New Israel Entry Requirement; Guidance for Students | Chaim V’Chessed

Israel is set to introduce a new electronic travel authorization (ETA) system for visitors from visa-exempt countries in the coming months. This system will mirror the U.S. ESTA program and similar systems in other countries, designed to streamline entry procedures for non-citizens.

Visitors from countries that do not require visas to enter Israel will be required to obtain an ETA before boarding a flight to Israel. An ETA will be valid for two years, and allows the holder to enter Israel multiple times. A fee of 25 NIS will be collected.

Citizens of Israel, or non-citizens who have a mispar zehut (Israeli identity number), will not be required to obtain an ETA. Similarly, student visa holders will be exempt from this process.

It is important to note, however, that those entering Israel to study who have not yet obtained a student visa will be required to obtain an ETA. Furthermore, Interior Ministry officials have told Chaim V’Chessed that even though they intend to study in Israel,  would-be students must select ‘Visit/Tourism’ if they do not yet hold a student visa. Those who select ‘Study’ will not be granted an ETA, and will be unable to enter Israel.

Beginning on June 1, a pilot program for the ETA  system will open for holders of US and German passports. The pilot will expand to visitors from other visa-exempt countries on July 1. During the pilot program, no fee will be charged for an ETA.

The ETA will become mandatory from August 1. From that date, visitors to Israel will be unable to board a flight to Israel without first obtaining an ETA.

An ETA will be issued to eligible travelers within 72 hours, though it may arrive in just a few hours. Concerns have been raised that passengers traveling urgently to Israel for emergency situations or a death may be hindered by the new requirement. As one may apply for an ETA at any time, regardless of travel, travelers may wish to obtain an ETA for just-in-case scenarios.

Apply for an ETA at this link.

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  1. Receiving ETA-IL authorization does not allow you to stay in Israel for two years, it only allows you to travel to Israel if your passport is one of a Visa-exempt country, allowing you to stay for 90 days or less. If you plan to stay for longer than 90 days you will be required to submit a request for the extension of your stay.


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