Location: Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza
Event: Service Improvements for U.S. Passport and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad
The COVID-19 pandemic created an unprecedented global backlog of requests for passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBAs). The Department of State has provided additional resources and staffing to address this backlog at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and the Embassy Branch Office in Tel Aviv.
To improve services, the U.S. Embassy is pleased to announce the following initiatives to assist U.S. citizens in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza in applying for passports and CRBAs:
New System To Request Urgent Appointments For U.S. Passports: U.S. citizens who are without a passport or who do not meet the requirements to return to the United States on an expired U.S. passport can request an urgent appointment for an emergency passport via this web page (https://il.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/passport-services/). You may only request an urgent appointment if you meet the following criteria:
A) Your travel is scheduled within the next 2 weeks.
B) The Israeli visa in your U.S. passport will expire within 30 days (or for newborns without an Israeli visa).
All requests for urgent appointments must be submitted via this new system; those who contact the Consular Sections by email or telephone for urgent appointments will be re-directed to this website.
Appointments To Be Released Weekly At Same Day And Time: Appointments for passports and CRBAs will now be made available weekly on Wednesdays between 3PM and 4PM. Small numbers of appointments may be available at other times as appointments are canceled, but large blocs will be opened during the timeframe indicated above.
Drop Boxes: To save space in our waiting room, we made it mandatory to mail in applications that didn’t need an interview. For those for who do not wish to use the mail for those applications, we have set up a drop box in Jerusalem. We need everything we would need in a mail-in case, but you can bring it in person. For additional information, see here (https://il.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/passport-services/american-citizen-services-drop-box/).
Video Interviews For Children Under the Age Of Three: Those eligible for this program will be interviewed by a consular official by video, and only one parent will need to come to the Embassy or Embassy Branch Office to pay, submit the original documents, and sign the applications. For information on qualifying criteria, see here: (https://il.usembassy.gov/video-interviews-for-children-under-the-age-of-two/).
Even with these initiatives, we need your help to make sure we can successfully address this unprecedented backlog. Be a good neighbor!
- Use Our New Programs Only For Urgent Appointments As Described: The urgent appointment system will not work if we get requests for travel more than two weeks out. It cannot be used to schedule a passport appointment for travel that is still months away. Our ability to continue providing urgent services depends on the community respecting the guidelines and truly discerning urgent from non-urgent requests.
- Make Only One Appointment: Do not make duplicate appointments at the same location or between both locations (Jerusalem and Tel Aviv). By making duplicate appointments, other U.S. citizens needing urgent passport and CRBAs services cannot find them. If we discover duplicate appointments, we will cancel both of your appointments and inform you by email that you need to schedule new appointments at a later date in only one location.
- Attend Appointment Or Cancel It If Not Needed: Please attend the appointment you make or cancel the appointment you do not need. Every day we have people who simply do not show up for their appointment, which keeps us from filling our waiting room. Cancel the appointment you do not need so other U.S. citizens can make appointments. Both locations send reminder emails about appointments 1-2 business days in advance so there is sufficient time to cancel them.
- Avoid Third-Party Vendors To Schedule Appointments: Scheduling an appointment is free, and we encourage U.S. citizens to avoid paying third parties for this service. Using these services (particularly as some such service providers are making duplicate and fictitious appointments) makes it harder for us to address the backlog. Don’t be a victim of fraud.!
U.S. citizens are our highest priority, and nonimmigrant visa services will continue to be limited until this backlog is addressed. Notarial and renunciation services will also remain suspended until the backlog is addressed. When these services resume, we will make a public announcement.
Actions to Take:
- All U.S. citizens should register 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.
- Refer to our website for the latest Alerts and Messages for U.S. citizens: https://il.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/security-and-travel-information/.
- Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information related to COVID-19.
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