DO I NEED A VISA TO GO TO ISRAEL?
Hey, good news! Israel grants visa-free travel to the states in which it has good relations. By this, the answer to the query on whether a person needs a visa to go to Israel is simple− it depends. On one hand, Israel has visa exemption agreements with many countries for visits of up to 90 days, if the purpose of travel is for tourism. But on the other hand, those countries which are not included in the visa exemption have to apply for a visa in order to enter Israel. Therefore, it is very important to check whether or not your country belongs to the list of states which do not require a visa for an Israel entry.
In general, the Israeli authorities take at least five days to process the application for an Israel visitor entry visa. Meanwhile, processing times for work visas can take from 12 to 14 weeks.
Those who can enter Israel without the need of getting a visa still need to present documents at the Israel port of entry. These documents are the following:
- A passport valid at least six months on entry with two blank visa pages
- Proof of sufficient funds, i.e. bank statements, or cash
- Proof of onward/return airline tickets
- Documents showing proof of purpose of the trip
- A visa for the next destination, if required
Note that if you are a Filipino, you do not need a visa to enter Israel. Filipinos can travel to Israel Visa-Free for a period of 90 days for the sole purpose of tourism, thanks to the Bilateral Agreement between Israel and the Philippines. However, you will still be interviewed at the Port of Entry. After having sufficiently answered the questions of the immigration officer, a visa will be issued prior to entry. Visitors are advised to have the following documents:
- Confirmed round trip ticket with onward flight.
- Passport must be valid for more than six months after the intended date of return
- Sufficient pocket money
- Confirmed hotel reservation before departure
- A letter of invitation from the sponsoring establishment or tourist agency (if applicable)
As for the requirements for a working visa, it will depend on the confirmation given by the Ministry of Interior, Israel. For other nationalities however, please refer to the nearest Israel embassy or consulate in your country for further details.
GENERAL IMPORTANT REMINDERS FOR VISA APPLICATION IN ISRAEL
1. Visitors must obtain a visa from one of the Israeli diplomatic missions unless they come from one of the visa-exempt countries.
2. All visitors must hold a passport that is valid for 6 months after the date of departure from Israel.
3. Documents must always be sent to Israeli missions via registered mail.
4. Payment by bank draft is acceptable, but payment by personal check is not.
5. The grant of a visa by the State of Israel to a person bearing a foreign passport (national or official), does not necessarily imply recognition of the authority or entity that issued such passport.
6. Attend the visa interview. On the same day of the interview, submit the required documents.
7. The visa interview is a meeting with a consular officer, who will ask several questions regarding your intended trip to Israel, where you will stay and how will you finance your trip.
8. You will need to pay a specific amount of money in order for the embassy to process your application for an Israeli visa. The Israel Visa fees vary from €21 to €41, except for the Permanent Residence Visa, which will cost you €167.
9. The visa costs are non-refundable in case the applicant decides to withdraw his or her application, or if the embassy rejects their visa application.
10. The “Electronic Gate Pass” is a card that you will receive at the Border Control station when you enter Israel.
11. The card contains details about your purpose of the trip, date of arrival, as well as a copy of the info page of your passport.
12. The card replaces the previous system in which the passports were stamped.
13. If an official inspector or police officer requests identification and proof of legal status in Israel, you should present this card, so keep it always with you.
14. Israel visa applicants from several world countries, most of them from the Arab world, need to require confirmation from the government of Israel, before getting a tourist visa.
In order to get an Israel visa, you will need to submit your application at the Israeli embassy or consulate in your country of residence. In several countries, Israel has outsourced visa admission to third-party visa processing centers. If such a visa center admits applications for Israeli visas in your country of residence, you should submit yours there. The recommended time to apply for your Israel visa is 1-2 months before your travel date.
The table below shows the Israel visa costs, depending on the visa type:
Type of Visa Euro Dollar
A/2-Student Visa 41.oo 47.00
A/3-Clergy Visa 41.oo 47.00
A/4-Temporary Visa 41.oo 47.00
B/1-Work Visa 41.oo 47.00
B/2-Visitor Visa 21.00 24.00
Separate Form-B/2 Visa 21.00 24.00
How do I complete the application form for an Israel Visa?
You can complete the form in either English or Hebrew. The following are the steps for the completion of application form for an Israel Visa:
1. Fill the form in your computer and then print it, or you can complete it with a pen of any other color than black.
2. Respond to the questions on your nationality, name, surname, parents’ full names, your occupation and your intended trip to Israel.
3. Glue a photo to the application form in the given space, which must meet the ICAO specifications.
The commonly required documents for the application of an Israel visa are the following:
1. Visa application form. The form differs depending on the visa you are applying for. Make sure you download and complete the right one.
2. Two passport-size photographs. They must have a white background and be in size 5.5 cm X 5.5 cm.
3. Valid passport. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the intended duration of stay in the Israel territory and with at least one blank page to affix the visa.
4. Older passports. You must submit all passports that you hold, including current/old/cancelled/expired/special passport.
5. Flight Booking. You do not need to purchase the tickets as if your application is rejected, you will lose your money. You just need a saved seat on a flight to Israel as a proof of the date you intend to travel here.
6. Birth Certificate.
7. Payment of the applicable fee for the visa type you are applying for.
The table below shows a list of specific documents to enclose in your application, depending on your employment status:
- Employment contract (original certificate of employment indicating the position in the company and the salary)
- Bank account statement of the past 6 months
- No-objection certificate from the employer
- Income Tax Return (ITR)
- Proof of financial resources is nevertheless required
- If the person is not able to finance his/her own expenses, proof of a sponsor is mandatory.
- Self Employed
- Copy of business license (company registration)
- Company’s bank account statement of the past 6 months
- Income Tax Return (ITR)
- Documentation of University enrollment (Proof of enrollment)
- Approval letter from school or university
- Pension statement documenting the past 6 months
Specific Israel Visa Rules:
1. Egyptian nationals are not asked an entry visa for stays up to 14 days if they are not passing through Taba, and they can visit up to Beersheba.
2. Palestinian Authority passport holders can get their visa on arrival to reach the Palestinian territories.
3. Travelers who hold a confirmation authorized by the Israeli Ministry of Interior can also get a visa on arrival but it does not apply to the nationals of Jordan.
4. Passport stamps of Israel may cause problems for entry to certain countries due to boycott applied by the Arab League countries. However, passport stamps have been replaced by an electronic gate pass.
5. Please keep in mind that the entry requirements may change based on decisions of the authorities, and it is strongly advised to have solid information from the local diplomatic missions in your country of residence, prior to your departure.
The holders of national and official passports in the following countries need to get a confirmation for an Israeli tourist visa. These countries are as follows:
Afghanistan, Iran, Lebanon, Morocco, Qatar, Sudan, Bahrain, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Russia (only for official passport), Syria, Egypt*, Jordan, Malaysia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Indonesia, Kuwait, Mauritania, Pakistan, Somalia, United Arab Emirates
- United Arab Emirates
- Saudi Arabia
Nonetheless, a person can still enter Israel even if he/she bears a stamp of one of the Arab countries on his/her passport. But it is important that he is prepared to answer a lot of questions, regarding his trip to said Arab country.
TYPES OF ISREAL VISAS
1. IMMIGRATION VISA
This visa is anchored with Aliyah which is the Israel Law of Return. The Aliyah grants an immigration visa for persons of Jewish roots living abroad, who wish to move and live in Israel. Those who are officially converted to Judaism can also apply for this visa. To be specific, the following are important reminders when applying for an immigration visa:
a. The authority to issue the immigration visa lies solely with the diplomatic/consular representative.
b. The representative examines the application and the recommendation of the Aliya representative.
c. The diplomatic/consular representative may request additional details, both from the applicant and from the immigration representative.
d. In cases of doubt, the diplomatic / consular representative may transfer the application to the consular section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a decision.
e. Those interested in commencing the process of immigrating to Israel should contact the Aliya representative of the Jewish Agency who is responsible for the area in which they reside.
2. A/1 TEMPORARY RESIDENT VISA
This visa is intended for people who are eligible for immigration (Aliya) under the Law of Return, and has completed the examination process with the Aliya representative of the Jewish Agency, and whose application has been examined and approved by the diplomatic / consular representative at an Israeli mission.
3. A/2 TEMPORARY RESIDENT VISA
This visa is granted to those who want to study in Israel in elementary and high schools, academic institutions, yeshivot and youth institutions of the Jewish Agency. The validity of this visa is good for one year, and it can be used for multiple entrances and exits.
Note however that the recipients of this visa are not permitted to work in Israel, and minors are not given a visa without the written consent of both parents or his legal guardian.
Specifically, the requirements for A/2 Temporary Resident Visa are the following:
- Completed and signed application for a visa to enter Israel
- Passport (must be valid beyond one year from the date of intended visit)
- Two passport pictures
- Original letter of acceptance for study at a recognized educational institution in Israel
- Statement from a bank showing that you have the funds to support the stay in Israel while you are a student (Bank statement from the past three months)
- Roundtrip airline tickets OR payment of next school year in the states (in the case of an exchange student)
- Payment of the fee
- Bank statement of the last 3 months
4. A/3 CLERGY VISA
This visa is granted to clergymen for the purpose of fulfilling their clerical duties among their religious communities in Israel, pursuant to the invitation of a recognized religious institution in Israel. A clergyman who goes to Israel for a visit and requires an entry visa will receive the regular B/2 visa. Only the Ministry of the Interior has the authority to grant an A/3 visa. The application should be submitted in Israel by the religious institution that is inviting the clergyman, and the mission will only issue the visa with the prior approval of the Ministry of the Interior.
The validity of this visa will be in accordance with Ministry of Interior guidelines, with the option of renewal only in Israel. If the visa is approved by the Ministry of the Interior, the visa will be issued by the mission upon the provision of the following requirements:
- Completed and signed application for a visa to enter Israel (Note: Download the application for Visa to enter Israel)
- A valid passport
- Two passport pictures
- Payment of the fee (Table of Fees)
5. A/4 VISA
This visa is intended for the spouses and children of recipients of A/2 or A/3 visas. It will be issued upon the completion of the following requirements:
- An application for an A/4 visa which has been filled out and signed, and attached to the visa application of the person they are accompanying
- A valid passport
- Two passport pictures
- Payment of the fee
6. B/1 WORK VISA
This visa is intended for a person whose stay in Israel is approved for a limited period of time, for the purpose of work. It is given to experts and artists, among others, and is granted solely with the approval of the Ministry of the Interior.
The fee is paid by the applicant when the application is submitted to one of the population administration offices of the Ministry of the Interior. Upon receipt of approval from the Ministry of the Interior, the mission will issue the B/1 Work visa after interviewing the applicant and obtaining from him the following documents:
- A verified certificate of good conduct
- Certification of medical examinations performed in clinics or hospitals recognized by the mission (the certification must cover, inter alia, normal results in tests for tuberculosis, hepatitis, and AIDS) and the results of blood tests.
- A declaration of the taking of fingerprints (the State of Israel has begun to take fingerprints from foreign workers who enter the country to work) and a photograph.
- A completed application for a visa (Download the application for Visa to enter Israel).
- Two passport pictures
The validity of the B/1 Work visa will be in accordance with Ministry of Interior guidelines. Thus, the worker must enter and stay in Israel within the period of time specified in the visa. Upon receipt, the person may apply to one of the population administration offices of the Ministry of the Interior for an extension.
7. B/2 VISA
General guidelines for B/2 visa:
1. B/2 visa is valid for up to three months from the date of issue, and the duration of the stay in Israel will be determined by the Border Police.
2. If the visitor wishes to extend his visit, he may submit an application at one of the regional population administration offices of the Ministry of the Interior.
3. The consul may request additional documents.
4. Since the fee is collected for handling the application, it will not be refunded to the applicant if the visa is not issued for any valid reasons.
5. The visa will be issued by the mission upon completion of the following requirements:
- A completed and signed application for a visa to enter Israel Itinerary including plane ticket, and hotel reservation information or address of where you will be staying
- A passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the period of the stay in Israel
- Travel document which must be valid for at least one year beyond the period of the stay in Israel
- Two passport pictures.
- Health Insurance stating that you are fully covered for your international travel
- Letter from Employer, stating that you are currently employed and will continue to work once you return from your trip,
- Valid re-entry visa to the United States OR original permanent resident (Green card).
- Payment of the fee
Types of B/2 VISA:
a. Israel B/2 visitor visa
This is issued to foreigners who would like to travel to the country for tourism and entertainment-related purposes. It grants the traveler to stay in Israel for up to three months. A tourist visa can be obtained from the diplomatic missions authorized in the applicant’s country of residence.
b. Israel Visa for Business and Fair Visits
This B/2 visitor visa is granted to foreign nationals who wish to enter the country for business reasons. Travelers can stay in Israel for only up to three months. Chinese citizens are eligible to get multiple entries B/2 visa with Chinese passports visa for stays not exceeding 90 days, in line with the bilateral agreement made between China and Israel. The visa is valid for up to ten years.
c. Israel Visa for Visit to Family, Relatives, and Friends
This refers to travels to Israel by third-country nationals with the intention of visiting family, relatives or friends. This B/2 visa enables the holder to visit the country upon submission of a valid invitation.
d. Israel Visa for Cultural, Sports Activities and Participation to Conferences
This refers to travelers from third countries who would like to visit Israel to participate in cultural or sports-related events.
e. Israel Visa for Short-term Education and Traineeship
This is intended for foreign nationals who would like to visit Israel for short-term education or training purposes and can also apply for a B/2 visitor visa. A visitor visa permits the holder to stay in Israel for up to three months. Those who would like to travel to Israel for extended periods should obtain an A/2 student visa.
8. OFFICIAL DIPLOMAT/ GOVERNMENT VISA
This visa is granted to persons who hold an official government passport, and/or will be entering Israel on an official government mission. The processing time for an official visa is two weeks.
The requirements for the issuance of this visa are as follows:
- Completed and signed application for an official visa to enter Israel
- Official Service Passport
- Two passport pictures
- Official government letter
In case an expedited process is requested, an additional letter needs to be submitted, bearing the following guidelines:
§ Letter addressed to the consul
§ The letter’s subject line should be: “A request to expedite”
§ In the letter, there should be:
(a) An explanation of the reason for requesting to expedite the visa
(b) The specific date you would like the visa to be ready
§ In case the visa is needed in less than 48 hours from the time you apply, the person has to submit a copy of his/her flight itinerary