The Minister of the Interior of the State of Israel is in charge of implementing the laws of the State which specify the conditions for entering Israel (the Law of Return, 5710 - 1950, and the Entry into Israel Law, 5712 - 1952). The power to implement these laws abroad was delegated to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Official Announcements Gazette 255 of October 16, 1952) and to Israel's representatives abroad (Official Announcements Gazette 2465 of October 7, 1978).
Israel has visa exemption agreements with many countries - for visits of up to 90 days. Before going to the mission, check whether you need to obtain a visa to visit Israel (click here to download the list of countries with which Israel has visa exemption agreements). It is important to emphasize that the exemption applies only to visas for visits and to passports (not to laissez passer).
Please note that 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.
Note that documents must always be sent to Israeli missions viaregistered mail. Payment by bank draft is acceptable; payment by personal check is not.
Below are the types of visas and the application process for obtaining them:
- Immigration visa
- A/1 Temporary Resident visa
- A/2 Student visa
- A/3 Clergy visa
- A/4 visa for spouses and children
- B/1 Work visa
- B/2 Visitor's visa
1. Immigration visa
The Law of Return, 5710 - 1950 determines the right of every Jew to immigrate to the State of Israel. The law is an expression of the connection between the Jewish people and their homeland. Jews returning to Israel are considered people who were away - or whose ancestors were away - from Israel, and are now returning to their country. With regard to the 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."
According to an arrangement between the government of Israel and the Jewish Agency, the latter handles immigration (aliya) to Israel: checking candidates, providing advice and guidance, seeing to absorption arrangements, referrals to immigrant centers, places of study, employment, etc. An aliya emissary of the Jewish Agency who recommends a person's immigration, transfers the application together with his written recommendation to an official representative of the State of Israel.
According to the law, the authority to issue the immigration visa lies solely with the diplomatic / consular representative. Therefore, this representative examines the application and the recommendation of the aliya representative. The diplomatic / consular representative may request additional details, both from the applicant and from the immigration representative. 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.
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. To obtain information on how to contact an aliya representative, please see the chapter on General Information.
2. A/1 Temporary Resident visa
- for people eligible for immigration under the Law of Return
An A/1 Temporary Resident visa is given to a person who is eligible for immigration (aliya) 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.
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 visa is valid for up to one year and for multiple entrances and exits. Recipients of this visa are not permitted to work in Israel.
Please note: A minor will not be given a visa without the written consent of both parents or his legal guardian.
The visa is granted to students who provide the following:
- Completed and signed application for a visa to enter Israel (click here to download the Application for a Visa to Enter Israel)
- Two passport pictures
- Certification of acceptance for study at a recognized educational institution in Israel
- Proof that the student has the financial means to pay for his studies and sustenance throughout his stay in Israel
- A travel document that is valid for at least one year, provided that his country has a diplomatic mission in the State of Israel. If there is no such mission in Israel, the passport must be valid for the entire period of studies and another six months beyond that time
- Payment of the fee (click here to open the table of fees).
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. The mission will only issue the visa with the prior approval of the Ministry of the Interior. The validity of the 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 provision of the following:
- for the spouses and children of recipients of A/2 or A/3 visas
This visa is granted to the spouses and minor children of recipients of A/2 or A/3 visas.
The visa will be issued under the following conditions:
This visa is for a person whose stay in Israel is approved for a limited period of time for the purpose of work. This visa 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 a fingerprint (the State of Israel has begun to take a fingerprint from foreign workers who enter the country to work) and a photograph.
- A completed application for a visa (click here to download the Application for a Visa to Enter Israel)
- Two passport pictures
The validity of the B/1 Work visa will be in accordance with Ministry of Interior guidelines. The worker must enter Israel within the period of time specified in the visa and stay in the country as specified in the visa. A person who receives such a visa may apply to one of the population administration offices of the Ministry of the Interior to extend the visa.
A B/2 visa is granted to someone who wishes to stay in Israel for only a short time (for a visit, tourism, a business meeting or study in a Hebrew ulpan). A person who enters Israel on a B/2 visa is not allowed to work in the State of Israel.
A B/2 visa is valid for up to three months from the date of issue. The duration of the stay in Israel will be determined by the Border Police. A visitor who wishes to extend his visit may submit an application at one of the regional population administration offices of the Ministry of the Interior.
The process to be handled at the mission:
- The consul may request additional documents.
- 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 reason.
8. Issuing of visas for participants in national projects like Birthright and MASA
For participants in Israeli national projects like Taglit-Birthright Israel or MASA, or in other projects initiated and organized by the Jewish Agency, a visa will be issued according to the project's purpose and duration.
B/2 visitor visa, for three months, will be issued for participants in project lasting less than three months.
A/2 student visa, multiple entries, for the duration of the project and up to one year, will be issued for participants for projects lasting more than three months.
The above mentioned participants are exempted from paying a visa fee.