Army Ages and Laws - updated September 2015

Serving in the Israel Defense Forces is a privilege but also a requirement of making Aliyah. It is the gateway to Israeli society, facilitates encounter with Israelis of all backgrounds and assists in the initial absorption process whilst also opening doors throughout the immigrant's life in Israel.
The army has retroactively updated regulations relating to the draft of Olim (not Ezrachim Olim and Katinim Chozrim). Olim who arrivied on or before 31/5/2015 will be drafted according to the rules which were current at that date (see below). Olim arriving on or after June 1st 2015 will be subject to different criteria (see table lower on the page). The Jewish Agency for Israel is awaiting clarification on a number of questions regarding the changes. The site will be updated accordingly.
Eligibility for service is largely based on age at date of arrival in Israel with other factors such as family status, medical and physical profile and profession being taken into consideration.
When a person spends more than 120 (not necessarily continuous) days in Israel during a 12 month period, the date at the start of those 120 days is considered their date of arrival. The age at that date would determine the length of required army service.
To reset the date of arrival, the person would need to leave Israel for 2 years (1 year if they were on a recognized program such as Masa Israel Journey).
Women arriving before the age of 20 are required to serve in the army whilst those arriving after the age of 20 have no requirement, (other than those with Katina Chozeret status). Religious women can be exempted from the draft if they do not wish to serve.
The following table shows the requirements based on age, medical and physical profile and family status for men.
Different regulations apply for doctors and dentists.
The final decision lies with the IDF. Additional information is available on the IDF's website (in Hebrew).
Age upon arrival Profile Single Married Married +1 or more
18 - 19 31 - 97 30 months 18 months Exempt
20 - 21 65 - 97 24 months 6 months  
  31 - 64 6 months Pool  
22 - 25 65 - 97 6 months 6 months  
  31- 94 Pool Pool  
26 - 30 31 - 97 Pool Pool  
30+ 31 - 97 Exempt Exempt  

for Olim arriving up until May 31st 2015


Age upon Arrival 18-19 20-21 22-27 28 or older
Single men 32 months 24 months Voluntary (18 month minimum) Exempt
Married men 24 months 18 months Voluntary (18 month minimum) Exempt
Women 24 months 12 months Voluntary (12 month minimum) Exempt

for Olim arriving on or after June 1st 2015


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