Immigration and Customs

Entering Israel


Visa Requirements

All visitors to Israel must hold a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date they are departing the country. People with no nationality must hold a valid laissez passer, as well as a visa back to the country that issued it.
Visitors are entitled to remain in Israel up to three months from the date of their arrival, in accordance with the conditions of the visa issued to them.
More detailed information on visa issuing and visa requirements can be found on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
Individuals from countries, who require an entry visa to Israel, should contact the Israel Embassy/ Consulate in their country in order to obtain their tourist visa. For a list of Israeli missions abroad, please refer to Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs site.
Individuals residing in countries without diplomatic relations with Israel that wish to attend the Annual Meeting should write to Ortra via e-mail no later than three months prior to the Annual Meeting providing the following information;
full name
date and place of birth
passport number
dates of issue and expiry
place of issue
flight number
point of departure
arrival date and time
Ortra will do its best efforts to arrange for a visa to be issued at the airport upon arrival however granting of such requests is at the discretion of the authorities in Israel. Handling fee charge may be applied.

Passport Control

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, as well as entry forms with their personal details. It is important to ascertain that the details are filled out accurately and to keep a copy of the form in order to present it upon departure from Israel.
Arrival by Air – Visitors arriving by air will receive forms to be filled in during the course of their flight, in order to prevent delays at the passport controls. It is important to ascertain that the details of the passenger and the flight on which he/she arrived are filled out accurately. Travelers will be requested to present their passport, a boarding pass and an entry form at passport control. After their passport has been stamped, incoming travelers continue to the passenger luggage area, where carts are at their disposal. From there, they continue to customs control and to the airport exit.
Arrival by Land – Visitors arriving at the borderline passes on the Israel-Egypt or Israel-Jordan border will receive forms in which their personal details must be filled in. After doing so and undergoing a security check, they must present the completed forms together with their passport.
Tourists continuing from Israel on to Arab countries (except Egypt and Jordan), please note: You can request that your passport not be stamped with an Israeli stamp. You must notify the clerk of your request before your documents are stamped. The granting of such requests is at the discretion of the authorities.


There is a two-lane customs transit system, one green and the other red, at Ben Gurion Airport and at the Rafah (Rafi'akh) Crossing Point. At the remaining airports and passes, travelers must submit a declaration to the customs officer as to whether they have items that do not appear in the list of duty free items or whether the quantities exceed the duty free allowance.
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 traveller’s hand baggage.
  • Alcoholic beverages – up to one litre for spirits and up to two litres 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 US$ 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 – laptops, stills camera and movie camera (not including video camera), radio, tape recorder, pair of binoculars, personal jewelry, musical instruments, gramophone, pram, 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.

Departing Israel


Security Check

As from 2014, the Israel Airports Authority has implemented a modern advanced security system for baggage inspection for flights departing Ben Gurion Airport – Hold Baggage Screening (HBS).
The HBS was developed by the Israel Airports Authority for totally automatic passenger baggage security inspection, and to improve the level of service. The system complies with the strictest of requirements and is based on the highest level of technology.
The new security inspection process includes a few questions, after which passengers will proceed directly to the counter of their respective airlines in order to check in for their flight and hand over their baggage.
After tagging your baggage at the airline counter, the baggage will be sent for the automatic inspection by the new HBS system. In certain cases the need may arise to open the baggage for manual inspection. This manual inspection is carried out under total electronic surveillance and documented.
  • Bags should be unlocked.
  • Security leaves the 3.5 hrs. time which is published for the whole security/check-in procedure as unchanged. This means that the security lines will open at D-3.5 hrs and check-in opens at D-3hrs.
  • Late passengers' acceptance – will be coordinated with the airlines as done before. It should be clear that 1 hour time is still needed for the baggage security process in the HBS. Late passengers will therefore be advised that there is a chance that their luggage will not make it to the flight on time. Therefore counters will be closed 60 min before departure.
  • Oversized baggage will be dealt in front of the elevator dedicated for OOG luggage.
  • No oversize baggage and/or unsuitable luggage will be accepted at check-in and to be sent to the HBS system and the baggage sorting system accordingly.
  • The Maximum dimensions allowed to be accepted at check-in – Length: 115 cm, Width: 80 cm, Height: 70 cm, Weight: 40 kg


After the security check, each passenger must check in at the counter of the airline they are flying with. They will then check in their luggage and receive a boarding pass and seat number.
Early Check-In Service - Some of the airline companies have early check-in service. Passengers can clarify this with the airline. Information about early check-in for airlines other than El Al is available from the airport information service: 972-3-9755555 or on the Israel Airports Authority website. For early check-in services on El Al flights please see El Al Website

Passport Control

After check-in passengers continue to passport control. They must present their passport, airline ticket, and the form that they filled out upon arrival in Israel.

Value Added Tax Reimbursement

According to the Value Added Tax (VAT) Law, a foreign tourist is able to benefit from a zero rate of VAT on a vast array of services obtained during a stay in Israel. In addition, a special arrangement exists whereby a tourist may also request a VAT refund on purchases made during a stay. For more details please visit the official website of the Ministry of Finance, Israeli Department of Customs and VAT.