The state of Israel has become an attractive tourist location for many people around the world, and as the years go by many persons would like to visit Israel for different reasons. While in the past political and security issues drastically decreased incoming tourism, recent years show an increase which is obviously beneficial for the country.
The state of Israel is thankful and welcomes visitors to vacate and travel in a country with many different sites such as historical sites, religious sites for Jews Christians and Muslims, archeological sites, beautiful nature sites, cultural sites in additional to many recreational sites. The pleasant Mediterranean weather contributes to the country’s appeal to tourism as well.
As mentioned above, recent years show an increase in incoming tourism and 2011 it reached its yearly peak with 2.8 million tourists. The state of Israel invests in promoting tourism which greatly contributes to the country’s economy.
In order to enter Israel, as with most countries, one must hold a valid B/2 tourist visa. If a person does not hold a visa he will not be allowed entrance. A B/2 tourist visa is granted per one of the following:
- Countries with which Israel has signed agreements – citizens of countries in agreement with Israel are granted a visa automatically, and in most cases free of charge, upon entry. Amongst these countries are most of the European countries, the United States, Canada and many other countries.
- Countries with which Israel does not have signed agreements – citizens of countries that Israel does not have a signed agreement with must apply for a visa prior to entering.
Application for a B/2 Tourist Visa
A tourist visa for a person who wishes to enter Israel is given in the following cases:
- Invitation of a tourist by an Israeli citizen or permanent resident.
Invitation of a tourist is an option available to Citizens or permanent residents of Israel only. The Inviter must refer to the local Ministry of Interior department with the following forms and documents:
- Completed and signed visa application form.
- Passport picture.
- A copy of the Inviter’s Identification card.
- A copy of the Invitee’s passport and stamped visas.
- Letter of invitation including the purpose of the visit, length of time, the relationship between the Inviter and Invitee, and an obligation of the Inviter to ensure the Invitee will leave the country as expected.
- Certificates and documents as proof of the relationship between the Inviter and Invitee.
- If the Invitee is a minor, the parents’ approval is required.
2. Visa Application by a tourist at an Israeli representation or embassy around the world.
Further to submitting the visa application at the Ministry of Interior by the Inviter, the Invitee should refer to the embassy close to his home to receive the visa. In most cases the visa is granted for a period of 3 months, yet it may be given for a shorter period of time as well. Tourists who wish to enter Israel without an invitation may refer to the embassy near their home in order to submit the visa application.
It should be noted the different embassies around the world require a different list of documents as part of the visa application. Therefore, the Invitee or the independent tourist should check, prior to their interview, the visa requirements. In most cases the list is displayed on the embassy website, yet it is highly recommended to call and confirm.
The above is general information only, it should be noted every case is considered individually. If you have additional questions regarding the process please contact us for further information.