Immigration & Customs

Travelers to Israel come for a variety of reasons including business, leisure, medical treatment and temporary work. The visa a visitor will need depends on the purpose of their visit and is defined by the immigration law. It should be noted that a visa does not guarantee entry to the country.

Please take a look at the following link from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that lists all countries that one needs to prearrange a visa in. tourists are included in the column of “Nationals,” Diplomats on official service come under “Service.”

Passport Control

When you arrive in Israel, you will be subjected to a security check and asked to present a passport which is valid for at least six months from the date of departure. Those who arrive by air and land continue to collect their luggage after having their passports inspected. After collecting their luggage they move on to customs control and the airport exit.

Important-Those planning on continuing on to Arab countries after Israel should request from the clerk not to put an Israeli stamp on their passport. There is no longer a requirement for entry stamps on foreign passports. Instead, one is obligated to fill out form 17L and the form itself is stamped upon entry or exit. The form won’t be collected on exiting the airport as it is required in order to collect tax refunds and as proof of legal entry.


There are two lanes in the customs transit system at Ben Gurion Airport and at various crossing points; one green and one red. Those who don’t have goods to declare should go through the green lane- meaning those carrying personal clothing, shoes and cosmetics in such quantities that can be carried in hand-luggage.

Items that need not be declared

·         Alcoholic beverages of up to one liter for hard liquor and up to two liters for wine when carried by one person of age seventeen and over.

·         Tobacco- up to 250g per person aged seventeen plus.

·         Presents and other commodities other than alcoholic beverages, perfumes, tobacco and television sets. Of maximal value $200- determined by the clerk at the terminal according to lists in his possession.

·         Food- up to three kilograms in total. Each food type cannot weigh more than one kilogram.

·         Other items- cameras, binoculars, personal jewelry, musical instruments, camping equipment, sporting equipment.

·         Those with goods that must have a deposit will receive it back when leaving Israel and must go through the red lane.

·         Those carrying items that don’t appear in the list of duty-free items or taxable items must also go through the red lane and declare them.

·         If in doubt, go through the red line as failing to declare taxable items is an offense that the passenger will be fined for or even have the goods confiscated.

·         One must have a license in order to import plants, firearms, raw meat, raw materials, counterfeit currency or documents, knives or penknives not intended for professional use.

·         Vehicles can be imported for personal use.

·         Visitors can purchase tax-exempted vehicles in Israel on condition that they take it out of Israel on leaving the country, no later than one year from the date of the tax exemption of purchase. A foreign license and insurance policy that are valid in Israel much be presented in order to receive a tax exemption.


Telephone of the Department of Customs 02-666-4000