Effective August 1, 2024, Israel will require travelers from visa exempt countries to obtain an electronic travel authorization before departing for the country. Travelers applying for the authorization—known as ETA-IL—will receive a reply within 24-72 hours, and if their application is approved, will be allowed to enter Israel for business visits and tourism for up to ninety days at a time. The ETA-IL will remain valid for multiple entries over a two-year period or until the traveler’s passport expires, whichever is sooner. The ETA-IL system opened as a voluntary pilot program for U.S. and German passport holders on June 1 and will open to all other visa exempt nationals on July 1. Israel’s introduction of the ETA-IL system comes as the European Union seeks to implement its own electronic travel authorization scheme for visa exempt nationals, which is expected to launch in 2025.

Israel’s Electronic Travel Authorization Requirement

Israel’s ETA-IL requirement will apply to all nationals from visa exempt countries, which include the United States, Canada, all European Union member states, and most countries in Latin America, among others. Presently, nationals of these countries are eligible to enter Israel for tourism or business purposes based on their passport alone, without any prior application.

ETA-IL applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel to Israel. The government recommends that travelers submit their applications at least 72 hours prior to booking flights, hotels, and similar expenses related to their travel.

Applications for ETA-IL will be free for the program’s first month in order to encourage compliance and feedback. After this initial period, applicants will be required to pay NIS 25 as part of the application procedure.

Successful ETA-IL applicants are not required to carry a printout of their confirmation, but are advised to record their confirmation number and check any airline-specific requirements before travel. Applicants who are denied an ETA-IL are encouraged to contact the program’s help center to identify errors in their application rather than reapply. 

The Israeli government cautions that approval of an ETA-IL application does not guarantee admission to Israel. Border control officers retain discretion over the entry of visitors into the country. Travelers entering on an ETA-IL who wish to remain in Israel longer than the allotted 90-day period will be required to request an extension from Israeli immigration authorities.

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