Israel Implements Advance Online Authorization Requirement for Travelers

by Alice

Israel is set to join Western nations in instituting an advance online application process and fee for citizens from visa-exempt countries, including the United States.

Previously, Americans traveling to Israel only needed to purchase a plane ticket and pack their bags. However, starting August 1, the Israeli Tourism Ministry announced that electronic travel authorization through a designated website will be mandatory.


A pilot program, launching Saturday, will waive the NIS 25 ($7) fee for travelers from the US and Germany. This initiative will expand to include all visa-exempt countries on July 1. Travelers are advised to apply at least 72 hours before booking flights and accommodations.


The ETA-IL program mirrors similar initiatives in Europe, the US, Australia, and New Zealand, aimed at screening out potential security threats or visa violations before travelers arrive at ports of entry.


Most countries with similar programs recommend a 72-hour advance application, with authorization typically arriving via email within hours. Failure to obtain travel authorization in advance may result in boarding delays or refusal of entry, even for travelers from countries participating in visa-waiver programs.

Exemptions from the authorization requirement apply to citizens or permanent residents of Israel from visa-exempt countries. Citizens of non-exempt countries must undergo a more rigorous visa application process. The authorization grants multiple entries for up to 90 days and remains valid for two years.



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