Luckily nationals from 96 countries do not need to arrange a visa for Israel before leaving their home country. However it is important to make sure you can travel to Israel visa-free before you book your air ticket. Here is a breakdown to help you understand Israeli visas.
Different Types of Israeli Visas
Israel offers a number of different types of visas depending on the purpose of your entry into the country. Visas for Israel include an 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 and a B/2 Visitors’ Visa. The Immigration Visa and A/1 Temporary Resident Visa are only applicable to a person immigrating to Israel. An A/2 Student Visa is for those coming to study in any institution in Israel and is valid for up to one year with multiple entrances and exits. An A/3 Clergy Visa is for clergymen coming to Israel to perform clerical duties for their religion by invitation of a religious organization in Israel. A clergyman coming on holiday or on a pilgrimage would require a regular B/2 visa not an A/3 Clergy Visa. The A/4 Visa is for the spouses and children of those with an A/2 Student Visa or an A/3 Clergy Visa. A B/1 Work Visa is for those who have approval from the Ministry of the Interior to work as an expert or artist in their field in Israel. The B/2 Visitors’ Visa is the one which tourists receive.
Do you Need a Visa for Israel?
Nationals from many countries do not require a visa and can stay in Israel for up to 90 days visa-free after which you can apply for an extension at the Ministry of the Interior. Among the countries with bilateral agreements with Israel allowing visa-free visits are the USA, Britain, Australia, European nations, Russia, South Africa, Canada, Philippines, Iceland, Singapore, Hong Kong, most South American countries, Japan and New Zealand. Check the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs website to find out if nationals from your country can visit visa-free for 90 days. If you require a visa you will have to apply for a B/2 Visitors Visa.
Israeli Visitors’ Visa
Tourists, volunteers, business people coming to Israel for meetings, Hebrew language students and visitors to Israel from countries which do not have a bilateral agreement with Israel will have to apply for a visa at their local Israeli Consulate in their home country. The visa allows you to visit for up to 90 days and does not allow you to work in Israel. When applying for an Israeli visa you will need a passport valid for at least six months after your stay in Israel; a filled and signed application form; a photocopy of your passport; proof that you can support yourself financially while in Israel (such as a bank statement from the last three months); an air ticket to and from Israel; two passport photos and the application fee.
You should receive your visa within two months. Due to the fact that many Arab and predominantly Muslim countries do not grant entry to people with an Israeli stamp in their passport, travelers are now issued with a stamp on a separate piece of paper which must be kept in your passport for the duration of your visit in Israel.