Army Ages and Laws - updated February 2016

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 at least 1 continuous year without visiting Israel if they were participating in a MASA program or for 2 years with permitted visits of up to 120 days per year if they were in Israel not under MASA auspices.
Religious women can be exempted from the draft if they do not wish to serve.
Married women are not required to serve.
Different regulations apply for doctors and dentists.
The main changes in the regulations, for Olim (not Ezrachim Olim and Katinim Chozrim) are as follows:
Men arriving aged 22 or more will no longer have a requirement to serve although they are still able to volunteer for service.
The length of service required for married men aged 18 - 21 has been increased considerably.
Married men with a child/children are no longer exempt from service.
Women can now be drafted if they arrive aged 20 or 21. Previously only women arriving before their 20th birthday were drafted.
The final decision lies with the IDF. Additional information is available on the IDF's website (in Hebrew).
The following tables shows the requirements based on age, medical and physical profile and family status for men.
For Olim arriving up until May 31st 2015 and for those who have Israeli citizenship prior to arriving in Israel (Ezrachim Olim, Katinim Chozrim)


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 (not including Ezrachim Olim and Katinim Chozrim) arriving on or after June 1st 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



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