Covid Travel

This page was born out of a need that exploded over the last few months to better understand the cumbersome rules for entering Israel to visit a first degree relative. We want to help families navigate COVID-19 travel rules for those who have relatives in Israel-because we believe in bridging the gaps for olim and those who love them.

If you are perplexed by the travel regulations to Israel, you aren't alone. When the government changed the rules for foreign travel to Israel, relatives were looking for some clarity to be able to properly jump through all of the hoops to secure a coveted permit to visit. And the rules change all of the time. In the last 6 months, the rules changed every 6-8 weeks. 

Please follow updates on the Facebook Group called Reunite Olim With Their Families here, where many of the same questions come up. 

 

Travel Rules as of January 9, 2022

As of midnight January 9, 2022, any tourist can come to Israel if they meet one of these vaccination or recovery guidelines: 

 
  1. Vaccinated within 180 days of the trip. Vaccinated is defined as having your second shot (or 1 shot of J&J) within 180 days, or having had a booster more than 14 days prior to the flight. Please use an online calculator here to ensure that you have calculated the 180 days correctly. One needs to wait at least 14 days after the shot, which means 15 days since the day of the shot does not count. If your booster (third shot) expires before the end of February, Israel will honor your booster until the end of February 2022. Those who received Sputnik require serological testing at Ben Gurion before one can be released from quarantine. 
  2. Recovered within 180 days of the trip only from the EU (including the UK NHS coded). Please use an online calculator to ensure that you have calculated the 180 days correctly. Recovery is proven with a digital recovery certificate only from the EU. PCR lab tests or serological tests are not accepted as evidence of recovery. 
  3. An EU equivalent recovery anytime (at any period) followed by at least a single dose of a vaccine within the last 180 days. 
Quarantine for any of the above conditions is for 24 hours or until you receive a negative PCR from Ben Gurion Airport, whichever comes first. You may quarantine at a location with a separate room and bathroom. You may take public transportation and rent a car from the airport. Please check with a hotel to see if its ok for you to quarantine in their hotel. See Quarantine section below for more information on quarantine in Israel.
Children Under 1:  Children under 1 can come to Israel with parents who are approved for entry (ie valid 48-hour form). There is no need to complete the 48 hour form for these children. Their quarantine is 14 days, which can be reduced to  5 days with 2 PCRs (day 1 at the airport and day 5 with a lab-based rapid antigen). 
Children Under 18 Born to Israeli Citizens Abroad: Children under 18 born to Israeli citizens outside of Israel have the standing of Israeli citizens, without the need to register them as Israeli citizens. They need to file for a permit at the Consulate or Misrad Hapnim (see instructions below) and will receive one without the need to register as an Israeli citizen. If they are unvaccinated, they have 14 day quarantine which can be reduced to  5 days with 2 PCRs (day 1at the airport and day 5 with a lab-based rapid antigen). If they are recovered in the last 6 months (even without a digital recovery certificate) they note their recovery date on the 48-hour form, come with their positive PCR test from their diagnosis, do a serological test at Ben Gurion, and request release from quarantine (See #3 under Quarantine in Israel below).  
Recently Recovered: If you are from the EU or the UK and contracted Covid outside of Israel, you may travel to Israel on day 8 with your recovery certificate and your positive PCR test from your diagnosis. If you contracted Covid anywhere else, you may travel on day 8 but must meet the vaccination requirements noted above. If, for some reason, you are able to produce a negative lab-based rapid antigen, you can fly to Israel before 8 days. You are exempt from a pre-flight PCR for up to 3 months but are not exempt from PCR at Ben Gurion. To be released from quarantine as a recently recovered patient outside of Israel, see #3 under Quarantine in Israel below.

    Ministry of Health and Ministry of Interior Rules:

     

    1. MOH rules: It is important to have the rules from the Ministry of Health at your fingertips when you check in, just in case there is an airline agent who is not familiar with all of the above. The Ministry of Health rules can be found here.
    2. Ministry of Interior: You can find Ministry of Interior rules about entry to Israel in Hebrew here and English here (although the English version does not always match up with the Hebrew version). 
    3. Violation of MOH rules: Violation of MOH rules, particularly as it relates to falsifying vaccination records or refusing to go to a Corona hotel if asked to do so, can result in a ban from the country. Violating quarantine rules can result in a substantial fine. 
    4. What if I don't meet vaccination or recovery requirements: Please know that if you do not meet the above noted criteria or the exceptions, there is no other option for you at this time. You cannot simply offer to quarantine instead of meeting the criteria unless it is an exceptional circumstance. 
    5. Quarantine: All arrivals in Israel (citizens included), if they meet the above noted entry criteria, have 24 hour quarantine or until they receive a negative PCR test from Ben Gurion, whichever comes first. See Quarantine section below for more information. 
    6. Serological tests: You no longer need serological tests in Israel unless you are vaccinated by Sputnik, or if you are recently recovered and need the serological test to get out of quarantine. 
    7. Public transportation: One can take public transportation from the airport. 
    8. Hotels: Please check with your hotel to see if they will allow you to do quarantine there.  AirBnBs tend to allow you to quarantine in their locations.

      Documents Needed For Entry:

       

      1. 48-Hour Entry Declaration Form: Everyone must do the Health Ministry Declaration Form within 48 hours of the flight to Israel, including citizens. Once you file this form properly, within minutes you will receive an email from “Do Not Reply-MOH,” Entry Statement which is the record you need to show at the airport. Your green pass will be included as a PDF file, along with your permit, if you qualify for entry. 

      If you received a booster recently, you can only file this 48 entry declaration form on a date when Israel considers you vaccinated. For example, if you had a booster on November 1, you can file for a permit on November 15, 14 days not including the day of the injection. 


      Completing The 48-hour Form - How To Tips:

      a. Must be completed within 48 hours of a flight. It will be the basis of your entry to Israel. You must be fully vaccinated or recovered according to Israeli standards noted above at the time you complete the form.

      b. Give them an Israeli cell number. The Ministry of Health releases you from quarantine via SMS to an Israeli cell only.

      c. One form per passenger. Please don't add other passengers to it. If one passenger has a problem, it can effect the other. Keep each one to its own.

      d. Provide specific flight information, i.e., the name of the airline, the flight number and the estimated time that it arrives in Israel.

      e. You will need a specific isolation location, with a specific street address and house number that cannot be changed later on.

      f. If you are entering Israel based on vaccinations, you will need to type in your vaccinations and upload a PDF version of your vaccination records. If you have an EU or UK digital certificate, use it. If you have any other form of vaccination certificates, make a PDF and upload it.  Manually enter each vaccination in chronological order (first, second and then third) and upload the PDF from the vaccination. DO NOT enter any recovery information if you are recovered outside of the EU or UK. If you are uploading a vaccination record that is not digitally accepted by Israel, you will get this statement "Sorry, unable to verify the certificate. If you filled out vaccination or recovery details, they will be forwarded to the Health Ministry for further processing. You can continue filling out the rest of the form." It will look like this. Just continue completing the form until the end. 

      g. If you are entering Israel based on an EU or UK recovery from the last 6 months, type in your recovery and upload your digital recovery certificate. 

      h. If you are entering Israel based on an EU or UK recovery certificate from anytime, and one vaccination from the last 6 months, type in your recovery and your vaccination date, and upload your digital vaccination certificate. 

      i. If you got your booster 14 days ago (not including the day of the shot), you have to wait until that 14th day to file the entry statement. You cannot file on the 13th day for travel on the 14th day. The form doesn't like it and you will get an email that you cannot enter Israel. As an example, if you vaccinated with a booster on November 1, you can travel on November 15th. But you cannot complete the entry form on November 14th because the form "sees you" as unvaccinated. This means that if you intended to fly on day 14, you will be filing the form on the same day as your travel. If that high wire act is not for you, arrange your flight two days after your booster to give you the full 48 hours to file the entry form.

      j. The first important screen on the form is this one. You select the name of your vaccine and you enter in the date you were vaccinated (chronological order). There is a + sign for you to add subsequent vaccine dates. 

      k. The screen will instruct you to upload your vaccine records. It looks like this. Upload a PDF copy of your vaccination as noted above in sections f, g or h.  It must be a PDF and smaller than 1 MB. Use www.ilovepdf.com to compress the file if it is too big. 

      l. The bottom of the vaccination screen will ask if you took a rapid or a PCR.  The screen looks like this. If you are exempt from a pre-flight PCR because you recently recovered from COVID, you do not check off any of those boxes. Just complete the form without it. 

      m. You did it right if you get an approval on the last screen that says you are OK to board. The bottom of the screen allows you to download your incoming statement and your green pass but you also need the email that confirms you did the entry hour form. That email is received immediately after you complete the form, it is from "do-not-reply-MOH," and the email subject is "Entry Statement."  It will lead in Hebrew and is followed by English. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the email and you will see a PDF that looks like this. Notice that it says you are able to board the plane (highlighted in green). The incoming statement must be valid at the time of departure (not arrival in Israel). A green pass will also be received at the same time which looks like this. You will need the green pass, the incoming statement and the "do-not-reply" email to board (not applicable during the travel ban). The green pass goes into effect 1 day after arrival (accounting for 24 hour quarantine). If you do not receive an email from MOH, and you are convinced you followed all of the instructions, try a different email address (like Gmail). Please note that the email you receive has a sentence that says you quarantine for only 24 hours or until a negative PCR test, whichever comes first. 

      n. Your tav tarok will generally be valid for a 1 month period unless your vaccinations expire while you are in Israel, in which case the expiry date on your tav will be the 180th day. See the Green Pass section below if your stay in Israel exceeds one month. 

      o. You MUST print every single document. Print the email that came as a result of the 48 hour form even though it is long (starts in Hebrew and ends in English). Print the incoming statement that looks like this. Print the tav yarok.  Print everything. Every email and every attachment. 

      p. You DO NOT need to upload your PCR tests to this form or to any other Israeli government form before you travel. You give your PCR tests to the airline ticket agent at the airport. 

      q. Bring your original vaccination records to the airport. 

      r. Reminder that children under 1 do not need the 48-hour form. 

       

      2. 72-Hour Pre-Flight PCR or 24-Hour Rapid Antigen: You can either have a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of your departure to Israel or a rapid antigen taken within 24 hours of tour flight to Israel. Try and include your passport number on the PCR test, although one can manage without it. An exemption from pre-departure PCR test will be granted to those recovered, if at least 8 days and no more than 3 months have passed from the day of the COVID diagnosis. You must have a PCR and not a rapid antigen to exercise this exemption. Note this exemption is for pre-departure PCR tests only; it is not an exemption from the PCR test on arrival in Israel. See Quarantine section below if you are recently recovered and how you apply for release from quarantine. 

      Reminder that children under 18 born to Israeli citizens outside of Israel bring their permit from the Consulate or Misrad Hapnim.

      Bring your PCR or rapid antigen test, your Entry Declaration Form, your vaccination or recovery records, and/or your permit to the airport.

      Protocol Upon Arrival Israel: 

       

      1. Everyone, bar none, including Israeli citizens, need to take a PCR test upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport. Please reserve your test in advance with TestnGo. Please use an Israeli cell for TestnGo results.
      2. There is no need for serological testing anymore, except for those who received the Sputnik vaccine. They have to wait for serological testing to be released from quarantine. If you are recently recovered, do a serological test at Ben Gurion in order to get released from quarantine (see Quarantine section below). 
      3. If you test positive at Ben Gurion Airport, according the Ministry of Health, anyone who tests positive might be required to go to a Corona hotel at his/her own expense. Those who refuse to go to a hotel can be barred from entry for a period of time. 
      4. On your TestnGo form, please use an Israeli cell number. That is where you will receive results of your PCR test. Failure to provide an Israeli cellphone number can become problematic and it can take longer to receive notification that you tested negative and therefore out of bidud. 
      5. If you need to reach TestnGo, you reach them at 03-5688505; Whatsapp:  052-2822170; Email: testngo_support@femi.com.
      6. It is important to maintain the email you received from your entry form and carry it with you, along with your tav yarok. 
      7. Please know that travelers' vaccination records are randomly checked when they come into Israel so be prepared for it to happen. 
      Quarantine In Israel:
      Please remember that Israel's official quarantine law is 14 days. Always. See my post here. It has always been 14 days and it will always be 14 days. You might get a letter that says you have 14 days of quarantine. Do not panic. Quarantine has been shortened to a variety of time periods. As of this writing, the minimal quarantine is 24 hours. Please note the varying levels of quarantine:

      1. 24-hour quarantine: Everyone (including Israeli citizens) who is vaccinated within 180, recovered within 180 days, or boosted, has 24 hour quarantine until receipt of the negative PCR test (which ever is earlier). You no longer need serological testing in Israel unless you have the Sputnik vaccine, as noted above. 
      2. 5-day quarantine: There is a 5-day quarantine for those who test positive for COVID at any time in Israel, including at Ben Gurion Airport, and for those who are considered unvaccinated by Israeli protocol (Israelis past their 180 or children, for example). On day 5, you can do a lab based rapid antigen and if it is negative, you are out of quarantine. You can receive a doctor's letter from any doctor that you have recovered on day 6, and you can fly on day 6. If you test positive one your day 5 rapid, you must stay in quarantine until day 7 without a rapid antigen on that day. On day 8, you get a letter from any doctor in Israel that you have completed 7 day quarantine and are fit to fly. If you are asked but refuse to go to a hotel if you are positive, you can be barred from entering Israel for 5 years. 
      3. Recently recovered outside of Israel: In order to fly to Israel after a recent recovery, you can fly on day 8 after your PCR diagnosis. If, for some reason, you can secure a lab based antigen negative prior to day 8, you can fly, but this tends to be medically difficult to secure. You are exempt from PCR pre flight, but not from PCR at Ben Gurion. Accordingly, if you test positive at Ben Gurion because you were recently recovered, you have to request release from quarantine from MOH. You ought to bring a recovery letter from your doctor in case you are asked for it, your positive PCR test from your diagnosis, and your passport.  You cannot apply for release from quarantine before you arrive in Israel. Complete this form as instructed and attach the documents noted (passport and positive PCR from diagnosis). The form cannot be accessed from a cell phone and to access the form in English, click the menu bar in the top left. You know you have done this form correctly when you receive the form back via email in a PDF. It will have a reference number.  It can take a few days to be released from quarantine.
      4. Testing Positive in Israel: If you test positive in Israel, either at Ben Gurion or during the course of your stay, you are required to quarantine for 5 days. On day 5, you must do a lab-based rapid antigen and if it is negative, on day 6, you can get a letter from any registered doctor in Israel, with your passport number, indicating that you have been in quarantine for the requisite period, that your rapid was negative on day 5, and that you have recovered. If you test positive one your day 5 rapid, you must stay in quarantine until day 7 without a rapid antigen on day 7. On day 8, you get a letter from any doctor in Israel that you have completed 7 day quarantine and are fit to fly. Some private doctors in the Jerusalem and Tel Aviv area include Diskin Medical Center in the Jerusalem area, or Tel-Aviv DoctorsBikur Rofe has clinics around the country (call *6101) but they are quite backed up. Take the doctor's recovery letter and your positive PCR to the airport and you can leave but make sure you have plenty of time at the airport for this bureaucracy. 
      5. It is important for you to try and get an official recovery certificate from MOH which looks like this. If you are an Israeli citizen, you MUST get this recovery certificate before leaving Israel. It is an official health document that shows (in English and Hebrew) that you had Covid in Israel and recovered. It can also be used to re-enter Israel for the next 3 months. To secure a recovery certificate, use this form (same form as the one noted above in #3, click the globe in the upper left for English) uploading the doctor's letter, your positive PCR test from your diagnosis with your negative antigen from day 5, and your passport. You ought to eventually receive a recovery certificate but not one knows how long this will take. Another option is to try the desktop version (only) of the Ramzor website here. Click on the Covid Certificate box. You will need to provide an Israeli cell number and an email. If it works, you will be able to download your Covid Recovery Certificate which looks like this

         

        Green Pass - Tav Yarok:

         

        1. The purpose of a tav yarok is for you to be able to enter certain places like restaurants or places of leisure.
        2. If you meet the criteria for entry to Israel, your tav yarok is sent to your email once you are approved for entry (from the 48 hour form noted above.)  
        3. You need this tav to board the plane.
        4. If you are in Israel and need a new tav yarok, you can redo the entry form here, as if you are flying the same day and it will produce a Tav Yarok. Follow the instructions above for doing the entry form (Completing the 48-Hour Form, Tips). In the alternative, you can complete this form but it takes about 10 days for MOH to respond to this request. 
        5. If you cannot get a Green Pass and need one fairly quickly, you may take a rapid antigen or a PCR in order to enter facilities that must comply with the Green Pass restrictions. Rapid is good for 24 hours from testing and PCR is good for 72 hours from testing. Rules on this can be found here.
        6. Every time you leave Israel, the tav is no longer valid. You need a new one every time. 
        7. If you want the tav to appear on your phone, download the Ramzor app from Google Play or Apple and scan your tav's QR code into it. 
        8. The green pass will have a QR code. You ought to save that document on your cell phone so it can be scanned at Israeli locations that require it. As noted, you can also try to scan it into your Ramzor phone app. 
        9. If you have a vaccination record that has a QR code, try to scan it into the Ramzor app. 
        10. If you cannot succeed in any of the above, call the Ministry of Health anytime at *5400. 

          PCR or Rapid Antigen Testing In Israel: 

          Should you need PCR testing in Israel for whatever reason, you can find a comprehensive list at Corona Test Israel. Please note that rapid antigen tests are 15 minute tests and can be taken at Terem and other places as noted on the Corona Test Israel website. Simply sort by antigen and a list will come up.

           

          Leaving Israel:

           

          1. The most important thing is for you to find out what the requirements are to enter back into your home country. As of this writing, for instance, the United States requires a test within 1 day of your flight and the only timely option is a rapid antigen. South Africa requires a negative PCR within 72 hours, even if you are recently recovered. It is therefore important for you to understand what it takes to return home. Please be aware that airline clerks at Ben Gurion Airport are not always aware of these rules and it might be safer to just take a pre flight PCR test. Please see the Ministry of Health rules of each country to which you are traveling. 
          2. At the bare minimum you ought to do a 24 hour rapid antigen before you enter Ben Gurion but please be aware that this does not include the requirements of your home country as noted above. 
          3. If you were recently recovered in Israel, see the procedures in the Quarantine section above, #4 and #5. Please know that if you are an Israeli citizen, you will be given a hard time at the airport if you don't have a teudat hachlama as noted above in #5 under Quarantine. 
          4. A comprehensive list of PCR testing around Israel can be found at Corona Test Israel. Hatzala is open at a few locations 24/6 and so does Check2Fly at a number of locations in the Tel Aviv area. Please check the listings on Corona Test Israel.
          5. Test2Fly now operates at the airport in two locations: Drive-in for vehilces at parking lot 28, Ben Gurion Airport, or walk in at parking Lot 28, at Ben Gurion Airport. Both are open 24/7. Standard tests (14 hour results) are 89 NIS, express tests (4 hour results) are 149NIS, and there is an option to book an at home appointment (call *2672). All information about Test2Fly can be found here
          6. Only Israelis (including dual citizens) have to file this form before they leave, declaring that they will not be traveling to a "red" country. The fine for violating this rule is 5000 NIS.


              Filing At The Consulates or Misrad Hapnim:

              Should you not meet the vaccination or recovery standards to enter Israel with the 48-hour form, and need to file for a special permit, you can file either at the Consulate or at Misrad Hapnim for that special permit. If you live outside of Israel, you can apply on the Consulate portalA similar application can be filed as Misrad Hapnim in Israel by the first degree relatives inside Israel online. That application can be found at Misrad Hapnim's portal here. I recommend that you file at both. See below for how to file at both locations. 

              Consulate Portal Tips: The consulate portal can be found here. The following are tips for completing the consulate application: 

              A. One form for every single traveler but start with a "primary" to link other travelers. Open up multiple applications in multiple tabs and cross reference the other since the application number is at the start of every new online form. You can add a number of rows to the application so it is easy to connect multiple applications to one. 

              B. Upload your passports and make sure they don't expire in the next 6 months.

              C. Upload your vaccination records and/or your digital recovery. Create 1 file and upload them. To merge files use www.ilovepdf.com

              D. For weddings: Under "Purpose of Trip," select "Attending a wedding of Israeli citizens or permanent residents or foreigners who reside in Israel. Upload the tik rabbanut, the invitation and any other information relating to the wedding including the contract with the hall. Create 1 file and upload them. To merge files use www.ilovepdf.com. If you are applying for a child's wedding, make sure to include their birth certificates and parents' marriage license. If it is for a sibling's wedding, include the birth certificate of both siblings. If its for a grandchild, include birth certificate of the bride/groom and parent to prove linkage. 

              E. For births: Under purpose of trip, select "Foreign grandparents who are requesting to visit Israel on the occasion of the birth of their grandchild (providing that the grandchild's family is residing in Israel)." Please attach all birth certificates, records from the doctor about the due date, and all other relevant documents as noted. If you are applying for a student visa holder expectant parent, please include their passports with their visas. 

              F. For Lone Soldiers/Bnot Sherut: Under purpose of trip,  "A lone soldier or a Sherut Leumi volunteer or a visit of their first-degree relatives." Attach the lone soldier/bat sherut's evidence that they are lone soldiers or lone bnot sherut, IDF and/or sherut leumi cards. You will also need their birth certificates.

              G. For bar mitzvahs: For purpose of trip, select First Degree relative and make sure to attach the bar or bat mitzvah's birth certificate, evidence that they are Israeli citizens (sefach from parent's TZ), his/her parents birth certificates, and the invitation. 

              H. For Student Visa Holders: Make sure to upload the pages from your student visa along with your medical insurance (which you likely have from Israel). 

              I. Under 18 Born To Israeli Citizens Abroad: Upload parents' birth certificates to show their birth in Israel, and the child's birth to show they were born to that Israeli parent. If the form requires you to upload documents on registries, just upload a document that says under new regulations you are not required to register children under 18. 

              J. COVID specific medical insurance. Even though the rules had been dispensed, the consulate requires this for its permits. Some of the companies we know of that provide such insurance include Allianz, Berkshire Hathaway, Trawick, IMG, Travelex, Square Mouth, TinLeg, Egert Cohen, Harel, Travel Guard and Travelinsuranceisrael.com). Make sure that it covers the length of your stay in Israel. Highlight the names of the insured and the COVID coverage language.

              K. Teudat Zehut and/or Israeli passport of the relevant Israeli citizen 

              L. Proof of family connection:  The most important part of the application is this element. For parents of Israeli brides/grooms, you need the birth certificate of the Israeli citizen with both parents' names, and marriage license of the parents should the mother's last name be different than the birth certificate. If you are applying to attend the wedding of a sibling, attach the birth certificates for the siblings. Highlight all of the relevant names on these documents to make it easy for the reader. 

              M. Obligation To Abide by Israel's MOH Rules HERE (aka, Health Declaration or Isolation form). This is a required field for all applications. 

              N. Ticket

              O. Refiling: If, for some reason, you have to refile at the Consulate, type the letter P in front of your passport number to get past the 14-day block on refiling.

              P. Size of files: Please make sure that your PDF or JPG files are compressed to under 1 MB. Otherwise, there can be documents that do not upload. Use www.ilovepdf.com to compress and merge as needed. 

              Q. Presence in Israel: You cannot file for a permit if the Israeli citizen is not in Israel at the time. Trust me, they know if you have left the country and they will deny the application if they see you are out of Israel at the time of the application. 

              R. PDF of Application: Once you complete the application, you will receive an email acknowledging receipt. In that email, you will find a PDF copy of your application. Check it carefully to make sure ALL of the documents uploaded. If the documents did not upload, it is likely because some of them were above 1MB. Recompress those document.s

              S. Permit length: If approved, you will receive a permit for 30 days. You must travel to Israel within those 30 days. The permit is one time use only. It cannot be extended and if you want to travel outside of those 30 days, you will need to refile. You will not be given a new ishur until your current one runs out. 

              T. Humanitarian and Funerals: First degree relatives and their spouses can apply to come to Israel for a funeral (for funeral only and no quarantine). First degree relatives of Israelis who are in critical condition can apply for a permit, with full quarantine rules in effect.

              You will receive an immediate email confirmation back from the Consulate when you properly submit the form. Please check your spam in case you don't see it. There will be a PDF document attached to that email. Check it to make sure it includes all of the documents you uploaded and send it to us to make sure it contains everything you need.

              Emergency Situations: If you have an emergency situation, have applied to the consulate and have not heard back within 72 hours, please email the application here: Humanitarian.permits@mfa.gov.il

              Misrad Hapnim TipsAs noted, the Misrad Hapnim portal can be found here. The following are tips for completing the Misrad Hapnim application: 

              A. Only accessible in Israel: You cannot access the portal from outside of Israel unless you create a VPN. If you live in Israel but try to apply when you are temporarily outside of Israel, Misrad Hapnim knows that you left the country and will deny your request until they have recorded your re-entry to Israel.

              B. It is all in Hebrew: It will never be in English or any other language for that matter. Contact us if you need help. Please circle all of the important information in your documents to make it easier for the readers at Misrad Hapnim.

              C. Download the application: Too many people forget this step! When you complete the application, there is a screen that says "horada." Don't forget to download the whole application in PDF, and save the file because if you miss this step, you will never have a copy of what you submitted. Check your downloaded application to make sure it is not missing documents, and if it is, refile with documents that are under 1.2MB.

              D. First section of the form "Hamazmin" (the "inviter") is the Israeli citizen: He/she will have to put in their personal information (TZ, email, phone, and address) in order to be directed to the right branch office in one's area. If one enters a foreign passport, it is assumed that Misrad Hapnim knows what kind of visa they have and will act accordingly.

              E. "Hamuzman" (the "invitee") is the foreigner: Here one has to enter the name and passport number of the person who seeks a permit. To add two invitees or more, just press the + sign for "hosafat muzman" and can add the information for all the other invitees.

              F. Document attachment (under 1MB): You are only given 6 fields in which to attach documents - the passport field, the AS1 field (see below), the isolation form field, the first degree relation field, the vaccination field, and the COVID insurance field. This effectively means that if you have 2 applicants, you need to combine documents into 1 file. Create 1 document for all passports. Create 1 document for all isolation forms. Create 1 document for all of birth certificates and marriage licenses that prove the first degree relation. To create 1 PDF from multiple documents, use www.ilovepdf.com.

              G. No other information can be attached: You can't explain your application or any special circumstances. All documents need to be included in the first degree relation file. 

              H. Tickets or itinerary: These ought to be included with the passport files.

              I. Compress files: Files cannot be larger than 1.2MB for each field. The website ilovepdf.com is your friend.

              J. Israeli citizens living outside of Israel: You cannot file via Misrad Hapnim. You need to use the Consulate system.

              K. Foreigner's passport. Picture page. Make sure it does not expire within 6 months or you can be rejected. If you have more than 1 invitee, you need to create 1 file with all those passports in 1 file. Add the tickets to this file.

              L. Ashrat Knisa (AS1) form here. Please do not stress this form. It seems to make everyone a little crazy. You only need 1 per family. Leave the top part of the form blank. First section is for the Israeli inviter (whether they are a business or individual). Second section is for the invitee, the foreigner's information. Third section is for the spouse of invitee. Fourth section is for the children of the invitee if they are minor children who are traveling. Children who are not traveling need not be included. Bottom of page 1 asks for prior visits to Israel - just do the month and year of 1 or 2 of them. On the second page, the permanent address in Israel can be left blank or include your family in Israel. Regarding signatures on page 2, first signature is by the Israeli applicant and second one is by the foreigner. You can see a fake one dummied up here. Mickey Mouse is the Israeli and Mom Mouse is the foreigner being invited. 

              M. Proof of first degree relation. There is only one field to upload this information, so if you need to upload two birth certificates (for proof of siblings) or a marriage certificate and a birth certificate, you will have to combine the documents into one. If you need to show that the first degree relative is a lone soldier or lone bat sherut, upload here. If you need to show relationships with grandparents for a wedding, then you need to upload birth certificates here too and the tik rabbanut and the wedding invitation. For bar or bat mitzvahs, make sure to attach the bar or bat mitzvah's birth certificate, evidence that they are Israeli citizens (sefach from parent's TZ), his/her parents birth certificates, and the invitation. For births, include the doctor's note about the due date, and if you are applying for a student visa holder expectant parent, please include their passports with their visas. 

              N. Isolation Form (aka Health Declaration Form) HERE.  One isolation form must be completed and signed for each traveler, and combined into 1 document for upload. 

              O. Vaccination record or recovery certificate.  Only digital recovery from the UK or the EU is accepted. Non digital vaccine records are accepted. If there is more than 1 invitee, combine the vaccination records in 1 document and upload.

              P. Insurance document: Circle or highlight the names of insured and where the COVID insurance coverage is. Make it easy for them. And make sure it covers the entire stay in Israel.

              Q.  Presence in Israel: You cannot file for a permit if the Israeli citizen is not in Israel at the time. Trust me, they know if you have left the country and they will deny the application if they see you are out of Israel at the time of the application.

              R. Permit length: If approved, you will receive a permit for 30 days. You must travel to Israel within those 30 days. The permit is one time use only. It cannot be extended and if you want to travel outside of those 30 days, you will need to refile. You will not be given a new ishur until your current one runs out. 

               

               

              Red Countries/High Risk:  As January 9, 2022, there are no more red countries. To track the status of countries, click here.

              Orange Countries: Any country that is not red is considered "orange." Nearly every country in the world is categorized by Israel as orange.

              Last update made: January 25, 2021

              A few important things to keep in mind all the time:

              Rules can change. Forms can change. They have changed at least 7times since April 2021. And they change rules at the last minute.

              Not next week or next month. So it's hard to answer questions on what might happen for Hanukkah or in January 2022 or Pesach 2022, so don't ask.

               


              What is a first degree relative? Well no one defines it well enough, so here is the short and brutal answer. A first degree relative is someone you sit shiva for. Parents, children, and siblings and their spouses. In some cases, we have heard that half siblings and step-siblings who have secured permits. You have a better chance if you are a half-sibling than if you are a step sibling. The Ministry of Health will consider permit requests for grandparents of brides and grooms who are Israeli citizens. However, you will need birth certificates in order to prove the relationship from grandparent down to the grandchild. 

              First degree relatives can bring a spouse and children (under 18) but all applicants for a permit must be vaccinated or recovered, and each needs a separate permit request. For a period of time, Israel issued permits for children under 6 without a recovery certificate, allowing them to do a full quarantine period (10-14 days at the time). They have rescinded that policy and no foreign children can receive a permit without a vaccination or recovery letter, with the exception of a child under 1, who does not need a recovery letter, but must do full quarantine (7 days) and must have a specific permit.  

              Vaccinated (or recovered) parents of student visa holders can receive approval to enter Israel for the birth of a grandchild - within 30 days prior to the due date or within 30 days of the birth. The application must include all the regular documentation plus: Copies of both parents passports and visas, and the baby's birth certificate or a letter from a doctor with the due date. Please note that paternal grandparents have been rejected from receiving a permit but we suggest that you try anyway. Some seem to get through.

              Foreign yeshiva student between the ages of 17-25 can be issued student visas for the upcoming (2021-2022) academic year if they are vaccinated or have proof of recovery with a previous positive PCR test. The institution must file an organized list of incoming students to the government and the list will be sent to Ben Gurion Airport to allow travel into Israel between July 25 and August 8, 2021. They will receive student visas only until December 2021 and the institution is responsible for extending the visa. 

              Student visa holders with an mֿ\ר or the word רבות on their visa can travel in and out of Israel without a permit, unless they are from a red country. If you are student visa holder but are in a banned/red country, you need to get to a "green" one for 14 days and apply for a permit from there. 

              Israelis living outside of Israel can now travel to Israel with their non-Israeli children without the need to register them as Israelis first. But the process of registering them as Israelis had to have been started. It is complicated and it is time consuming. Please see the post here and complete all the paperwork related to registration of children born to Israelis outside of Israel.

              A reminder about children. Today, all foreign children (with the exception of those under 1) require evidence of a vaccination or a recovery letter. Children under 1 must do full quarantine (7 days). There was a time when children under 6 were allowed do enter and do quarantine. That is no longer the case. 

               

               

              For many months, Misrad Hapnim was not a centralized operation. Some took the application via email. Others could walk in. Nearly all found it maddening and stressful dealing with such a decentralized process. Today, Misrad Hapnim's Population and Immigration Authority has this online portal, accessible only from an Israeli IP address. To access it outside of Israel, create a VPN.

              Misrad Hapnim Portal Tips 

              • Little Room For Error: You can't amend a file and if you make a mistake or forget a document, you have to refile the entire application. If you are asked by a Misrad Hapnim to send another document, they mean refile the whole application, and not just email a document in response. 
              • Only accessible in Israel: You cannot access the portal from outside of Israel unless you create a VPN. If you live in Israel but try to apply when you are temporarily outside of Israel, Misrad Hapnim knows that you left the country and will deny your request until they have recorded your re-entry to Israel. 
              • It is all in Hebrew: It will never be in English or any other language for that matter. Contact us if you need help. Please circle all of the important information in your documents to make it easier for the readers at Misrad Hapnim.
              • Download the application: Too many people forget this step! When you complete the application, there is a screen that says "horada." Don't forget to download the whole application in PDF, and save the file because if you miss this step, you will never have a copy of what you submitted. Check your downloaded application to make sure it is not missing documents, and if it is, refile with documents that are under 1.2MB. 
              • First section of the form "Hamazmin" (the "inviter") is the Israeli citizen or can be a visa holder: He/she will have to put in their personal information (TZ, email, phone, and address) in order to be directed to the right branch office in one's area. If one enters a foreign passport, it is assumed that Misrad Hapnim knows what kind of visa they have and will act accordingly. 
              • "Hamuzman" (the "invitee") is the foreigner: Here one has to enter the name and passport number of the person who seeks a permit. To add two invitees or more, just press the + sign for "hosafat muzman" and can add the information for all the other invitees. 
              • Kind of permit sought: There are a few options 
                • For a spouse or significant other 
                • First degree relative 
                • Experts/artists/sports 
                • Other permits 
              • Document attachment (under 1MB): You are only given 6 fields in which to attach documents - the passport field, the AS1 field (see below), the isolation form field, the first degree relation field, the vaccination field, and the COVID insurance field. This effectively means that if you have 2 applicants, you need to combine documents into 1 file. Create 1 document for all passports. Create 1 document for all isolation forms. Create 1 document for all of birth certificates and marriage licenses that prove the first degree relation. To create 1 PDF from multiple documents, use www.ilovepdf.com
              • No other information can be attached: You can't explain your application or any special circumstances. So if you have a lone soldier, those documents need to be included in the first degree relation file.
              • Tickets or itinerary: These ought to be included with the passport files. 
              • Compress files: Files cannot be larger than 1.2MB for each field. The website ilovepdf.com is your friend.
              • Israeli citizens living outside of Israel: You cannot file via Misrad Hapnim. You need to use the Consulate system.
              • Similar documents as consulate: The documents one needs for Misrad Hapnim and the Consulate are similar so families can work together to get both applications done.
              Misrad Hapnim Document Punch List: These are document fields for the Misrad Hapnim application, in the precise order as it appears on the portal: 
              • Foreigner's passport. Picture page. Make sure it does not expire within 6 months or you can be rejected. If you have more than 1 invitee, you need to create 1 file with all those passports in 1 file. Add the tickets to this file.
              • Ashrat Knisa (AS1) form here. Please do not stress this form. It seems to make everyone a little crazy. You only need 1 per family. Leave the top part of the form blank. First section is for the Israeli inviter (whether they are a business or individual). Second section is for the invitee, the foreigner's information. Third section is for the spouse of invitee. Fourth section is for the children of the invitee if they are minor children who are traveling. Children who are not traveling need not be included. Bottom of page 1 asks for prior visits to Israel - just do the month and year of 1 or 2 of them. On the second page, the permanent address in Israel can be left blank or include your family in Israel. Regarding signatures on page 2, first signature is by the Israeli applicant and second one is by the foreigner. You can see a fake one dummied up here. Mickey Mouse is the Israeli and Mom Mouse is the foreigner being invited. 
              • Proof of first degree relation. There is only one field to upload this information, so if you need to upload two birth certificates (for proof of siblings) or a marriage certificate and a birth certificate, you will have to combine the documents into one. This is the place to add an explanation letter to explain who is related to whom.
              • Isolation Form (aka Health Declaration Form) here.  One isolation form must be completed and signed for each traveler, and combined into 1 document for upload. 
              • Vaccination record or recovery letter. Try to have your recovery doctor's letter be as detailed as possible, (i.e., a positive PCR test when the person had COVID and a negative PCR test for then they recovered.) It is your best chance of receiving a permit. We have seen too many that were rejected without this information. If there is more than 1 invitee, combine the vaccination records in 1 document and upload.
              • Insurance document: Circle or highlight the names of insured and where the COVID insurance coverage is. Make it easy for them. And make sure it covers the entire stay in Israel.
              Receipt: Unlike the Consulate form, you simply receive an automatic response that you submitted the application with a case number and the Misrad Hapnim office it was routed to. You will not receive a PDF copy of your application. If you failed to download the application when you were prompted for a "horada," you will not have a full copy of your application. 
              Permit30 days from the issuance of the document. You have to get on a plane to Israel before the 30th day. Please count the days and don't over shoot it. It looks different than the Consulate one, with a proper logo and signature.

              A reminder about children. Today, all foreign children above the age of 1 require evidence of a vaccination or a recovery letter, the latter with specifics on the positive PCR, the negative PCR which demonstrate recovery. There was a time when children under 6 were allowed to enter and do quarantine. That is no longer the case. Children under 1 who receive a permit must do full quarantine (7 days). 

              Once you have your permit to travel to Israel, PRINT IT, along with all the other documents above. It is good to have it all. Before You Fly:

              1. Entry Form: 48-hours before your flight, you will complete the Ministry of Health’s Entry Declaration Form here. For those who have traveled to Israel previously, you will know this as the “24-hour pre-flight form.” Once you file this form properly, within minutes you will receive an email from “Do Not Reply-MOH,” which is the record you need to show at the airport. Your green pass is supposed to be included. If your vaccination certificate is not digitally validated in Israel with a vaccination record that has a QR code, it could take longer to receive this email.
              Every single person who enters Israel must complete this form, even Israeli citizens. 
              Tips for completing this form correctly:
              • Must be completed within 48-hours of a flight. It will be the basis of your entry to Israel.
              • Provide specific flight information, i.e., the name of the airline, the flight number and the estimated time that it arrives in Israel.
              • You will need a specific isolation location, with a specific street address and house number that cannot be changed later on.
              • Give them an Israeli cell number because they will send you an SMS only to an Israeli cell to release you from bidud.
              • Upload your vaccination records via PDF. If you have a vaccination record with a QR code, use it.
              • If you are submitting a recovery letter along with positive PCR results, or any other multi-page document, you must merge them into one file.
              • Make sure all files are under 1MB. Use www.ilovepdf.com to merge and compress files.
                2. 72-Hour Pre Flight PCR: Everyone needs a negative PCR test from within 72 hours prior to takeoff. It cannot be a rapid test. It must be a PCR test. It can't be more than 72 hours before you fly. Please account for connecting flights or the PCR test will not be valid and because of this, it's best to try a direct flight. Please note that some airlines have requested a passport number on the top of the PCR test result. If you have recently recovered from COVID, you are exempt from a PCR test for up to 3 months from day 11 of your diagnosis. However, you must present a valid positive PCR test results that shows the day of your diagnosis. 
                3. Schedule a PCR/Serological Testing at Ben Gurion: PCR and serological testing at the airport is done by TestNGo. TestNGo's site for booking can be found here. Please give them an Israeli cell because that is where you will receive an SMS when you are released from quarantine. You can prepay for PCR tests (80 NIS). You are not exempted from a PCR test in Israel, even if you were recently recovered. Please contact us if you have questions about this issue.
                1. On your TestnGo form, please use an Israeli cell number. That is where you will receive results of your PCR test. Failure to provide an Israeli cellphone number can become problematic.
                2. 24-hour quarantine: Most visitors arriving in Israel will be held to this level of quarantine, which means that you are released after you receive a negative PCR result from the airport or when 24 hours has passed – whichever comes first.
                3. 7-day quarantine: This is or anyone with a valid Israeli passport who is not vaccinated or recovered within six months. Release from quarantine comes with a negative PCR upon arrival in Israel and a negative PCR on day seven.
                4. Pre-November 1 early release from quarantine: Any foreign national arriving in Israel before November 1 can be release from quarantine if received their third shot more than a week previously, OR they have been vaccinated or have recovered within the previous six months, OR have recovered and received one shot, AND have positive serological tests done in Israel within 6 months, AND tested negative for PCR at the airport. You cannot apply for release from quarantine before you arrive in Israel. If the above noted conditions are met, you create 1 file with your vaccination record (or recovery letter), passport, negative PCR and serological tests. You upload them to this form and apply for a release from quarantine. To access the form in English, click the menu bar in the top left. When you click release from isolation, you select "Change of the Ministry's restrictions." You know you have done this form correctly when you receive the form back via email in a PDF. It will have a reference number. If you have not been released 24 hours after you filed the form, contact us. Save the SMS of your release via screen shot. If your vaccine that is more than 6 months old, you will likely be required to quarantine for 7 days. This means you that you are required to take a day 1 PCR upon arrival at Ben Gurion, and a second PCR on day 7, anytime after 12:01. If your PCR is negative on day 7, you can self release and you do not need MOH permission to leave quarantine. Save both of your negative PCR tests. Serological testing will not help you secure release from 7 day quarantine if that is your requirement. 

                Countrywide PCR Testing: For those who need to do a day 7 PCR test, or otherwise want to test if they think they are ill, there are quite a number of places. Pikud Ha'Oref's list is here, their tests are free and can be done with a passport, but cannot be used for pre-flight travel. Please know that they have been known to take 48 hours to get results. Other options include Superpharm or Hatzala (see Jerusalem, Bnei Brak and Beit Shemesh locations/times here). Another great option is this website, www.coronatestisrael.com, where you can search for other PCR options in your area. 

                Ben Gurion's PCR and Serological Testing: You cannot exit Ben Gurion Airport without doing PCR which are done by a company called TestNGo. It was once free and now it is not - for Israelis and foreigners alike. You can book and pay before you arrive in Israel for both the PCR and serological test. If you book the test online, it is 80 NIS. If you don't book in advance it is 100 NIS. Results of your PCR will be sent to the Ministry of Health but will also be emailed to you within 24 hours. If you don't receive it, go to the TestNGo website and download it.

                Serological tests at the airport cost 127 NIS. Sometimes you can book it in advance, but if you can't, you can do it at the airport without any additional fee. If you do serological testing at the airport, it saves you a step later on. You receive immediate results, you take a photo of those results, and you receive an email as well. Serological testing is needed for a tav yarok, as noted more fully below. 

                Countrywide serological testing: If you chose to opt out of serological testing at the airport for whatever reason, there are other locations to do the testing. 

                Ministry of Health approved serological testing sites (in Hebrew) here and in English here. Some of the more popular ones are Assaf Harofeh which is not far from the airport, Assuta, and Ichilov but note that hours vary. 

                Hatzalah has locations in Jerusalem that are open 24/6 and on Fridays until 1:00 and after Shabbat; Beit Shemesh and Bnei Brak, and every day 9-21:00 and Fridays until 1:00. See here for days/hours and locations in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak and Beit Shemesh. Hatzala will also come to your home for a higher fee, 600NIS before 11:00 PM and 1,000NIS after 11:00PM. Rambam Labs in Jerusalem, see here for hours, telephone and email, is often used for those who think they might be low on antibodies. Tenecare can meet you at or near the airport for 450NIS and will come to your home. RDN Medical makes house calls even on Fridays. Search for serological testing options in your region at www.coronatestisrael.com

                Please remember that all labs in Israel operate at a slower pace on Fridays, Shabbat and holidays and this might delay your serological results.

                Prior Serological Testing: If you have done serological testing in Israel in the last six months, you can use those serological tests to be released from quarantine, but only under the circumstances noted above in the "minimal/early release quarantine" heading. If you are required to do 7 day quarantine, serological testing will not offer you the possibility of early release. Prior serological testing conducted in Israel within 6 months can be used for a green pass (see more fully section below on this issue).

                Be responsible for your own tests: Make sure that all testing labs put your passport number on the serological results. Without the proper passport number on the serological paperwork, your release from quarantine can be a longer process. Always make sure that you get a copy of your own serological tests. Never rely on a lab to send your results to the Ministry of Health. 

                Contacting Ministry of Health: If you have not been released from quarantine when you think you should be, or you need to otherwise want to try and push them to move faster (somewhat of a wasted exercise), you can reach the Ministry of Health at *5400 from any Israeli phone. 

                It can take 24-48 hours to receive a reply, not inclusive of Friday, Shabbat or holidays. You must wait for a written release (either SMS or email) from the Ministry of Health. Save this information as proof of your release. 

                 

                We will update this page whenever rules or forms change, so check back with us. Most recent update on this webpage has been January 25, 2021. Contact us anytime here

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