No minimum requirement, but your authorized stay will not exceed the validity remaining of your passport and airlines may decline boarding if a traveler has less than six months validity on his or her passport
1 page (although passports are normally not stamped upon entry)
Not required for stays of 90 days or less. Please see below for detailed information about entry, exit and visa requirements
You must declare if you are carrying 100,000 shekels or more when entering Israel
You must declare if you are carrying 100,000 shekels or more when departing Israel
71 Hayarkon Street
Tel Aviv Israel 63903
Telephone: +(972) (3) 519-7575
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(972) (3) 519-7551
Fax: +(972) (3) 516-4390, or 516-0315
Contact the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy for information and assistance in Israel and the Golan Heights, at the ports of entry at Ben Gurion Airport and Ovda Airport, Ashdod, Eilat, and Haifa Ports, the northern (Sheikh Hussein) and southern (Yitzhak Rabin) border crossings connecting Israel and Jordan, and the border crossings between Israel and Egypt.
U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem
14 David Flusser Street,
Telephone: +(972) (2) 630-4000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(972) (2) 622-7230
Fax: +(972) (2) 630-4070
Contact the Consular Section of the U.S. Consulate General for information and assistance in the following areas: Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, and the Allenby/King Hussein Bridge border crossing between Jordan and the West Bank.
U.S. Consular Agency - Haifa
26 Ben Gurion Boulevard
Telephone: +(972)(4) 853-1470
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: Please contact the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv
Fax: +(972)(4) 853-1476
Contact the Consular Agency during regular business hours for routine and emergency citizen services in the northern part of Israel.
See the Department of State’s Israel Fact Sheet for information on U.S.–Israel relations. Please read the Israel, West Bank, and Gaza Travel Warning for additional information.
In 1994, negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) led to the creation of the Palestinian Authority (PA), a body that administers a limited form of Palestinian self-governance in Areas A and B of the West Bank. In the West Bank, there is a division of security-related and civil administration responsibilities between the Government of Israel and the PA, differing by location. PA civil administration and security forces provide services to residents in certain areas of the West Bank (Area A), while Israel has full security control of Area C and partial security control of Area B. Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, violently took control of Gaza in 2007 and exercises de facto control there.
United States citizens traveling to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza should read this section in its entirety to be aware of the complexities regarding entry, exit and permission to stay in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza.
Additional Entry/Exit Requirements:
Additional Information for Non-Dual Nationals:
Additional Information on Extending Israeli Visas for Residents of the West Bank:
Additional Information on Israel-Jordan Crossings: (Note: The information below does not apply to dual Palestinian-U.S. nationals registered in the Palestinian Authority population registry or to dual Israeli-U.S. nationals.)
Minors: Israel does not require minors (defined as under the age of 18) traveling with one parent or with someone who is not a parent or legal guardian to have written consent from the other parent or parents to either enter or depart Israel. Nonetheless, it is recommended that the accompanying adult have a signed, dated, and notarized note from the non-traveling parent (or, in the case of a child traveling with neither parent, a note signed by both parents) stating “I acknowledge that my wife/husband/etc. is traveling out of the country with my son/daughter/group. He/She/They has/have my/our permission to do so.”
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.
The current Travel Warning for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza advises U.S. citizens to be aware of the continuing risks of travel to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza due to the security situation and heightened tensions there, and warns against travel to Gaza. The frequency of attacks has declined significantly since a spike in violence from October 2015 through March 2016. U.S. citizens have been killed and wounded in attacks in recent years, though there is no indication they were specifically targeted based on nationality. U.S. citizens who visit or reside in these areas should consult the Travel Warning to ensure that they are aware of the security concerns. There is also a danger of occasional indirect cross-border fire from Syria into the Golan Heights. Please enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) so that you can receive the most up-to-date messages from the Department of State regarding safety and security developments.
Jerusalem: Violent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli authorities are a regular occurrence in some parts of East Jerusalem and surrounding areas. Acts of terrorism have resulted in death and injury to bystanders, including U.S. citizens. The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to exercise caution in the Old City, particularly around the Damascus, Lion’s, and Herod’s gates, as these locations have been the scene of recent attacks. Attacks have also taken place in recent years in West Jerusalem. Travelers are reminded to exercise caution at Islamic religious sites on Fridays and on holy days, particularly during the holy month of Ramadan. Many orthodox Jewish communities in and around Jerusalem restrict vehicle traffic on Shabbat (Friday night to Saturday night), and entering these neighborhoods with a vehicle may result in protests and violence. See the Travel Warning for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza for additional information.
The West Bank: U.S. citizens should exercise caution when traveling to the West Bank, including to Bethlehem, Jericho, and Hebron, due to the complex security situation there. Violent clashes between security forces, and Israeli settlers and Palestinian residents have resulted in the death and injury of U.S. citizens and others. During periods of unrest, the Government of Israel may restrict access to and within the West Bank, and some areas may be placed under curfew. U.S. government employees are restricted from personal travel in the West Bank except to the towns of Jericho and Bethlehem and on routes 1, 443, and 90. See the Travel Warning for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza for additional information.
The Gaza Strip: The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all travel to the Gaza Strip and urges those present to depart. Gaza is under the control of Hamas, a U.S.-government-designated foreign terrorist organization. The security environment within Gaza and on its borders is dangerous and volatile. Violent demonstrations and shootings occur on a frequent basis and the collateral risks are high. While Israel and Hamas continue to observe the temporary cease-fire that ended the latest Gaza conflict in 2014, sporadic mortar and rocket fire and corresponding Israeli military responses continue to occur. U.S. citizens who choose to travel to Gaza should not rely on the U.S. government to assist them in departing Gaza. Many U.S. citizens have been unable to exit Gaza or faced lengthy delays while attempting to exit Gaza. U.S. government employees may not travel to Gaza for personal or official purposes. See the Travel Warning for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza for additional information.
Crime: The crime rate is moderate in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. Parked vehicles break-ins are common at public beach areas, national parks, and other tourist sites. Vehicle theft also remains a problem. U.S. citizens should not leave their valuables (including passports) unattended in parked vehicles, on the beach, or unsecured in hotels.
Do not buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, but if you purchase them, you may also be violating local law.
U.S. citizens have occasionally been subject to high-pressure sales tactics in Jerusalem's Old City and other tourist areas. In some cases, vendors have not disclosed the true cost of an item and convinced the buyer -- who is unfamiliar with the exchange rate -- to unwittingly sign a credit card sales receipt worth thousands of dollars.
For additional information, read the most recent Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) Crime and Safety Report for Israel and Crime and Safety Report for Jerusalem, West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.
Victims of Crime: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv or U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem (contact information provided above).
The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Israel, Jerusalem, and the West Bank is 100 for police, 101 for an ambulance, and 102 for the fire department.
In the event you are a victim of crime, the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and the Consulate General in Jerusalem can do the following:
Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting. U.S. citizens should carry their passport or some form of photo identification with them at all times when traveling. U.S. citizens have reported being stopped and questioned by police and immigration officials regarding their immigration status.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence should contact local police but may also contact the Embassy or Consulate General to report it.
For further information:
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws and legal systems, which can be vastly different from our own. If you violate Israeli or Palestinian laws, even unknowingly, being a U.S. citizen will not help you to avoid arrest or prosecution. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking illegal drugs in Israel and PA-administered areas are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Individuals expressing views, including on social media, which the Government of Israel considers incitement to violence or hate speech may face criminal penalties. Palestinian Authority security officials have also arrested and abused Palestinians who posted criticism of the PA online, including on their Facebook pages. In Gaza, individuals publicly criticizing authorities have risked reprisal by Hamas, including arrest, interrogation, seizure of property, and harassment.
Arrests and Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv or U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Arrests and Arrest Notification by Israel:
Arrests and Arrest Notification by the Palestinian Authority (PA):
Gaza: Since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007, the Hamas Executive Forces (EF) have dominated security matters in Gaza. The U.S. government has no contact with the EF and cannot assist those arrested in Gaza.
Court Jurisdiction: Civil and religious courts in Israel actively exercise their authority to bar certain individuals, including nonresidents, from leaving the country until debts or other legal claims against them are resolved. Israel's religious courts exercise jurisdiction over all citizens and residents of Israel in cases of marriage, divorce, child custody, and child support. U.S. citizens, including those without Israeli citizenship, should be aware that they may be subject to involuntary and prolonged stays (and even imprisonment) in Israel if a case is filed against them in a religious court, even if their marriage took place in the United States, and regardless of whether their spouse is present in Israel.
Purchases of Property: U.S. citizens should always seek legal advice before buying or leasing property in the West Bank and Gaza. Please see the most recent Investment Climate Statement for the West Bank and Gaza for additional information on property rights.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.
LGBTI Rights: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) events in Israel. Israeli anti-discrimination laws protect LGBTI individuals. Acceptance and tolerance of LGBTI people varies throughout the country and from neighborhood to neighborhood. As of August 2014, the Law of Return allows that same-sex spouses of Jews immigrating to Israel – as known as “making Aliyah” are eligible to make Aliyah with their spouses and receive Israeli citizenship.
The legal systems in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are based on the 1960 Jordanian penal code which prohibits consensual same-sex sexual activity. However, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has not prosecuted individuals suspected of such activity. Societal discrimination based on cultural and religious traditions is commonplace, making the West Bank and Gaza challenging environments for LGBTI persons. Some Palestinians have claimed PA security officers harassed, abused, and sometimes arrested LGBTI individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. NGOs reported Hamas also harassed and detained persons in Gaza due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
LGBTI travelers are encouraged to remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings, especially when entering religious or socially conservative areas.
Israel’s Aguda organization provides useful information on LGBTI issues in Israel. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of the Department of State's Human Rights report for further details.
Persons with Mobility Issues: Individuals with mobility issues may find accessibility and accommodation in Israel very different from in the United States. Legislation mandates access to buildings and transportation, as well as accommodations for persons with disabilities in services and the work place. The government enforces the laws with only limited success, however. Societal discrimination and lack of accessibility persist in employment and housing. The law mandates accessibility to urban public transportation but not inter-urban buses. Most train stations maintain access for persons with disabilities; however, many buses still do not have such access. Television stations include subtitles or sign language, and the courts accommodate testimony from persons with intellectual disabilities or mental illness. Tourists will find restaurants, foot paths, and public transportation less accessible than in the United States.
PA law prohibits discrimination based on disability. The Palestinian Disability Law was ratified in 1999, but implementation has been slow. It does not mandate access to buildings, information, or communications. Palestinians with disabilities continue to receive uneven and poor quality services and care. Familial and societal discrimination against persons with disabilities exists in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Modern medical care and medicines are available in Israel. Some hospitals in Israel and most hospitals in the West Bank and Gaza, however, fall below Western standards. Travelers can find information in English about emergency medical facilities and after-hours pharmacies in the Jerusalem Post and the English-language edition of the Ha'aretz newspaper, or refer to the Embassy's or Consulate General's medical lists.
The U.S. government does not pay private medical bills incurred by U.S. citizens abroad. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.
Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most health care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance (see our webpage) to cover medical evacuation.
Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.
Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For further health information, go to:
Road Conditions and Safety: While in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below is provided for general reference only and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Traffic Laws: Aggressive driving is commonplace, and many drivers fail to maintain safe following distances or signal before changing lanes or making turns. Overtaking on high-speed, undivided two-lane roads is common and may result in accidents. Drivers are also prone to stop suddenly on roads without warning, especially in the right lane. Drivers should use caution, as Israel has a high rate of fatalities from automobile accidents.
Public Transportation: U.S. government employees and their families are prohibited from using public and inter-city buses (and associated bus terminals) throughout Israel and the West Bank due to security concerns.
Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. We suggest that you visit the website of the country’s national tourist office and Israel’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles for road safety.
Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed that the Government of Israel’s Civil Aviation Authority is in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Israel’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
Washington, DC (202) 364-5500 (202) 364-5607
Atlanta, GA (404) 487-6500 (404) 487-6555
Boston, MA (617) 535-0201 (617) 535-0255
Chicago, IL (312) 380-8800 (312) 380-8855
Houston, TX (832) 301-3510 (832) 627-0149
Los Angeles, CA (323) 852-5500 (323) 852-5566
Miami, FL (305) 925-9400 (305) 925-9455
New York, NY (212) 499-5000
Philadelphia, PA (267) 479-5800 (267) 479-5855
San Francisco, CA (415) 844-7500 (415) 844-7555
List of Attorneys - U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv
Israel is a party to the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extra Judicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters. Complete information on the operation of the Convention, including an interactive online request form are available on the Hague Conference website. Requests should be completed in duplicate and submitted with two sets of the documents to be served, and translations, directly to Israel’s Central Authority for the Hague Service Convention. The person in the United States executing the request form should be either an attorney or clerk of court. The applicant should include the titles attorney at law or clerk of court on the identity and address of applicant and signature/stamp fields. The Israeli Central Authority advises that the documents to be served must be written in or translated into either Hebrew, English or Arabic. If another method of service is required or preferred, that method should be specified and relevant laws or regulations should be cited in the space provided on request form. In its Declarations and Reservations on the Hague Service Convention, Israel did not formally object to service under Article 10(a) of the Convention regarding service via postal channels. For additional information see the Hague Conference Service Convention web page and the Hague Conference Practical Handbook on the Operation of the Hague Service Convention. See also Israel’s response to the 2008 Hague Conference questionnaire on the practical operation of the Service Convention.
Service on a Foreign State: See also our Service Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) feature and FSIA Checklist for questions about service on a foreign state, agency or instrumentality.
Service of Documents from Israel in the United States: See information about service in the United States on the U.S. Central Authority for the Service Convention page of the Hague Conference on Private International Law Service Convention site.
Prosecution Requests: U.S. federal or state prosecutors should also contact the Office of International Affairs, Criminal Division, Department of Justice for guidance.
Defense Requests in Criminal Matters: Criminal defendants or their defense counsel seeking judicial assistance in obtaining evidence or in effecting service of documents abroad in connection with criminal matters may do so via the letters rogatory process.
Israel is a party to the Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil and Commercial Matters. Israel’s Central Authority for the Hague Evidence Convention designated to receive letters of request for the taking of evidence is the Ministry of Justice. See the Hague Evidence Convention Model Letters of Request for guidance on preparation of the letter of request. Requests for the compulsion of evidence under the Hague Evidence Convention are transmitted directly from the requesting court or person in the United States to the Israel Central Authority and do not require transmittal via diplomatic channels. Letters of Request and accompanying documents should be prepared in duplicate and translated into English or Hebrew. See Israel’s Declarations and Reservations regarding the Hague Evidence Convention. See also Israel’s response to the 2008 Hague Conference questionnaire on the practical operation of the Hague Evidence Convention.
Requests from Israel to Obtain Evidence in the United States in Civil and Commercial Matters: The U.S. Central Authority for the Hague Evidence Convention is the Office of International Judicial Assistance, Civil Division, Department of Justice, 1100 L St., N.W., Room 11006, Washington, D.C. 20530.
Voluntary depositions of willing U.S. citizen witnesses may be taken by U.S. Consular Officers and private attorneys without prior permission from Israeli authorities. Voluntary depositions of Israeli and third-country nationals require prior permission from the Israeli Central Authority for the Hague Evidence Convention. The taking of telephone and video-teleconference testimony of willing witnesses is permitted, assuming permission is granted when the witness is an Israeli or third country national. A deposition can be taken on notice from either party’s attorney or pursuant to a commission issued by a U.S. court. If taken on notice, the notice must state the time, place for taking the deposition and the name and address of each person to be examined. If the services of a U.S. consular officer are required to administer an oath to the witness, interpreter and stenographer, such arrangements must be made in advance with the U.S. embassy directly. If the deposition is taken pursuant to a commission, prior permission of the Israeli Central Authority is required.
Israel is a party to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalization of Foreign Public Documents. Israel’s competent authority for the Hague Apostille Convention will authenticate Israeli public documents with Apostilles. For information about authenticating U.S. public documents for use in Israel, see the list of U.S. Competent Authorities. To obtain an Apostille for a U.S. Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America, contact the U.S. Department of State, Passport Services, Vital Records Office.
Israel and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention) since December 1, 1991.
For information concerning travel to Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Israel.
The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA). The report is located here.
The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention. In this capacity, the Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children's Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including Israel. Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority.
U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
The Israel Central Authority (ICA) for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Ministry of Justice, Office of the State Attorney. The ICA has an administrative role in processing Hague Abduction Convention applications. For example, the ICA will ensure that all the required documents are submitted and make additional inquiries if necessary. The ICA can be reached at:
Ministry of Justice
Office of the State Attorney
Department of International Affairs
7 Mahal Street, Ma'alot Dafna
PO Box 94123
Internet (child abduction page, in Hebrew)
To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Israel, an applicant parent must submit a Hague application to the ICA. The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the ICA, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes.
There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the U.S. or the Israeli central authorities. Attorney fees are the responsibility of the applicant parent. Israel can provide legal aid to applicants who can provide proof that they qualify for such aid in their own jurisdiction. Additional costs may include airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.
A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in Israel. The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.
The Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children's Issues provides assistance in cases of international parental child abduction in countries where the Hague Abduction Convention is not an available remedy. For U.S. citizen parents whose children have been wrongfully removed to or retained in countries that are not U.S. partners under the Hague Abduction Convention, the Office of Children's Issues can provide information and resources about country-specific options for pursuing the return of or access to an abducted child. The Office of Children's Issues may also coordinate with appropriate foreign and U.S. government authorities about the welfare of abducted U.S. citizen children. Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance.
U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Parents who have a child who has been removed to or retained outside the United States in the West Bank or Gaza are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.
Parents may wish to consult with an attorney to learn more about how filing criminal charges may impact a custody case in the local court. Please see Pressing Criminal Charges for additional information.
A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in Israel. The criteria for acceptance of a Hague access application vary from country to country. The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand country-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.
Parents who are seeking access to children who were wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States in the West Bank or Gaza should contact the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem for information and possible assistance.
Applicant parents or guardians are required to retain the services of an attorney in order to forward their Hague petition to the appropriate Israeli court and are responsible for all legal fees. Applicants who are unable to pay for an attorney may apply for Israeli legal aid.
Both the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, and the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem post a list of attorneys including those who specialize in family law.
This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the following persons or firms. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.
Under Israeli law, the Family Court can refer pending cases, including Hague Abduction Convention cases, to certified family mediators who are listed in the court's roster. These mediators are required to be experienced social workers, psychologists, or lawyers who have attended special training in family mediation. However, there are no mediation programs established specifically to deal with Hague Abduction Convention cases.
An official mediation service is also provided in the Family Court, within the framework of the Court's assistance units. This service is staffed by social workers and psychologists who have expertise in difficult cases and experience in mediation. Cases under the Hague Abduction Convention can be referred to these assistance units by the Family Court. Mediation can also be sought to resolve access arrangements pending the hearing of the return application.
Israeli courts may recognize a mediated agreement, which can have the same effect as a court decision. The court must ensure that the mediation process is conducted in accordance with the Court Mediation Regulations and that the mediated agreement is in the best interests of the child.
There are no independent mediation services in the West Bank. All mediation services operate within the court structure.
Israel is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore all adoptions between Israel and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention and U.S. law implementing the Convention.
Please Note: Adoption in Israel by non-Israeli citizens is rare and is possible only through the Israeli Central Agency for International Adoption.
Note: Special transition provisions apply to adoptions initiated before April 1, 2008. Learn more.
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Adoption between the United States and Israel is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention. Therefore to adopt from Israel, you must first be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn more.
In addition to these U.S. requirements for prospective adoptive parents, Israel also has the following requirements for prospective adoptive parents:
Because Israel is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Israel must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the Convention requires that Israel attempt to place a child with a family in Israel before determining that a child is eligible for intercountry adoption. In addition to Israeli requirements, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adopteefor you to bring him or her back to the United States.
Relinquishment/Abandonment Requirements: Either the birth parents must provide a signed statement that they are willing to abandon the child or a court must declare the birth parents as unknown or unable to raise the child
The Central Agency for International Adoption, managed by Ms. Orna Hirshfeld, is the national adoption authority. Ms. Nehama Tal has been assigned to be the inspector on international adoption.
Because Israel is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Israel must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention's requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is given below. You must complete these steps in the following order so that your adoption meets all necessary legal requirements.
NOTE: If you filed your I-600a with Israel before April 1, 2008, the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption. Your adoption could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for non-Convention adoptions. Learn more.
If both the United States and Israel determine that you are eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, the central adoption authority in Israel may provide you with a referral for a child. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of the particular child and provide a permanent family placement for the referred child.
After you accept a match with a child, you will apply to the U.S Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for provisional approval to adopt that particular child (Form I-800). USCIS will determine whether the child is eligible under U.S. law to be adopted and enter the United States. Learn how.
After this, your adoption service provider or you will submit a visa application for to a Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy. The Consular Officer will review the child's information and evaluate the child for possible visa ineligibilities. If the Consular Office determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States, he/she will notify the Israeli adoption authority (Article 5 letter). For Convention country adoptions, prospective adoptive parent(s) may not proceed with the adoption or obtain custody for the purpose of adoption until this takes place.
Remember: The Consular Officer will make a final decision about the immigrant visa later in the adoption process.
The process for finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in Israel generally includes the following:
TIME FRAME: To adopt a baby in Israel, there is approximately a 5-year waiting list.
When adopting a child with special needs, there is at least a six-month wait (depending on the age of the child and the parents' abilities).
PALESTINIAN ADOPTION PROCEDURES: These are the Palestinian adoption procedures in the West bank and Gaza according to the consulate in Jerusalem:
Prospective adoptive parents can obtain an adoption decree from the ecclesiastical court of their community (e.g. Latin, Greek, Armenian, etc). On the basis of the adoption decree issued by the court of the respective church, a Palestinian Birth Certificate can be issued and subsequently a Palestinian Passport (please note that there are sometimes difficulties in receiving civil documents from the Palestinian Authority).
The Palestinian Authority opposes adoption by foreign parents, because, according to an unnamed source, Palestinian children must remain in Palestine. Additionally, Islamic Shari'a Law does not allow for adoption as it is recognized in the United States; rather, they allow for "guardianship". Please view our flyer on Adoption of Children from Countries in which Islamic Shari'a Law is observed.
If a couple is able to locate a child, the couple must pursue custody with the Palestinian Authority District Court. Only after this is granted, can U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv pursue an IR-4 immigrant visa for the child under the category "to be adopted in the U.S. ".
All adoption cases that were handled in the Jerusalem Consulate were from the West Bank, and they have not yet encountered one from Gaza .
Please note: According to the Israeli adoption agency representative, adoption in Gaza is not possible since Islam does not enable adoption. According to the agency representative, about three years ago Chairman Arafat ordered that only Muslim couples could adopt children from Gaza.
ADOPTION FEES: In the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your agency will itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to your adoption process.
There are no government processing fees associated with adoption in Israel. The U.S. Embassy in Israel discourages the payment of any fees that are not properly receipted, "donations," or "expediting" fees, that may be requested from prospective adoptive parents. Such fees have the appearance of "buying" a baby and put all future adoptions in Israel at risk.
Please note: U.S. citizenship is not granted at U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv in Israel. The child is granted an immigrant visa which enables him/her to be admitted into the United States. If the child is issued an IR-3 visa, he or she will be granted automatic citizenship upon admission into the U.S. If the child is issued an IR-4 visa, he or she must be readopted in the U.S. In which case, it is only after a full and final adoption decree has been obtained in the U.S. that the child will acquire U.S. citizenship under INA 320. This must be done while the child is under the age of 18.
Bring Your Child Home Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for three documents for your child before he or she can travel to the United States:
U.S. Immigrant Visa
After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to apply for an U.S. visa from the United States Embassy for your child. After the adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted, visit the U.S Embassy for final review and approval of the child's I-800 petition and to obtain a visa for the child. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you. As part of this process, the Consular Officer must be provided the "Panel Physician's" medical report on the child if it was not provided during the provisional approval stage.
An interview will be scheduled for the adoptive parents and child with the Consular Officer following receipt by the Embassy of the approval of the I-800 that was filed with USCIS and all the supporting documents, and after completion of the adoption. If they meet all visa requirements per law, an immigrant visa (wither IR-3 or IR-4) will be issued to the child. Occasionally, parents who expected to obtain a final and valid adoption abroad are unable to do so and must apply for an IR-4 visa for their child instead of an IR-3.
Note: Visa issuance after the final interview now generally takes at least 24 hours and it will not normally be possible to provide the visa to adoptive parents on the day of the interview. Adoptive parents should verify current processing times at the appropriate consulate or embassy before making final travel arrangements.
For adoptions finalized abroad: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your child to acquire American citizenship when he or she enters the United States as lawful permanent residents.
For adoptions to be finalized in the United States: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your child to typically acquire American citizenship when the U.S. state court issues the final adoption decree. We urge your family to finalize the adoption in a U.S. State court as quickly as possible.
*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible. Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting.
Learn more about the Child Citizenship Act.
A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Israel. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.
Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print-all in one place.
In addition to a U.S. passport, you also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. Where required, visas are attached to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation.
To find information about obtaining a visa for Israel, see the Department of State's Country Specific Information.
Before you travel, it's always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The State Department is a good place to start.
The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.
When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to register your trip with the Department of State. Travel registration makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there's a family emergency in the United States, or a crisis in Israel, registration assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.
Registration is free and can be done online.
What does Israel require of the adoptive parents after the adoption?
We strongly urge you to comply with the wish of Israel and complete all post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to that country's history of positive experiences with American parents.
What resources are available to assist families after the adoption?
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family -- whether it's another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.
Here are some good places to start your support group search:
Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents.
U.S. Embassy in Israel
Immigration Visa Unit
71 Hayarkon Street
Tel Aviv , Israel 63903
Tel: (972) (03) 519-7601
Fax: (972) (03) 519-7619
Israel's Adoption Authority
Central Agency for International Adoption
Ministry of Labor
10 Yad Harutzim Street
Tel: 972-2-6708177 / 8
* Israel also has consulates in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures, call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
|A-3 1||None||Multiple||24 Months|
|CW-1 11||None||Multiple||12 Months|
|CW-2 11||None||Multiple||12 Months|
|E-1 2||None||Multiple||60 Months|
|E-2 2||No Treaty||N/A||N/A|
|E-2C 12||None||Multiple||24 Months|
|G-5 1||None||Multiple||24 Months|
|H-1B||None||Multiple||60 Months 3|
|H-1C||None||Multiple||60 Months 3|
|H-2A||None||Multiple||60 Months 3|
|H-2B||None||Multiple||60 Months 3|
|H-2R||None||Multiple||60 Months 3|
|H-3||None||Multiple||60 Months 3|
|H-4||None||Multiple||60 Months 3|
|J-1 4||None||Multiple||60 Months|
|J-2 4||None||Multiple||60 Months|
|O-1||None||Multiple||60 Months 3|
|O-2||None||Multiple||60 Months 3|
|O-3||None||Multiple||60 Months 3|
|P-1||None||Multiple||60 Months 3|
|P-2||None||Multiple||60 Months 3|
|P-3||None||Multiple||60 Months 3|
|P-4||None||Multiple||60 Months 3|
|Q-1 6||None||Multiple||15 Months 3|
|S-5 7||None||One||1 Month|
|S-6 7||None||One||1 Month|
|S-7 7||None||One||1 Month|
|V-2||None||Multiple||120 Months 8|
|V-3||None||Multiple||120 Months 8|
|CW-1 11||None||Multiple||12 Months|
|CW-2 11||None||Multiple||12 Months|
|E-1 2||No Treaty||N/A||N/A|
|E-2 2||No Treaty||N/A||N/A|
|E-2C 12||None||Multiple||36 Months|
|G-3||None B||Multiple B||36 Months B|
|G-4||None C||Multiple C||36 Months C|
|G-5 1||None B||Multiple B||36 Months B|
|H-1B||None||Multiple||36 Months 3|
|H-1C||None||Multiple||36 Months 3|
|H-2A||None||Multiple||36 Months 3|
|H-2B||None||Multiple||36 Months 3|
|H-2R||None||Multiple||36 Months 3|
|H-3||None||Multiple||36 Months 3|
|H-4||None||Multiple||36 Months 3|
|J-1 4||None||Multiple||36 Months|
|J-2 4||None||Multiple||36 Months|
|O-1||None||Multiple||36 Months 3|
|O-2||None||Multiple||36 Months 3|
|O-3||None||Multiple||36 Months 3|
|P-1||None||Multiple||36 Months 3|
|P-2||None||Multiple||36 Months 3|
|P-3||None||Multiple||36 Months 3|
|P-4||None||Multiple||36 Months 3|
|Q-1 6||None||Multiple||15 Months 3|
|S-5 7||None||One||1 Month|
|S-6 7||None||One||1 Month|
|S-7 7||None||One||1 Month|
|V-2||None||Multiple||120 Months 8|
|V-3||None||Multiple||120 Months 8|
Diplomatic relations not in force. The Department has determined that the Palestinian Authority (PA) is a competent authority for passport-issuing purposes as defined in INA 101(a)(30), but the U.S. does not recognize the PA as a "foreign government". Visa applications for categories A-1, A-2, A-3, C-3, G-1, and G-2 made by bearers of Palestinian Authority Passports must be submitted to the Department for an advisory opinion. Requests should be slugged for CA/VO/L/A and NEA/IPA.
G-3 and G-5 visas may be issued to bearers of Palestinian Authority documents who are employed by foreign governments (i.e. not the Palestinian Authority), or who are the immediate family members, attendants or personal employees of accredited officials of foreign governments. Qualified applicants should be issued visas on Form OF-232 following the procedures indicated in 22 CFR 41.113(b).
G-4 visas may be issued to qualified applicants directly in their Palestinian Authority Passports.
Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.
The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:
An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.
Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.
The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.
Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.
Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.
There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.
Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.
In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).
However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.
Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.
Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.
Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.
Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.
Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.
No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.
V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.
Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:
The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.
The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.
The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.
Civil documents for Israel are generally available, though some records were destroyed in 1948 or earlier.
Fees may be charged for a particular document listed below. It is the applicant's responsibility to contact the appropriate issuing authority to obtain specific information about documents, including mailing addresses and fee requirements.
The Palestinian Authority (West Bank and Gaza):
At various times during the twentieth century, the West Bank and Gaza were under the administration of the Ottoman Empire, the British Mandate, Jordan or Egypt, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority. Therefore the issuing authority for civil documents depends on both the time and location of the life event being documented.
The West Bank and Gaza are subject to a complex set of governing arrangements involving Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Holders of Palestinian National Authority (PA) travel documents will generally present PA civil documents, but these applicants should apply for police certificates from the government of Israel. Israeli citizens who lived in or live in the West Bank or Gaza are not subject to the Palestinian Authority and obtain their documents from the Government of Israel.
On June 14, 2007, the designated foreign terrorist organization Hamas took de facto administrative control of Gaza, to include the issuance of civil documents for that territory. The U.S. Government does not accept documents issued by Hamas in Gaza unless verified by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. It is the responsibility of the applicant submitting a document issued after June 14, 2007 from any governmental agency in Gaza to obtain verification from the Palestinian Authority. The U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem does not assist in this process.
Since June 28, 1967, East Jerusalem has been under the law, jurisdiction, and administration of the State of Israel. The Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles, signed September 13, 1993, deferred the settlement of the permanent status of Jerusalem to the final stages of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Since 2002, a few suburbs of East Jerusalem are under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority. Palestinians in East Jerusalem hold the status of "permanent resident" of the State of Israel. For political reasons, most of them did not request Israeli citizenship. Palestinians from the West Bank and East Jerusalem may also have Jordanian documents, including passports.
In some cases, applicants from East Jerusalem are unable to obtain civil documents from either Israel or the Palestinian Authority.
Always available for applicants born in Israel since 1948, and generally available for applicants born before then. Requests for birth certificates should be addressed to the office of the Israeli Ministry of Interior. The request should include the applicant's name at birth, the date and place of birth, the full name of both parents, the hospital where the birth took place, and the applicant's Israeli Identity Card number.
Israelis who are unable to obtain a birth certificate (either because the records do not exist or because they are unobtainable due to lack of relations between Israel and the birth country) may instead present a birth extract (Tamtzit Rishum) issued by the Israeli Ministry of the Interior.
The Palestinian Authority (West Bank and Gaza):
Generally available for those born in the West Bank and Gaza. Applications for birth certificates for Palestinian residents of the West Bank and Gaza must be submitted to the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Interior office located nearest the applicant's place of residence. Non-residents of the West Bank and Gaza may approach the nearest overseas representative of the PLO to request a birth certificate or write to the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Interior office nearest their birth place.
The Consulate General in Jerusalem accepts birth extracts issued by the Palestinian Authority for Palestinian applicants born before 1948 within the pre-1967 boundaries of Israel, but who are now residents overseas or in the West Bank and Gaza. Between 1948 and 1967, the Government of Jordan issued certificates to residents of the West Bank, and the Government of Egypt to residents of Gaza; however, replacement certificates are issued by the Palestinian Ministry of Interior. The Government of Israel issued birth certificates to Palestinians between 1967 and 1993; however, replacement certificates are issued by the Palestinian Ministry of Interior. The U.S. government does not accept birth records issued by Hamas in Gaza unless verified by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. It is the responsibility of the applicant submitting a document issued after June 14, 2007 from any governmental agency in Gaza to obtain verification from the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Interior office in Ramallah.
Arab residents of East Jerusalem may obtain records from the Israeli Ministry of Interior. However, there are cases where the Israeli Ministry of the Interior has directed applicants without legal residence rights in Jerusalem to obtain a birth certificate for a newborn from the Palestinian Authority, despite the fact that the birth took place in Jerusalem. These applicants may contact the hospital and obtain hospital records that attest to their birth in Jerusalem.
Generally available following the same procedures as birth certificates.
Available. There is no civil marriage in Israel. Requests for marriage certificates should be sent to the appropriate religious community.
Jews should send requests to the Chief Rabbinate. Jewish marriage and divorce certificates from the Rabbinate must be certified by the Rabbinate Department at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem (Tel. 02-531-1170/164/161).
Muslims should send requests to the Sharia Court in the district where the marriage took place. Muslim marriage and divorce certificates from the Sheikh must be certified by the Sharia Court at the Ministry of Justice in Jerusalem (Tel. 02-654-1558/9).
Christians should send requests to the church where they were married. Christian marriage and divorce certificates from the church must be certified by the Christian Department at the Ministry of Interior in Jerusalem (Tel.02-621-7000/04).
The Palestinian Authority (West Bank and Gaza):
Marriage certificates should be requested from the officiating Sharia Court or church. The U.S. government does not accept marriage certificates issued by Hamas in Gaza unless verified by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. It is the responsibility of the applicant submitting a document issued after June 14, 2007 from any governmental agency in Gaza to obtain verification from the Palestinian Authority.
Marriage certificates should be requested from the officiating Sharia Court or church. Sharia courts under different governmental authorities are available to East Jerusalem residents. Applicants should turn to the sharia court or church that registered their marriage to obtain replacement certificates.
Available. Same procedures as for marriage certificates apply for all communities. Please note that sharia courts will accept divorce jurisdiction in a case where the marriage occurred under a different sharia court system.
Please check back for updates.
The Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority issues identity cards for Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza. The identity cards contain information in both Arabic and Hebrew and are printed on a light green background. The national ID number on the document is generated by the Israeli Civil Administration in the West Bank, which falls under the Israeli Defense Ministry.
All Palestinian ID holders living in the West Bank and Gaza must obtain a Criminal Information Certificate from the Israeli DCO (Civil Liaison Office) nearest your place of residence, or online at https://forms.gov.il/globaldata/getsequence/getHtmlForm.aspx?formTypeemail@example.com (instructions in Hebrew only), or at the nearest Israeli Embassy if you now reside abroad. You will also need to apply for a Palestinian Non-Conviction Certificate from the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Justice in the place of their residence. For more details on how to apply for the Non-Conviction Certificate please visit the Ministry of Justice website at: http://www.moj.gov.ps.
Israeli Courts : Available when the judgment is less than seven years old except in cases involving "serious" crimes, in which case they are available indefinitely. The court record may be obtained from either the Judicial Court or the Military Court where the trial took place.
Palestinian Courts : Records may be obtained upon application to the court where the case was handled. The U.S. government does not accept court documents issued by Hamas in Gaza unless verified by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. It is the responsibility of the applicant submitting a document issued after June 14, 2007 from any governmental agency in Gaza to obtain verification from the Palestinian Authority.
Israelis who have served in active duty in the Israeli Defense Forces receive a military release (Form 807, Teudat Shikhrur) upon completion of service. In lieu of the military release, form AF435 may be requested from the Office of the Adjutant General, Ramat Gan, Israel. Israelis who have not served in the army should possess an exemption certificate (Teudat Ptor) or a similar document issued by the Israeli Defense Forces.
The Palestinian Authority (Gaza And West Bank):
Israel issues three categories of travel documents. Israeli passports have a blue cover and are normally issued for ten years. In some cases, the validity of the passport is limited to one year (for example, for someone who lost several previous passports, or for minors). Recent immigrants to Israel carry a red cover "Israeli travel document in lieu of a national passport" issued for one to two years. Travel documents of this kind issued prior to July 2002 have an orange cover. Certain non-Israeli citizens (generally, Arab residents of East Jerusalem, Druze residents of the Golan Heights, or new immigrants not willing to renounce their current citizenship) also carry a red cover Israeli "travel document in lieu of a national passport" or laissez passer issued for a period of two years. Travel documents of this kind issued prior to 2012 have a dark blue cover, while those issued prior to July 2002 have a brown cover. Both the Israeli Ministry of Interior and Israeli missions abroad issue passports and travel documents.
On July 9, 2013, Israel began issuing e-passports and e-travel documents as an option for travelers in addition to the standard machine-readable documents already available. This test-run is voluntary and last for a 2-year period. The new passport includes a short-range wireless communications computer chip, which contains a photo, fingerprints, date of birth, and signature sample. Details are printed directly on the passport page instead of on a sticker, and some data and symbols are only visible under ultraviolet light, including an image of a Star of David and Hebrew alphabet sequences. For up-to-date information, please contact Tel Aviv FPU.
The Palestinian Authority (West Bank and Gaza):
9 FAM 403.9-3(A)(1) states that travel documents issued by the Palestinian National Authority (PA) meet the definition of a passport. The only legitimate PA passports issued after June 2007 are those issued in Ramallah, Hebron, and Nablus. Any PA passport issued outside of these areas should be considered fraudulent. Regular PA passports have a black cover, are valid for five years, and are machine readable. VIP PA passports have a red cover.
The PA issues only VIP and regular passports, not official or diplomatic passports. All VIP passports holders whose rank or position, as indicated in the passport or a supplemental diplomatic note, meets the definition of aliens eligible to receive diplomatic visas, as outlined in 9 FAM 402.3-10(C)(1), shall be considered to hold the equivalent of a diplomatic passport. All VIP passport holders whose rank or position, as indicated in the passport or a supplemental diplomatic note, does not meet the definition of aliens eligible to receive diplomatic visas, as outlined in 9 FAM 402.3-10(C)(1), shall be considered to hold the equivalent of an official passport. Consular officers may issue B1 visas in lieu of A or G visas, as appropriate, in PA VIP passports. As authorized in 9 FAM 303.7-4(B)(1), consular officers may waive fingerprinting for applicants holding PA VIP passports who are issued B1 visas in lieu of A or G visas. Furthermore, as required by 9 FAM 402.3-10(C)(1), consular officers are authorized to issue diplomatic-type visas to those PA VIP passport holders who have been determined to meet the definition of aliens eligible to receive diplomatic visas and may extend to them the appropriate associated courtesies accorded to all recipients of diplomatic-type visas.
Consular officers should be aware that all Palestinian diplomatic missions, including delegations to United Nations bodies, remain under the aegis of the Palestine Liberation Organization, not the Palestinian Authority. Please review the special clearance and issuance procedures for more information.
As many Palestinians reside outside of West Bank and Gaza, several other governments in the region, including the governments of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Libya, issue travel documents to Palestinians. These documents generally state "Travel Document for Palestinian Refugees" on the cover. If these travel documents meet the definition of a passport as defined in INA 101(a)(30), the holders of these travel documents should be granted the same reciprocity as holders of travel documents issued by the Palestinian authority.
The U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem is officially designated to process non-immigrant visas for residents of the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem, and provides both Arabic and Hebrew language support. The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv is officially designated to process nonimmigrant visas for residents of Israel, and provides Hebrew language support. However, applicants may schedule for and interview at either post.
The U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem handles all immigrant visa processing for residents of Jerusalem, West Bank, Gaza, and Israel.