Visas (Israel)

Travel Guide Middle East Israel Visas

The question of visas and that stamp in the passport may come up when you are planning a visit to Israel.



Regarding the visa question: this information is from the official website of the Israeli Ministry of Tourism. Visit their website for more details.

Citizens of the following countries will be issued tourist visas free of charge at every port or entrance terminal to Israel:

AfricaCentral African Republic, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, South Africa, Swaziland
Asia and OceaniaHong Kong, Japan, Philippines, South Korea
CaribbeanBahamas, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago
Central AmericaCosta Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama
EuropeCyprus, Hungary, Finland, France, Greece, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland
North AmericaCanada, Mexico, United States
OceaniaAustralia, Fiji, New Zealand
South AmericaArgentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Suriname, Uruguay

People holding passports from other countries must visit either the Embassy or Consulate of Israel or the embassy of the country acting as a representative of Israel in their home country to apply for a visitors visa.



Getting your passport stamped

Often times, travellers who are planning to visit countries which are hostile to Israel also want to visit Israel. It's unfortunate, but many of these countries will not allow travellers who have an Israeli visa stamp in their passport to enter. These countries include (but there may be others): Syria, Iran, Libya, Lebanon, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf States, Somalia, Sudan and some other African countries, Indonesia and/or Malaysia[1], Pakistan and Bangladesh. {Note from suztours: if anyone reading this knows that this list is either incorrect or incomplete, please feel free to edit.}

In practice though, not all of these countries will have tight security controls and check if there is an Israeli stamp in your passport. The one that for surely do though are Algeria, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran. Still, it's better to be safe than sorry and in general try to be prepared when visiting Muslim countries when you have an Israeli stamp in your passport. Notably exceptions are Turkey, Tunisia, Jordan and Egypt, which pose no problems for sure.

To avoid this problem, when you arrive in Israel, before you hand your passport to the passport control official, state very clearly (but pleasantly) that you would like to have the visa stamped on a separate piece of paper, NOT in your passport. The passport officials understand the problem and will comply. But please be aware that this special attention may contribute to a longer security check when you leave Israel.

There are some caveats: if you are visiting Jordan, for instance, and wish to also visit Israel and Syria on the same trip, try to visit Syria first. The problem arises when visiting Israel from Jordan and back again to Jordan. If you have a Jordanian exit visa in your passport from, say, the King Hussein/Allenby Bridge crossing (near Jericho), it will be obvious to the Syrian customs official that you have visited Israel, even though there is no Israeli visa showing in your passport. As well, Syria will not admit anyone who is even carrying any Israeli tourism material, such as a guidebook or brochures. While we would certainly like for these restrictions to be relaxed, it just isn't happening right now, so please be aware.

One last note about all this balygon (a Hebrew word meaning a bit of chaos) of visas and stamps and such: Israel welcomes citizens of all countries. Those who arrive with visas from, or who have visited, worked or volunteered in, countries with whom we do not have diplomatic relations or who do not recognize the existence of Israel will only have to endure a more intrusive security check. The rule of thumb in all these cases is PATIENCE and a smile!


  1. 1 Malaysia does not prohibit visitors who had previously travelled to Israel to enter the country.


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This is version 8. Last edited at 13:46 on Aug 3, 10 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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