The Immigrant Absorption Ministry has teamed up with three leading cell phone companies to grant new immigrants more than three hours of free phone service once they arrive in Israel.

Beginning Thursday, newcomers to the country can receive a SIM card with 200 phone minutes for their portable phones after they land at Ben-Gurion International Airport, according to the ministry's website.

The new service is sponsored by the Immigrant Absorption Ministry along with cell phone companies Orange, Cellcom and Pelephone.

"The cards will be distributed according to the ability of individuals to use them in their personal cell phones," the ministry website states. "This step is part of the ministry's efforts to encourage immigrants to remain in contact with absorption representatives in their communities whenever they have questions, in order to ease the absorption process.

"The ministry views maintaining contact with new immigrants as a foundation of its work, and devotes great efforts towards facilitating rapid and successful integration," the announcement continues."

The website adds that "The Ministry of Immigrant Absorption invites new immigrants to consult with ministry staff about any questions."

It adds, "Staff members at district offices throughout the country will try to help with any issues."

Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver praised the initiative as a "revolution in services to new immigrants arriving in Israel, emphasizing personal contact."

"The connection between a new immigrant and the ministry during the first few days in the country is critical," Landver said, "and crucial to ongoing successful absorption in employment, housing and learning the Hebrew language."