Visas

Who needs a visa?

Israel offers visas for tourists, business personnel, students, workers and immigrants. Most foreign nationals do not need a visa for visits under 90 days. The typical visa process is straightforward but requires a lot of documentation.

Everybody who wishes to enter Israel must present a valid passport, and most individuals must have a visa. It is simple and straightforward to apply for a visitor's visa, although it may take up to two months for some visas to be issued. Applying for a worker's visa requires more time and documentation.

Visitor's visa

It is fairly easy for visitors to obtain a visa and come to Israel. Visitors include tourists, volunteers, business personnel, and Hebrew language students.

The state has bilateral agreements with many countries which allows visitors to stay in Israel for 90 days without a visa. For up to date information visit the Ministry of Foreign Affair's website . Nationals from these countries will receive a stamp in their passport upon entry into Israel. They must only apply for a visa if they wish to stay longer than 90 days. These visas are good for six months.

Nationals from countries not mentioned above must apply for a visa before coming to Israel, and the visa is valid for 90 days.

All visitor's visas may be renewed and extended by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs while in Israel for a period up to six months. Visitors are not allowed to work for an Israeli business with a visitor's visa (but businessmen may conduct meetings and negotiations).

If you need a tourist visa, you must submit the following to an Israeli consulate:

  • valid passport
  • photocopy of valid passport
  • a completed application for a visa to enter Israel
  • two passport-sized photos
  • evidence of sufficient funds to stay in the country for the projected time period
  • return tickets or other evidence you have plans to leave the country
  • processing fee

The consulate will process your application and give you a visa within two months.

Individuals who wish to enter Israel for business purposes should also present a letter from a partner or business sponsor to the consulate or embassy.

Student visa for Israel

Students studying at an Israeli high school or institution of higher education must obtain an A2 student visa. Obtaining a student visa is a relatively straightforward affair because Israel encourages foreign students to study in Israel.

You must be accepted at an educational institution before you apply for this visa. To obtain a student visa, you must present the following documents to an Israeli consulate.

  • valid passport
  • a completed application for a visa to enter Israel
  • two passport-sized photos
  • letter of acceptance from the educational institution
  • evidence of sufficient funds for the projected time in Israel
  • application fee
  • students under age 18 must present written consent from a parent or legal guardian

The student visa process usually takes one to two months. The visa application is available at Israeli consulates and on the Ministry of Foreign Affair's website .

Student visas are valid for one year and must be renewed annually. They have no multiple entry restrictions, which means that you can enter and exit Israel without applying for additional visas. Holders of student visas may not work in Israel.

Work visa

If you want to work in Israel, you will need to apply for a work visa before you enter the country. For more information on this subject, have a look at our article on on work visas and work permits.

Residence visa and residence permits

Israel does not grant many residence visas to non-Jews. The Ministry of the Interior retains the sole right to grant A5 temporary residence visas. Potential residents must apply directly to the Ministry of the Interior in Israel.

Israel only issues resident permits to qualifying non-Jewish foreigners who currently live abroad. To get one of these permits, you must be the spouse or parent of an Israeli immigrant or citizen. You must apply directly to the Ministry of the Interior for a residence permit.

If you wish to reside in Israel and cannot obtain a residence visa, obtain a work visa and permit. After you've worked in Israel for over 12 months, you should apply to the Ministry of the Interior for a temporary residence permit. However, even after this process you are not guaranteed a residence permit.

Israel offers two types of residence permits: a temporary residence permit which is valid for three years and a permanent residence permit. After working in Israel for 12-18 months, you may apply for a temporary residence permit. This may be upgraded to permanent residence permit. However, only the Ministry of the Interior grants residence permits, and there is no guarantee you will receive one.

Transit visa

Visitors whose cruise ships stop in Israel are issued a transit visa. This is a stamped card, and it is valid for five days. Holders of this visa may extend the validity to ten days.

Further reading

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