Immigration & Customs
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
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.
Important note for tourists continuing from Israel on to Arab countries: It is recommended that you request that an Israeli stamp does not appear on your passport. You must notify the clerk of your request before your documents are stamped.
As of July 3, 2008, an official decision has been made that will no longer require entry stamps on foreign passports. In such cases, you must fill out form 17L including your personal details, and that form shall be stamped by passport control upon entry/exit. The form 17L will not be collected upon exit of airport as it is necessary for the collection of tax refunds and proof of legal entry.
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