The Complexities Of Israel VisasDue to ongoing tensions between Israel and its neighbours travellers must be very careful when presenting their passport to enter or leave the country.
Be aware that if you visit Israel and get a visa stamp in your passport, you may not be able to visit Arab countries in the future.
These countries include Afghanistan, Algeria, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
These countries block passports containing stamps or visas from Israel.
If you intend to visit any of these nations, ask immigration to stamp a blank page, rather than your passport, when entering.
But also note that those countries will also search for Jordanian or Egyptian exit stamps from land borders with Israel and will likewise prohibit your entry if they find one.
Likewise Israeli immigration may take a dim view of travellers arriving from Arab countries, but you are unlikely to face anything worse than very time-consuming, repetitive, but polite questioning.
Depending on the situation, if you have stamps from other Arab countries in your passport, you should expect to be taken to one side (without any explanation) and eventually questioned.
This can take anywhere from 10 minutes to several hours.
The key thing to remember is if you have nothing to hide, then, other than the inconvenience of questioning, you should have nothing to be worried about.
Think of it as all part of the experience of traveling in this region.
If you are a young backpacker, especially if you travel alone, it is much more likely you will be detained for questioning in Tel Aviv airport.
There is a ‘selection committee’ of 2 security guards waiting when you go up the escalators from your flight, and if you seem suspicious they will not hesitate to stop you.
If you dress up nicely, seem a part of another group or a family they are less likely to bother you.
Author: Phil Sylvester
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