Israeli passport
דרכון ישראלי
جواز سفر إسرائيلي
The front cover of a contemporary Israeli biometric passport issued since 2013.
Front personal-information page of an Israeli biometric passport.
Issued byMinistry of Interior of Israel
First issued1948 (first version)
1 January 2012[1] (current version)
EligibilityIsraeli citizenship
Expiration1, 5 or 10 years after issuance
Cost245 (adult, summer, online payment)
155 (adult, winter, online payment)
265 (adult, payment at passport office)
125 (child, summer, online payment)
90 (child, winter, online payment)
140 (child, payment at passport office) [2]

The Israeli passport (Hebrew: דַּרְכּוֹן יִשְׂרְאֵלִי, Darkon Yisre'eli; Arabic: جواز سفر إسرائيلي) is a passport issued to Israeli citizens to enable them to travel outside Israel,[3] and entitles the bearer to the protection of Israel's consular officials overseas. Israeli citizens have visa-free or visa on arrival access to 159 countries and territories.

Israeli citizens are allowed to hold passports of other countries, but, per a 2002 regulation[specify], are required to use the Israeli passport when entering and leaving Israel.


Mandatory Palestine passports ceased to be valid at the end of the British Mandate of Palestine on 15 May 1948. Israel began issuing what was described as travel documents from that date, with an initial validity of two years and used Hebrew and French texts. After the Knesset (Israeli parliament) passed the Israeli nationality law in 1952, Israeli travel documents began to be described as passports. The first passport was issued to Golda Meir, who at the time worked for the Jewish Agency and was soon to become Israel's ambassador to the USSR.[4][5]

The first Israeli travel documents bore the limitation: "Valid to any country except Germany." An Israeli who wished to visit Germany had to ask that the words "except Germany" be deleted from their passport. This was done manually by drawing a line through these words.[6] After the signing of the Reparations Agreement between Israel and West Germany in 1952, the limitation was withdrawn and passports became "valid to all countries".

Israeli passports issued after 30 March 1980 have used Hebrew and English texts, instead of the previous Hebrew and French.

In 2006, an Israeli passport became an accepted form of identification in elections in Israel. Previously, only an internal identity card was accepted for this purpose.

Denial or withdrawal of an Israeli passport is one of the sanctions an Israeli rabbinical court may use to enforce divorce upon a husband who chains his wife into marriage against her will.

Since 2013, biometric passports have been introduced, in line with standards used by the United States, European Union and other countries. To obtain a biometric passport, an applicant must 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."[7] It was reported that the border control representatives tore non-biometric passports of Israeli citizens.[8]

As of May 2022, the Ministry of Population starting reissuing non-biometric passports (valid for 2 years instead of 1) to tackle the enormous influx of Israelis applying for biometric passport, as it is rumored that a normal passport application take up to 6 weeks instead of 2. A new temporary office has been opened in Bnei Brak where Israelis can receive a temporary passport for NIS 400, which must be paid online as the office itself cannot receive payments. This provides a cheaper alternative to the office at Ben Gurion airport, which provides such passports for NIS 820. By the end of May, 5,000 people will have received such passports from the Bnei Brak office.[9]


Front cover of non-biometric ordinary passport (corners of cover are cut off meaning that the document was revoked / cancelled)
Non-biometric ordinary passport personal-information page

Israeli passports are navy blue, with the Israeli emblem in the center of the front cover, below the words "מדינת ישראל" and "STATE OF ISRAEL" in Hebrew and English, respectively. The words "דרכון" and "PASSPORT" are inscribed below the emblem. The inner pages are decorated with the Israeli emblem of olive branches and the seven-branched menorah. The regular passport contains 32 pages, and the business passport contains 64 pages.

Israeli passports are valid for up to 10 years for persons over the age of 18. They are bilingual, using both 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 in internal identity cards and is classified as having a 'special status in the state' with its use by state institutions to be set in law.

Identity information page

Israeli passport information appears on page 2, and includes the following:

All information appears both in Hebrew and English. The information page ends with the Machine Readable Zone. The signature of bearer follows on page 3 (in a non-biometric passport).

Passport note

The statement in an Israeli passport declares in Hebrew 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.

Back cover

The information on the inside back cover of an Israeli passport states in Hebrew only (English translation below):

דרכון זה הוא קניינה של מדינת ישראל והינו מסמך בעל ערך שיש לשמור עליו בקפדנות. אסור להוסיף, למחוק פרט כלשהו בדרכון, לתלוש דף או דפים ממנו, להשמיד או להשחית את הדרכון. החוק קובע שהמבצע פעולה כזו וכן מי שמשתמש שלא כחוק בדרכון שאינו שלו או מניח לאדם אחר להשתמש שלא כחוק בדרכונו, עובר עבירה פלילית ועלול להיענש.

אזרח ישראלי שהוא גם אזרח חוץ ובעל דרכון זר חייב להיכנס לישראל ולצאת ממנה בדרכון או בתעודת מעבר ישראליים.

במקרה של אובדן גניבת הדרכון בארץ, על בעל הדרכון להודיע על כך מיד ללשכת רשות האוכלוסין באיזור מגוריו. אבד או נגנב הדרכון בחו"ל, יש למסור הודעה על כך לשגרירות או לקונסוליה הישראלית הקרובה למקום הימצאו.

שמור היטב על דרכונך לבל יאבד. בעת השימוש בו, יש להחזיקו בכיס פנימי ובטוח של בגדיך ולא בתיק או במכונית. ביציאתך לחו"ל מומלץ להצטייד בצילום של דף הפרטים.

הדרכון תקף לכל הארצות (אלא אם צוין אחרת) עד לתאריך הרשום בעמוד 2. לאחר תום התוקף, או אם הדרכון נתמלא או נתבלה יש להחליפו בחדש.

לתשומת לבך!!! דרכון זה מכיל מעגלים אלקטרוניים רגישים. לתפקוד מיטבי של מעגלים אלה, נא לא לקפל, לנקב ו/או לחשוף את הדרכון לטמפרטורות גבוהות ו/או ללחות מופרזת.

This passport is the property of the State of Israel and is a valuable document which must be preserved carefully. Do not add or delete any information in the passport, tear out a page or pages from it, or destroy or corrupt the passport. The law states that the perpetrator of such action and who uses an illegal passport that is not his or lets anyone else use his passport illegally, has committed an offense and is liable to be punished.

An Israeli citizen who is also a foreign citizen and holds a foreign passport must enter and exit Israel with an Israeli passport or travel document.

In the case of loss or theft of the passport in Israel, the nearest Population Office must be immediately notified. If the passport is lost or stolen overseas, the nearest Israeli embassy or consulate must be notified.

Be careful not to lose your passport. When you use it, keep it secured inside the pocket of your clothes and not in your bag or car. When you travel abroad, it is recommended to bring a photocopy of the information page.

The passport is valid for all countries (unless otherwise noted) until the date listed on page 2. After expiration, or if your passport has worn thin or is filled, it must be replaced with a new one.

Attention!!! This passport contains sensitive electronic circuits. For optimal functioning of these circuits, please do not fold, puncture and/or expose your passport to high temperatures and/or excessive moisture.

Travel document

Travel document, front cover
Biometric travel document, front cover
The first page within the Israeli travel document

Israel may issue a travel document (Hebrew: תעודת מעבר teudat ma'avar)[10] to a person who does not have an Israeli or foreign passport which allows the person to enter and leave the country. It may be issued in the following circumstances:

Holders of a travel document are not entitled to the same visa-free entry to certain countries as holders of a standard Israeli passport, as the travel document is not accepted for travel or identification purposes by many countries. The use of a travel document to leave Israel does not, of itself, entitle the holder to enter another country nor to return to Israel.

Travel document for foreigners

A travel document (Hebrew: תעודת מעבר ישראלית לזרים "Teudat Ma'avar Israelit Lezarim")[11] may be issued to Arab residents of East-Jerusalem who have neither Israeli nor Jordanian citizenship, and to non-Israeli Arab residents of the Golan Heights.

Travel document in lieu of passport

A Travel Document in Lieu of National Passport (Hebrew: תעודת מעבר במקום דרכון לאומי Teudat Ma'avar bimkom Darkon Leumi)[12] may be issued to an Israeli citizen by the Ministry of Interior in a number of circumstances:[13]

They are normally valid for two years,[16] and not for more than five years. The issuance of travel documents instead of passports became prevalent in the 1990s as the Israeli government reacted to a wave of Russian organized crime gangs who immigrated to Israel and began using Israeli passports for their activities.[17]

Visa requirements and limitations on passport use

Visa requirements

Main article: Visa requirements for Israeli citizens

Visa requirements for Israeli citizens
  Visa free
  Visa issued upon arrival
  Visa available both on arrival or online
  Visa required prior to arrival
  Travel restricted (either by local law or Israel)

According to the 2018 Henley Passport Index, Israeli citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 161 countries and territories, ranking the Israeli passport 21st in the world in terms of travel freedom (tied with the Barbadian and Emirati passports).[18] Additionally, Arton Capital's Passport Index ranked the Israeli passport 16th in the world in terms of travel freedom, with a visa-free score of 146, as of 2 December 2018.[19]

Limitations on use by Israel

Under the 1954 Israeli Prevention of Infiltration Law, Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq and Yemen were designated "enemy states". Israeli citizens may not visit countries so designated without a permit issued by the Israeli Interior Ministry. Egypt and Jordan were removed from the list following the signing of peace accords with these countries in 1978 and 1994, while Iran was added after the 1979 Iranian Revolution.[20] In January 2020, Israel's Minister of the Interior announced that Israeli citizens, both Muslims and Jews, can travel to Saudi Arabia for religious and business purposes.[21] These countries have their own bans on the entry of Israelis.

Countries that do not accept Israeli passports

Countries in light green reject passports from Israel (blue). Countries in dark green reject not only Israeli passports but also any passport which contains Israeli stamps or visas.

Thirteen countries that do not recognize the state of Israel also do not admit Israeli passport holders:

  1. Except for Kurdistan Region, which has never been considered an enemy of Israel, the Kurdistan Region–Israel relations have been made public on many occasions. The two states have close and friendly relations, both economically and military.
  2. Unless a clearance permit is obtained from the Ministry of Home Affairs in addition to a visa prior to arrival.
  3. Except for 2022 FIFA World Cup
  4. Except for religious and business purposes.

In addition, six of these countries — Iran,[34] Kuwait,[35] Lebanon,[36] Libya,[37] Syria[38] and Yemen[39] — do not allow entry to people with evidence of travel to Israel, or whose passports have either a used or an unused Israeli visa.

As a consequence, many countries may issue a second passport to citizens wishing to circumvent this restriction, and the Israeli immigration services have now mostly ceased stamping entry or exit stamps in all passports.[citation needed] Some Israelis will try to apply for dual citizenship in order to circumvent existing travel bans as an Israeli citizen.

Image gallery

See also


  1. ^ "Home".
  2. ^ "Apply for an Israeli passport". GOV.IL. Retrieved 2020-01-07.
  3. ^ "Travel Documents". May 11, 2005. Archived from the original on 2005-05-11.
  4. ^ "Golda". The Emery/Weiner School. Archived from the original on July 2011.
  5. ^ Pine, Dan. "Golda Meir's life was devoted to building Zionism". San Francisco Jewish Community Publications Inc. Archived from the original on August 26, 2012. Retrieved 2005-07-15.
  6. ^ 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).
  7. ^ "Israel Moving to Biometric Passport". April 8, 2008.
  8. ^ Morning News system (2018-08-22). "Israelis claim that their passports were torn in the border control, and they had to pay for new ones". Mako (in Hebrew). Presented by Nesli Barda. Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  9. ^ "Israel to tackle 700,000 passport backlog". Globes. 25 May 2022.
  10. ^ "Israel Government Portal - Travel document (in Hebrew)". Archived from the original on 2016-10-27. Retrieved 2016-06-04.
  11. ^ "population_and_immigration_authority - Travel Document (in Hebrew)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-10-22. Retrieved 2016-06-04.
  12. ^ "Travel Document in Lieu of National Passport | Embassy of the Czech Republic in Tel Aviv". Archived from the original on 2019-09-08. Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  13. ^ "Getting an Israeli Passport & Teudat Ma'avar". January 30, 2014.
  14. ^ "Applying for an Israeli Passport". The Jewish Agency. January 20, 2014.
  15. ^ "New immigrants will no longer have to wait to get Israeli passport". The Jerusalem Post |
  16. ^ "Document: ISR-AP-03001".
  17. ^ Zaitch, D.; Bunt, H.; Siegel, D. (2003), "Israel - The Promised Land for Russian-speaking Crime Bosses", Global Organized Crime: Trends and Developments (1st ed.), Netherlands: Springer, pp. 52–55
  18. ^ "Global Ranking - Passport Index 2018" (PDF). Henley & Partners. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  19. ^ "Global Passport Power Rank | Passport Index 2020". Passport Index - All the world's passports in one place.
  20. ^ "Is Libya an enemy country? The law isn't so clear". The Jerusalem Post |
  21. ^ "Not welcome: Saudi Arabia says Israelis cannot visit".
  22. ^ "Which countries are Israelis prohibited from travelling to/through?". Crazy Llama. 2019-03-11. Retrieved 2023-02-10.
  23. ^ a b Country category for visa application, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Brunei.
  24. ^ "Travel Advice for Iran - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade". Archived from the original on 2008-05-10. Retrieved 2008-05-07.
  25. ^ Travel Information Manual, International Air Transport Association (IATA).
  26. ^ Travel Information Manual, International Air Transport Association (IATA).
  27. ^ Travel Information Manual, International Air Transport Association (IATA).
  28. ^ Travel Information Manual, International Air Transport Association (IATA).
  29. ^ Travel Information Manual, International Air Transport Association (IATA).
  30. ^ "Pakistan K1 Visa Processing Times". Archived from the original on September 14, 2011.
  31. ^ Travel Information Manual, International Air Transport Association (IATA).
  32. ^ "Jews of Yemen".
  33. ^ Travel Information Manual, International Air Transport Association (IATA).
  34. ^ "Travel Advice for Iran - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade". Archived from the original on 2008-05-10. Retrieved 2013-07-01.
  35. ^ "Travel Report - Kuwait". 2012-11-16. Retrieved 2013-07-01.
  36. ^ Travel Advice for Lebanon - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Archived 2008-12-24 at the Wayback Machine and Lebanese Ministry of Tourism Archived 2009-03-27 at the Wayback Machine
  37. ^ "Travel Advice for Libya - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade". Archived from the original on 2015-10-11. Retrieved 2013-07-01.
  38. ^ Travel Advice for Syria - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Archived 2008-12-19 at the Wayback Machine and Syrian Ministry of Tourism
  39. ^ "Travel Advice for Yemen - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade". Archived from the original on 2011-08-20. Retrieved 2013-07-01.