applications/Renewals (“UK in France”)
and Certified Translations of Documents

Changing Times for the UK Passport Service

The UK passport service is changing. In 2007, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office produced passports for British nationals overseas in over 90 embassies, High Commissions and Consulates around the world. This service was costing over £8 million.

European Union Passport
As a result, 7 regional passport processing centers were created – in Paris, Dusseldorf, Hong Kong, Madrid, Pretoria, Washington, Wellington and the Passport Office in Dublin.

This is why British nationals applying for a passport from overseas apply to one of these centers, rather than direct to their local embassy as used to be the case.

However, though passport applications are made to the new regional passport centers, since 2006, they have been printed in the UK, for both UK and overseas customers, for security and cost effectiveness. After printing, they are couriered directly to the applicant. Documents submitted in support of the application, such as birth certificates and previous passports, are returned separately. Both shipments are handled by DHL worldwide.

The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) in the UK took over responsibility for the overseas passport operation from 1 April, 2011.

By 2014, the complete passport operation is scheduled to move back to the UK, at which point applicants overseas will apply directly to the IPS in the UK. There will then be one passport service for all British nationals, whether they live in the UK or overseas.

The aim is thus for all British passports to be produced in the UK. Integrating the overseas passport service into the IPS is designed to reduce the cost of maintaining a passport operation overseas, while allowing secure passports to be offered British nationals abroad.

At present, then, the Regional Passport Processing Center in Paris (the “UK in France”) provides passport services for British nationals applying from many countries outside the UK, including Israel.

Who is Entitled to Apply for a British Passport?

1) You must have British nationality to get a British passport, i.e. you must be a British citizen, British overseas citizen, British subject, British national (overseas).

2) Even if you were born outside the United Kingdom, you can still be a British citizen.

(a) If you were born outside the United Kingdom before 1.1.1983

If you were born outside the United Kingdom before 1 January 1983, you became a British citizen if, immediately before that date, you were a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies and had the ‘right of abode’ in the United Kingdom, i.e. you are entirely free from UK Immigration Control and don’t need permission from an Immigration Officer to enter the UK, and can live and work in the UK without restriction. This includes people who were born in the UK; were born in a British colony and had the right of abode in the UK; were naturalised in the UK; registered as a citizen of the UK; or could prove legitimate descent from a father to whom one of the foregoing applies.

(i.e. you were adopted, naturalised or registered as a citzen of the UK; you legally settled in the UK and were ordinarily resident there for 5 years; or you were born, or you had a parent who was a citizen of the UK because s/he was born, adopted, naturalised or registered in the UK, or because one of your grandparents was).

You may have had citizenship of the United Kingdom and Colonies by descent from a father who had that citizenship, or because you were registered or naturalised as a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies.

(b) If you were born outside the United Kingdom after 1.1.1983

If you were born on or after 1 January 1983, you will be a British citizen if your mother or father was either:

  • a British citizen when you were born;
  • ‘settled’ in the UK when you were born.

In most cases you will be a British citizen if your mother or father was born or naturalised in the UK.

If you were born before July 2006, your father’s British nationality will pass to you only if he was married to your mother at any time.

British citizenship may descend to one generation born abroad. So if you were born outside the United Kingdom and one of your parents was a British citizen otherwise than by descent, you are a British citizen by descent. If you were born before 1 July 2006 you may not qualify if your parents were not married at the time of your birth.

If you were born outside the United Kingdom and your parents were British citizens by descent, you are not a British citizen. However, you may be able to apply to register as a British citizen.

Documents to Submit with Completed Passport Application Form

The correct passport application form on the UK in France website must be completed, and the correct supporting documents must be sent with the completed form, two passport quality and size photographs (see below – “Photos”) and the appropriate fee.

Supporting Documents

Passport renewals with name changes through marriage or adoption will need to include their marriage/adoption certificate. Any other name changes to be taken into consideration during the renewal of a passport will need to be properly documented, including proof that the name is being used regularly – such as bank statements, mortgage papers, driving licence, utility bills etc.

If you are a first time applicant and you think you are eligible for a British passport, you should provide as much supporting documentation as possible to demonstrate your claim.

First time applicants will need to demonstrate their identity and eligibility for a British passport. The type of documents required to prove this are:

Always Required (Mandatory) (if it applies to you):

  • Full birth certificate/s* (the UK and some other countries do a long version - with parents’ details, or short version - with just the details of the person born. The long version is required for your passport application).
  • The original (i.e. manuscript) marriage certificate
  • Any original (i.e. manuscript) divorce certificates
  • Adoption certificate/papers
  • Deed Poll or other name change documents
  • Parent(s) Certificate of Naturalisation/Registration (where applicable)
  • A copy of your (non-UK) passport if you have one
  • For applications for children aged under 16 – legalised copies of both parents passports signed to indicate consent for the application

Documents Sometimes Requested:

  • Driving licence
  • National identity card or document
  • Educational certificates or enrolment papers
  • Student ID card
  • Baptism certificate/records
  • Medical/hospital records/evidence
  • Death certificate (of relevant family member)
  • Passport of other nationality (if relevant)
  • Bank/financial records
  • Utility bills
  • Relevant affidavits
  • Travel records - airline ticket stubs etc
  • Immigration records
  • Family photographs

Documents required will depend on the circumstances of the application.

ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS ARE REQUIRED and will be returned to you.

This list is not exhaustive and local procedures and availability of documents will vary. You will need to carefully consider the basis for your claim and provide the appropriate documents. For example, if the claim is based on birth in the UK prior to 1983 or to parents legally settled in the UK after that date the applicant should supply UK Birth certificate; any hospital, medical or baptismal records from the UK; evidence of your parents stay in the UK such as employment or study records, immigration records - such as stamps in passports; airline ticket stubs, family photographs from the UK and over the years demonstrating the relationship. The onus is on you to confirm your identity and so demonstrate your eligibility. Any documents which might be helpful in the assessment of this should be included - using a commonsense approach. Key documents/firm evidence is required not vast quantities of extra evidence such as university thesis or whole albums of photographs. If you are called for an interview you may be asked to bring or can bring along further evidence.

If you are renewing a passport you will need to send in your old passport.

Supporting documentation is not required for renewal of valid or recently expired passports. The exception is where you have naturalised or registered as a British Citizen; in this case a copy of your certificate of naturalisation or registration is required.

If your passport expired over 10 years ago your application will be treated as a first time application, otherwise it will be classed as “recently” expired and dealt with as a renewal.


IMPORTANT NOTE: All mandatory legal documents submitted with a passport application (such as birth/death/marriage certificates, divorce papers, change of name documents, affidavits, etc) must be translated into English.

A list of officially recognised translators appears on the UK in France website. They include: http://ukinfrance.fco.gov.uk/resources/en/pdf/consular/2010/tel-aviv-translators-3
http://ukinjerusalem.fco.gov.uk/resources/en/word/tr
You cannot get a friend or relative to translate documents for you into English.


Photos

Photos must meet IPS standards. These can be found at: http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/@travel/documents/digitalasset/dg_174925.pdf.

In particular, two identical, colour photos, of a high quality, must be sent with your application, each photo taken against a plain cream or plain light grey background.

One photo must be endorsed by a countersignatory, by writing on the back of the photograph the words: “I certify that this is a true likeness of (name of applicant),” followed by his/her signature and the date on which the likeness was compared.

When you have completed the form, someone who has known you personally for at least two years should complete and sign Section 9 of the form. That person should be a British citizen, Irish national, EU national, other British national or Commonwealth citizen who is a Member of Parliament, Justice of the Peace, Minister of Religion, Bank Officer, Established Civil Servant, or professionally qualified person, e.g. Lawyer, Engineer, Doctor, School Teacher, Police Officer, or a person of similar standing. Procedures include a check on the authenticity of countersignatories.

If you do not know a British national, Irish national, EU citizen, or other Commonwealth citizen locally with these qualifications, a citizen of the country in which you are residing may complete and sign the form, provided he/she has a similar standing in that country, has known you for two years and the Passport Manager considers his/her signature to be acceptable. A member of your family should not countersign. In certain cases you may be asked to produce further documentary evidence of identity.

The countersignatory is required to certify that the applicant (whose signature appears in Section 8) has been known personally to him/her for ___ years, and that to the best of his/her knowledge and belief the facts stated on this form are correct. Alongside his signature, the countersignatory affirms that he is a British Citizen / Citizen of (insert country), and states his professional qualifications, including Name of firm, business address or official stamp (if applicable).

Your application should be sent by secure means such as registered post or a courier (one-way only) to the Regional Passport Processing Centre Paris, at 16 rue d’Anjou 75008, Paris, France. The requisite fee varies, depending on the number of pages in the passport. Each customer is also required to pay a courier fee (currently, 26 Euros) to cover the cost of returning supporting documents from Paris and the return of the passport from the UK.

You should pay by credit card using the debit/credit card payment form in the UK in France website. Payment should include the appropriate passport fees as well as the fees for return postage. Cash must not be sent, and nor may personal cheques.

Passport renewals can normally be processed within 4 weeks from the date the fee is taken and the application contains all of the information needed. Failure to provide all of the required documentation will result in your application being delayed or returned. If it is a first time application, or you are replacing a lost or stolen passport, you should allow at least six weeks. Travel should not be booked until a passport has been issued and received by you.

It goes without saying that the form must be filled out in English. Any forms not in English will be rejected and returned.


Useful Tip:
If you cannot find the information you need on the UK in France website, you can contact the Passport Information line at +44 208 082 4729 (Credit Card Line - calls will be charged at £0.72 per minute plus VAT), 21:00 Sunday UK time – 01:30 Saturday UK time (24 hour service). While you will be charged for this call, from experience it is a very helpful service, and clarifies exactly which documents you need to send in case of doubt!

For further information, on the process of applying for a British passport, see
http://ukinfrance.fco.gov.uk/en/help-for-british-nationals/passports/


For further assistance in translating and notarising documents for the British passport application/renewal process, feel free to contact Simon at: ++972-737-40-60-40 / ++972-0545-742-374 / [email protected].

It is Simon’s policy to charge only for the notarisation process at the rate prescribed by law in the case of a notarised translation, with no additional cost for undertaking the actual translation of documents, wherever possible.

Simon is a certified translator with the British Consulate in Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv, and the UK in France.

* In the event that a Hebrew birth certificate requires an official translation into English, call us and we will explain how this can be obtained free of charge!

Misrad HaBriut Licensing Requirements for Overseas Dentistsדרישות משרד הבריאות לרישוי רופאי שיניים שהוסמכו בחו”ל

Misrad HaBriut Licensing Requirements for Overseas Dentists

Note: This post is based on the “Nefesh Be’Nefesh” and “Misrad HaBriut” websites as at the time of writing, as well as practical experience in applying for medical licensing through the Israeli Health Ministry. For the most current information regarding licensing procedures, please see the Misrad HaBriut website http://www.health.gov.il/Subjects/MedicalAndHealthProfessions/Dentistry/Pages/ApplicationForLicense.aspx


License Recognition for General Dentistry

www.health.gov.il
In order to practice in Israel, all dentists must pass a licensing exam. There are no exemptions. The exam is held twice a year. It may be possible to take the exam in English, provided that there are a sufficient number of candidates. You may take the exam before receiving Oleh status, but it is necessary to obtain Oleh status within two years of the exam in order to receive a license.

Preparatory courses for the exam are offered when there are a minimum number of participants, and Misrad Haklita (Ministry of Absorption) may provide a small stipend for the duration of studies.

Successful completion of a Hebrew proficiency exam is a necessary prerequisite for the course.

To register for the exam, dentists should apply to Misrad Habriut (Ministry of Health), Department of Medical Professions (HaYechida LeMiktzo’ot Refu’im):

Jerusalem:
2 Rehov Ben Tabai
POB 1176
Jerusalem 91010
Phone: 02 670 5820
Fax: 02 679 0846

Requests must be filed no later than 30 days prior to the exam date, however, it is recommended that you begin the registration process 3 to 4 months prior to the exam.

Fees for each part of the exam must be paid at a branch of the Postal Bank (Bank HaDoar).

The following documents must be provided:

  1. 2 passport photos.
  2. 2 photocopies of your Israeli ID Card (Teudat Zehut), including the address stub and/or photocopy of passport. (If you are applying pre-Aliyah, please submit a copy of your current passport together with your application to Misrad Habriut.)
  3. Final diploma from a recognized university or certification from a university of completion of studies, completion of all requirements for the university, and entitlement to a degree in dentistry to be awarded on a certain date.
  4. Official confirmation of beginning and ending date of studies. Sometimes, this information appears on your diploma. If it does not, you can request a letter from your medical school indicating the start and end date of your studies.
  5. License to practice dentistry abroad (in the event that the requested license cannot be attached, attach a letter of explanation).
  6. Official letter of employment from the institutions at which worked, and notations regarding the start and end dates of work at each institution (minimum last 5 years’ employment).
  7. Professional letter of good standing from the authorized bodies in the country from which the applicant immigrated to Israel. The letter confirms that there are no, and have not been any, disciplinary, negligence or professional ethics complaints against the dentist. Important: this letter need not be translated and notarized – provided it remains in the original sealed envelope; you must submit the original envelope along with the copy.
  8. Israel Police confirmation of the absence of criminal records (or alternatively: details of the existing criminal records in the applicant’s name). In the absence of confirmation, the Medical Professionals Licensing Division will contact the police to receive the confirmation.
  9. An application/registration form (you must submit 2 copies – complete the first document by hand and you can then photocopy it). The form is available online on the Misrad Habriut site: (www.health.gov.il/DocLib/ask_ovdimMik.doc). A translation into English of this document is available from Simon if needed (++972-737-40-60-40 / ++972-545-742-374 / [email protected]).
  10. A request to take the licensing exam (you must submit 2 copies). You need to submit this form even if you are exempt from the exam. The form is available online on the Misrad Habriut site. Note: For individuals who are required to take the exam, information about exam dates is also available online.
    (http://www.google.co.il/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CE4QFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fstudents.winwin.co.il%2FAttachments%2Fnispah2.doc&ei=7sqPT4jUB6mH0AXLraCIAg&usg=AFQjCNExv3oaz3NBhsfhduB8WDs4rbc5GQ).
    A translation into English of this document is available from Simon if needed (++972-737-40-60-40 / ++972-545-742-374 / [email protected]).

Important Note: All documents must be translated and notarized by an Israeli notary in Israel. For each document that you submit, you will need to submit 1 notarized copy, plus a photocopy of that same document. Do not submit any original files. See my blog post on “Notarized Translations for the Israeli Ministry of Health (Misrad HaBriut)”: https://www.jacksonadvocates.net/notarized-translations-for-the-israeli-ministry-of-health-misrad-habriut/.

It is worth noting that Misrad Habriut now offers a new customer call center to answer questions about licensing for health care professionals. Call *5400 from Israel or 972-8-6241010 from abroad. The center operates Sunday through Thursday, 8am-6pm, and Fridays from 8am-1pm, Israel time.

Overview of the Licensing Exam

For details of the exam, see the Misrad HaBriut web site at: http://www.health.gov.il. Dates of part 1 of the exam are listed online at:http://147.237.77.238/Subjects/MedicalAndHealthProfessions/Dentistry/Pages/syllabus.aspx. Part 2 of the dental exam will take place on Sunday and Monday, April 15th and 16th.

Topics covered in the licensing exam include:

  • Diagnosis, oral medicine, oral pathology and oral radiology
  • Local anesthetics, and medical and dental emergency treatment
  • Restorative and reconstructive dentistry, and dental materials
  • Pedodontics
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery
  • Endodontics
  • Application of basic sciences (microbiology, physiology, etc.)

The exam includes three sections:

  • Part 1: Written examination which lasts approximately 4 hours, involving multiple choice questions. It is highly recommended that you be in touch with someone who has recently taken the exam to find out more about what is included. Write to [email protected] for assistance. You must receive notification that you passed the written exam before you can continue with the rest of the exam (parts 2 and 3).
  • Part 2: Questions about slides, including orthodontics, questions about decay, x-rays, and correct diagnosis of oral lesions.
  • Part 3: Practical exam using a dental manikin, which includes one or more of the following: artificial fillings, beginning of root treatment, crowns (including prepping for a crown). There is a specified time limit. This part of the exam is taken together with Part 2.

Note that if you take a preparatory course before taking the exam, you will have an opportunity to practice working with artificial teeth.


License Recognition for Specialists

The following specializations are recognized inIsrael: Endodontics, Oral medicine, Oral pathology, Oral and maxillofacial surgery, Orthodontics, Pedodontics, Periodontics and Public health dentistry.

Specialists must first successfully complete the dental licensing exam. One can then approach the Dental Scientific Council: Scientific Council, Rehov Yaffo 97,Jerusalem94340,Israel. Phone: 03 528 8054.

For the Syllabus for National Licensing Examinations in Dentistry and further information on practicing dentistry in Israel, see: http://www.nbn.org.il/aliyahpedia/employment-a-entrepreneurs/professions-index/400-dentistry.html?q=dentists

For further assistance in translating and notarizing documents for the licensing process for dentists in Israel (whether pre or post Aliyah), feel free to contact Simon at: ++972-737-40-60-40 / ++972-0545-742-374 / [email protected].

It is Simon’s policy to charge only for the notarization process at the rate prescribed by law in the case of a notarized translation, with no additional cost for undertaking the actual translation of documents, wherever possible.

Misrad HaBriut Licensing Requirements for Overseas Physicians/Doctorsדרישות משרד הבריאות לרישוי רופאים שהוסמכו בחו”ל

Misrad HaBriut Licensing Requirements for Overseas Physicians/Doctors

Note: This post is based on the “Nefesh Be’Nefesh” and “Misrad HaBriut” websites as at the time of writing, as well as practical experience by clients in applying for medical licensing through the Israeli Health Ministry. For the most current information regarding licensing procedures, please see the Misrad HaBriut website http://www.health.gov.il/Subjects/MedicalAndHealthProfessions/GeneralMedicine/Pages/default.aspx

www.health.gov.il
Medical licensing inIsrael is a two step process:

  1. Applying for medical licensing through Misrad Habriut (Ministry of Health).
  2. Applying for board certification through the Moetza HaMada’it (Scientific Council) of the Israel Medical Association.


1. APPLYING FOR MEDICAL LICENSING THROUGH MISRAD HABRIUT

In order to practice medicine in Israel, you are required to hold a license issued by the Department of Medical Professions of Misrad Habriut. To be eligible for a license, you must have completed your studies at a recognized medical school in the US, Canada or the UK, as well as one year of internship or clinical work (the length depends on your specialty). If you complete your internship prior to Aliyah, you must have a valid medical license from your country of origin. If you have not completed one year of internship prior to Aliyah, you must pass an exam and do your internship (“stage”) in Israel before you can begin your residency.

All doctors are required to take a Hebrew proficiency test as part of the licensing process.

Misrad Habriut has started a pilot program, whereby potential Olim can begin the licensing process prior to making Aliyah. In order to qualify for this program, applicants must have Aliyah approval from the Jewish Agency. It is important to note that your documents must still be translated and notarized by an Israeli notary in Israel. If you visit Israel prior to your Aliyah, this is a good opportunity to have your documents authorized by an Israeli notary and even submitted to Misrad Habriut. Your medical license can only be issued after you issue a Teudat Zehut and submit a notarized copy of it to Misrad Habriut.

It is worth noting that Misrad Habriut now offers a new customer call center to answer questions about licensing for health care professionals. Call *5400 from Israel or 972-8-6241010 from abroad. The center operates Sunday through Thursday, 8am-6pm, and Fridays from 8am-1pm, Israel time.

Documents to Bring

Note: All documents must be translated and notarized by an Israeli notary in Israel. For each document that you submit, you will need to submit 1 notarized copy, plus a photocopy of that same document. Do not submit any original files. See my blog post on “Notarized Translations for the Israeli Ministry of Health (Misrad HaBriut)”: https://www.jacksonadvocates.net/notarized-translations-for-the-israeli-ministry-of-health-misrad-habriut/.

  1. 2 passport photos.
  2. 2 photocopies of your Israeli ID Card (Teudat Zehut), including the address stub and/or photocopy of passport. (If you are applying pre-Aliyah, please submit a copy of your current passport together with your application to Misrad Habriut.)
  3. Final diploma from a recognized university or certification from a university of completion of studies, completion of all requirements for the university, and entitlement to a degree in medicine to be awarded on a certain date.
  4. Official confirmation of beginning and ending date of studies. Sometimes, this information appears on your diploma. If it does not, you can request a letter from your medical school indicating the start and end date of your studies.
  5. Official confirmation of successful completion of internship, including details about the departments in which the internship took place and the amount of time spent in each department. Alternatively, official confirmation of work in clinical medicine for at least one year.
  6. Valid medical license. Note: You cannot submit an expired license. If just renewed, attach old license too.
  7. Official letter of employment from the institutions at which worked, and notations regarding the start and end dates of work at each institution (minimum last 5 years’ employment).
  8. Specialist’s certificate from abroad (in the relevant cases).
  9. Professional letter of good standing from the authorized bodies in the country from which the applicant immigrated to Israel. The letter confirms that there are no, and have not been any, disciplinary, negligence or professional ethics complaints against the physician. Important: this letter need not be translated and notarized – provided it remains in the original sealed envelope; you must submit the original envelope along with the copy.
    In the US – this letter should be requested from the Medical Board of the State in which licensed).
    Doctors from the UK should ask the GMC for a letter of good standing to be sent to them directly; however, if this is not possible, they should ask for the letter to be sent by registered mail directly to Misrad Habriut (preferably with a copy to the doctor).
    Physicians from Montreal should obtain the letter from the College des Medicines du Quebec.
  10. An application/registration form (you must submit 2 copies – complete the first document by hand and you can then photocopy it). The form is available online on the Misrad Habriut site: (www.health.gov.il/DocLib/ask_ovdimMik.doc). A translation into English of this document is available from Simon if needed (++972-737-40-60-40 / ++972-545-742-374 / [email protected]).
  11. A request to take the licensing exam (you must submit 2 copies). You need to submit this form even if you are exempt from the exam. The form is available online on the Misrad Habriut site. Note: For individuals who are required to take the exam, information about exam dates is also available online.
    (http://www.google.co.il/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CE4QFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fstudents.winwin.co.il%2FAttachments%2Fnispah2.doc&ei=7sqPT4jUB6mH0AXLraCIAg&usg=AFQjCNExv3oaz3NBhsfhduB8WDs4rbc5GQ).
    A translation into English of this document is available from Simon if needed (++972-737-40-60-40 / ++972-545-742-374 / [email protected]).
  12. If you are a UK doctor and only studied for 5 years of medical school, you must provide a copy of your high school diploma and an explanation of why your studies were shorter than usual.
  13. Documentation indicating name change, if relevant.
  14. Letter from the Moetza Hamadait, if you have already been accepted as a specialist.

If you live in the Jerusalemarea or in Acco, Tzfat, Nazareth, Afula, Tiberias or Be’er Sheva, this documentation must be sent via registered mail to: Misrad Habriut, Division for Licensing of Medical Professions, 2 Ben Tabai Street, Jerusalem 93591, Israel.

If you live outside of these areas, you must bring these documents in person to your local Misrad Habriut office. For a listing of offices, see http://www.nbn.org.il/aliyahpedia/government-offices/office-locations/900.


2. APPLYING FOR SPECIALTY RECOGNITION THROUGH THE ISRAELI MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (MOETZA MADA’IT)

The Scientific Council of the Israeli Medical Association is responsible for board certification.

When you first arrive as an Oleh (or beforehand), you should submit all of your licensing documentation to Misrad Habriut. See the section above for required documentation and details.

Specialty recognition is a separate process from the general medical licensing procedure, which is done through the Ministry of Health (Misrad Habriut).

It is important to submit your documents to the Scientific Council before your Aliyah.

Once the Scientific Council receives and processes your documents, they will send you a letter explaining what you need to do in order to be qualified as a specialist. The advantage of doing this pre-Aliyah is:

1. You will know beforehand how long you will need to wait in order to be recognized in your specialty inIsrael.

2. This shortens the licensing process because it eliminates many months of waiting for an answer from the Scientific Council after you receive your general medical license.

The documents that should be presented are the following:

  1. A copy of the MD diploma.
  2. A copy of the Board Certification / Specialty Certification.
  3. A copy of the documents attesting to clinical experience since receiving the MD diploma - including internship and residency training and additional experience as a specialist.
  4. A copy of the documents attesting to examinations taken. Note: Physicians who took the American boards are not required to provide this certification.
  5. A copy of a license to practice medicine in Israel (if already exists).
  6. A detailed CV (Curriculum Vitae) including details of specialty training. Be sure to note any hospital affiliation that you have, following your residency. Your training will be compared to the Israeli syllabus, therefore, it is important to build your CV in a manner that is maximally parallel to the Israeli equivalent.
  7. A physician who has recently worked for a period of time in a recognized department inIsraelshould present a letter of recommendation from the Head of Department.
  8. A physician who has already been accepted to a hospital department inIsraelwill state this in his or her application.
  9. For the surgical specialties, anesthetics, ENT, ophthalmology and obstetrics & gynecology, list surgeries done during the residency, and if the residency was done many years ago, provide a list of operations/procedures from the five years prior to your Aliyah.
  10. Psychiatrists and family doctors must fill out a form that is linked to from the following page: http://www.ima.org.il/mitmachim/web/category.asp?catid=343
  11. One photograph.
  12. All documents may be presented in Hebrew or in English.
    Important Note: Only the documents in 1 (MD diploma), 2 (Board/Speciality Certification), 3 (clinical experience/internship/residency/specialty experience) and 4 (examinations) need to be notarized. (In contrast to Misrad Habriut requirement, a U.S. notary is permitted.)

Documents should be sent to: The Scientific Council, Israel Medical Association, 35 Jabotinsky St. (Twin Towers 2), POB: 3566 Ramat Gan 52136, Israel; Attn. Adva Nissim. You can also contact Adva at [email protected], phone: 03-100412 or fax: 03-751-6933. Note: Documents that are sent ONLY by fax will not be processed; the documents should also be sent by mail.

The Specialty Committee can take two or three months to meet and evaluate credentials. If the Scientific Council decides not to recognize the specialty immediately, it may ask for more course work, an extension of the residency (“Hitmachut”), or exams. This is up to the committee and each applicant must be in direct contact with the Council to discuss his/her case individually. The Council also requires that a specialist fulfill an observation period (“Tkufat Histaklut”) in a recognized department in Israel and present a letter of recommendation from the head of department or clinic in order for it to grant a specialty license. The observation period is usually 1 to 6 months long.

In many specialties the Israeli residency period is 12-18 months longer than the residency periods abroad. It is highly recommended to work in a hospital following your residency, because this can be counted towards the residency period in Israel. In addition, if you are working in private practice but maintain a part-time affiliation with a hospital, this might also be counted towards your Israeli residency period.

Once you finish your Histaklut, submit the following forms to the Moetza Mada’it (IMA) in order to be recognized as a specialist:

  • A signed letter from the head of the department (where you did your Histaklut) stating that you have completed your Histaklut. Please make sure the beginning and end dates of your Histaklut period are mentioned in the letter.
  • A form asking to be recognized as a specialist.
  • Payment for recognition of your specialty.
  • A photocopy of your license from Misrad Habriut.


Receiving Your Permanent License

Physicians initially receive a temporary license which is valid for 14 months. To receive the permanent license, you must have at least 12 months of experience working as a physician inIsrael, and you must submit a letter of recommendation from a certified Israeli specialist who has observed your professional work. This specialist does not need to be in your field. Note: You can extend your temporary license for a period of three years.

In order to receive your permanent license, you must mail the following to Misrad Habriut:

  1. Original temporary license
  2. Letter from an employer who is a specialist, indicating that you worked for a period of at least 1 year. See:
    חוות דעת מקצועית לקראת קבלת רשיון קבוע: http://www.health.gov.il/DocLib/a3466_L250309.doc

You must submit these documents to Misrad Habriut at least eight weeks before your temporary license expires. The cost for issuing a permanent medical license is approx. NIS 800. Payment can be made online.

If you would like to extend your temporary license (if you have not yet worked for 12 months inIsrael), you must submit your original temporary license.


Obtaining a Police Statement:

Misrad Habriut will need to get an Ishur Bidvar He’eder Rishum Plili (police statement regarding your lack of a criminal record) from the Israeli Police. To expedite this process, some Olim have received this letter on their own initiative, by requesting it directly from their local police stations, and this has shortened the licensing process. In some cities, you will first need to pay a nominal fee at the post office prior to going to the local police station. (Ask to pay for an Ishur Bidvar He’eder Rishum Plili.) Bring the receipt to the police station. Once you obtain this letter, it is best to mail it directly to Misrad Habriut with your other licensing forms.

The Ministry of Health does not send a reminder indicating that your licensing is going to expire soon. As soon as you receive your license, please mark your calendar 12 weeks before the expiration date so that you can receive your renewed license before the old one expires.


Internships

If you have not completed an internship overseas prior to making Aliyah, you are required to complete an internship, or stage, inIsrael. Before you start working as an intern, you must pass the Israeli internship exam. This exam is very similar to the USMLE Level 2 and is given twice a year.

The following documents must be submitted to Misrad HaBriut, in order to receive permission to take the entrance exam for Stage (internship). Stage placement is determined by lottery. For more information and updates, see the Misrad Habriut website:http://www.health.gov.il/pages/default.asp?pageid=2362&parentid=2262&catid=306&maincat=4(Scroll down to view information for physicians from abroad.)

  • 2 passport photos.
  • 2 photocopies of your Teudat Zehut, including the address stub. (If you are a tourist, please submit 2 photocopies of your passport with valid authorization for living inIsrael.)
  • Official confirmation of start and end date of studies. Often, this information appears on your diploma or transcript. If not, you can request a letter from your medical school indicating your start and end date.
  • Final diploma from a recognized university (or certification from a university regarding completion of studies, completion of all requirements for the university, and entitlement to a degree in medicine to be awarded on a certain date).
  • Fill out two copies of each of the following forms. A photocopy is not sufficient. Forms must be written in Hebrew:
    1. בקשה להבחן
    2. שאלון לעובדים מקצועיים בתחום הבריאות

All English documents must be translated and notarized. See my blog post on “Notarized Translations for the Israeli Ministry of Health (Misrad HaBriut)”: https://www.jacksonadvocates.net/notarized-translations-for-the-israeli-ministry-of-health-misrad-habriut/.

For further information on Internships, see the “Nefesh Be’Nefesh” website: http://www.nbn.org.il/aliyahpedia/employment-a-entrepreneurs/professions-index/463-physicians.html

For further assistance in translating and notarizing documents for the licensing process (whether pre or post Aliyah), feel free to contact Simon at: ++972-737-40-60-40 / ++972-0545-742-374 / [email protected].

It is Simon’s policy to charge only for the notarization process at the rate prescribed by law in the case of a notarized translation, with no additional cost for undertaking the actual translation of documents, wherever possible.

Notarized Translations for the Israeli Ministry of Health (Misrad HaBriut)תרגומים נוטריוניים עבור משרד הבריאות

Notarized Translations
Notarized Translations for the Israeli Ministry of Health (Misrad HaBriut)

The Israeli Ministry of Health (Misrad Habriut) has started a pilot program, whereby potential Olim can begin their professional licensing process prior to making Aliyah. In order to qualify for this program, applicants must have Aliyah approval from the Jewish Agency.

It is important to note that your documents must be translated and notarized by an Israeli notary in Israel. If you visit Israel prior to your Aliyah, this is a good opportunity to have your documents authorized by an Israeli notary and even submitted to Misrad Habriut.

As part of the Israeli medical licensing process, Misrad HaBriut requires that certain documentation be translated into Hebrew, the translations of which must be certified by an Israeli notary. See my blog posts for doctors and dentists respectively: https://www.jacksonadvocates.net/misrad-habriut-licensing-requirements-for-overseas-physiciansdoctors/
https://www.jacksonadvocates.net/wp-admin/post.php?post=1665&action=edit&message=6

There are fixed rates for notarization which are set annually by the Ministry of Justice (Misrad Hamishpatim) and are non-negotiable.

For up to date rates (rates increase by law, in line with inflation, on January 1 of each year), please see: http://www.justice.gov.il/MOJHeb/Noteryonim/schar_sherotim_noteryonim.htm

In addition to the certification fee, some notaries charge for doing the translation itself. Unlike notarization, the cost of translation does vary. In addition, if your Hebrew is sufficient, you may translate documents yourself, which saves you money, and utilize a notary just for the notarization service (he/she may charge a lower fee to correct the translation if necessary).

If you are applying to Misrad Habriut, please note that:

 All documents must be translated and notarized by an Israeli notary. For each document that you submit, you will need to submit 1 notarized copy, plus a photocopy of that same document. Do not submit any original files.

 Make sure that your file is complete and exact when you submit it, in order to speed up the licensing process. If you are missing documents, this will lengthen the process (by months).

In order to get a head start on the licensing process, some notaries allow you to fax a copy of your documentation to them prior to your Aliyah. They will begin working on the translation and upon your Aliyah will view the originals in order to certify your documents.

For further information in translating and notarizing documents for the licensing process (whether pre or post Aliyah), feel free to contact Simon at: 0737-40-60-40 / 0545-742-374 / [email protected].

It is Simon’s policy to charge only for the notarization at the rate prescribed by law in the case of a notarized translation, with no additional cost for undertaking the translation, wherever possible.

How to Survive an IRS (Child Tax Credit) Audit in Israelאיך לשרוד ביקורת בישראל משלטונות המס האמריקנים (IRS)

IRS Audit From http://www.kiplinger.com

How to Survive an IRS (Child Tax Credit) Audit in Israel

Since 2001, US citizens living abroad have been able to file for the legendary “additional child tax credit” (ACTC) of up to $1,000 for each child under the age of 17. If a US citizen living in Israel has an Israeli salary and the combined salary of both spouses is less than $110,000, the Israeli tax paid on the salary is credited against the US tax due. Assuming no other income, the Israeli tax credit will usually eliminate the US tax due. The taxpayer will then be entitled to a refund check from the US Government.

The ACTC is not a distinct credit, but is rather the refundable portion of the section 24 child tax credit. It stemmed from the expansion by the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 of the refundable portion of the credit to allow more lower-income taxpayers to qualify. The ACTC is thus available to those taxpayers who cannot receive the full amount of the tax credit because it exceeds their income tax liability.

Over recent years, a growing number of American Israelis have been audited by the American Inland Revenue Service (IRS), which has the responsibility of ensuring accurate and honest tax reporting by taxpayers. It has been suggested that the exponential increase in audits is the result of Israel’s having one of the highest concentrations of expatriate Americans in the world (some 250,000 citizens with US citizenship live in Israel).

Many US citizens in Israel had filed income tax reports since living in Israel and began requesting the tax credits when the law went into effect. However, there were some who didn’t file taxes, but began to unscrupulously inflate their earned income to claim more child credits. Still other return preparers retroactively filed for tax credit refunds after children became naturalized (not American by birth, but by being brought to the USA and made citizens there).

In the words of Philip Stein, an American-trained tax accountant, the falsified filings of a few enraged the IRS and they then “threw off the gloves and went to war, assuming that everyone in Israel is a liar, and that’s the environment we’re living in today… The IRS doesn’t believe anybody now. They’re throwing everything out the window, starting the audits without even asking people to confirm their information. They don’t believe anything, just assume that you made the money and send a bill and then make you go through this very painful process to make you show that you have kids – to show tuition bills, medical receipts – and law-abiding citizens are having to spend thousands of shekels on these audits.”

Usually, alarm bells start ringing, when you wonder why the IRS has not sent you a check for your tax credits this year, when it did so just a few weeks after filing your tax refund for last year’s refund. A check on the IRS website indicates that they have received your tax return and it is “under review.” This is usually a precursor to an audit. Audit means that the IRS will want proof of everything written in the tax forms.

Those whose returns are audited must obtain a long list of documents. Depending on the specific case, those documents may include a certified translation of the Israeli Tofes 106 form – for Israeli wages earned, salary slips and the Israeli tax return. In cases where families are being asked to authenticate the number of their children, birth certificate and naturalization documents must be provided. It must also be proved that the children live with the taxpayer, who in turn supports them. That said, some auditors may request only the Tofes 106 form and birth certificates – everything depends on the items requested by the IRS audit letter.

You can proactively prepare for an IRS audit, by obtaining, or at least inquiring about obtaining, the following documents:

1) A letter from the comptroller of your company stating the duration of your employment; for the previous 3 years, your salary, income tax, health tax and national insurance; the bank name, branch number and account number into which your salary was paid; your original Form 106’s (Tofes 106) for the previous 3 years.

2) A letter from your family physician listing the names and date of births of all your children, and a statement that s/he has been treating them for the previous ___ years and that they reside with you and your spouse. The letter should be on Kupat Cholim stationary, preferably with an English letterhead.

3) A letter from each of the schools your children attended during at least the previous 3 years indicating their names, date of births, the grade in which they are currently studying (if relevant), and a statement that you and your spouse are their primary care providers and that they reside with you. The letter should also indicate your address, that you paid their school fees, and that you attend parent-teacher meetings faithfully.

4) A copy of your marriage certificate. If married in the USA – your marriage license. If married in Israel, the registration form provided by the Minister of Religious Affairs when you got married (Teudat Nisuin, not your Ketuba).

5) Copies of US passports for each member of the family.

6) Copies of Israeli passports for each member of the family.

7) Copies of Social Security cards for each child.

8) Copies of Israeli birth certificates for each child.

9) Copies of US Consular Report of Birth Abroad for each child.

Certified Translation

“Certified English translations” of all the above documents will be required (where they are not already in the English language). Technically speaking, in Israel, the only recognized translation certification is a notarized translation. A notary who declares that he is “well acquainted” with both the source and target languages, and who prepares a translation from one to the other, may certify such a translation as a true and correct translation, without the need for any further certification. Notaries may also certify translations prepared by others. Such translations are accepted by the authorities in Israel and abroad for all purposes.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, in practice, the IRS defines a certified translation as that of a “qualified translator, accompanied by the translator’s attestation.” This enables people audited by the IRS to avoid the expense and additional formality of going through the process of obtaining a notarial translation. According to the IRS, the translator’s attestation must contain all of the following information:

  • The translator’s name and address.
  • A statement as to the translator’s qualifications, including English-language website addresses showing professional association affiliations.
  • As statement that the translation submitted is a true and accurate translation of the foreign language document.

Generally, according to the IRS guidelines, the following principles should be followed when choosing a translator:

  • Your translator should perform translation services as a profession.
  • Your translator must be business-literate in both the source language and the English language.
  • Your translator’s credentials should be independently verifiable through an English language Internet search, professional affiliations, or by other means.

Failure to provide complete, accurate and substantive translations will result in the item being disallowed. Moreover, partially translated documents will generally not be accepted.

Last but not least, documents translated by you, your representative, attorney, family member, or other close associate, will be considered self-serving and will generally not therefore be accepted by the IRS. This applies even if you are a professional translator.

In summary, assuming you used a reputable tax-preparer, didn’t increase earned income and/or truncate portions of taxable income, and you didn’t retroactively try to claim the refund after bringing your children to the US for naturalization – you should be able to survive the audit unscathed. Moreover, all receipts for expenses paid to professionals (CPA, certified translator) in connection with an audit should be retained, as they may be an allowable expense against US taxes payable, in particular in the case of higher net worth people and/or those who own homes in the USA.

For further information in translating documents for an IRS audit or potential audit, feel free to contact Simon at: 0737-40-60-40 / 0545-742-374 / [email protected].

Failure to provide complete, accurate and substantive translations will result in the item being disallowed. Moreover, partially translated documents will generally not be accepted. Last but not least, documents translated by you, your representative, attorney, family member, or other close associate, will be considered self-serving and will generally not therefore be accepted by the IRS. This applies even if you are a professional translator. In summary, assuming you used a reputable tax-preparer, didn’t increase earned income and/or truncate portions of taxable income, and you didn’t retroactively try to claim the refund after bringing your children to the US for naturalization – you should be able to survive the audit unscathed. Moreover, all receipts for expenses paid to professionals (CPA, certified translator) in connection with an audit should be retained, as they may be an allowable expense against US taxes payable, in particular in the case of higher net worth people and/or those who own homes in the USA. For further information in translating documents for an IRS audit or potential audit, contact Simon at: 0737-40-60-40 / 0545-742-374 / [email protected].

Introduction to “Jewish Law in Our Times” Seriesמשפט עברי בימינו


Introduction to “Jewish Law in Our Times” Series

www.mishpativri.org.il
Every cultured nation engages in a dialogue with the heritage of its ancestors. Even if it chooses not to accept the values and norms of previous generations, it feels - or should feel - a healthy, natural need to justify its position in relation to the heritage of its national predecessors.

In 1980, a revolutionary law was passed by the Israeli Knesset - the Foundations of Law Act. This stated that where a judge is faced with a legal question requiring decision, to which he finds no answer in statute law, judicial precedent or analogy: “…he shall decide it in light of the principles of freedom, justice, equity and peace of the Jewish heritage” (“Moreshet Yisrael”), rather than the principles of British law which were employed until that time.

One celebrated case (cited in the author’s article: “The Duty to Rescue Despite Protest”) on which the Israeli Courts were asked to adjudicate in 1986, involved a person who had swallowed two plastic bags of heroin and the question facing the Court was whether an operation could be conducted by a doctor without the patient’s consent and against his will, but with the aim of saving his life?

In an illuminating judgment, the Court stated: “Since there is nothing in our legislation or case law or in anything else that deals directly with the situation where a rational adult opposes an operation that will save his life, use should be made of sec. 1 of the Foundations of Law Act of 1980 and the matter should be decided in the light of the principles of ‘Israel’s heritage.’” To this end, counsel for the prosecution cited a leading authority of his age, Ya’akov Emden (1697-1776) from the Mor uKetziah on Orach Chayim, who wrote:

Where a person is obviously sick, and the physician has clear and certain knowledge of the sickness and employs proven medicines, one may always compel the sick person to undergo treatment when he refuses, if the danger is apparent, and permit the physician to proceed… and he is not heeded if he does not wish to undergo the pain and chooses to die… Everything is to be done to preserve the life of a sick person even against his will…The matter does not depend on the wishes of the sick person and he is not at liberty to abandon his life.

In the year 1992, two special laws were passed by the Knesset relating to human rights (‘Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty’ and ‘Basic Law: Freedom of Occupation’). The preamble to both these Basic Laws states that: “The purpose of this Basic Law is to protect human dignity and liberty, in order to anchor in a Basic Law the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state” (my emphasis). And of immense significance is the provision that “None of these rights may be violated, except by a Law befitting the values of the State of Israel…”

According to this provision, laws of the Knesset must befit the values of the State of Israelas a Jewish and democratic state - otherwise they can be struck down by the courts! Moreover, the courts themselves must take account of Jewish values when resolving legal-ethical questions which come before them. For example, in 1981 the court ruled that active euthanasia (‘mercy killing’) was illegal, because it negated the values of the State ofIsraelas a Jewish state (Yael Shefer v. The State of Israel).

www.chabadoncampus.org

***

At times, the reader is afforded access to regulations of which even religious Israelis will be unaware. Take, the article entitled: “The Value of Cleanliness in the Mea Shearim Regulations of the 19th Century,” in which readers are exposed to provisions contained in the 1889 bye-laws for the emerging “Mea Shearim” neighborhood, which was founded in 1874. Under the heading, “Hanhagat HaYishuv” (Rules of Conduct for the Yishuv), the bye-laws state:

“And your camp shall be holy” - This is a positive commandment. Therefore, all the members and residents of our society ‘Mea Shearim’ (may it be built up and established) are obligated to take care to keep the place clean, both in the public and also in the private domain. The same applies to the cleanliness of the latrines, so that no damage should be caused to the purity of the air. Garbage and fetid water shall similarly not be spilled. Anyone who transgresses this command once and twice, shall be punished on the third occasion. And may it go well with those who take heed of this command!”

***

The articles in this series are tailored in particular for Acheinu Bnei Yisrael around the world, who, due to the language barrier and their specialized nature, may not have ready access to the source materials from which the articles are inspired and drawn. They cover topics on which the Knesset and the Israeli courts have had to regulate and decide in recent years; topics as diverse as “Hunting Animals for Sport” and “White Lies in the Courtroom” to “Human Dignity and Ticking Bombs” and “Redeeming Hostages at any Cost?”

The reader is exposed to the world of Knesset legislation and Israeli Supreme Court judgments, in which recourse to Jewish Law has been made by the Knesset in drafting laws that befit the modern “Jewish and democratic” State of Israel or by Israeli judges in applying and interpreting such laws - or how the principles of Moreshet Yisrael would have invaluably enriched and/or bettered the law or court ruling thereon had they been taken into consideration.

The articles thus remind us all of the need to have the Israeli judicial system work according to Halacha and to show the progress (albeit only very limited) taken in this direction. The very act of citing and having exposure to traditional Jewish sources (Mishnah, Gemara, Rishonim, Responsa Literature, enlightened judgments of modern-day Israeli Rabbinical Courts etc.) is, in and of itself, of great merit towards breaking down the artificial boundaries that exist towards Jewish texts and values particularly amongst the higher echelons of Israeli society. This is true even if the final conclusion reached by the Israeli court in any particular case may not always be the same conclusion which a Beit Din would arrive at - taking into account the whole array of Jewish legal precedents and applying the Halakhic decision-making process in a comprehensive manner.

Moreover, the very fact that we have succeeded in creating a culture which encourages/tolerates the citation of Halakha and Gemara in its laws and courtrooms, especially when the Knesset considered our sacred texts when drafting the law - is in and of itself a very real achievement. This achievement takes out the sting of those who argue that Israeli judges are no better than gentile judges, or even worse because they have deliberately gone out of their way to reject the authority of the Torah. The more exposure judges and lawyers, and by extension, the wider public, can have to our sacred sources, the greater the likelihood that antipathy on the part of our non-religious compatriots towards the Torah will be reduced.

***

It is the author’s fervent hope and prayer that by enlightening the reader on the extent of the integration of Halacha into Israeli law and society - he, too, will be inspired and moved to delve further into the areas touched upon in these articles to enable him to play his part, in an informed manner, to transform the modern State of Israel, our country, into a “Jewish and democratic State,” by building on the enlightening successes achieved to date and by working to rectify those areas (of which there is no shortage) still in need of enrichment by the age-old principles of Gemara and Halacha.

***

For the entire collection of the author’s articles on the subject of “Jewish Law in Our Times” see: http://www.torahmitzion.org/eng/resources/JewishLaw.asp

Is the Oldest Legal Profession Out of Date?ברוכים באים לבלוג עורכי ג’קסון

The Notary Connection

Is the oldest legal profession out of date?

The notary profession is the oldest legal profession in the world. What can be done to modernise the profession and keep up to date with the new wave of ABSs that is forecast? What, if anything, is holding the profession back and what can be done to push it forwards?


Simon Jackson
• I write as a qualified solicitor and as a practising notary and attorney outside of the UK, and wonder whether the following expresses the thoughts of other practising notaries.

Electronic signatures are now legal, enabling affidavits to be signed even when the deponent is far away from the attorney. Safety mechanisms are in place to guard against forgery. We live in the age of the Internet. Numerous local and international transactions are conducted using the Internet. Trillions of dollars are transferred each year over the Internet, using personal credit cards, yet in a safe and customary manner. Yet the argument is made that the Electronic Signature Law should not apply to notarial acts “in light of their great importance and value” and due to the importance of identifying the signatory “only in person.”

This argument is based on the alleged importance of identifying signatories on the basis of their ID cards containing a picture or other similar document. Yet why cannot a person’s ID card be scanned and e-mailed? The sender’s ID particulars could be received by e-mail; the notary would be able to expand and sharpen the images on his computer; the client could simply open his webcam and present his ID card (that was previously scanned); and the notary could then expand the size of the person’s picture who appears in the camera, at ease and without undue pressure, using tools ten times more professional than the notary’s own eyes.

The argument is also made that it is possible that an electronic signer might be threatened by a person brandishing a gun behind the screen. Yet, surely it is possible to film the person signing as well as his surroundings and to observe the picture through the Internet? The notary can see that the signer is alone, that no one is threatening him with a gun; and can satisfy himself (including by speaking to him and observing his body language) that the signer is composed and not under duress. And let’s say someone is holding a gun to the person’s head – how many cases of this can there be as opposed to the normal and usual cases? One in a billion? It seems that this one hypothetical case is uppermost in the minds of those who are against progress, who refuse to allow the rules to be changed or interpreted in such a way that would enable notaries to exploit the immense potential of the Internet.

And let’s say that the signer was threatened and coerced somehow into signing, surely at the first opportunity thereafter he would expose this and the signature would then be voided? Moreover, when a signer appears before the notary in person, is it not possible for him to be threatened also? Say, for example, the coercer affixes a ticking bomb to the body of the signer, which can be activated by remote, and tells him that his refusal to sign will result in the bomb’s activation. In such a case, too, the notary can properly identify the signer and can approve the fact that the signer has signed ostensibly out of his own free will; when in practice he may, in fact, be coerced into doing so.

In summary, the question needs to be asked whether the time has not come to welcome the Internet and its potential into the offices of notaries, as a tool intended to preserve and strengthen the accuracy of their work – and not the other way round.


Joanne Cowie
• I think Simon makes some excellent comments. I fear that unless we as a profession start to plan to adapt and enhance our approach to reflect more of what Simon outlines that we will be left behind. I do not advocate change for the sake of it, but unless we embrace the advantages technology lays at our door, (being utilised far more imaginatively more and more by clients, other professions etc) what lies in store for the long term future of our profession? Just think how notarial acts were performed and completed 20 years ago, 10 years ago, 5 years ago…..many aspects do and should remain the same but just think what has changed in how we go about fulfiling our role.

A very interesting topic!


Jonathan Kemp
• A topical point. Ultimately, whatever we do is to satisfy a documentary need of someone, perhaps unknown in order to enable out client’s transaction. We have a business because many people and organisations around the world perceive notarial attestation to add security to the documentation. The good news is that the need for a notary’s work appears to be increasing - even within the UK (e.g. certified copies of document for the Border Agency). One significant difficulty is that those demanding notarial attestation often have no idea what they are really asking and are really after legalisation. Hence the recent discussion on NotaryTalk about AMC applications.

I agree wholeheartedly that we should use IT to its full advantage, both in the preparation stages of a notarial act, as Simon has suggested, and also in the act itself, e.g. e-notarisation. The first stage is a matter of professional practice and the second is a matter of trying to inform recipients of notarial acts of e-notarisation.


Robin Stephenson
• I think like every part of the legal profession with increasing deregulation etc there is alot of uncertainty as to what the future holds. On the flip side however with a real emphasis on companies trying to export the country out of recession, there is likely to be an increasing need for Powers of Attorney and the appropriate companies house documents which usually require notarisation in order to permit our companies to trade overseas.

The Notary Connection

Is the oldest legal profession out of date?

The notary profession is the oldest legal profession in the world. What can be done to modernise the profession and keep up to date with the new wave of ABSs that is forecast? What, if anything, is holding the profession back and what can be done to push it forwards?

Simon Jackson • I write as a qualified solicitor and as a practising notary and attorney outside of the UK, and wonder whether the following expresses the thoughts of other practising notaries.

Electronic signatures are now legal, enabling affidavits to be signed even when the deponent is far away from the attorney. Safety mechanisms are in place to guard against forgery. We live in the age of the Internet. Numerous local and international transactions are conducted using the Internet. Trillions of dollars are transferred each year over the Internet, using personal credit cards, yet in a safe and customary manner. Yet the argument is made that the Electronic Signature Law should not apply to notarial acts “in light of their great importance and value” and due to the importance of identifying the signatory “only in person.”

This argument is based on the alleged importance of identifying signatories on the basis of their ID cards containing a picture or other similar document. Yet why cannot a person’s ID card be scanned and e-mailed? The sender’s ID particulars could be received by e-mail; the notary would be able to expand and sharpen the images on his computer; the client could simply open his webcam and present his ID card (that was previously scanned); and the notary could then expand the size of the person’s picture who appears in the camera, at ease and without undue pressure, using tools ten times more professional than the notary’s own eyes.

The argument is also made that it is possible that an electronic signer might be threatened by a person brandishing a gun behind the screen. Yet, surely it is possible to film the person signing as well as his surroundings and to observe the picture through the Internet? The notary can see that the signer is alone, that no one is threatening him with a gun; and can satisfy himself (including by speaking to him and observing his body language) that the signer is composed and not under duress. And let’s say someone is holding a gun to the person’s head – how many cases of this can there be as opposed to the normal and usual cases? One in a billion? It seems that this one hypothetical case is uppermost in the minds of those who are against progress, who refuse to allow the rules to be changed or interpreted in such a way that would enable notaries to exploit the immense potential of the Internet.

And let’s say that the signer was threatened and coerced somehow into signing, surely at the first opportunity thereafter he would expose this and the signature would then be voided? Moreover, when a signer appears before the notary in person, is it not possible for him to be threatened also? Say, for example, the coercer affixes a ticking bomb to the body of the signer, which can be activated by remote, and tells him that his refusal to sign will result in the bomb’s activation. In such a case, too, the notary can properly identify the signer and can approve the fact that the signer has signed ostensibly out of his own free will; when in practice he may, in fact, be coerced into doing so.

In summary, the question needs to be asked whether the time has not come to welcome the Internet and its potential into the offices of notaries, as a tool intended to preserve and strengthen the accuracy of their work – and not the other way round.

Joanne Cowie • I think Simon makes some excellent comments. I fear that unless we as a profession start to plan to adapt and enhance our approach to reflect more of what Simon outlines that we will be left behind. I do not advocate change for the sake of it, but unless we embrace the advantages technology lays at our door, (being utilised far more imaginatively more and more by clients, other professions etc) what lies in store for the long term future of our profession? Just think how notarial acts were performed and completed 20 years ago, 10 years ago, 5 years ago…..many aspects do and should remain the same but just think what has changed in how we go about fulfiling our role.

A very interesting topic!

Jonathan Kemp • A topical point. Ultimately, whatever we do is to satisfy a documentary need of someone, perhaps unknown in order to enable out client’s transaction. We have a business because many people and organisations around the world perceive notarial attestation to add security to the documentation. The good news is that the need for a notary’s work appears to be increasing - even within the UK (e.g. certified copies of document for the Border Agency). One significant difficulty is that those demanding notarial attestation often have no idea what they are really asking and are really after legalisation. Hence the recent discussion on NotaryTalk about AMC applications.

I agree wholeheartedly that we should use IT to its full advantage, both in the preparation stages of a notarial act, as Simon has suggested, and also in the act itself, e.g. e-notarisation. The first stage is a matter of professional practice and the second is a matter of trying to inform recipients of notarial acts of e-notarisation.

Robin Stephenson • I think like every part of the legal profession with increasing deregulation etc there is alot of uncertainty as to what the future holds. On the flip side however with a real emphasis on companies trying to export the country out of recession, there is likely to be an increasing need for Powers of Attorney and the appropriate companies house documents which usually require notarisation in order to permit our companies to trade overseas.