This post is being regularly updated (2018) thanks to the input from some awesome travelers, If you have more up-to-date information, kindly let me know in the comments section

The Israeli passport stamp issue is one of the most discussed topics among people traveling or living in the Middle East. Across all forums and Facebook groups, people keep on asking all sorts of questions related to this subject, over and over again: Will the Israeli authorities stamp my passport? Am I eligible to enter Dubai with an Israeli stamp?

The fact is that I followed some of these conversations and I was very surprised by the large amount of bullshit and misleading information that some people tell.

That’s why I have compiled a list which contains the most common FAQ addressing the Israeli passport stamp issue.

And why should you trust me as a source of information? Well, I’ve been to Israel twice, entering and exiting both by plane and overland. I lived in the Middle East for three years, I’ve been to most Arab countries and I’ve also got some extra information from other travelers. Of course, I might be wrong, but the information that you’ll find in this article is almost all verified.

For more Middle Eastern-related content, don’t forget to check all my guides and articles to the Middle East.

Israeli passport stamp

 

Avoid the Israeli passport stamp – FAQs

Does Israel stamp your passport?

The answer is NO. Some years ago, Israel stopped stamping passports. Instead, they give you a card containing all your personal information. This rule applies to tourists who enter either overland or by air. Please note that, if you travel to Israel for work purposes, however, you’ll definitely get a visa in your passport.

Update November 2018: Ovda Airport is the secondary international airport in Israel (located in the south). Until very recently, if you flew into Ovda Airport, the Israeli authorities used to stamp your passport but now, since this airport is gaining popularity, especially because budget airlines such as Ryanair and Wizz Air are flying in, the authorities no longer stamp foreign passports.

Israeli border card
My border Card – Frontpage

 

Do you need to keep this card and show it at your exit?

Yes and no. The Israeli authorities won’t ask you for this card when you leave Israel. However, if you enter the West Bank (Palestine) the soldiers might ask you for this tiny piece of paper. Please note that if you lose this card, you might not be allowed to enter the West Bank.

Furthermore, some fancier hotels may ask you this card, as well as when you are renting a car. Keep it just in case.

Read: A travel guide to Palestine

 

If you enter/exit overland from/to Jordan, does the Jordanian stamp give evidence that you’ve been to Israel?

Yes, unfortunately, if you enter/exit Jordan overland, the Jordanian stamp says, very loudly, that you spent your holidays in Israel. If you get one of these stamps, your passport is truly f***ed.

Read: Jordan-Israel border crossing: Ultimate guide

 

Can you avoid a Jordanian overland stamp?

The good news is that the Jordanian authorities are pretty cool and they are all completely aware of the Israeli stamp issue. There are three Jordanian border crossings: King Hussein Bridge, Wadi Araba and Sheikh Hussein. At King Hussein bridge, they automatically stamp on a separate piece of paper. However, make sure they do it, just to be on the safe side. At the two other borders, you must ask for it before giving them your passport. They will give you an exit form, which you need to fill out, and then you’ll get a stamp on it. 

Important! If you avoid your Jordanian entry stamp, it means that, in your passport, you will have just your exit stamp. The question is: Will the Lebanese authorities notice it or ask any question? When I was in Tajikistan, I went to the Iranian Embassy in Dushanbe to apply for an Iranian visa. On my passport, there was clearly only the exit stamp for Jordan, so I was actually a little bit worried that they may ask some questions. However, nothing happened and I just got my visa within the normal timing. Is this going to be everywhere? Who knows… If you had a similar situation, kindly, let me know.

However, just to play on the safe side, if you are planning a Middle Eastern journey and plan to cross Jordan or Israel overland, I recommend you leave Israel for the last country.

Note: I don’t have information regarding the Egypt – Israeli border. If you have crossed it recently and have useful input to be included in this post, let us know!

Read: A guide for traveling to Egypt

jordan Israel stamp
The Jordanian stamp which shows evidence that you’ve been to Israel

 

Can I enter Israel with passport stamps from Arab countries?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions. When I traveled to Israel for the first time, I had visas and stamps from Lebanon, IraqUAE and Oman. These are some of Israel’s worse enemies. Did I have any problem? Not at all. At my arrival, they didn’t even check inside my passport. When I left, before heading to the boarding gate, they just interrogated me for 10 or 15 minutes, like everyone else. That’s it. By the way, I also had my Pakistan visa and it was not a problem.

 

And what about the Iranian visa?

In the last year, the Iranian visa seems the most problematic one for entering Israel. A traveler reported that, back in 2016, at the arrival at Tel Aviv airport, the Israeli authorities interrogated him for 3 hours because he had an Iranian visa. He entered Jordan and, when he entered back to Israel, he had to wait for almost 2 hours due to the same Iranian stamp issue. Like if they wanted to punish him, they stamped his passport with an Israeli stamp, something that never happens.

Just to let you know that I had a completely different experience but the main take out is that he was allowed to get in the country. I believe that it depends on the person working at the border.

Moreover, another traveler (EU citizen) just reported (March 2018) that he was held for questioning for almost 4 hours at Tel Aviv International airport. Along with other travelers who also had an Iranian visa, the authorities checked their social media accounts and posts but, since they didn’t see any problematic content, they let them go. In the end, it was just a waste of time.

Read: 80 Useful tips for traveling to Iran

 

Which Muslim countries are you not allowed to enter with an Israeli stamp?

Israel has quite a big bunch of enemies and, if you show them any evidence that you’ve been to Israel, either if it’s a stamp, the Lonely Planet or an Israeli shekel, you’ll be banned from entering this country for the rest of your life. Luckily, you already know how not to get stamped. Moreover, before traveling to Lebanon or Iran, make sure you get rid of all Israeli evidence. Which Muslim countries are we talking about?

Lebanon, Syria, Sudan, Iran*, Yemen, Libya, Iraq**, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia

*Iran: According to the MFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), you can enter Iran with an Israeli stamp (or Jordanian overland stamp) if your last visit was more than 6 months ago.

**Iraq: Not Iraqi Kurdistan

 

Does Israel exchange information about travelers with its Muslim enemies?

You’ll be surprised, but I get asked this question all the time. Occasionally, after finding my articles about Lebanon, some people ask me: Hey, I just left Israel and I’m flying to Beirut through Istanbul. Will the Lebanese authorities know that I’ve been to Israel? The answer is very simple. Lebanon and Israel are the worst enemies. Therefore, how could they possibly exchange any sort of information, especially tourism information?

 

In which Muslim countries are you eligible to travel even if you have an Israeli stamp?

There are some Arab/Muslim countries where you are allowed to travel, despite having an Israeli stamp:

UAE*, Qatar, Oman, Iraqi Kurdistan, Bahrain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia

*UAE: For some years already, the Israeli passport stamp is not an issue on arrival in Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

I think that this is all that you need to know regarding Israeli stamps. Please note that bureaucratic matters are continuously changing. I will try to keep this article updated as soon as I am aware of any country’s new policy. If you have any further questions, please leave a comment below. Safe travels!

 

Israeli passport stamp

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70 comments

  1. Do you need to keep this card and show it at your exit?
    YES!
    The card is actually your visa – it replaces the stamp in your passport (which constitutes a visa in countries that stamp you!)
    Whenever you would need to prove your legality of stay in Israel, you would need to show a passport and a visa.
    This goes even when you rent a car, stopped by the police or just go to/from the West Bank.
    Israel will not need it back, but you need to save the visa paper slip until you are exiting Israel (save it until you get to border control – they don’t need it because they have it on their computers).

      1. I just gave out a few examples. There are many more: when checking-in to a hotel (usually the larger ones) they might ask to see your visa, to see that you are entitled not to pay VAT (as tourists are exempted. If you don’t have it – you will have to pay extra 17% (VAT) of the price you originally reserved). If you buy in a VAT-refund shop, they will have to see your valid visa to be able to return the VAT., and more…

    1. Yes it’s good to have it to present on exit, but if you lose it you’ll just face a (relatively) minor delay while they look up your entry details. Happened to my colleague (Australian) when leaving Israel last month. It was a minor hassle, but no real drama.

    1. WOW. I really didn’t know about that. You are actually the first person I’ve ever met who has been to this airport. May I ask why did you land at that airport? Where did you come from? thanks

  2. Hi! I have a question, do you mean that if I have the border card and I enter overland from Jordan (let say, King Hussein Bridge), then there is no need to apply for Israeli visa?? And I’m Malaysian (not allowed to enter Israel unless we join pilgrimage tour) residing in Jordan.

    1. Hi Katelyn, I never talked about the Israeli visa but anyways, I don’t know what would be the situation for Malaysians, as most nationalities don’t need a visa for Israel

  3. Do you know if you can travel to the UAE with a pasport in which it says that they’re born in Israel and they currently live there too? I know several Israelis who’ve had a layover there (but didn’t leave the airport – something they aren’t allowed to do in Lebanon and Iran) and everything went fine. I’m just wondering if they can actually enter the country…

    1. Hello Crissy, yes, I also know a few Israeli people who did a layover in Dubai, without any problem. However, I also don’t know if they can enter the country… In Lebanon and Iran you could not, for sure… But Dubai… Sorry, I am not 100% sure, so I can’t give you an answer

  4. Hi! What about a short, 1-2 days long trip to Petra, from Eilat? Do you think, that when I ask on a border, Jordanians will not stamp my passport both on entry and exit crossing?

  5. – I was interrogated by border police during 3+ hours upon my arrival at Tel Aviv airport due to an Iranian stamp in my passport. Unlike your experience they DID check every page of my passport (I am an EU citizen).
    – When entering Israel from Aqaba, Jordan, we had to wait again for another 1-2h due to the same Iranian stamp. They stamped our passport without asking us if we preferred the extra card (and we did not really have the opportunity to tell them either as they kept our passport in their office during the time we waited at the border control).
    Both events occurred in 2016.

    1. Hi, in Israel there’s a huuge Muslim community living, so they are used to deal with Muslim people. I am sure you will be subjected to many questions but I don’t think they would stamp your passport just because you are Muslim or have a Muslim name. However, you should better ask this to other Muslims who have been there, to see if they had a different treatment. Cheers,

    2. Ahssi, if you come through the airport you won’t get stamped, regardless of your religion.
      You MAY be subjected to a lot of questions, and you just as well may be not. If you would be asked a lot of questions, just answer them politely – they are for your and everyone safety.

  6. I travelled from Israel to Jordan, back to Israel then on to Egypt then back to Israel just this week on a tour. You cross to Jordan through Wadi Araba crossing, they stamped my passport. I didn’t know you could ask them not to. You go through Taba border crossing to Egypt. They definitely stamp your passport both ways. So any immigration official will know you came from Israel. I don’t think you can ask them not to stamp your passport as they seem very officious. I have a photo of the stamp but can’t see how to upload it to your feed.

    1. Hi Heather, thanks for the heads-up. Yeah, you should ask beforehand but I just was informed by a traveler that, even at Wadi Arabia, they stamped it on the way back to Israel. Perhaps things have changed now?

  7. Hi. I am having a clinical clerkship in a hospital in Beirut for a month during summer. I’m a medical student with a passport from a Scandinavian country. After my clerkship I want to go to Jordan and then Israel. Do you think I will have problems with entering Israel due to staying in Beirut for a month for non-tourism reasons?

    Thank you in advance.

    1. First, which kind of visa do you have? Do you just have a stamp? Most people can get a tourist visa free for 30 days. If you just have a stamp, there’s nothing to worry about. If you do have a different stamp or sticker, I also entered Israel with a residence visa for the United Arab Emirates. They asked me many questions but I didn’t get into any trouble

    2. Israel does not deny entry for people based on where they were.
      You can expect to be asked a lot of questions, and you must answer them all truthfully and politely, no matter how silly they seem. The questions are designed to find out whether you are telling the truth, and as long as your purpose in visiting Israel is tourism and not any other activity, you should have no problems at all.

  8. I entered Israel with an Iranian visa in my passport in March 2018. I was held for questioning at Tel Aviv airport for 4 hours. The actual interview only took 15 minutes, the rest of the time was just waiting (luckily with free wifi!). I had to explain why I went to Iran, if I’m still in contact with people there, how I met them etc. Some other people waiting in room for the same kind of reasons had to unlock their phones and show their social media accounts. I guess the waiting time is completely random, depending on the amount of people they have to interview.
    On my way out I got the same kind of questions, just not the 4 hour waiting time. There I also had to explain why I went to Malaysia and if I still have contacts there etc.

    FYI, EU citizen and passport.

    1. Hi there, thanks for the heads up. It’s really a mix of different stories and experiences and I believe it all depends on the current political/diplomatic situation between both countries. In March, there was some tension between both countries on Syrian territory, so that might explain why. I don’t know, I just guessing 🙂 but what is true is that, if you have the Iranian stamp, you need to be aware that this might happen!

  9. hello i have a qwestion . if my wife she is a korean but living in israel with israeli visas on he korean pasport. is there can be a problem for her to go to malesya or indonesia with that pasport?
    thank you

    1. Hi Eli, I am not sure about visas… This post is more aimed at people who travel to Israel, hence they may get a stamp. I don’t know about the full page working visa because I have never lived or worked there 🙂

  10. thanks for confirming, it starts to get confusing after a while! looks like I may start my journey in Tel Aviv then!! thanks for all the advice on this site by the way, super useful!

  11. Hello, I have been traveling to Israel two years ago from Berlin for work (visiting customers, mainly universities) with a German passport and I DID have a complete check and got a very bad “evaluation” ( I mean, the yellow sticker starting with 5, I think) because I was a single women traveling to Israel. My passport had a stamp from UAE at that time. That and a single women is an obvious sign for danger :-). I had the same problem on the way back. The first check in Berlin has not been a 15 minutes check only, they even took my backback in Berlin and have checked it behind a closed curtain! I was not able to see it what they were doing. Next time I´m going to ask a German policeman if they are really allowed to do this. I mean check bags behind curtains. There is an existing bias agains single women traveling to Israel, which has been confirmed by other travellers at the airport too. Do you have any advise on this?
    In June I have to travel again the same way. Now I have an additional stamp from Egypt. I will see what has been changed. I have asked for an invitation letter from our customers now to make it more simple.
    I was wondering if I should travel maybe with my Hungarian passport becasue that only has my US entries included mainly, but decided to keep to the German, maybe that would be confusing for the Israelis, if they somehow see I have several passports.
    Well I must say, I´m worried what will happen the next time

  12. hey! thank you for this awesome article! I found it extremely helpful. I have a question that might sound extremely stupid, but others can be in my situation. I have no israeli stamps in my passport, but I have the stickers from tel aviv airport and anotherone from allenby bridge on the back cover of my passport, does those count as stamps? Would those two stickers create problem if I go to Tunisia for work? Or is Tunisia still allowing people with Israeli stamps?

    Do you know if I will have any consequences if I take the stickers away from my passport and then go to Israel again?

    1. Hi Dan, I don’t really know what stickers are you talking about. How did you get them? Do you mind sending to a pic to my private email? Or just tell me what kind of sticker is it. That would be very helpful so I can update the post accordingly, thanks!

      1. Hey, I have several friends who have crossed the border to Israel multiple times and removed the sticker afterwards. They haven’t had any problems with it. Like Balerina said below: it seems to be just for security at the airport so they know how seriously to question you.

  13. Hi Dan, i have just removed my sticker from the cover of my passport 🙂 , i was lucky because it was actually not on the passport. I do not think it is something official, probably it just helps the guys working at the security at the airport to cathegorize you and treat you accordingly

  14. Hello , im planning to travel to Israel, from Cairo to Tel Aviv by Air, will the immigration stamp my passport?
    Or tell them not to do so.
    by the way im working in Saudi Arabia.

  15. Hi there

    I emailed you, but just saw that I could post here. I need advice regarding travel from Saudia Arabia to Israel via Jordan and back again. My husband works for a large company in Riyadh and I live in Israel. Husband has several passports including one with a Saudi work visa. I know he will get an entry stamp from Jordan when he arrives at the airport, and he will need when when he leaves from the airport to return to Riyadh. The question is, how does he safely exit and re-enter Jordan at the Sheikh Hussein crossing? BTW – he will be entering and exit Israel on his Israeli passport.

    Thank you for your assistance. This trip will be in a couple of weeks!

      1. Without jeopardizing his return to Saudi Arabia. That is the main concern.

        If he uses his U.S. Passport with the Saudi Work Visa to enter Jordan, he will get a stamp in it. (Or should he use his other U.S. passport?). Then he will be getting a taxi to Sheikh Hussein where he will get an exit stamp (?). He will then enter and exit Israel with his Israeli passport. He will return to Saudi Arabia via Jordan, and he will need to buy a second visa at the border. He will also need to get an exit stamp in or on something (which passport?) from Jordan. He can only get back into Saudi with his Saudi visa.

        I am thinking that he only uses the Passport with Saudi Visa to leave Saudi, to check onto the Queen Aliyah passport for his flight back and when entering Saudi again. It would then only have an exit and entry mark from Saudi and nothing else in it. Would that work or will Jordan require a passport with an exit stamp when HEB first flies into Jordan?

        I realize this is a very unusual situation!

  16. Hola, acabo de encontrar tu página y me está resultando de mucha utilidad.En septiembre viajo con mi hija de 22 años a Jordania, 10 días por nuestra cuenta. Estamos barajando la posibilidad de visitar Jerusalem, ya que estamos muy cerca. Alquilaremos un coche para nuestro recorrido por Jordania. Mi pregunta es, dejar el coche aparcado en la frontera jordana, pasar a Jerusalem, visitarla y regresar a Jordania el mismo día. Es verdad que es un poco precipitado, pero no tenemos más tiempo, y supongo que en un día podriamos ver lo mas importante de Jerusalem. Lo ves posible? o es demasiado precipitado. Muchas gracias por tu información. Saludos

    1. Hola Pedro, es un poco precipitado, pero podría ser factible si es que llegáis a primera hora de la mañana y al cruzar vais a Jerusalén en taxi, aunque puede que el taxi sea un poco caro. También ten en cuenta que la frontera cierra sobre las 7-9, más o menos, aunque no sé a qué hora exactamente

  17. I just want to give a general follow-up comment to my original post regarding travel between Jordan and Israel when Passport Holder needs to return to Saudi Arabia for work.

    I spoke with an official at the Jordanian Embassy in Israel and he advised that when exiting Jordan at Sheikh Hussein Border, tell him NOT to put an exit stamp on the passport and show him your return ticket to Saudi Arabia. There should be no problem. I know that Israel will not stamp either.

    My husband will be using his U.S. passport with Saudi Visa for all entries and exits except for entering and exiting Israel, when he is required legally to use his Israeli passport.

    1. thanks for the follow-up! So does this mean that you will only have one entry stamp for Jordan? Won’t this be suspicious at Saudi Arabia’s eyes? Or are you planning to come back to Jordan through the same border and exit through Saudi overland?

      1. The only thing that will be in U.S Passport with Saudi Visa will be an exit and an entry from Saudi, and an exit and entry from Jordan at Queen Alia Airport.

        The other alternative is to only use that passport to enter and exit Saudi Arabia; the same way we use our Israeli passport, and our U.S. Passport.

        Yesterday though we were looking at our U.S. passports and noticed that neither of them had any U.S. entry or exit stamps in it. I have read there are a number of countries which don’t stamp anymore. I will update after he completes this trip!

  18. I was planning to fly in to Tel Aviv, travel in Palestine before crossing into Jordan for a few days before flying to Lebanon. I’m a bit worried now that the lack of an entry stamp into Jordan will prevent me from entering Lebanon. Would it be better for me to avoid the overland crossing into Jordan and fly from Tel Aviv to Amman instead?

  19. Just wanted to update everyone about it my husband’s recent travel from Saudi Arabia to Israel through Jordan via the Sheikh Hussein crossing. As I mentioned before, my husband, who is a dual U.S. /Israeli citizen arrived in Israel with no problem. He used his U.S. Passport with Saudi Visa only for exiting Saudi Arabia, his other U.S. Passport with Israeli visa for exiting Jordan, and his Israeli visa for the entering Israel.

    He returned today but this time, when he entered Jordan, they told him he had to use his Israeli visa to enter and exit because he could only use one passport. He spoke with the Jordanian Commander who told him that Saudi Arabia doesn’t care about second passports; all they care is that he has a U.S. Passport with a visa to enter Saudi Arabia and they don’t look at anything else.

    That proved to be the case. He said all they really did was check his fingerprint when he returned to make sure it was the same person coming in that had previously exited.

  20. Hi,

    I am travelling to Israel in November and using Abraham tours to have 3 da tour of Jordan. My question is, if I were to ask the border officials to not stamp my passport will they abide? is this difficult or a relatively easy ask? If they do not agree and stamp my passport will I still be able to travel to countries like Dubai and Malaysia?

  21. Hi Joan,

    Thank you very much for your reply. My query is more around when I cross the border to visit Jordan for 3 days – will the Jordanian authorities stamp my passport and could I ask them not to?

    Thanks in advance

  22. Hi,
    If I enter Israel from King Hussein Bridge, will Jordan stamp my passport? Will Israel stamp my passport? Will Israel stamp my passport if I leave the country from Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport? Also, when I enter to Jordon, can I ask the officer to not stamp my passport (I will enter from Aqaba and I don’t want just 1 Jordanian stamp on my passport)?
    Thanks

  23. Israel stamped my passport entering at Aqaba and again departing at the Jordan River. I asked them not to at both locations and they did it anyway. I’m happy to send you a picture.

  24. Hi were travelling from India to turkey and then to Israel by airWe specifically requested the Israeli consulate to issue us a paper e visa instead of the regular sticker visa on the passport but sadly sadly they didn’t pay heed to our request and put a visa sticker on our passports.How much trouble will this cause in future travels is the question that haunts us now.We are frequent travellers but do not plan to travel to Lebanon,Syria, Sudan, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Kuwait, We may travel to Saudi Arabia,Iran,Lebanon in times to come but not really on our bucketlist/cardsAny advice will be more than welcome.

    1. Hi, if you are traveling to Lebanon or Saudi Arabia and you have evidence that you’ever been to Israel then you should get a new passport. It’s as simple as that

  25. Hi,

    I will be crossing at Taba into Eliat then taking the king hussein/alleby border crossing to Jordan. My main concern is that i have a return flight home with Saudi Air and a layover in Jeddah. So my question is will i face a problem taking my flight at either Jordan or Saudi Immigration? Note: 1. I only want to layover in Jeddah and not exit the airport. 2. My passport is expiring anyway so I do not really care about Israel stamp unless it will pose a problem for my return flight home. Your help is much appreciated!

    1. Hi Nish, I don’t think you will have any problem, as you will not technically enter Saudi. Actually, I know from quite a few Israelis who have done layovers in Dubai and it was all right.

  26. If I fly from Tel Aviv to Aqaba, then Egypt, then Lebanon, will there be any evidence in my passport of having been in Israel? (Starting from the US) I know they do not stamp passports at Ben Gurion airport anymore, but I’m a little confused about the entry stamp upon entering Jordan. I will be flying, so not crossing any of the land borders, but when I arrive in Aqaba and they stamp my passport, will there be any indication of where I came from? I assumed since Israel doesn’t stamp the passport, the first thing that would show up is an entry stamp for Jordan, then exit from Jordan, entry to Egypt, exit from Egypt. Would it just appear that I came to Jordan from the US, then went to Egypt, and then to Lebanon?

    1. You can fly to Aqaba from many places, so I guess you will have a stamp from Aqaba airport which has nothing to do with Israel. However, this is a new situation for me, so I can’t guarantee 100%.

  27. Hello Joan
    In your article, you mention that how to avoid a Jordanian stamp shows that you have been to Israel,but what about the opposite direction? For example, I will enter Amman two weeks later, and plan to leave Jordan at the Yitzak Rabin Border Crossing, how to avoid a Jordanian exit stamp?
    Looking for your reply.
    Fabio

  28. just to add one information, for many countries (like India), citizen of which require a pre-approved visa to enter Israel (even for tourism), there is no option of getting rid of the visa stamp in your passport. This is my personal experience. Israel embassy gives a visa pasted in your passport. So for them (like us, Indians) there is no point whether the immigration officer stamp your passport or not.

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