I spent a very frustrating day at the Ministry of the Interior (Misrad Hapnim) office with the young Indian woman Jaya, the metapelet (carer) who looks after my mother-in-law Millie (who is 101 years old). Jaya is going to India to get married and needs two visas before she leaves Israel , a work visa renewal and a reentry visa into Israel. But, Millie also has to have a valid license to employ a foreign worker before they will give her these visas.
Unfortunately Millie’s license if due to expire at the end of Jan 2017, but this is not sufficient time since they require at least 3 months valid license time after the metapelet arrives back. This makes sense since there would be no point in her coming back if she couldn’t work here for at least 3 months. So we applied for a renewal of Millie’s license about 5 weeks ago. The agent Daniella said it could take from 2 days to 2 weeks. But because of the holidays (chagim) that took 3 weeks, when everything comes to a standstill in Israel, we have not yet received the renewal notice from the relevant government office.
Daniella said just go to the Misrad Hapnim office anyway and apply and see if they will give you the visas. So we went early last Thurs morning, with all the signed papers. Jaya was there at 5,30 am to get a place in the queue and she was no. 3 and I joined her at 7.30 am, and the doors opened at 8 am. But, because of people rushing in and the fact that they have changed the location of the office and the procedure since we were last there (two years ago) we only got number 7 to go in.
Never mind, our number was called and we had a young clerk. We explained the situation that Jaya is getting married. She looked at her computer and immediately said I can’t give you the visas because the license will be out-of-date. We tried to call Daniella but there was no reply at that time. So we decided to go to her office knowing she should be there at 9 am. We walked across Netanya, but when we got there she wasn’t there, but now she answered the phone. She said go back to the Misrad Hapnim office and let me talk to the clerk. So we took a taxi back and went to the girl and I called the agent on my phone and she talked to her and she still said no.
So Daniella said find the clerk named Ruthie who apparently she knows and let me speak to her. She seemed to be the person in charge. So finally I managed to ask Ruthie to talk to Daniella, but she said I don’t know anything about it and I’m busy, and she hung up. But, she heard enough to say “OK, write me a letter and sign it.” So I went and wrote a letter explaining the situation and I gave it to her and she took Jaya’s papers. But, she made us wait while she saw three other clients. Then she finally relented and took Jaya’s papers and looked at them and spoke to the other clerk and then she said “Sorry, no, we can’t help you, come back another time.”
So we gave up. Now Jaya has to decide what to do, since she is supposed to be flying Weds Nov 2. She can wait, but if she has to change her flight she can’t leave it to the last minute, or she’ll lose all her money. The day after this event Daniella sent an e-mail to the Manager of the Misrad Hapnim office explaining the situation. She told Jaya to go back today, Sunday, and try again. I chose not to go with her, I think my presence only exacerbated the situation. This time they gave Jaya the visas without any problem. I am not interested why, I am only very relieved. Now Jaya can go home and get married and come back to look after Millie. Luckily we have a substitute carer to take over while she is gone. I took Jaya to the Airport at 4 am this morning (Weds) and she is now flying to India.