British visitors to Israel will need new ‘electronic authorisation’ to enter country

Brits will need to apply for an Esta-style authorisation to visit


Travellers from visa-exempt countries will need to apply for online authorization before they visit Israel in a new system similar to those in place in the US and Australia (Photo: Getty Images)

Israel will require visitors from dozens of countries to complete an electronic travel authorisation application (ETA-IL) before they enter the country.

The new system, which is set to be fully rolled out in August, will allow tourists to stay in Israel for up to 90 days at a time within a two-year window.

Previously, no such authorisation was required from visa-exempt countries like the UK, US and EU member states.

The ETA-IL means that all travellers will be screened before they board their flight to Israel. The online form costs 25 shekels (£5) and includes information about identity, length of stay and reason for travel.

If the application meets the criteria, the traveller will receive an electronic “Travel Authorization” valid for two years, or until the traveller’s passport expires, whichever comes first.

If travellers plan to stay for longer than 90 days, they will be required to submit a request for an extension of their stay.

Travellers who have their application denied will be required to apply for a tourist visa at the Israeli embassy in their place of residence.

The new ETA-IL mirrors systems already in place in the US, Canada and Australia.

A pilot begins on 1 June for citizens from the US and Germany, who will be able to submit a voluntary application exempt from any fees.

The system will open to citizens of other countries, including Brits, on 1 July and will be fully implemented for all visa-exempt travellers on 1 August.

Israeli authorities recommend that an ETA-IL application be submitted at least 72 hours before a visitor books flight tickets, hotel rooms or other related expenses.

If a visitor’s ETA-IL expires while they are in Israel it will not affect their departure.

British tourists, along with those of other nationalities who do not hold Israeli passports, will need to apply for an ETA-IL for trips from August – meaning the new system will affect summer holiday preparations for many Brits.

Michael Ben-Baruch, Director UK & Ireland, Israel Government Tourist Office said: ‘The new ETA-IL system offers several benefits for visitors to the country. Firstly, it streamlines the entry process by allowing travellers to complete the necessary formalities online before their arrival. This saves valuable time and reduces potential delays. The electronic check-in process for ETA-IL holders is designed to be simple and convenient.’

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