Israeli passport
דרכון ישראלי
Front cover of a contemporary Israeli biometric passport (), issued since 2013
Polycarbonate data page of a contemporary Israeli biometric passport, 2014
TypePassport
Issued byMinistry of Interior of Israel
First issued1 January 2012 (biometric passport)[1]
PurposeIdentification
EligibilityIsraeli citizenship
Expiration1, 5, or 10 years after issuance
Cost
  • 260 (adult, summer, online payment)
  • ₪165 (adult, winter, online payment)
  • ₪280 (adult, payment at passport office)
  • ₪135 (child, summer, online payment)
  • ₪100 (child, winter, online payment)
  • ₪150 (child, payment at passport office)[2]

The Israeli passport (Hebrew: דַּרְכּוֹן יִשְׂרְאֵלִי Dárkōn Yīśreʾēli; Arabic: جواز سفر إسرائيلي Jawāz Sifr Isrāʾīlī) is the travel document issued to citizens of the State of Israel for the purpose of international travel.[3] It grants the bearer visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 166 countries and territories, where they are entitled to the protection of Israeli consular officials.

Although Israelis are allowed multiple citizenship, a 2002 government regulation[specify] forbids them from using foreign passports when entering or leaving Israeli territory. Holders of the Israeli passport—or, in some cases, a foreign passport that has been used to enter Israel—are entirely prohibited from entering sixteen countries; this restriction includes the country's Arab citizens.

History

1948–1980

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words.[6] After the signing of the Reparations Agreement between Israel and West Germany in 1952, the limitation was withdrawn and passports became "valid to all countries".

1980–present

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]

Physical appearance

Front cover of a non-biometric Israeli passport (revoked document with clipped corners), 2008
Personal data page on a non-biometric Israeli passport, 2006

Colour, language, and symbols

The current passport is navy blue and has the Israeli national emblem in the centre of the front cover, below the inscriptions "מדינת ישראל" and "STATE OF ISRAEL" in Hebrew and English, respectively. The words "דרכון" and "PASSPORT" are inscribed below the emblem, and the biometric symbol is inscribed at the bottom. Following the national emblem's theme, the passport's inner pages are decorated with olive branches and the temple menorah. The regular passport contains 32 pages and the business passport contains 64 pages.

Israeli passports are valid for up to a maximum of 10 years for all citizens aged 18 or older. Although they are written in both Hebrew and English, the direction of the page order (right-to-left) is dictated by Hebrew. Hebrew is the sole official language in Israel and the Israeli government recognizes Arabic as having a non-official special status in the country, but it is not used on passports. However, Israeli identity cards are co-written in Arabic.

Declaration of freedom of movement

There is a declaration from the Ministry of Interior written in Hebrew and English on the passport:

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.

Property advisory information

On the back cover of the passport, there is a government advisory written only in Hebrew (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.

Personal data page

An Israeli passport holder's personal data can be found on page 2, and includes the following:

All of the holder's information appears in Hebrew and English, and the page ends with the Machine Readable Zone. In non-biometric passports, the bearer signature follows on page 3.

Travel document

Main article: Israeli travel document in lieu of national passport

Front cover of an Israeli travel document in lieu of national passport with biometrics, 2023

Israel may issue a travel document (Hebrew: תעודת מעבר Teudat Ma'avar)[9] to a person who does not have any passport. 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 are, 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.

For non-citizen Arabs

A special travel document (Hebrew: תעודת מעבר ישראלית לזרים Teudat Ma'avar Israelit Lezarim)[10] may be issued to the Arab residents of East Jerusalem who do not hold pre-1967 Jordanian citizenship, and to Arab residents of the Golan Heights who do not hold Israeli citizenship.

In Lieu of National Passport

A Travel Document in Lieu of National Passport (Hebrew: תעודת מעבר במקום דרכון לאומי Teudat Ma'avar Bimkom Darkon Leumi)[11] may be issued to an Israeli citizen by the Ministry of Interior in a number of circumstances:[12]

They are typically valid for two years,[14] and not for more than five years. The issuance of travel documents instead of passports became prevalent in the 1990s, as the Israeli government prepared a national response to a wave of Russian organized crime gangs who had begun using Israeli passports for their activities globally.[15]

Visa requirements

Main article: Visa requirements for Israeli citizens

Visa requirements by country for Israeli citizens:
  State of Israel
  Visa-free entry
  Visa-on-arrival entry
  E-Visa
  Visa available online or on arrival
  Visa required prior to arrival
  Travel prohibited (by Israel or by host countries, or by both)

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 passport and the Emirati passport).[16] 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.[17]

Designated "enemy states"

The Arab–Israeli conflict has had a profound effect, both internally and externally, on Israel's passport policy. Under the Prevention of Infiltration Law of 1954, the Israeli government designated Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, and Yemen as enemy states. However, Egypt and Jordan were dropped from this designation after the 1979 Egypt–Israel peace treaty and the 1994 Israel–Jordan peace treaty. In 1979, Iran became the first non-Arab country to be designated by Israel as an enemy state, owing to the Islamic Revolution and the subsequent Iran–Israel proxy war.[18] Israeli citizens are prohibited from visiting designated enemy states without a special permit issued by the Interior Ministry. In January 2020, as part of further developments for Israeli–Saudi normalization, Israel's Interior Ministry announced that Israeli Muslims were now eligible to travel to Saudi Arabia for religious purposes (i.e., Umrah and Hajj), while Israeli Jews could visit the country for business purposes.[19]

Countries that do not accept Israeli passports

Overview of restrictions on Israelis' travel freedoms in 2021:
  State of Israel
  Countries that reject Israeli passports
  Countries that reject Israeli passports and non-Israeli passports that have a used/unused Israeli visa stamp or have been used for any form of travel to Israel*
*Included in this category is Iraq, but not Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan Region, which does accept Israeli visitors with full freedom of movement (see Israel–Kurdistan Region relations)

As of 2023, 28 countries do not recognize Israel's sovereignty. 25 of these are Muslim-majority countries, of which 16 explicitly do not process Israeli passport holders, and a further six of those 16 do not admit entry to non-Israelis with any sort of ties to Israel. These 16 countries are:

The aforementioned six countries—Iran,[32] Kuwait,[33] Lebanon,[34] Libya,[35] Syria[36] and Yemen[37]—do not allow entry to non-Israelis with evidence of travel to Israel, or whose passports have a used or unused Israeli visa.

Consequently, 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 Israeli and non-Israeli passports.[38] It is common among the Israeli populace to pursue multiple citizenship in order to circumvent existing travel bans associated with Israel.

Gallery

See also

References

  1. ^ "Home". www.consilium.europa.eu.
  2. ^ "Apply for an Israeli passport". GOV.IL. Retrieved 22 September 2023.
  3. ^ "Travel Documents". 11 May 2005. Archived from the original on 11 May 2005.
  4. ^ "Golda". The Emery/Weiner School. Archived from the original on 26 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 26 August 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2005.
  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". 8 April 2008.
  8. ^ Morning News system (22 August 2018). "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 23 August 2018.
  9. ^ "Israel Government Portal - Travel document (in Hebrew)". Archived from the original on 27 October 2016. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  10. ^ "population_and_immigration_authority - Travel Document (in Hebrew)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 October 2016. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  11. ^ "Travel Document in Lieu of National Passport | Embassy of the Czech Republic in Tel Aviv". www.mzv.cz. Archived from the original on 8 September 2019. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  12. ^ "Getting an Israeli Passport & Teudat Ma'avar". 30 January 2014.
  13. ^ "Israel to enable passports for new immigrants only a year after aliyah". The Jerusalem Post | JPost.com.
  14. ^ "Document: ISR-AP-03001". www.consilium.europa.eu.
  15. ^ 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
  16. ^ "Global Ranking - Passport Index 2018" (PDF). Henley & Partners. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  17. ^ "Global Passport Power Rank | Passport Index 2020". Passport Index - All the world's passports in one place.
  18. ^ "Is Libya an enemy country? The law isn't so clear". The Jerusalem Post | JPost.com.
  19. ^ "Not welcome: Saudi Arabia says Israelis cannot visit". www.aljazeera.com.
  20. ^ "Which countries are Israelis prohibited from travelling to/through?". Crazy Llama. 11 March 2019. Retrieved 10 February 2023.
  21. ^ a b Country category for visa application, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Brunei.
  22. ^ "Travel Advice for Iran - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade". Archived from the original on 10 May 2008. Retrieved 7 May 2008.
  23. ^ International Air Transport Association (IATA), Travel Information Manual
  24. ^ International Air Transport Association (IATA), Travel Information Manual
  25. ^ International Air Transport Association (IATA), Travel Information Manual
  26. ^ International Air Transport Association (IATA), Travel Information Manual
  27. ^ International Air Transport Association (IATA), Travel Information Manual
  28. ^ "Pakistan K1 Visa Processing Times". Archived from the original on 14 September 2011.
  29. ^ International Air Transport Association (IATA), Travel Information Manual
  30. ^ "Jews of Yemen". www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org.
  31. ^ International Air Transport Association (IATA), Travel Information Manual
  32. ^ "Travel Advice for Iran - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade". Smartraveller.gov.au. Archived from the original on 10 May 2008. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  33. ^ "Travel Report - Kuwait". Voyage.gc.ca. 16 November 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  34. ^ 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
  35. ^ "Travel Advice for Libya - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade". Smartraveller.gov.au. Archived from the original on 11 October 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  36. ^ Travel Advice for Syria - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Archived 2008-12-19 at the Wayback Machine and Syrian Ministry of Tourism
  37. ^ "Travel Advice for Yemen - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade". Smartraveller.gov.au. Archived from the original on 20 August 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  38. ^ "Need to know about Israeli passport stamps in 2023 - Against the Compass". 28 January 2020. Retrieved 30 September 2023.