Israeli passport

Israeli passport

The Israeli passport ( _he. דרכון) is issued to citizens of the State of Israel for the purpose of international travel [ [ Embassy of Israel in the US. Consular Section] ] and entitles the bearer to the protection of Israel's consular officials overseas.

Israeli law allows Israeli citizens to hold foreign passports as well, but requires that the Israeli passport be used when entering and leaving Israel. This regulation was introduced officially into law in 2002, after being legally contested on several occasions. The fact that this law applies to all Israeli citizens, even non-residents, is the source of some confusion, especially when a person inherits his Israeli citizenship from one of his parents unaware.

Since 2006 a valid Israeli passport is one of the documents accepted for identification in the general elections. Until then, only an internal identity card was accepted for this purpose. Voting outside Israel is impossible, unless the voter is a member of an Israeli diplomatic delegation, so in practice the new regulation merely enables the use of the passport as a backup on election day in case the internal ID is lost or defaced. Denial of an Israeli passport is one of the sanctions an Israeli rabbinical court may use in order to enforce divorce upon a husband who chains his wife into marriage against her will (see: agunah).

Israeli Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit and Finance Minister Ronnie Bar-On recently stated that the Israeli government plans to begin issuing their own biometric passport within a year. Israel has begun this process in order to be in compliance with United States and European Union regulations which state that non-biometric passports will not be accepted after 2010. In order for citizens to obtain a biometric passport, "an applicant will have to appear in an Interior Ministry office to be photographed by the special camera which records information such as facial bone structure, distance between one's eyes, ears to eyes and ratio of facial features one from another. One will also be fingerprinted and all this information will be contained in the new high-tech electronic passport." The new passport will cost NIS175 and will be valid for ten years. [ [ The Yeshiva World » Israel Moving to Biometric Passport » Frum Jewish News ] ]

Physical appearance

Israeli passports are deep navy blue, with the Israeli coat of arms emblazoned in the center of the front cover, below the script "State of Israel" in both Hebrew and English. The word "PASSPORT" is inscribed below the coat of arms, also in Hebrew and English. The inner pages are decorated with elements borrowed from the coat of arms, namely olive branches and schematic representations of the seven-branched menorah.The standard passport contains 32 pages.

Israeli passports are valid for 10 years for persons over the age of 18, and are bilingual; written in Hebrew and English. Since Hebrew is written from right to left, the passports are opened from their right end and their pages are arranged from right to left. Arabic is not used in Israeli passports, even though it is used beside Hebrew in internal identity cards.

Identity information page

Israeli Passport Information appears on page 2, and includes the data as shown in the following order:

*Photo of Passport Holder on the left
*Type (P)
*Code of State (ISR)
*Passport No.
*Given Name
*Date of Birth
*Place of Birth
*Date of Issue
*Date of Expiry
*Authority (- I.C. Passport at)

All information appears both in Hebrew and English. The information page ends with the Machine Readable Zone.Signature of Bearer is to follow on page 3.

Passport note

The statement in an Israeli passport declares in Hebrew (read from right to left) and English:

שר הפנים של מדינת ישראל מבקש בזה את כל הנוגעים בדבר להרשות לנושא דרכון זה לעבור ללא עכוב והפרעה ולהושיט לו במקרה הצורך את ההגנה והעזרה הדרושה

"The Minister of the Interior of the State of Israel hereby requests all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer of this passport to pass freely without let or hindrance and to afford him such assistance and protection as may be necessary."


The information page is printed in Hebrew and English.


The first Israeli passport was issued to Golda Meir. [ [ Golda] "(Emery/Weiner School)"] [ [ Golda Meir’s life was devoted to building Zionism] by Dan Pine (Jewish SF, July 15, 2005)]

The first Israeli passports bore the inscription: "Valid to any country except Germany" (in Hebrew and French). An Israeli citizen who wished to visit Germany had to ask that the words "except Germany" be deleted from his passport. This was done manually by drawing a line on these words [Amnon Dankner and David Tartakover, "Where we were and what we did - an Israeli lexicon of the Fifties and the Sixties", Keter Publishing House, Jerusalem, p. 84 (in Hebrew).] . The inscription was changed into "Valid to all countries" shortly after the signing of the Reparations Agreement between Israel and West Germany.

Until 1980, Israeli passports were written in Hebrew and French. New regulations issued by the Israeli Minister of the Interior on March 30, 1980, ordered the use of Hebrew and English in Israeli passports. Subsequently the French texts were substituted with English texts.

Travelling with Israeli passport or visa

According to a study done by Henley & Partners, Israeli citizens enjoy visa-free access to 106 countries and territories. Israel is ranked 30th in the study in terms of international travel freedom. [ [ Henley Visa Restrictions Index - Global Ranking 2006] ]




Countries that do not accept Israeli passports

*Algeria []
*Bangladesh []
*Brunei []
*Djibouti []
*Iran []
*Kuwait []
*Lebanon"Important Note: Travelers holding passports that contain visas or entry/exit stamps for Israel are likely to be refused entry into Lebanon." ( [ Lebanese Ministry of Tourism] )] []
*Libya []
*Malaysia (Clearance permit needed from the Ministry of Internal Security.) []
*Pakistan []
*Saudi Arabia []
*Somalia Fact|date=September 2007
*Sudan []
*Syria"Arab and foreign arrivals to Syria should have the following: A Passport valid for a period not less than one month after the elapse of the period of the entry visa, provided that the passport is issued by a state recognized by Syria, does not carry an Israeli visa, and the name of the passport owner is not listed among those forbidden from entering Syria." ( [ Syrian Ministry of Tourism] )] []
*United Arab Emirates []
*Yemen [ [ Jews of Yemen ] ] []

Note: According to Israeli law, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Yemen and Iran are considered "Enemy countries" and an Israeli citizen may not visit them without a special permit issued by the Israeli minister of the interior. Therefore, an Israeli who visits these countries, be it with a foreign passport or an Israeli one, may be prosecuted when coming back to Israel. This list was set in 1954, and was updated only once on 25 July 2007 to include Iran [Israeli Book of Laws, volume 2109, page 463 [] (in Hebrew).] . Egypt and Jordan allegedly remained among the "enemy countries", however the Israeli Ministry of the Interior issued a general unlimited permit to visit these countries, following the peace treaty signed between Israel and each of them, hence voiding the law in respect to both countries. [An explanation in Hebrew of this issue in the Israeli ministry of foreign affrais' site. [] ] On 1 April 2008, the Israeli government proposed a new revised law which includes a list of 10 countries and territories to be defined as "enemy countries": Iran, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen and the Gaza Strip. As of August 2008, the legislative procedures of this revised law have not been concluded yet [Publication of the Israeli government law proposals, volume 381, 1 April 2008 [] (in Hebrew).] .

Countries that do not accept passports which contain Israeli stamps or visas

*Iran [ [ Travel Advice for Iran - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade ] ]
*Kuwait [ [ Travel Report for Kuwait ] ]
*Libya []
*Saudi Arabia [ [ Travel Report for Saudi Arabia ] ]
*Sudan []
*Yemen []

The countries listed above will not allow entry to people with evidence of visits to Israel or used or unused Israeli visas in their passports. Israeli border guards would once stamp a bit of paper instead of the passport in order to help visitors overcome these problems.

Some countries are aware of the exit stamps placed in passports by Egypt and Jordan at their land borders with Israel and will treat these stamps as a proof of visit to Israel and may block entry based on the presence of these stamps. For example, a traveler may be denied entry to certain countries because of the presence of an Egyptian exit stamp indicating the person left Egypt at Taba, at the Israeli border.Also, a traveler attempting to enter Syria from Jordan by land, and whose passport does not indicate how the traveler arrived in Jordan, might be denied entry by Syrian authorities.

Some Arab countries do allow entry with Israeli passport stamps, e.g. Bahrain [ [ Travel Report for Bahrain ] ] , Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Oman, United Arab Emirates [ [ UAE Embassy London] ] (However, the UAE states that, "All Americans with a valid US passport are welcome to enter the UAE. This includes those with visa or entry stamps from other countries." - direct contact with the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC, 10.10.2008), Tunisia, Morocco, and Mauritania.

The United Kingdom, Australia, Netherlands, Germany [Ziffer 5.1 der Allgemeinen VwV des BMI zur Durchführung des Passgesetzes vom 03.07.200 (GMBl. Seite 587)] , Austria [] Text on (in German)] and the United States may allow a passport holder to have two valid passports to circumvent the restrictions concerning Israel if the applicant can satisfactorily explain why a second passport is needed when applying.

Travel document in lieu of national passport

People who make aliyah to Israel are generally not eligible for an Israeli passport until they have resided in Israel for at least one year. Until the residence requirement is met such new citizens are issued a blue "travel document in lieu of national passport" ("Laissez-passer"). Holders of this document may not enjoy the same visa-free access to certain other countries enjoyed by holders of a standard Israeli passport. This also applies to most Arab residents in East-Jerusalem and the Golan Heights who are not in possession of the Israeli citizenship.


ee also

*Economic and political boycotts of Israel
*Projects working for peace among Israelis and Arabs

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