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State Claims Israeli's Filipina Wife Is a Maid, Denies Her Legal Status

Dana Weiler-Polak, HAARETZ

Rafi and Celia Yahel met in October 2004 when Celia was caring for the elderly mother of Rafi, a computer professional, they became a couple in 2005.

A mixed-race couple who approached the Population and Immigration Authority with a request to grant legal status to the female partner, a Philippine citizen, by virtue of their relationship was turned down due to the absence of a joint household. However, after the request was submitted, the Immigration Authority notified them that the woman's visitor's permit would be rescinded because she is part of a couple in Israel.

"The Population Authority's claim that Mr. Yahel is interested in his wife as a housekeeper and that Mrs. Yahel is solely interested in her legal status was presented without any factual basis," says Attorney Adi Lustigman, who is representing the couple. "The unbearable lightness with which the decision was made does not correspond to the legal right to family life."


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