Israel issues visas to foreign nationals looking to enter the State of Israel for different purposes and varied periods. The country receives the documents through the Israeli mission via registered e-mail. Furthermore, while bank draft payment is acceptable, a personal cheque cannot pay fees for Israel Visa Application.
Who needs an Israeli visa?
Foreign nationals who want to visit Israel for tourism, business, study, and other such purposes, as acknowledged by the state of Israel, need to obtain a pre-approved visa. However, some countries enjoy visa-free benefits for a maximum of 3-months. Here is a list of the countries whose nationals do not need a pre-approved visa to visit Israel.
- European Union – Chile – Honduras
- Andorra – Dominica – Jamaica
- The Bahamas – Ecuador – Lesotho
- Barbados – El Salvador – Liechtenstein
- Belarus – Eswatini – Macao
- Australia – Dominican Republic – Japan
- Botswana – Georgia – Mauritius
- Brazil – Grenada – Mexico
- Federal States of Micronesia – Guatemala – Canada
- Argentina – Colombia – Hong Kong
- Albania – Costa Rica – Iceland
- Belize – Fiji – Malawi
- Central African republic – Haiti – Moldova
- Monaco – Mongolia – Montenegro
- North Macedonia – New Zealand – Nauru
- San Marino – Serbia – Singapore
- Solomon Islands – South Africa – South Korea
- Switzerland – Taiwan – Tonga
- Trinidad and Tobago – Ukraine – United States
- Norway – Palau – Panama
- Papua New Guinea – Paraguay – Peru
- The Philippines – Russia – Suriname
- Saint Kitts and Nevis – Saint Lucia – Saint Vincent
Apart from these countries, holders of Palestinian authority passport can get visa on arrival for visiting the Palestinian territories.
Type of Israel Visa
Israel divides the visa type depending on the purpose of the visit. Broadly, there are seven categories under which visas in Israel can be provided. These categories are :
- Immigration Visa
- A1 temporary resident visa
- A2 student visa
- A3 Clergy visa
- A4 visa for spouse and children
- B1 Work Visa
- B2 Visitor’s visa
1. Immigration Visa
Under this visa type, Jews have the right to immigrate to the State of Israel because they are considered as people returning to their country who were away for some reason. Jews whose ancestors were not in Israel can also apply for the immigration visa and would be considered returning citizens. According to Israeli law, “A Jew is a person born to a Jewish mother, or who is a convert to Judaism, and is not a member of another religion.”
The Jews who are interested in starting the process of immigration to Israel need to contact the representative of the Jewish agency in the area.
2. Temporary Resident Visa
This is also known as the A1 visa type. The visa is granted to individuals eligible for immigration and has completed the examination process with the Jewish agency’s Aliya representative. Their application also needs to be examined and approved by the diplomatic/consular representative at an Israeli Mission.
3. Student Visa
The student visa or A2 visa is granted to individuals studying in elementary and high schools, Yeshivot, and youth institutions of the Jewish agency or Yeshivot institution. The student visa is valid for up to one year, and visa holders can do multiple entrances and exits. However, those on a student visa are not permitted to work in Israel.
4. Clergy Visa
This type of visa is granted to clergymen fulfilling clerical duties within their religious communities in Israel, under the invitation of a recognized religious institution in Israel. For visiting Israel, a clergyman would need to get a regular A3 visa.
The A3 visa can be granted only by the Ministry of Interior. The application has to be submitted by the religious institution on whose invitation the clergyman would visit the country. Upon the approval of the Ministry of Interior, the mission will issue the visa, once these are met:
- Completed and duly signed application for a visa to enter Israel
- Valid Passport
- Fee payment
- Two passport pictures
5. Visa for Spouse and Children
This visa can be applied by the spouse and minor children of the recipient of A2 or A3 visas. However, for issuing this visa, there are certain conditions to be met, such as:
- The applicant is the minor child or the spouse of a person with A2 or A3 visa
- Application of A4 visa is correctly filled and signed to be attached to the Israel visa application of the accompanying person.
- Full payment of the fee
- Two passport pictures
6. B1 Work Visa
Those who have been granted a stay in Israel for a limited period for work have this visa. Usually, experts and artists mostly qualify for this type of visa. However, it is subjected to the direct approval of the Ministry of Interior. The applicant needs to pay a fee after applying to one of the population administration offices of the Ministry of Interior.
Once the Ministry of Interior approves the visa request, the mission will issue the applicant the B1 work visa. The visa is issued after the applicant has appeared, submitted the required documents, and passed the interview.
Documents required for this visa type are:
- A verified certificate of good conduct
- Certification of medical examination performed by a hospital recognized by the mission
- Declaration of the taking of a fingerprint
- Completed Israel visa application
- Two passport-sized photographs
These are the standard documents required by the consulate for approving a work visa. However, depending on your nationality and other factors, you might be asked for additional documents.
7. B2 Visitor’s Visa
This visa is granted to an applicant who intends to stay in Israel for a short term. The purpose could range from tourism to business meetings or studying in a Hebrew ulpan. However, the B2 visa does not allow the individual to work in the State of Israel.
The Visitor’s visa has a maximum validity period of three months from the date of issuance. Moreover, the duration of stay in the country is subjected to the Border Police’s final approval. The visitors have to apply with one of the regional population administration officers of the Ministry of Interior to extend the visit.
Process of Israel Visitor’s Visa
Visitor’s visa is the most popular visa applied by other countries’ nationals for any of the purposes mentioned above. The main steps to follow during the application process are as follows:
- Identify the location to submit the application
- Fill and submit the B2 visa application
- Confirm the document requirements
- Schedule an interview and submit the documents
- Pay the fee for the application
- Get to know the result after processing time is over
B2 Visa Application Form
You can fill the form online or visit the concerned authority dealing with an Israeli visa in your country. The application would be available in English and Hebrew, depending on the language you prefer to fill the application.
Collect the documents as per the requirement
Once the application is filled and submitted, you would need to collect your documents to attach with the physical copy of the application during the interview. The documents required are:
- Medical/Travel insurance
- Proof of funds (Personal bank statements and salary slip for the 4-months preceding the date of your trip)
Those traveling on a B2 visa to attend a seminar, business meeting, conference. have to submit:
- A letterhead cover letter from your employer mentioning your details and position in the company(include the purpose of your visit and the duration of stay)
- A personal letter by the applicant defining the purpose of the visit and the duration of stay in Israel
- Invitation letter in Hebrew by the company inviting the applicant to Israel ( Include the name, passport number, purpose, and duration of the visit of the applicant)
- Salary slip for the past 4-months
Visa Interview and Fee Payment
On the day of the interview, the applicant has to visit the embassy consulate/visa processing center. The consulate officer will complete the due process of asking questions and collecting all the applicants’ documents.
Once the interview is over, the applicant has to pay €21 for the B2 Israel visa application for every applicant. Once the application is approved, the visa would be granted to the applicant.
What is the approximate time of processing the Israel visa application?
The processing of tourist or B2 visa application could take up to 14 working days.
Is it possible to extend the duration of stay for a B2 visitor visa in Israel?
You can apply for a visa application if you want to stay beyond the approved duration. Your extension request will be sent to the Population authority office as long as you’re still in Israel.
If my visa is rejected, will my processing fee be refunded?
No, the processing fee is for processing the application, so there is no provision for a refund.
COVID19 Restrictions for Israel Travel
Just like other countries, strict measures were implemented by the Israeli authority to limit the spread of the Coronavirus as regards travel in and out of the country. For an updated version of this policy, check here.
The Israel visa process is a bit tricky for first-time travelers. Initially, the requirements, eligibility criteria and documents to submit could be confusing, and a little mistake could affect the approval of your Israel visa. Therefore, we compiled this comprehensive guide to help you on the right way to get an Israel visa and understand what visa type suits your travel purpose.