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Moving to Israel?

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Israel at a Glance

How to Get Your Visa for Israel

Moving to Israel is a decision that has benefited Jewish immigrants, as well as expatriates in search of new career opportunities in the Middle East’s high-tech hub. Our InterNations guide provides key advice for a move to Israel, from safety tips over visa types to expat hotspots.

Before departing for Israel, you obviously need the right visa. There are several visa categories that could be relevant for your specific case. The basic distinctions differentiate between visitors and people with a long-term visa, between expatriates and Jewish immigrants.

Aliya: Visas for Jewish Migrants Settling in Israel

You have the right to apply for an immigrant visa if you either have a Jewish mother or are an official convert to Judaism, which means that you are covered by the so-called Law of Return (aliya). The aliya legislation harks back to the early days of Zionist settlement in Palestine and its plan to end the Jewish Diaspora. The first wave of aliya immigration took place in the late 19th century when Jewish migrants from Eastern Europe fled a number of pogroms in their home countries.

Today, the Israeli government is pursuing an active immigration policy to support Israel’s position as the only majority Jewish state worldwide. If the Law of Return applies to you and you are interested in settling in Israel, you should contact the nearest aliya representative of the Jewish Agency for advice. He or she can help you with applying for a temporary resident visa for new migrants at the Israeli Embassy or Consulate.

Obtaining a Visitor Visa for Israel

As a regular traveler, e.g. on a short-term business trip or a fact-finding excursion for your future foreign assignment, you can stay in Israel on a visitor visa for up to three months. A visa extension may be possible, but you have to apply for it at the local Ministry of Immigration office within the country.

The nationals of various states are exempt from having a visitor visa for such brief stays in Israel. These countries include, among others, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Iceland, Jamaica, Japan, Macedonia, Mexico, Mongolia, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine, Uruguay, the US, and all EU member states.

However, if you need a tourist visa after all, you have to bring the following documents to the Israeli Embassy or Consulate:

Together with paying the visa application fee, this should suffice for a short-term tourist visa.

Applying for a Work Visa

If you are an expatriate on an intra-company transfer or with a job offer in Israel, you require both a work permit and a work visa to take up gainful employment. To obtain these documents, you have to follow those four steps:


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

InterNations Expat Magazine