Step by Step Guide to Entering Israel
Exciting News! Israel is now open to travelers!
Like many other countries throughout the World, Israel has been closed on and off for the past 2+ years due to the pandemic. The most recent closure started in November 2021 and created numerous challenges for students looking to enter the country, especially students Now that closure has ended!
Whether you've been waiting to visit Israel with bated breath or are excited about spending your Spring semester abroad in Israel, we've wrapped up the entry requirements you need to get into the country with minimal hassle.
This post will help you with your Israel entry requirements and what to expect when you land at Ben Gurion Airport.
ISRAEL ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
Foreigners - including student Visa holders - can now enter Israel with no permit provided that you are vaccinated with the following stipulations:
Any vaccine recognized by the World Health Organization is acceptable for entry to Israel within certain time constraints:
Travelers who are vaccinated twice may enter Israel, provided that six months (180 days) have not passed since the second vaccine. 14 days must pass from the shot. One may enter Israel on the fifteenth day. The day of vaccination counts as day one. The single-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine is sufficient if received in the past 6 months (180 days).
Travelers who have received a booster (3rd shot) may enter Israel, even if more than 6 months have passed. Israel will honor it until the end of February 2022.
So, as long as you are vaccinated according to the above guidelines, your pre-flight requirements to board the plane are as follows:
1) Have your US Passport and Student Visa - if you are only visiting your passport is enough.
For information on how to obtain a student visa: https://chaimvchessed.com/information/visas/student-visa-application-renewal/
2) Have proof of your vaccinations/booster;
3) Get a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure to Israel or a negative antigen test within 24 hours of departure to Israel. This must be taken at an official lab and documentation in English must be presented, including your passport number. Tests taken at home are NOT accepted.
4) Complete the pre-flight form within 48 hours of your flight: https://corona.health.gov.il/en/flight-form-content/
Vaccination/recovery details must be entered, and documentation must be uploaded. If completed successfully, an entry declaration will be sent via email. This document may be printed or digital but it is always better to bring a printed copy of it with you to the airport.
5) Schedule your PCR test for when you arrive in Israel. You can schedule your test here: https://testngo.femi.com/en/sign-in
Many airlines have “Travel Ready” links for check-in where you can upload your passport information, Vaccination certificate, and PCR or Lab based Antigen test. They may also have the links listed above for the pre-flight form as well as the prepaid PCR test upon entry (highly recommended as it saves time once you’ve retrieved your baggage and are standing in the, typically, long line to get your entry PCR - see below for more details)
The rules with regard to entry requirements change on an ongoing basis. For the most up to date information, you can look at the following websites: https://corona.health.gov.il/en/abroad/arriving-by-air/
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU LAND IN ISRAEL
Once you’ve landed in Israel and deplaned, you’ll go through a series of checkpoints where you’ll need to show your passport and Visa. *These change constantly so the following is just a general guideline and not at all set in stone
As you’re walking along the concourse, you may be stopped and asked to show your passport. If you are not stopped along the concourse, then you will proceed toward baggage claim, where you’ll head down a wide-open hallway that leads into the immigration area.
In Immigration, you’ll get in one of the lines for foreigners. You'll be asked to show your passport with your student visa and may be asked questions about the purpose of your trip to Israel. They’ll issue you a small, rectangular piece of paper which you’ll use to pass through turnstiles into the baggage area.
Once you’ve claimed your baggage from the designated carousel for your flight, you’ll walk out through customs and be guided towards the COVID testing area, typically towards the left.
In the COVID testing area, have your prepaid receipt (with the barcode for scanning), readily available as you get in line to be tested. Once tested, you’ll get a bracelet that allows you to leave the airport, whereupon you’ll head outside with your luggage to find transportation to Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, depending on your program.
Quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers is 24 hours or until receipt of a negative PCR, the earlier of the two. You may quarantine in your homebase.
If your PCR comes back positive, and you are vaccinated, you will be required to quarantine. Currently, the time in quarantine is 7 days, with a test on the 7th day. But that number is probably going to be reduced to 5 days, according to government minister chatter.
With added steps, like getting a Covid test or filling out the Israel entry form, traveling to Israel might not look the same way it used to. Hopefully, this quick guide gave you a better idea of what to expect throughout your journey to Israel. Wishing everyone safe and healthy travels!
Check out our previous blog about Machane Yehuda for some must-stop shops while in the Jerusalem Shuk. https://www.thrivestudyabroad.org/post/machane-yehuda-the-jerusalem-shuk