Israel & Gaza Report
The situation in Israel is ongoing and subject to sudden changes and without notice.
Erickson Immigration Group is closely monitoring the security situation in Israel during the ongoing conflict. This situation is fluid, and we will use this page to provide updates on immigration, travel, and security as the situation develops.
Guidance for Israel
Due to the current security situation in Israel, the Population and Immigration Authority has extended various visas.
- The visas of all foreign workers in the Hotel Sector who are in Israel and the foreign worker employment permits of the Hotel Sector employers, due to expire on December 31, 2023, are automatically extended for three months with no need for filing applications or paying applications fees. The extended visas and employment permits are now in force until March 31, 2024.
- There is a general visa extension, which includes visas of all foreigners in Israel
- The above general visa extension does not include foreign worker visas.
- The general visa extension includes visas of all foreigners in Israel. A foreign citizen currently residing abroad and who needs a visa to enter Israel, must apply for a visa in the relevant Israeli consulate. If the foreigner is a citizen of a country whose citizens do not need a visa to enter Israel as tourists, he may enter Israel with no need for a visa from the consulate.
- The general visa extension does include entry permits for residents of the Palestinian Authority. For extension of such, please contact the Civil Administration (COGAT).
The Population and Immigration Authority is currently closed – there are no visa operations for those looking to obtain Israeli work permits or visas. The agency is monitoring the situation day-to-day and will post further updates on the status of operations here.
EIG is monitoring national refugee policies around the world for any adjustments in policy given the Israeli conflict. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees indicates that, since 2009, the countries where they have resettled the largest number of Israeli refugees have been Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, and the United States.
Travel to Israel: As of October 26, 2023, Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) in Tel Aviv remains open for travel to and from Israel, but many airlines have suspended flights to Israel.
- Israeli airlines, including El Al, have announced that they will increase their incoming flight schedules to meet the increased demand.
- Additionally, as of this update, Emirates continues to fly to Israel with a reduced schedule.
Travelers seeking to travel to Israel should contact Israeli airlines directly. Note that due to the current situation, flight times may be subject to changes. The Airport Authority advises passengers to check flight schedules on its website.
The U.S. State Department has issued a Level 3: RECONSIDER TRAVEL – Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. Read More>>
Israeli Citizens Traveling from Israel: Israeli citizens can travel without a visa to over 100 countries, including visa-free travel throughout the European Union and United States for up to 90 days.
More information on which countries allow visa-free travel for Israeli citizens is available here.
Israeli reserves are being called to report for duty in Israel (Order 8). A soldier who refuses to comply with the order without an official exemption is subject to legal proceedings. This can impact Israeli employees who have refused the order if they visit Israel at a later time.
A limited number of countries provide Digital Nomad Visa options, provided the visa holder works for a foreign employer and doesn’t engage with the local labor market. These countries include Argentina (must be filed from outside of Argentina), Brazil, Greece, and Romania. There are also a limited number of countries that explicitly permit “pure” remote work (without engaging with the local labor market) on a short-term basis, without the need to apply for work authorization; there are also countries that treat “pure” remote work as a grey area. This should be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
Guidance for U.S. Citizens
[OCT. 19, 2023| Due to increased tensions in various locations around the world, the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests, the Department of State advises U.S. citizens overseas to exercise increased caution.
U.S. citizens should:
- Stay alert in locations frequented by tourists.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive information and alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency overseas.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
The U.S. Embassy continues to closely monitor the dynamic security situation in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. There are active military operations in the Gaza periphery and Gaza, as well as rocket and mortar fire in the Gaza periphery and elsewhere.
The U.S. Embassy continues to provide assistance to U.S. citizens in the West Bank. U.S. citizens who need an emergency passport but cannot make it to the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem or Branch Office in Tel Aviv or who would like to request Embassy assistance to depart the West Bank should complete the Crisis Intake Form.
Flights from Ben Gurion
Tuesday, October 31 was the last planned U.S. chartered flight out of Ben Gurion
Ben Gurion Airport remains open with commercial flights available. Travelers should consult directly with their airline and check the operating status of Ben Gurion Airport before traveling to the airport.
There are no further U.S. government-charted flights planned.
Travelers that need assistance to depart Israel, including financial assistance to purchase plane tickets, should contact the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem at JerusalemACS@state.gov or the U.S. Embassy Branch Office in Tel Aviv at TelAvivACS@state.gov.
Departure over Land Borders
Some U.S. citizens seeking to depart have been successful departing the West Bank and Israel into Jordan via the border crossings, including Allenby Bridge and Sheikh Hussein. We encourage U.S. citizens to take advantage of those options if possible and safe to do so.
U.S. citizens can check the status of land border crossings here:
- Allenby/King Hussein Bridge between Israel and the West Bank – 02-548-2600
- Jordan River/Sheikh Hussein Crossing between Israel and Jordan near Beit Shaan – 04-609-3410
- Yitzhak Rabin/Arava Crossing between Israel and Jordan near Eilat – 08-630-0555
- Menachem Begin Crossing between Israel and Egypt near Eilat – 08-636-0999
U.S. citizens needing assistance to depart the West Bank should complete the Crisis Intake Form.
Links & Contact Information:
State Department – Consular Affairs 1-833-890-9595 (toll free) and +1-606-641-0131
U.S. citizens in Israel please call the local number (03-519-7426
State Department travel advisories and restrictions will be updated here.
U.S. Citizens, if they have not already done so, should complete the crisis intake form to provide contact information should the State Department need to reach them on short notice.
- The State Department anticipates that the situation at the Rafah crossing will remain fluid and unpredictable. If you assess it to be safe, you may wish to move closer to the Rafah border crossing.
- The Palestinian Customs Authority has published lists of those permitted to cross into Egypt.
- U.S. citizens seeking to depart Gaza through Rafah crossing should consult that list, and if you find your name and the names of your immediate family members on that list, please go to the Rafah crossing on the appropriate day with your U.S. passports and other valid travel documents.
[Oct 17, 2023] The US State Department issued a Level 4: Do Not Travel Advisory for Lebanon to reflect the authorized departure of family members of U.S. government personnel and some non-emergency personnel on a case-by-case basis.
The State Dept. recommends that U.S. citizens in Lebanon leave, while commercial flights remain available, due to the unpredictable security situation.
- Please see available flight options at Beirut–Rafic Hariri International Airport.
- Travelers should have a plan of action for crisis situations that does not rely on U.S. government assistance.
- U.S. Citizens, if they have not already done so, should complete the crisis intake form to provide contact information should the State Department need to reach out with urgent updates.
[Oct 22, 2023] The US State Department issued a Level 4: Do Not Travel Advisory for Iraq to reflect the ordered departure of non-emergency U.S. government personnel and eligible family members.
The State Department recommends U.S. citizens in Iraq monitor local media for updates and to avoid protests and large gatherings. U.S. citizens should be aware of the potential for demonstrations and protests related to the ongoing events in Gaza to spread rapidly throughout Iraq. Such demonstrations can develop quickly without prior notice and sometimes turn violent.
[Oct 8, 2023] The U.S. State Department on X (formerly Twitter) wrote, “Cyprus, Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon: The situation in Israel continues to be unpredictable, and U.S. citizens throughout the region should take caution. Individuals should follow local government advice to increase their security awareness, avoid areas around demonstrations, and check local media for updates and traffic advisories. U.S. citizens who need assistance should contact the closest U.S. embassy or consulate. U.S. citizens who wish to leave the region and can do so safely are advised to check the status of the border crossings or verify flights at nearby airports.”
The U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and the Branch Office in Tel Aviv have resumed appointments for regular passports and other consular services.
- Appointments must be made through the Combined Appointment System. Appointments are free and third-party services to make appointments are not required or recommended. For more passport and consular assistance information, visit our website.
The U.S. Embassy Jerusalem and the Branch Office in Tel Aviv will continue to accept walk-ins for U.S. citizens who do not have a valid passport of any nationality before 8:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, to receive a limited-validity, emergency passport.
- Passport pickups are at noon Monday through Friday.
- U.S. citizens with a valid Israeli passport or passport of any nationality are able to travel on that passport as long as they meet the entry requirements at the destination.
U.S. Citizen Links & Contact Information
U.S. citizens worldwide are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates.
U.S. citizens in Lebanon, the West Bank, and Gaza who would like our assistance should fill out the crisis intake form. Do not fill out this form if you have already completed it – we have your information, and duplicate requests delay our response.
U.S. citizens in Iraq can reach the U.S. Embassy’s American Citizens Services unit by email.
From Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Reconsider your need to travel to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories overall due to the volatile security situation, including the threat of terrorism, armed conflict and civil unrest.
- Reconsider the need to travel to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories overall due to the volatile security situation, including the threat of terrorism, armed conflict and civil unrest.
- Do not travel to Gaza and areas near the border with Gaza due to ongoing armed conflict.
- Do not travel to border areas with Lebanon closed by Israeli authorities.
- Follow the directions of authorities at checkpoints and these closed areas.
Australian citizens in Israel or the Occupied Palestinian Territories should register on DFAT’s registration portal.
The government is progressing visa applications from people impacted by the Israeli and Hamas conflict. Visa assessments for those directly affected with urgent need for travel will be prioritized.
From the IRCC: The government of Canada has issued the following travel advisories:
- Israel, the West Bank,and Gaza Strip: Avoid non-essential travel
- Gaza Strip: Avoid all travel. If possible, try to register or update your personal information through the Registration of Canadians Abroad service to receive the latest information about departure options. If you are unable to do so, try to contact Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre.
- Syria: Avoid all travel to the parts of the Golan Heights that border Syria, east of Highway 98, due to militant and Israel Defense Forces activity.
- Border with Egypt: Avoid all travel to within 5 km of the border with Egypt due to the volatile security situation.
- Border with Lebanon: Avoid all travel to the area within 5 kilometres of the border with Lebanon due to ongoing military operations.
- West Bank: Avoid all travel to the West Bank due to the unpredictable security situation.
Assisted departure options
Canada continues to plan assisted departure for Canadian citizens, Permanent Residents and eligible family members to safe third locations, when conditions allow.
- On November 1, 2023, the Rafah border crossing opened to a pre-determined number of foreign nationals. Additional departures are expected to follow in the coming days.
- Canadian citizens and permanent residents who want to leave the Gaza Strip, must contact Global Affairs Canada as soon as possible.
- Canadian officials must request authorization on your behalf from Israeli and Egyptian authorities by submitting a list of individuals seeking to use the Rafah border crossing.
Emergency Contact Information for Canadians
Canadians and their families who are in Israel, the West Bank or the Gaza Strip and need emergency consular assistance, should contact:
- the Embassy of Canada to Israel in Tel Aviv at 972 (3) 636-3300,
- the Representative Office of Canada in Ramallah at 972 (2) 297-8430,
- or Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre,:
- +1 613-996-8885 (collect calls are accepted where available)
- SMS: +1 613-686-3658,
- WhatsApp: +1 613-909-8881
- Signal: +1 613-909-8087
- Telegram at Canada Emergency Abroad
From the Federal Foreign Office: The German Government’s crisis unit at the Federal Foreign Office has issued a warning against travelling to Israel, all of the Palestinian territories and Lebanon. A travel warning has already been in effect for some time for the Gaza Strip and some parts of Lebanon.
- All German nationals in the region should register their details in the ELEFAND emergency contact list. This list is used by us to, among other things, inform travelers about possibilities to leave the country.
- Tel Aviv airport remains open and continues to offer commercial flights, although a number of airlines have suspended their flights or cancelled connections on short notice.
- At the Federal Foreign Office’s request, the German Air Force will today also be providing flights with which German nationals and their families can fly to Germany. Should the situation deteriorate, the Federal Armed Forces are prepared to conduct a military evacuation.
From the UK Home Office: The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all but essential travel to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and against all travel to the following locations:
- the West Bank, excluding East Jerusalem and Route 1 between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv
- within 5km of the border with Lebanon
- the Sheba’a Farms and Ghajjar
- within 500m of the border with Syria (the ‘Alpha Line’)
- the area close to the border with Gaza that includes: southwest of Ashkelon, south of route 35 and west of route 40 as far as Tlalim, not including Be’er Sheva, west of Be’er Sheva, north of route 211,
- recently evacuated communities in northern Israel: Beit Hillel, Dan
- Eilon, Even Menachem, Goren, Granot, Ha’Galil, HaGoshrim, Liman, Matsuva, Ramot Naftali, Sasa, She’ar Yeshuv, Snir, Tzivon
Register your presence
British nationals in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including Gaza, are advised to register their presence with the FCDO to receive important updates, including information to support leaving the country. Travelers should complete the form for every traveling family member who is a British national.
The booking portal for HMG assisted flights from Ben Gurion Airport has now closed. Commercial International flights continue to operate from Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv and Ramon Airport in Eilat but are limited and may be cancelled at short notice.
Travel within or out of Israel or the OPTs is at your own risk. You are encouraged to follow the advice of local authorities, for example on which routes are open or when to take shelter, and monitor this Travel Advice, which is regularly updated.
Travelling to Egypt from Gaza
The Rafah border crossing partially opened on November 1, 2023. This is primarily to facilitate the evacuation of seriously wounded Palestinians and some foreign nationals. The crossing will continue to be open for controlled and time-limited periods to allow specific groups of foreign nationals, including British nationals, to cross. It is for the Egyptian and Israeli authorities to determine who is permitted to cross, and when. The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will contact Embassies to let them know when their foreign nationals can cross. Should we receive notification from the Israeli and Egyptian authorities that individuals are permitted to cross, we will notify those people individually.
Movement to the Rafah crossing and beyond is at your own risk. You should only travel if you judge it is safe to do so. Check the Egypt travel advice. Register your presence to receive important updates, including information on support to leave the country.
British Embassy Services and Staffing
Due to the security situation, some family members of staff at the British Embassy in Tel Aviv and British Consulate in Jerusalem have been temporarily withdrawn. The Embassy and Consulate continue with essential work including services to British nationals.
- visit the Israeli Home Front Command website (available in Israel only)
- call 104 if you are in Israel
Updated as of November 7, 2023