February 6, 2023
Subject: Message for U.S. Citizens: Help Us Help You
Two years after the pandemic that brought our services to a halt, we are still working to get them back on track. Please know that there are things that were possible three years ago that are not possible anymore—an appointment for an adult renewal, a passport issued the same day, our ability to answer the same email inquiry every day! We are unveiling several improvements in this newsletter. We believe they will make it easier for you to get what you need. How can you help? Make only one appointment! Cancel it if you can’t come! Plan in advance, learn where to find the answers to your questions on our website or contact forms, and trust our timelines! If we say a passport will be ready in six weeks, there is no point to ask us in two weeks if it is ready. We can serve you better and you can be good neighbors to your fellow citizens if you play nicely together.
New Appointment System for Passport (regular and emergency), CRBA (in-person and video), and Notarial Services (regular and multi-seal)
As of February 6, there is now one appointment system for both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv for passport (both regular and emergency), Consular Reports of Birth Abroad, and notary services. The system can be accessed here or by using the QR code below. This system requires appointments to be confirmed by following the instructions sent by email after the appointment is made. We have heard your concerns that you don’t get a confirmation from the old system. That will change. Not only will the new system send email confirmations at the time the appointment is confirmed, it will also do so several times before the appointment date. The new system will have a link to cancel the appointment if you need to, also with a confirmation email, and that will help you and us.
The new system will be very reliant on a good email address, so if you are not going to use your own, please know that may complicate things.
The schedule already includes appointments for June, July, and August. Appointments will be released every Wednesday between 3-4PM for the following week. Those of you with existing appointments in the old online appointment system still have your appointments, but if you cancel your appointment in the old system, you will need to make a new appointment in the new system. Those of you with existing urgent appointments still have them.
Duplicate appointments will be canceled immediately.
New System for Emergency Passports
We have eliminated the “urgent appointment” link on our website. There will be a daily (Monday-Friday, except holidays) release between 3-4PM of emergency appointments for those who have immediate travel to the United States and need an in-person appointment for an emergency, limited-validity passport. The appointments will be for the following business day. Everyone who gets an emergency appointment will get an emergency passport with a purple cover, valid for less than one year. These are not ten-year passports. There will be no exceptions. You can define your need for emergency travel, but you need to know what happens if you make that appointment. Help us help you by not booking those appointments for your travel in six months. Save them for those who have emergency travel and need to go immediately to the United States for medical and family crises.
If your current passport is valid for 10 years (and it is still valid or expired less than five years ago), you are not eligible to make an emergency appointment. The fastest way to seek an emergency passport is to drop your complete DS-82 application in the drop box (https://il.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/passport-services/american-citizen-services-drop-box/) at the Embassy in Jerusalem (make sure to write ”URGENT” or “EMERGENCY TRAVEL” on the envelope). Then send a note through the online inquiry system that it has been submitted so we can be on the lookout for it.
Video CRBA Program Suspended
The Department of State has suspended the video CRBA program pilot worldwide, and we are no longer able to offer this service. We understand that many of you preferred this method of applying for a CRBA, and we hope the program will be restored in the future. If it does restart, we will inform the U.S. citizen community. If you already have a video CRBA appointment for a future date, you will be contacted to have it changed to an in-person appointment.
Do Not Make a CRBA Appointment if Your Child Already Has a Certificate of Citizenship
CRBA appointments are only for those who have not been documented as U.S. citizens. Please make passport appointments for children who have received Certificates of Citizenship and are applying for their first U.S. passport.
Before Making Your CRBA Appointments, Look Here First!
Baby Quiz –> If you are a U.S. citizen living in Israel and have had a baby here, take the baby quiz to see if your baby needs a U.S. visa or U.S. passport.
Adult Passport Renewals (DS-82s) and Replacement of Limited-Validity Passports (DS-5504s) Can Only Be Accepted by Mail or by Drop Box
We continue to see too many appointments being made for people who qualify to renew by mail or drop box. We are unable to allow these applicants to enter and submit their applications. Instead, we are re-directing them to submit by mail or drop box. Please leave passport appointments for those who must have an in-person interview.
Please Use the ACS Online Inquiry System
Both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv continue to receive large amounts of email and phone calls regarding non-emergency issues, particularly requests for routine and urgent appointments. Email and phone are not the way to make passport appointments. You will find the answers to most of your questions on our website. If you can’t, use our new online inquiry system. All emails (including appointment requests) are being redirected to the online inquiry system by an autoreply. There is no such thing as an emergency email regarding the status of a passport or CRBA case.
Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
STEP is a free service that provides U.S. citizens traveling and living abroad with critical safety information by email. Please enroll in STEP by clicking here or using the QR code below so you can receive important updates from the U.S. Embassy. It also helps us contact you in an emergency while you are here.
Actions to Take:
- All U.S. citizens should enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and ensure you can be contacted in an emergency.
- Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.
- Refer to our website for the latest Alerts and Messages for U.S. citizens.