Thanks to a persistent rumor from years ago, we often get asked “Can I visit Israel with an Arab passport stamp?” The short answer is yes. We’ll dive into more detail with our guide below, covering everything from countries that don’t have diplomatic relations with Israel to how you receive stamps from different countries. We also offer further clarification in our articles on how to deal with Israeli security, securing a visa to Israel, and which citizens need which visas.
Which countries aren’t allowed in Israel?
None! Israel allows tourists from every single nation, even those that do not recognize Israel. Every nationality is allowed to enter Israel, but some need a visa approved in advance. Check out our article on visas to Israel to see which type of visa you’ll need for your journey. And be sure to plan ahead so you aren’t stuck in customs! Some visas take up to 3 months for approval, so starting earlier rather than later is a good idea.
What Countries don’t allow Visitors from Israel?
If you receive a paper stamp, which we dive into below, you’ll be fine. If you have a work visa or a visa that isn’t a tourism visa, there are countries that will ban you. These include Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, and Yemen. We’ve heard that if your visit to Israel was over 7 months before your visit to Iran, there will be no problems. Additionally, visiting Algeria, Iraq, or Sudan directly after a visit from Israel can be very problematic. A new deal between the United Arab Emirates and Israel has freed up travel between these two countries immeasurably. Additionally, you can visit Israel with passport stamps from both Arab and Muslim countries with no issues.
Which Stamps are Problematic?
If you’ve visited Israel, entering Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, and Yemen can be more difficult for you, or outright impossible. They are known to ban travelers that have entered Israel. If this is a possibility during your travels, we recommend getting the paper pass mentioned below in more detail. However, entering on the Israeli side will cause absolutely no problem. You can visit Israel with any Arab stamp, you just may be subject to a more thorough screening process when crossing over the border.
What if I Have an Israeli Passport Stamp?
As of a few years ago, Israeli authorities no longer stamp passports upon entry or exit. If you’re only visiting as a tourist, you’ll receive a piece of paper with all of your information. It will also include your picture and other relevant info. If you’re looking to travel across more of the Middle East, this is your best option. However, if you’re looking for an Israeli passport stamp for sentimental reasons, most border officers will provide one. We even have stories of visitors that brought a special piece of paper just for the stamp! The exception to this is visas. If you’re going to receive a visa for a reason other than tourism, this will be in your passport. If you’re coming for work or other official business, you may want to plan ahead or bring a separate passport.
This piece of paper may be important, or may not. If you’re entering the West Bank, you will need these. Some car rental companies also require this proof of entry. Another thing to keep in mind is that Egyptian and Jordanian authorities will stamp your passport. Since day trips into these neighbors, like S and K, are popular, we have one more piece of information.
While you will not receive a stamp entering or exiting Israel, you may when entering or exiting Jordan or Egypt. Depending on the border crossing, this may make it obvious that you’ve been in Israel. You can request a paper stamp or alternative proof. but it isn’t always available. If you’re planning a trip to Kuwait, Iran, Libya, Lebanon, Syria, or Yemen, it’s best to enter Jordan or Egypt through other entry points. Lebanese officials are infamous for denying entry if they see these stamps in your passport.
Will I be Screened More Thoroughly With an Arab passport Stamp?
While most stamps from Arab or Muslim countries will not cause any comments, there are always exceptions. One notable example is Iran. If you have an Iranian visa or you’ve recently visited the country, expect more questions. You may even be taken aside so that your social media and phone can be checked. The Israeli security screening process is notable for its length and probing. We answer a number of questions on this topic in our article on Israeli airport security. This security is also present at all borders. The questions are usually standard, asking where you’ve been, why, and for how long. You’ll also have to say why you’re visiting Israel. To avoid issues, we recommend that you have the address of where you’re staying, and phone numbers to contact any Israeli residents you’re visiting.
Visiting Israel With an Arab passport Stamp
You can visit Israel with an Arab passport stamp, and we even encourage it! Seeing more of the Middle East will only add to the experience of travel. While Israel is a wonder in and of itself, its neighbors are equally enthralling. Thanks to new diplomatic relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco from 2020, any issues mentioned above should disappear. This means that traveling with an Israeli or Arab stamp will be easier than ever!