JERUSALEM (Apr. 27)
Immigration to Israel during the first three months of the year was lower than for any quarter since the first three months of 1990, according to statistics released this week by the Finance Ministry.
But the good news is that a huge number of potential immigrants are holding Israeli visas and only a very few of those who have made it here have gotten fed up and left the country.
According to the Finance Ministry statistics released Monday, which are considered accurate and reliable, a total of 18,726 immigrants arrived in Israel during the first three months of 1992.
In addition, Israel issued 14,000 new immigrant visas during that period to citizens of the former Soviet Union.
But future improvement is possible. The ministry reported that about 1 million Jews in the now-independent republics of the former Soviet Union now hold Israeli visa request forms.
That is the first stage in the bureaucratic procedure. It means that 1 million Jews have taken the first step to avail themselves of the aliyah option.
Their choice to exercise it may depend on their personal circumstances, whether the economic or political situation deteriorates at home, and Israel’s ability to absorb them.
The figures showed very small re-emigration. During 1990-91, only 3,608 newcomers left Israel, less than 1 percent of the total immigration in that two-year period.