Tourist Visa Extension: Staying longer in Israel
There may be several reasons why a short trip to Israel may result in the need to stay for a longer period of time than the original Visa allows for. If this occurs, you must submit an application for a Tourist Visa Extension at the Ministry of Interior (Misrad Hapnim). At Cohen, Decker, Pex and Brosh, Israeli immigration law office, our specialist lawyers are on hand to help assist with the process of an extended stay in Israel.
What is a B/2 Visa?
A B/2 Visa is given to a person who is visiting Israel for a short period of time as a tourist. This visa is usually issued for foreigners on holiday, but is also given for short business trips or visits for various purposes. The tourist visa to Israel should be differentiated from other visa types, such as a Student visa or a Volunteering Visa. Whilst citizens of certain countries such as England, France, Russia and many others do not need to request a Visa in advance in order to enter Israel, for other nations it is imperative that one is approved the visa before arrival to the border.
In general, the B-2 Tourist Visa is issued upon entrance to Israel at the border crossing, and is valid for up to 3 months from when it is issued, however the Israeli immigration agents are authorized to grant the B-2 visa for shorter periods of time. More information on the B-2 Visa can be found in the following article: https://lawoffice.org.il/en/israel-tourist-visa/
Can I extend my Tourist Visa?
Yes, but it is difficult and there is no guarantee that it will be granted. B/2 Visa’s can be extended for over 3 months under circumstances surrounding reasons such as health, family and special events. If any of these examples can be proved with documentation or valid evidence, an extension may be granted.
Can I gain an extension if I leave Israel and return?
Although in some circumstances this may be okay, Israeli border control officers have the right to refuse your right to enter back to the country once you have left. This is because every time you leave and return to Israel you must be issued a new visa, regardless of whether your last visa has expired.
If, for example your visa is issued for 3 months, but you leave Israel for a few of the days covered within the B2 visa, it is not guaranteed that you will be able to return again. In any case upon return a new visa must be issued, which may be for another 3 months, or shorter. If the border control clerks decide that Israeli immigration law has been violated and the purpose of the visit is not tourism a refusal of entry may be issued, or your visa will be reduced to a short term. If a foreign national enters and exits Israel extensively, this activity may be deemed as suspicious; a tourist visa should only be used for short and informal visits. Israeli border control emphasizes that a foreign national may not stay in Israel for longer than 3 months each year on a tourist visa.
Interestingly, this claim doesn’t appear in the law. However, if you want to stay in Israel for longer periods of time, it is recommended to seek another optional visa.
How do I extend my Tourist Visa?
Firstly, you must approach the Population and Immigration Authority at the local Ministry of Interior to book an appointment. Once booked, you will need to explain to an official why the Visa needs extending. This will require some evidence, such as an invitation, a letter from a family member, medical reports, or court documents. You must also print and fill in an “Entry Visa” or “Tourist Visa extension form” and bring it to the appointment. Other important documents to bring to this meeting include;
- Two passport pictures;
- A photocopy of your travel documents (passport);
- Proof of sufficient financial means;
- Previous airline tickets
As well as this, a fee of 24 Dollars or 21 Euros must be paid (as of 2019). If applicable, one should bring documentation of having a Jewish Grandparent. This is because according to the Law of Return you are eligible for Israeli citizenship. By bringing documentation regarding the right to make Aliyah, it is easier to extend the visa.
How can our Law Office help with a Tourist Visa Extension?
Being granted a B/2 Visa extension can be difficult. Our expert lawyers are here to aid you in a myriad of ways:
- Assist you in filling in the forms for a B/2 Visa
- Advise you on how best to apply for a Visa extension
- Help you understand the process and requirements of retaining your B/2 visa
- Accompany you to the Israeli immigration office and submit the request
- Submit an appeal if your B-2 visa extension has been refused
For any questions please do not hesitate to contact our firm:
Contact our specialist Lawyers in Petach Tikvah and Jerusalem via any of the following methods: