Upon arrival in Israel, visitors undergo a security check and are requested to present a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date of their departure, as well as entry forms with their personal details.​​

International travelers come to Israel for a wide variety of reasons, including tourism, business, medical treatment and certain types of temporary work. The type of visa needed is defined by immigration law, and relates to the principal purpose of the traveler. Please, note, a visa does not guarantee entry into Israel.

Enclosed is link to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website which details from which countries a prearranged visa is necessary. Please note that tourists are in column of Nationals while service refers to Diplomats on official service.
http://www.mfa.gov.il/NR/rdonlyres/05664082-4C0C-4C2E-A593-C9D0C0B20C2A/0/VisaRequirements.pdf-13331P1

​Passport Control
Upon arrival in Israel, visitors undergo a security check and are requested to present a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date of their departure

Arrival by Air and Land Crossings – Incoming travelers continue to the passenger luggage area after their passports have been inspected. Carts are at their disposal. From there, they continue to customs control and to the airport exit.

Customs

There is a two-lane customs transit system, one green and the other red, at Ben Gurion Airport and the various Crossing Points.
Visitors who do not have goods to be declared may go through the green lane at the exit from the passenger arrival hall. Articles that do not need to be declared:
- Personal clothing, shoes and cosmetics – in quantities that can usually be carried in the traveler’s hand baggage.
- Alcoholic beverages – up to one liter for hard liquor, and up to two liters for wine, per person aged 17 and over.
- Tobacco of all types – up to 250 grams per person aged 17 and over.

- Presents and other commodities – items other than alcoholic beverages, alcoholic perfumes, tobacco, and television sets, costing up to $200, as determined by the clerk at the entrance terminal, according to lists in his possession.

- Food – up to a total weight of three kilograms, on condition that the weight of each type of food does not exceed one kilogram.
- Additional items such as cameras, binoculars, personal jewelry, musical instruments, camping or sports equipment, bicycle and other like articles.
Visitors with goods for which a deposit must be paid that will be returned to them when they leave Israel must go through the red lane. Visitors with items not appearing in the list of duty free items or in the list of taxable items must also go through the red lane and declare them. In case of doubt, the tax authorities recommend going through the red lane. Failure to declare taxable items represents an offense, for which the traveler must pay an administrative fine, be prosecuted or have the goods confiscated.

It is forbidden to import the following items into Israel without a license issued in advance: plants, firearms, raw meat, raw materials, counterfeit currency or documents, knife or penknife not intended for professional use, etc.

It is permitted to import vehicles for personal use. Visitors are also allowed to purchase a tax-exempt vehicle in Israel, on condition that they undertake to take it out of Israel upon leaving the country, and this no later than one year from the date of the tax exemption or its purchase. In order to receive a tax exemption, a foreign license and an insurance policy that are valid in Israel must be presented.

Address: Department of Customs, 5 Bank of Israel Street, The Government Complex, Jerusalem.
Telephone – 972-2-6664000​
More information about VAT and customs:
http://ozar.mof.gov.il/ita2013/eng/mainpage.htm

Leaving Israel
Security Check
Passengers must arrive at the airport three hours before departure time.
Passengers arriving at the airport must first undergo a security check before approaching the counter of the airline they are flying. Passengers and their luggage are inspected by airport personnel with modern security equipment. They will then check in their luggage and receive a boarding pass and seat number.

Passport control

After the security check in the departure hall, passengers continue to passport control. They must present their passport and airline ticket.

FAQs

1. VISA

Do I need a visa to travel to Israel?

Americans, Canadians and citizens of most western countries* need just a passport to come to Israel: no visa is required. Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date you enter the country.

*For more information and a list of countries that do not need a visa, click here.

Stateless persons must hold a valid laissez-passer as well as a visa back to the issuing country.

2. SAFETY

Is it safe to travel to Israel?

Israel is an extremely safe country to visit and tour. In 2012, close to four million tourists came to Israel, an all-time record, and all of them went back home again safe and sound. We would not encourage tourists to come if we felt they would be in the slightest danger.

Are tourists allowed to enter areas outside of the Israeli responsibility (Palestinian areas)?

Crossing from Jerusalem to Bethlehem is direct, easy and no prior authorization is required. Hundreds of tourists make the crossing in both directions every day. As always, it’s wise to check on the political situation before entering the Palestinian Authority.

Please note to take your passport with you, you’ll need to present it to re-enter Israeli-controlled territory.

It’s recommended to double check your car rental insurance before your visit. If your visit in the Palestinian Authority isn’t covered you might prefer to hire a driver or visit with a tour group.

For more information about visiting areas outside the Israeli responsibility please contact the IDF Public Relations office.​

3. HEALTH

Do I need to receive any special vaccination before my trip to Israel?

Not at all. Israel is an entirely western country with an advanced level of hygiene, health care, diagnosis and medicine that is the envy of much of the world and on a par with the best of North America and Western Europe. Click to know more.

Can you drink tap water in Israel?

Absolutely: tap water in Israel is safe and delicious. But, you will also find bottled mineral water everywhere. (It’s important to make sure you drink a lot, especially if you are walking, hiking or exercising during hot weather.)

4. TRAVELING TO AND FROM ISRAEL

Can I combine visits to Jordan with my visit to Israel?

Absolutely, many visitors to Israel take a day tour to Petra in Jordan. You can fly between Tel Aviv and Amman, or travel overland through a number of border crossings. (You should check with the Jordan tourist offices if you need to obtain a visa before you leave home.)

Can I choose not to have an Israel stamp in my passport in case I travel to some countries that don’t recognize Israel?

Sure. Israel no longer stamps tourists’ passports. Records are now kept electronically.

5. GETTING THERE

Which airlines fly to Israel?

More than 80 airlines operate flights to Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport (known simply as Tel Aviv or TLV). Five airlines operate as many as ten flights a day nonstop from North America to Tel Aviv (Air Canada, Delta, EL AL Israel Airlines, United, US Airways)

For more information, click here.

6. TRANSPORTATION

What are the transportation options from the airport?

Most visitors arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV) 20-minutes from the heart of Tel Aviv, 35 minutes from Jerusalem. If you’re arriving without prior land arrangements, there are cabs at the airport, bus services – and trains are available from the airport station (take the airport elevator to the lowest level) to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Netanya and Haifa.

How do I get around?
Israel has a sophisticated system of highways, buses, trains and domestic flights. Follow these links to know more.
Buses – The most popular form of transportation in Israel, you can buy tickets at any city’s central bus station or from the driver.
Please note that most buses don’t operate in Israel on Saturdays (Shabbat)
For schedules and fares of buses in Israel, please visit: Egged website.
Train – The Israel Railways is an affordable easy way to travel between major cities in Israel. Please note that the trains don’t operate in Israel on Saturdays (Shabbat)
For train schedules and fares, please visit the Israel Railways website.
Private Taxi – a more expensive option, taxis can be flagged down or ordered by phone almost anywhere, and they’ll take you around town or between cities.
Rent a car – International car rental chains have offices in Israel, and there are multiple Israel-based car rental companies. you can rent a car in all of Israel’s major cities and at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. It’s recommended to reserve a car before you arrive.
Driving in Israel is on the right-hand side of the road , and most signage is written in Hebrew, English and Arabic.

* Don’t use a hand-held phone while driving: it’s against the law.

What are the distances between major cities?​
Tel Aviv to Jerusalem 37 miles, 50 minutes​
Tel Aviv to Tiberias/Galilee​​ ​81 miles, 100 minutes
Tel Aviv to Masada​ ​63 miles, 90 minutes
Tel Aviv to Haifa​ ​90 miles, 70 minutes
​Jerusalem to Tiberias ​109 miles, 120 minutes
​Jerusalem to Masada ​56 miles, 90 minutes

Where can I find information about accessibility?
Considerable efforts and resources have been invested in Israel to enable disabled persons to access any destination and to receive service equal to that received by the rest of the public.
For downloading the accessible Israel booklet, click here

For downloading the old city (Jerusalem) accessible tour booklet, click here.

7. ELECTRICITY

Will I need an adapter for my appliances in Israel?
The electric current in Israel is 220 volts, C, single phase, 50 Hertz, the same as in Europe.
Most Israeli sockets are three-pronged but most accept European two-pronged plugs. If your appliance does not work on 220 volts, you will need an adaptor.

Your hotels should have adapters available. Most hotel bathrooms have hair-dryers as well as low-wattage American-style sockets for electric shavers in which you can usually charge your cell-phone or tablet.​

8. COMMUNICATIONS

Will I have easy internet access?
Most hotels in Israel have Wi-Fi available for hotel guests at customary prices. Many cafes and restaurants offer a complementary Wi-Fi service.
Since September 2013, Tel Aviv offers a citywide free Wi-Fi network which provides 80 free Internet “hot spots” across the city.

Will I’ll be able to use my cell phone in Israel?
If you have an international plan, your cell phone may work in Israel, please check with your local provider.

Can I rent a cellular phone in Israel?
Certainly. You can rent a phone when you arrive at any time during your visit. Read about renting a cellular phone here.

What is the country code to dial to Israel?
+ 972

9. WEATHER

What is the weather like in Israel, when is the best time to visit?
Israel is a year round destination.
Israel enjoys long, warm, dry summers and generally mild winters with somewhat drier, cooler weather in hilly regions, such as Jerusalem and Safed. Temperatures can vary widely so just pack for the "right" weather and you'll be fine.
For more specific information, click here.​

What kind of clothing should I pack?
In Summer, lightweight T-shirts, sleeveless shirts, shorts, and a bathing suit are recommended. Pack a sweater or a jacket for nights in the mountains or the desert,

In Winter, bring long sleeve shirts, sweaters and a scarf, gloves, a warm coat, and a raincoat and an umbrella. Some religious sites require long pants for men and clothing that covers the shoulders and knees for women.​

10. MONEY AND CURRENCY

What is the currency in Israel?
The Shekel; you’ll find it abbreviated as NIS (New Israeli Shekel). Exchange rates of the Shekel to all foreign currencies as well as other information can be found here.

What credit cards are accepted?
You can use your ATM card to obtain Shekels at ATM’s throughout Israel. You can also use American Express, MasterCard and Visa cards at most Israeli hotels, restaurants and stores.

What taxes can I expect to pay in Israel?
The Vat (Value Added Tax) in Israel is 18%. It’s already included in most prices in Israel. VAT is waived for tourists at hotels, tour companies and car rental agencies. Like in Europe and elsewhere, tourists can receive a refund of the VAT they paid on purchases when departing the country, the refund program and the purchase amount in one tax invoice including V.A.T. must exceed ILS. 400. For more information, click here.

11. RELIGIOUS CUSTOMS

Is everything closed on Shabbat in Israel?
Shabbat (the Sabbath) is the Jewish holy day of the week observed every Saturday. Shabbat starts at sunset on Friday and ends at sundown on Saturday evening.

All public offices are closed on Shabbat, as are banks, most stores and businesses; throughout Israel there is a growing number of shops open on Shabbat.
​In most cities, public transportation (trains and buses) do not operate on Shabbat.
​​Most non-kosher restaurants are open on Shabbat.
​It is recommended to check in advance if you are planning on visiting a specific location.
​​Radio and TV broadcasts operate as usual.

For more information about Shabbat, click here.

Are all the restaurants in Israel kosher?
Not all of the restaurants in Israel are kosher. Places offering kosher food usually display a kashrut certificate granted to them by the local rabbinate. Most hotels serve kosher food, as well as some restaurants. But there is no binding law. So if kashrut is important to you, you must check it out at each separate place where you dine.
For more information, Click here.

12. PLANNING YOUR TRIP

Where do I begin?
Israel is a thoroughly westernized country. You can make your own arrangements to travel independently and there are dozens of tour operators offering a multitude of options for trips to Israel. You can find comprehensive information at our website under “Tourist Information”.

For more information about your trip to Israel and for Maps & brochures please contact us at info@goisrael.com