Message to U.S. Citizens: U.S. Embassy Jerusalem (August 7, 2023)
Location: Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza
Subject: FAQs Regarding New Israeli Travel Procedures for U.S. Citizens
On July 20, the Israeli government began implementing changes to travel procedures for U.S. citizens who may now request to enter Israel visa-free for short term visits up to 90 days for business, tourism, or transit. Under the updated travel policies, Israel has committed to treating U.S. citizens equally, without regard to national origin, religion, or ethnicity. Israel is finalizing additional updates to its travel procedures to apply to U.S. citizens who are currently or have been residents of Gaza.
Since July 20, thousands of U.S. Citizens have traveled under the new policy, and we continue to receive feedback from U.S. citizens about their experiences. Please see the answers below to the most frequently asked questions, including Israel’s policies applicable to vehicles entering Israel from the West Bank.
Can U.S. Citizens registered as residents of Gaza enter or transit Israel?
Not yet. As it states here (https://govextra.gov.il/cogat/additional-information-english/useful-information/), “by September 15, additional procedures relevant to Gaza Strip residents will be published.” As soon as the new procedures are announced, we will send another message to the U.S. citizen community.
Can U.S. citizens cross into Israel by vehicle from the West Bank?
Separate rules govern vehicle permits. U.S. citizens with a valid entry B2 permit who are passengers of a car, taxi, or bus that is permitted to enter Israel may be requested to exit the vehicle and process through as a pedestrian if attempting to enter Israel at a crossing that has both vehicle and pedestrian access. Otherwise, you will be re-directed to a pedestrian crossing. Israel states in its travel policies that a U.S. citizen who is registered as a resident of the West Bank may “cross at any of the pedestrian crossings except Erez.” U.S. citizens may enter Israel via the pedestrian crossings between the West Bank and Israel and not as a driver of a vehicle or a passenger in a vehicle, taxi, or bus. Here is a list of pedestrian crossings.
We will provide updates on any further policy changes by the Israeli government to vehicle travel by U.S. citizens into Israel from the West Bank.
I Received an Entry Permit That identifies me as Palestinian. Why?
Entry permits annotated with “PAL” (vice B2 Stay permits) or B2 permits with PSE as issuer (vice USA) were issued by the Israeli government during the first week of the new procedures. This practice has been discontinued and U.S. citizens should now receive B2 entry permits that identify them as U.S. citizens. If you do not receive a B2 entry permit that identifies you as a U.S. citizen, please contact us at JerusalemACS@state.gov (for entry through Allenby and crossings between the West Bank and Israel) or TelAvivACS@state.gov (for entry through Ben Gurion or other international crossings into Israel).
Who can I talk to if I am denied entry or experience discrimination?
If you are a U.S. citizen traveling on your U.S. passport and you were denied entry to Israel for a short term visit up to 90 days (denial of entry does not mean that you were re-directed from a vehicle crossing to a pedestrian crossing), or you wish to report your travel experience (even if you were admitted to Israel) you can contact the American Citizens Services (ACS) Unit at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem or at the Embassy Branch Office in Tel Aviv.
- By using the U.S. Embassy Jerusalem and Branch Office Tel Aviv online reporting form.
- By phone (for denial of entry only): U.S. Citizens can call the Embassy at the phone numbers on our website: U.S. Citizen Services – U.S. Embassy in Israel (usembassy.gov) (+972-2-630-4000)
- You may also wish to contact the auditor for the Israeli Population and Immigration Authority at TZ@piba.gov.il to report discrimination at an airport or Port of Entry or you can report discrimination at a checkpoint with the West Bank or Gaza to COGAT: firstname.lastname@example.org or +972-03-6977577
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.
- Refer to our website for the latest Alerts and Messages for U.S. citizens.
- Refer to our country information sheet for updated information on entry/exit requirements and safety/security information.