Shalom. I am Andy Miller, the U.S. Consul General here. It is my great honor to congratulate you on your release from the IDF.
Israel and the United States are united by our shared commitment to democracy, economic prosperity, and regional security. The unbreakable bond between our two countries has never been stronger.
Throughout your service, you defended your country. If you decide to travel abroad and be an unofficial ambassador for Israel, here is some important information you will need, particularly if you want to travel to the United States.
The first thing you will need is a U.S. visa. For those of you who either don’t have a visa, or have one that has expired, please take some time to review our website before you submit your application. Our website is the best place to find the most updated information about the application process and what you will need to apply. If your previous visa expired less than four years ago, you may be able to easily renew by mail without an interview.
Please note that getting an appointment for a visa interview is free. Anyone who offers to get you one for money has no connection with the United States, and may not have your best interest in mind. Don’t be scammed!
Another thing you may have “heard” is that it’s really easy to work in the United States while visiting. This is not true. Working or studying in the United States on a tourist visa is illegal. Doing so can impact your future. In the most extreme situations you can be arrested, receive a multi-year ban on future travels to the United States, or have future visas potentially refused. If you are interested in working or studying in the United States, you will need a work or study visa. There are a number of work and study opportunities waiting for you like the au pair program and summer camp counselor jobs, but you need to start the process the right way. The links at the top of this page offer information you may find helpful about visas and travel to the United States.
Again, congratulations on your release from the IDF, good luck in your new life as a civilian, and safe travels.