Israelis are one of the 60+ nationalities that need to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver before visiting the Schengen Area. It’s not like a traditional visa, but applicants are required to pay a small fee and complete an online application before they are granted travel authorization.
The ETIAS Visa Waiver for Israelis
The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) was first announced back in 2016 but it wasn’t set to take effect until 2022. The program is similar to existing programs used in the United States and was designed to facilitate the fast and secure movement of tourists and immigrants through Europe’s Schengen Area, covering countries like Germany, Spain, France, and Portugal.
ETIAS Requirements for Israeli Citizens
You can complete the ETIAS application form online through the official ETIAS website. You will need all of the following:
- A Valid Israeli Passport: The passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your intended return date. The ETIAS travel authorization will be tied to your passport, so if your passport expires then the ETIAS will expire as well.
- An Email Address and Internet Connection: You will need a secure WIFI connection to complete the ETIAS application form and an email address to receive updates and the eventual authorization.
- Debit Card or Credit Card: There is a small charge for completing the ETIAS application form and this needs to be paid online using a credit or debit card.
Travel authorization is granted automatically and will remain valid for 3 years from the date of approval. The ETIAS visa waiver can then be used to access countries within the Schengen Zone for up to 90 days within a 180-day period.
Does the Schengen Zone Cover all of the European Union?
There are 27 countries in the European Union (EU) but only 22 of these are part of the Schengen Zone at the time of writing. The other four Schengen countries are from the European Economic Area (EEA), which has trade agreements with the EU.
Is Israel in the European Union or the Schengen Zone?
Israel is not in the European Union or the Schengen Zone, but it maintains close political relationships with these regions.
Can You Work in Europe with an Israeli Passport?
The ETIAS visa waiver does not grant permission to work or study long-term within the Schengen Zone. For that, you will need to apply for a traditional visa or work permit.
What Countries Can Israeli Citizens Visit Without a Visa?
The Israeli passport is ranked quite highly by the Henley Passport Index, which ranks countries based on the strength of their passports. Before the implementation of the ETIAS visa waiver program, Israeli citizens could use their passports to access 160 countries and territories without needing a traditional visa.
In addition to most European countries, Israelis were free to access Brazil, Canada, Colombia, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates, to name just a few.
There are a few countries that have banned all Israeli citizens from entering. Many of these bans resulted from the Arab League’s boycott of Israel and mean that Israelis are refused entry to Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Yemen, Algeria, and Syria.