Religion and immigration to Israel

People don’t change nationalities at the drop of a hat, but suppose that I wanted to emigrate to Israel. What are the requirements; what is the process and what difference would ones religious or cultural background make? I assume that an application for a follower of Islam would get more than a quick once over. Would someone with a Christian, Buddhist or other religious heritage have any problems?

Hopefully I’m not offending anyone by asking this. It’s something that I have wondered about for years.

The above link has some information on migration into Israel in recent years. It doesn’t directly answer your question but does show that a significant amount of non-Jewish migration occurs into Israel.

From the link:
“Beginning in the early 1990s, Israel began to invite non-Jewish, non-Palestinian temporary migrants workers to support its prosperous economy.”

“The number of migrant workers that initially came to replace the Palestinian laborers reached a high of between 250,000 to 300,000 in 2003, but current official estimates at the end of 2003 place the number of migrants at about 189,000.”

“Over half of the migrant workers in Israel are from Southeast Asia, with most, approximately 50,000, coming from the Philippines to work primarily in home health care. Approximately 30,000 Thai migrants work mostly in agriculture, and 15,000 Chinese migrants work in the construction industry. Other migrants come from India and Sri Lanka.”

A couple of relevant formal pages:

http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Archive/Communiques/1998/IMMIGRATION%20AND%20EMIGRATION

http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Facts+About+Israel/State/Acquisition+of+Israeli+Nationality.htm

Israeli family law is based on religion (with seperate courts & rules for Jews, Christians, & Muslims), right? So how does that work for Buddhists, Hindus, etc?

Thanks.

From Puzzler’s second link

So, how does the Department of the Interior decide who stays? I assume that everyone goes through some sort of a background check for association with criminal and/or terrorist activities, but how does this look in practice?

Something to consider also is US law (and policy) concerning dual citizenship.

http://travel.state.gov/law/citizenship/citizenship_778.html