Foreign workers children
Children of foreign workers at a protest in Tel Aviv. Photo by Tali Mayer
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Interior Minster Eli Yishai on Monday approved residency for 257 families of foreign workers whose children were born in Israel, and rejected a further 118 requests.

The interior minister made the decision based on the recommendations of a committee set up to consider residency requests of families following a government decision in August 2010. 

According to the decision, the children, who were still considered as being in Israel illegally, and their families, are eligible for residency in Israel if they meet certain criteria set by an interdepartmental committee. 

Following the decision, authorities received 701 requests for residency, out of which 65 were rejected for not complying with the standards set.

Some 635 cases were then reviewed by a committee set up to advise the interior minister. The committee has been working on the issue for a number of months.

As per the committee's recommendations, decisions on a further 260 cases will be postponed.

Families have been waiting for over a year and a half for an Interior Ministry decision on their status, during which it has been illegal for them to work.

The recommendations of the committee were submitted to Eli Yishai a few months ago, and Haaretz published the first recommendations in October last year. In the past few days, Yishai decided to adopt the decision, and notification will be sent to the families, some of whom will need to make preparations to leave the country.

The Knesset Foreign Workers Committee is due to debate the issue today.

Read this article in Hebrew