There are several visa options available for those who wish to try out Israel before making the commitment of Aliyah. All of the visas listed below are issued by Misrad Hapnim (the Ministry of Interior) in Israel. Additionally, student and temporary resident visas may be issued abroad through the Israeli Consulate. Anyone wishing to issue a temporary resident visa from abroad should contact The Jewish Agency for Israel (see the Shlichim Directory).
Nefesh B’Nefesh does not schedule appointments for visa renewals and is unable to facilitate the procedures mentioned herein. For more information, please refer to your local branch of Misrad Hapnim.
Tourist (B-2): A three-month tourist visa is typically issued when you go through Passport Control upon entering Israel. Those who qualify under the Law of Return can extend their tourist visa for up to 24 months. You are not permitted to work in Israel with this visa.
Student (A-2): Intended for students participating in academic programs or who are learning in Yeshiva. You must provide proof of enrollment in the program. The visa is valid for three consecutive years; after that, it can be renewed for a period of two years at a time. Each year, you will need to submit a document to Misrad Hapnim from your institution of study, indicating approval of studies. With this visa, you can work in Israel if you are eligible under the Law of Return and you are employed in a part-time job that does not affect your studies, unless your visa explicitly states otherwise.
Work (B-1): Granted to those who qualify under the Law of Return and who do not hold prior Israeli citizenship. This visa allows you to legally work in Israel. The visa is for a three year period. You can apply to extend it for another two years, but you cannot exceed a period of five years in total. At the end of this time period, you can either apply for Aliyah or apply for an A-5 visa, which can be extended every 2 years.
Temporary Resident (A-1): Granted to those who qualify under the Law of Return and who do not hold prior Israeli citizenship. This visa allows individuals to experience Israel (and permits them to work) before making the commitment of becoming Israeli citizens. This visa is granted for three years. Please visit Temporary Resident Visas for more information.
Please note: Misrad Hapnim requires that you present original documentation at your meeting. They do not accept photocopies or faxes
All applicants must bring their valid foreign passport to Misrad Hapnim. Your passport must be valid for at least six months after your visa will expire.
Note: If one or both of your parents held Israeli citizenship at the time of your birth, you are considered by the State of Israel to be an Israeli citizen and therefore must issue an Israeli passport. You will not be eligible to issue a visa if this applies to you. Please note that if you were born outside of Israel to an Israeli parent and you issue a Teudat Zehut (ID booklet), this will officially count as your making Aliyah.
Signed letter in English or Hebrew from a recognized Rabbi in your country of origin on official synagogue letterhead, which states the following:
- Name, location and telephone number of congregation
- Applicant’s full name and parents’ names
- Applicant (and spouse, if applicable) is Jewish and born to a Jewish mother
- If you are Jewish through your father/grandfather, please provide a letter from a recognized Rabbi in your country of origin who can confirm your Jewish heritage.
Conversion Certificate from a recognized Beit Din (Rabbinical Court). The certificate must be signed by the three members of the officiating Beit Din.
In addition to your conversion certificate, please submit two accompanying letters, as follows:
A letter from the rabbi with whom you studied in preparation for your conversion. The letter must appear on synagogue letterhead and describe the following:
- Details of your conversion process
- Where you studied (e.g. organization name)
- Relevant dates
- Community involvement
- If you have children, indicate if they were born before or after your conversion
And a letter detailing your decision to convert to Judaism and your involvement in the Jewish community since the completion of your conversion process.
You must bring your original birth certificate which lists your parents’ names.
If the birth certificate is not in English or Hebrew, please submit a copy of a notarized translation into English or Hebrew with a copy of the birth certificate.
All civil documentation issued after September 1, 1988 must be submitted with accompanying apostille certification. If the name on your passport does not match your birth certificate, and the name change is not due to marriage/divorce, please submit a copy of your official name change document, and obtain an apostille on both the birth certificate, if the certificate was issued after September 1, 1988, and the name change document.
If your birth certificate was issued after September 1, 1988, and the issuing country is not the same as the issuing country of your passport, you will require apostille certification on your birth certificate.
Please be sure to bring one recent passport-size photo with you to Misrad Hapnim. If you are applying for a temporary resident (A-1) visa, you will need to bring three identical passport size photos with you to Misrad Hapnim.
Please present civil documentation of your marital status at Misrad Hapnim. All civil documentation issued after September 1, 1988 must be submitted with accompanying apostille certification.
If you were married or divorced in Israel through the Rabbanut, an Israeli marriage/divorce certificate is admissible in lieu of a civil document with an apostille.
Extending a tourist visa: 165 NIS
Student: 165 NIS
Work: free of charge
Temporary Resident: 165 NIS