Message to U.S. Citizens: U.S. Embassy Jerusalem (February 7, 2022)
Location: Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza
Subject: U.S. Citizen Services Update
The American Citizen Services (ACS) Units at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and the Branch Office in Tel Aviv want to update you on the current services being provided.
Soon You Can Pay for Your Adult Passport Renewal Online – No More Bank Checks!
Great news if you are renewing your passport using form DS-82. Starting on March 6, you can pay online! See our first notice here and watch for more details soon.
We Are Making Progress in Reducing the Backlog
The service improvements announced on November 2, 2021 (new urgent appointment system, drop box in Jerusalem, expansion of video Consular Reports of Birth Abroad) have had a positive impact. Since August 2021, the Consular Section has issued 40% more passports and almost 70% more Consular Reports of Birth Abroad monthly than pre-pandemic levels. This has not eliminated the backlog, but we are confident that by the end of this year, we will have made a significant dent in the passport and Consular Report of Birth Abroad backlog.
Return of Super Sundays – Additional Passport Appointments!
Embassy Jerusalem will have passport services on Sunday, February 13, and Embassy Branch Office Tel Aviv will do the same on Sunday, February 27. Appointments for the Jerusalem Super Sunday will be released on Wednesday, February 9 between 3 and 4PM, and the appointments for the Tel Aviv Super Sunday will be released online on Wednesday, February 23 between 3 and 4PM. These appointments are only for those applying for a 5-year minor passport, obtaining their first 10-year adult passport, or renewing an adult passport that was issued more than 15 years ago.
Adult Renewals and Those Replacing Limited-Validity Passports – 10 Tips to Speed the Process
When mailing in your DS-82 or DS-5504 application or dropping it off in the drop box, get it done right the first time to avoid unnecessary delays! See our tips here.
Very High Demand for Consular Reports of Birth Abroad and First-Time Passports Driven by Demand for Social Security Numbers. It Takes 8-12 Months to Receive the Social Security Card.
A large portion of the current demand for Consular Reports of Birth Abroad and first-time passports is for applicants born prior to the pandemic, but who are now being documented as U.S. citizen to receive a Social Security number to apply for COVID-related economic impact payments and child tax benefits. It is important for U.S. citizens to check the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website to determine if they are eligible for such benefits. The U.S. Embassy cannot provide any tax advice.
It is also important to remember (as we announced on December 23) that it takes between 8-12 months for a Social Security Number application to be processed and the Social Security card to be received. Social Security numbers cannot be released in advance of the card being received. As such, we ask that Social Security card applicants not contact the Federal Benefits Unit in Jerusalem or the American Citizen Services Units in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv to ask for a Social Security number before the card is received, as we are unable to do so under any circumstance.
We Still Need Your Help When Scheduling Appointments. Too Many People Do Not Attend Appointments They Make.
As we announced on November 2, we release additional passport and Consular Report of Birth Abroad appointments online every Wednesday between 3 and 4PM. The appointments are for the next week; at the end of every month, we will open a base level of appointments for the month two months ahead (for example., on the last Wednesday in January, we opened not only additional appointments for the following week but also a base level of appointments in April).
We continue to see a high number of duplicate appointments (both within Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, but also between the two locations). By making duplicate appointments, other U.S. citizens needing urgent passport and CRBAs services cannot find them. We urge U.S. citizens to cancel appointments they do not need by doing so online or contacting us at JerusalemACS@state.gov or TelAvivACS@state.gov. Despite the large number of inquiries that we receive about the need to schedule appointments, we remain concerned about the very high rate of no-shows for appointments (even for urgent appointments). We are scheduling appointments with the no-show rate in mind, but we urge U.S. citizens to attend the appointments they make or to cancel with sufficient time for other U.S. citizens to find an open appointment. Please also do not make appointments for adult passport renewals or replacement of limited validity passports as these can only be done by mail or via the drop box in Jerusalem.
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 located in an emergency.
- Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. Information about local conditions related to COVID-19 is also available from the U.S. Embassy in Jordan and the U.S. Embassy in Egypt.
- Refer to our website for the latest Alerts and Messages for U.S. citizens.
- Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information related to COVID-19, including testing requirements to return to the United States.
- For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, please see the CDC’s latest recommendations.
- Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.
- Check with your airlines, cruise lines, or travel operators regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
- Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States.
U.S. Embassy Jerusalem
14 David Flusser St.
U.S. Embassy Branch Office Tel Aviv
71 HaYarkon St.
State Department – Consular Affairs
Israel, West Bank, and Gaza Country Information
Israel, West Bank, and Gaza Travel Advisory
Enroll in Safe Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates