Israeli passport

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Israeli passport דרכון ישראלי
Biometric passport of Israel.jpg
The front cover of a contemporary Israeli biometric passport issued since 2013.
Israel Biometric Passport.jpg
Front personal-information page of an Israeli biometric passport.
Issued by  Israel
Type of document Passport
Purpose Identification
Eligibility requirements Israeli citizenship
Expiration 10 years after issuance
Cost 280 (adult)
140 (child)

The Israeli passport (Hebrew: דרכון‎‎ drachon) is a travel document issued to Israeli citizens to enable them to travel outside Israel,[1] and entitles the bearer to the protection of Israel's consular officials overseas.

According to the February 2016 Visa Restrictions Index, Israeli citizens can visit 147 countries and territories visa-free or with visa on arrival, ranking the Israeli passport 25th in the world.[2]

Israeli citizens are allowed to hold passports of other countries, but are required to use the Israeli passport when entering and leaving Israel. This regulation was introduced officially in 2002, after having been legally contested on several occasions.


Israeli passports began to be issued in 1948, after the Israeli Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948, and used Hebrew and French texts. At first they were not defined as a passport but as a travel document, this changed in 1952 when Israel began to introduce the first travel document as a passport, they began to be issued late that year. The first travel document was issued to Golda Meir, who at the time worked for the Jewish Agency and was soon to become Israel's ambassador to the USSR.[3][4]

The first Israeli passports bore the limitation: "Valid to any country except Germany". An Israeli citizen who wished to visit Germany had to ask that the words "except Germany" be deleted from their passport. This was done manually by drawing a line through these words.[5] After the signing of the Reparations Agreement between Israel and West Germany in 1952, the limitation was withdrawn and passports became "valid to all countries".

On 30 March 1980, new regulations issued by the Minister of the Interior required Israeli passports to use Hebrew and English, instead of Hebrew and French. Subsequently, French texts were replaced by English texts.

In 2006, an Israeli passport became accepted for identification in general elections. Until then, only an internal identity card was accepted for this purpose.

Denial or withdrawal of an Israeli passport is one of the sanctions an Israeli rabbinical court may use to enforce divorce upon a husband who chains his wife into marriage against her will (see agunah).

Since 2013, biometric passports have being introduced, in line with standards used by the United States, European Union and other countries. To obtain a biometric passport, "an applicant will have to appear in an Interior Ministry office to be photographed by the special camera which records information such as facial bone structure, distance between one's eyes, ears to eyes and ratio of facial features one from another. One will also be fingerprinted and all this information will be contained in the new high-tech electronic passport."[6]


The front cover of a contemporary
Israeli non-biometric ordinary passport (Corners of cover cut off —
the document revoked / cancelled)
Israeli non-biometric ordinary passport
personal-information page

Israeli passports are navy blue, with the Israeli emblem in the center of the front cover, below the words "מדינת ישראל" and "STATE OF ISRAEL" in Hebrew and English. The word "דרכון" and "PASSPORT" is inscribed below the emblem in Hebrew and English. The inner pages are decorated with the Israeli emblem of olive branches and the seven-branched menorah. The regular passport contains 32 pages, and the business passport contains 64 pages.

Israeli passports are valid for up to 10 years for persons over the age of 18. They are bilingual, using Hebrew and English. Since Hebrew is written from right to left, the passports are opened from their right end and their pages are arranged from right to left. Arabic is not used in Israeli passports, even though it is one of the two official languages of Israel, and is used in internal identity cards.

Identity information page[edit]

Israeli passport information appears on page 2, and includes the following:

  • Photo of passport holder on the left
  • Type (P/ד‎) סוג
  • Code of State (ISR) סמל המדינה
  • Passport no. מס דרכון
  • Israeli ID no. מס זהות
  • Surname שם משפחה
  • Given name שם פרטי
  • Nationality אזרחות
  • Date of birth תאריד לידה
  • Sex מין
  • Place of birth מקום לידה
  • Date of issue תאריד הוצאה
  • Date of expiry תאריד פקיעת תוקף
  • Authority (- I.C. Passport at) סמכות (- נומונה דרכונים ב)
  • Signature of bearer (in biometric passport) חתימת בעל הדרכון

All information appears both in Hebrew and English. The information page ends with the Machine Readable Zone. Signature of bearer is to follow on page 3 (in non-biometric passport).

Passport note[edit]

The statement in an Israeli passport declares in Hebrew and English:

שר הפנים של מדינת ישראל מבקש בזה את כל הנוגעים בדבר להרשות לנושא דרכון זה לעבור ללא עכוב והפרעה ולהושיט לו במקרה הצורך את ההגנה והעזרה הדרושה.

The Minister of the Interior of the State of Israel hereby requests all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer of this passport to pass freely without let or hindrance and to afford him such assistance and protection as may be necessary.

Back cover[edit]

The information on the inside back cover of an Israeli passport states in Hebrew only (English translation below):

דרכון זה הוא קנייה של מדינת ישראל והינו מסמך בעל ערך שיש לשמור עליו בקפדנות. אסור להוסיף, למחוק פרט בלשהו בדרכון, לתלוש דף או דפים ממנו, להשמיד או להשחית את הדרכון. החוק קובע שהמבצע פעולה כזו וכן מי שמשתמש שלא כחוק בדרכון שאינו שלו או מניח לאדם אחר להשתמש שלא כחוק בדרכונו, עובר עבירה פלילית ועלול להיענש.

אזרח ישראלי שהוא גם אזרח חוץ ובעל דרכון זר חייב להיכנס לישראל ולצאת ממנה בדרכון או בתעודת מעבר ישראליים.

במקרה של אובדן גניבת הדרכון בארץ, על בעל הדרכון להודיע על כך מיד ללשכת רשות האוכלוסין באיזור מגוריו. אבד או נגנב הדרכון החו"ל, יש למסור הודעה על כך לשגרירות או לקונסוליה הישראלית הקרובה למקום הימצאו.

שמור היטב על דרכונך לבל יאבד. בעת השימוש בו, יש להחזיקו בכיס פנימי ובטוח של בגדיך ולא בתיק או במכונית. ביציאתך לחו"ל מומלץ להצטייד בצילום של דף הפרטים.

הדרכון תקף לכל הארצות (אלא אם צוין אחרת) עד לתאריך הרשום בעמוד 2. לאחר תום התוקף, או אם הדרכון נתמלא או נתבלה יש להחליפו בחדש.

לתשומת לבך!! דרכון זה מכיל מעגלים אלקטרוניים רגישים. לתפקוד מיטבי של מעגלים אלה, נא לא לקפל, לנקב ו/או לחשוף את הדרכון לטמפרטורות גבוהות ו/או ללחות מופרזת.

This passport is the property of the State of Israel and is a valuable document which must be preserved carefully. Do not add or delete any information in the passport, tear out a page or pages from it, or destroy or corrupt the passport. The law states that the perpetrator of such action and who uses an illegal passport that is not his or lets anyone else use his passport illegally, has committed an offense and is liable to be punished.

An Israeli citizen who is also a foreign citizen and holds a foreign passport must enter and exit Israel with an Israeli passport or travel document.

In the case of loss or theft of the passport in Israel, the nearest Population Office must be immediately notified. If the passport is lost or stolen overseas, the nearest Israeli embassy or consulate must be notified.

Be careful not to lose your passport. When you use it, keep it secured inside the pocket of your clothes and not in your bag or car. When you travel abroad, it is recommended to bring a photocopy of the information page.

The passport is valid for all countries (unless otherwise noted) until the date listed on page 2. After expiration, or if your passport has worn thin or is filled, it must be replaced with a new one.

Attention!! This passport contains sensitive electronic circuits. For optimal functioning of these circuits, please do not fold, puncture and/or expose your passport to high temperatures and/or excessive moisture.

Travel document[edit]

Israeli travel document front cover
The first page within the Israeli travel document

Israel may issue a travel document (Hebrew: תעודת מעבר‎‎ teudat ma'avar)[7] to a person who does not have an Israeli or foreign passport which allows the person to enter and leave the country. It may be issued in the following circumstances:

  • to a non-citizen residents / foreigners, who does not have another passport, for example a stateless person, or their citizenship not defined, to allow them to leave the country, for example in cases of foreigners who infiltrated to Israel and are deported, or foreigners who need to leave the country for any other reason and are unable to obtain a passport from another country.
  • to Israeli citizens in lieu of a passport, for example for those, who lost their passports overseas.

Holders of a travel document are not entitled to the same visa-free entry to certain countries as holders of a standard Israeli passport, as the travel document is not accepted for travel or identification purposes by many countries. The use of a travel document to leave Israel does not, of itself, entitle the holder to enter another country nor to return to Israel.

Travel document for foreigners[edit]

A travel document (Hebrew: תעודת מעבר ישראלית לזרים‎‎ "Teudat Ma'avar Israelit Lezarim")[8] may be issued to Arab residents of East-Jerusalem who have neither Israeli nor Jordanian citizenship, and to non-Israeli Arab residents of the Golan Heights.

Travel document in lieu of passport[edit]

A Travel Document in Lieu of National Passport (Hebrew: תעודת מעבר במקום דרכון לאומי‎‎ Teudat Ma'avar bimkom Darkon Leumi)[9] may be issued to an Israeli citizen by the Ministry of Interior in a number of circumstances:[10]

  • 90 days after immigration to the country, new citizens may apply for a travel document, and are required to use it to enter and exit the country starting 120 days after their immigration. After living 75% of their first year in the country, they are eligible to apply for an Israeli passport.
  • dual nationals and foreign residents.
  • Israeli citizens with criminal record.
  • Israeli citizens who have lost or destroyed over three passports.
  • Israeli citizens who have lost their passport during an overseas trip.
  • Israeli citizens who are returning to Israel by decision of the Israeli government.

They are normally valid for two years, and not for more than 5 years. The issuance of travel documents instead of passports became prevalent in the 1990s as the Israeli government reacted to a wave of Russian organized crime gangs who immigrated to Israel and began using Israeli passports for their activities.[11]

Visa requirements and limitations on passport use[edit]

Visa requirements[edit]

Visa requirements for Israeli citizens
  Visa not required
  Visa on arrival / electronic authorization
  Visa Required
  Admission refused

According to the 2014 Visa Restrictions Index, Israeli passport holders have visa-free or visa on arrival access to 147 countries and territories, ranking the Israeli passport 25th in terms of travel freedom.

Limitations on use by Israel[edit]

Under Israeli law, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen are designated "enemy states" and an Israeli citizen may not visit them without a special permit issued by the Israeli Interior Ministry. The original list was set in 1954, and was updated only once on 25 July 2007 to include Iran. (Not verified). This does not apply to dual nationality holders, as they are free to travel to the aforementioned countries on their other passports.[citation needed]

A 2008 amendment to the Nationality Law of 1952 designated 9 countries which are considered an enemy of Israel: Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen as well as the Hamas-administered Gaza Strip. Acquiring citizenship or establishing residency by an Israeli citizen in one of these countries can result in loss or replacement of citizenship. But, Afghanistan accepts Israeli passports, and there is diplomatic relationships between Afghanistan and Israel via the Embassy of Israel in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.[citation needed]

Countries that do not accept Israeli passports[edit]

Countries (in light green) that reject passports from Israel (blue). Countries (in dark green) that reject not only Israeli passports but also any passport which contain Israeli stamps or visas.

Sixteen countries forbid admission to Israeli passport holders:

1 – Except for Iraqi Kurdistan.
2 – Clearance permit needed from the Ministry of Home Affairs.
3 – Accepted for transit only; not allowed for admission.

In addition, Iran,[31] Kuwait,[32] Lebanon,[33] Libya,[34] Saudi Arabia,[35] Sudan,[36] Syria[37] and Yemen[38] do not allow entry to people with evidence of travel to Israel, or whose passports have either a used or an unused Israeli visa. As a consequence, many countries will allow for a second passport to be issued to citizens wishing to circumvent this restriction although the Israeli immigration services themselves have now mostly ceased to issue entry or exit stamps to foreign nationals.

Image gallery[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Embassy of Israel in the US. Consular Section
  2. ^ "Global Ranking - Visa Restriction Index 2016" (PDF). Henley & Partners. Retrieved 27 February 2016. 
  3. ^ "Golda". The Emery/Weiner School. Archived from the original on July 2011. 
  4. ^ Pine, Dan. "Golda Meir's life was devoted to building Zionism". San Francisco Jewish Community Publications Inc. Archived from the original on August 26, 2012. Retrieved 2005-07-15. 
  5. ^ Amnon Dankner and David Tartakover, Where we were and what we did - an Israeli lexicon of the Fifties and the Sixties, Keter Publishing House, Jerusalem, p. 84 (in Hebrew).
  6. ^ The Yeshiva World » Israel Moving to Biometric Passport » Frum Jewish News
  7. ^ Israel Government Portal - Travel document (in Hebrew)
  8. ^ population_and_immigration_authority - Travel Document (in Hebrew)
  9. ^ Visa and Consular Services
  10. ^
  11. ^ Zaitch, D.; Bunt, H.; Siegel, D. (2003), "Israel - The Promised Land for Russian-speaking Crime Bosses", Global Organized Crime: Trends and Developments (1st ed.), Netherlands: Springer, pp. 52–55 
  12. ^ "Visa Information for Algeria: Holders of Normal Passports from Israel". Timatic. International Air Transport Association (IATA). 
  13. ^ "Visa Information for Bangladesh: Holders of Normal Passports from Israel". Timatic. International Air Transport Association (IATA). 
  14. ^ "Visa Information for Brunei Darussalam: Holders of Normal Passports from Israel". Timatic. International Air Transport Association (IATA). 
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ "Visa Information for Iran, Islamic Republic of: Holders of Normal Passports from Israel". Timatic. International Air Transport Association (IATA). 
  17. ^ "Visa Information for Iraq: Holders of Normal Passports from Israel". Timatic. International Air Transport Association (IATA). 
  18. ^ "Visa Information for Kuwait: Holders of Normal Passports from Israel". Timatic. International Air Transport Association (IATA). 
  19. ^ "Visa Information for Lebanon: Holders of Normal Passports from Israel". Timatic. International Air Transport Association (IATA). 
  20. ^ "Visa Information for Libyan Arab Jamahiriya: Holders of Normal Passports from Israel". Timatic. International Air Transport Association (IATA). 
  21. ^ "Visa Information for Malaysia: Holders of Normal Passports from Israel". Timatic. International Air Transport Association (IATA). 
  22. ^ "Visa Information for Oman: Holders of Normal Passports from Israel". Timatic. International Air Transport Association (IATA). 
  23. ^ "Visa Information for Pakistan: Holders of Normal Passports from Israel". Timatic. International Air Transport Association (IATA). 
  24. ^ [2]
  25. ^ "Visa Information for Saudi Arabia: Holders of Normal Passports from Israel". Timatic. International Air Transport Association (IATA). 
  26. ^ "Visa Information for Sudan: Holders of Normal Passports from Israel". Timatic. International Air Transport Association (IATA). 
  27. ^ "Visa Information for Syrian Arab Republic: Holders of Normal Passports from Israel". Timatic. International Air Transport Association (IATA). 
  28. ^ "Visa Information for United Arab Emirates: Holders of Normal Passports from Israel". Timatic. International Air Transport Association (IATA). 
  29. ^ Jews of Yemen
  30. ^ "Visa Information for Yemen: Holders of Normal Passports from Israel". Timatic. International Air Transport Association (IATA). 
  31. ^ "Travel Advice for Iran - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade". Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  32. ^ "Travel Report - Kuwait". 2012-11-16. Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  33. ^ Travel Advice for Lebanon - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Lebanese Ministry of Tourism
  34. ^ "Travel Advice for Libya - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade". Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  35. ^ Michael Freund, Canada defends Saudi policy of shunning tourists who visited Israel, 7 December 2008, Jerusalem Post
  36. ^ "Travel Advice for Sudan - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade". Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  37. ^ Travel Advice for Syria - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Syrian Ministry of Tourism
  38. ^ "Travel Advice for Yemen - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade". Retrieved 2013-07-01. 

External links[edit]