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Israeli stamps on my Passport

Hi everyone… Just wondering if anyone could give me any advice regarding passports that have stamps from previous visits to Israel in them. I’m part of a team hopefully heading out to the Middle East this time next year but one of the girls has visited Israel for work in the past. Looking on the Syrian and Lebanese embassy websites it looks like we will have trouble trying to obtain visas because of this… Anyone had any experience of a similar situation? As you can probably guess this will be my first trip out there so any advice would be welcome! Cheers.

by Mike Hills at 2006-05-24 16:20:31 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) London , United Kingdom | Bookmark | | Report spam→

i think you can ’t travel in middle east with israely visa…. impossible… you must make a new passeport ….

by Stephane Lehr | 24 May 2006 17:05 | Paris, France | | Report spam→
Thanks Steph…I thought as much. But even when you get a new passport would they not be able to check the history of any previous travel through the passport number on a computer system?

by Mike Hills | 24 May 2006 17:05 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
no they won’t.

by Fabien Penso | 24 May 2006 17:05 | paris, France | | Report spam→
in wich country you go ? exactetly ???

by Stephane Lehr | 24 May 2006 17:05 | Paris, France | | Report spam→
All over the Middle East but the only visas I’ve looked into at the moment that mention the israeli stamp are for Syria and Lebanon… I expect it’s the same in most of the countries in that region?

by Mike Hills | 24 May 2006 17:05 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
yes it is
maybe if you go to jordan it s all right but i m not sure … but for lebanon, syria, egypte …. all :-(( no…..
if you ahave a new visa don’ t worry , they not be able to check the history ….
are you a press card ? becaus e in France if you have one , you can have two passeport … good for travel… one for usa , israel and europe and a other for the rest of country ….
i don t know if in england is the same …
take care

by Stephane Lehr | 24 May 2006 17:05 | Paris, France | | Report spam→
I do have a press card but I’m not sure whether we have the same system as you do in France. I’ll definitely look into it though, thanks a lot for the tip.

by Mike Hills | 24 May 2006 17:05 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
You definitely need a new passport, a second one. I live in Israel and for that reason I have 2 passports which is really the best solution. All you have to do is get a letter saying that you need a second passport because the first one has an Israeli stamp and you would like to visit countries like Egypt, Lebanon, etc. Its not really a big deal and it will save you a lot of trouble. The second passport will only be valid for a year or two and you can keep the old one for all other travel where an Israeli stamp won’t matter.


by Katherine Kiviat | 24 May 2006 18:05 | Jerusalem, Israel | | Report spam→
Excellent. Panic over… thank’s Katherine.

by Mike Hills | 24 May 2006 18:05 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
I know that the answer to Mikes question is allready here,
but i just have to mention that when you arrive to Israel you can ask your stamp to a piece of paper and
not on to your passport so it helps if you’re travelling in the future to Iran, Syria
or other that kind of places, that do not accept stamp from Israel.

by Jukka Onnela | 24 May 2006 18:05 | a, West Bank / Occupied Palestinian Territory | | Report spam→
yes it is … you re right brother
take care

by Stephane Lehr | 24 May 2006 18:05 | Paris, France | | Report spam→
absolutely no problem with Jordan or Egypt since these countries are open to Israeli tourists. in any case, for both ways, not to have trouble getting into Israel, or arab countries, it’s better to ask for a “fly-paper” which a little post-it they staple to your passport, they stamp/ visa on that, and then you can take it off once you’re out of the country. (except for a certain controler’s answer: “you’re not proud to visit my country?” and Bang, stamped it in.)
in any case, there is no “international record” of where you’ve been attached to your passport number.
and you don’t need the french system, just say you lost your passport and get a new one.
have fun.

by [former member] | 25 May 2006 01:05 | Qalat, Afghanistan | | Report spam→
Dear Mike,

She or you have to get a new passport definitely, better two or more. NOTE: Once you enter Israel you can request that your passport isnt stamped and you get the entry stamp on the paper. Always insist on this (normally no big deal at all), avoid any Arabic stamps from Arab-Israeli borders as Rafah, Elat… For your future Middle East travel one advise: Use one passport for pressvisa as you will get them from Syria or in Iran ct., the other one keep clean as possible (no stamps at all). In a emercency I can always take the blank passport and get a tourist visa for destination that require a pressvisa (works often). In general I try to avoid stamps or get them on a extra paper. The fewer stamps I have in my passport the less stupied questions I have to answer from any border offical, policeman, militiaman, soldier and other creatures.

Best from Berlin Kai

by [former member] | 25 May 2006 03:05 | Berlin / Hamburg, Germany | | Report spam→
Aww, Kai, you are no fun. What about all the kids who like to go to the periphery of exciting places just so they can have cool stamps on their passports to impress their friends, without actually having seen any action.

But Herr Wiedenhoefer is correkt. Think ahead because you never know how certain excitable types might react in the future when they see the stamps on your passport. Today’s neutral country can be tomorow’s Tomahawk test site. Cool stamps on your passport can get you in more trouble than you can imagine,even by those paranoid rednecks at home you call the government.

The real test of a successful traveller is to get in and out of any amount of countries without getting any stamps or visas and having a stamp free passport after ten years (a pristine piece of paper, imho) and still cover the action.

If you want to collect stamps or visas, then get a credit card or go to the post office.

by Mikethehack | 25 May 2006 06:05 | Cloud Cuckoo Land, Holy See | | Report spam→
More or less everytime i’ve been to Israel i’ve had to get a new passport. Not because of Arab country stamps in it but because the passport has been so badly mistreated, mishandled, and generally badly fingered by Israeli authorities. One moronic border policeman at a checkpoint somewhere decided the photo was a fake so he started peeling open the lamination to check. Of course, after that everyone thought the photo was a fake so they started peeling it open even more.

by [former member] | 25 May 2006 06:05 | On a wheel in a cage, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
My favorite trick in that case (passports being manhandled) is to have the local embassy number handy (if there is one) and say that the passport belongs to the foreign minister of whatever country you come from and that ripping it up amounts to a serious breach of diplomatic protocol and you are going to hand his ass to the ambassador (someone you should always address as ‘your excellency’).

Dis don’t count for squat if you are in de middle of nowhereland and are sucking on de unpleasant end of an AK.
But it has worked for me.

by Mikethehack | 25 May 2006 06:05 (ed. May 25 2006) | Cloud Cuckoo Land, Holy See | | Report spam→
By the way, if anyone ever meets Kai ask to see his German driving licence. Hilarious! If it’s not a fake it should be…

by [former member] | 25 May 2006 07:05 | On a wheel in a cage, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
any truth to the rumor that renewal passports in the US now take 2 weeks to process? i heard this one recently,
tightening controls by homeland security means all passports now must go through philidelphia and take two
weeks…..? had hope to renew and get a clean shiny passport as i have stamps from israel and the jordanian
border…..hadn’t planned on spending two weeks in the US though. cheers.

by julia s. ferdinand | 25 May 2006 07:05 | chiang mai, Thailand | | Report spam→
Fair enough Mike humorless German. If you want to collect stamps take a BMW bike drive from Germany to the Middle East. You cant top the number of stamps you will get. At the Syrian border I got four one for me, two for the bike, one for the insurance…the Egyptian were similar….By that you can waste the 32 pages of a German passport in 14months. Best thing take a ship with your bike from Junieh (Beirut) to Cyprus than to Haifa and show the Israel Border Control your German (more Arabic in the meantime) passport. It will take about 9-10 hours till they even squezze out your toothpaste. Well I dont want to bore with all the travels I did my bikes in the East….And my driverlicense isnt fake and valid for lifetime (jealous Jason).

Cheers Kai

by [former member] | 25 May 2006 08:05 | Berlin / Hamburg, Germany | | Report spam→
If you get an Israeli stamp on your passport, you might as well shred the damn thing. You won’t be able to get into any other Arab countries.

by [former member] | 25 May 2006 22:05 | Scotrun, United States | | Report spam→
If you get an Israeli stamp on your passport, you might as well shred the damn thing. You won’t be able to get into any other Arab countries.

by [former member] | 25 May 2006 22:05 | Scotrun, United States | | Report spam→
Mustafah: this is complete bull, you can travel to many arab countries with the israeli stamp (even with an Israeli passport), Egypt, Jordan, Dubai, Qatar and more…

by [former member] | 26 May 2006 00:05 | Kandahar, Afghanistan | | Report spam→
hi mike,

like guilad says, jordan, egypt, dubai all have open diplomatic relations with israel and won’t look twice at previous israeli stamps as they stamp you in. however, sudan, syria and lebanon (not sure about iraq), as well as Saudi (i believe) will all deny you if they see ANY evidence of prior travel to israel/palestine. This includes stamps in your passport from the egyptian side of Taba, and the Jordanian side of the Jordan valley crossing. Even if you fly into Ben Gurion, and they don’t stamp your passport it can be a problem, i had a friend who did this and then traveled to jordan and onto Syria. However, her trip was cut short, when the Syrian border authorities saw the adhesive outline left by the security sticker they stuck on her passport at Ben Gurion. entry denied. So they’re pretty militant. Also, the syrian border authorities are known to deny entry at the border (even if you obtained the proper visa) fresh passports that were issued in Amman or Cairo.

I would recommend that everyone in your group get a second passport. For americans this is easy. they make you fill out a questionaire as to why, and issue you a provisional passport that is valid for two years. use this one exclusively for travel to and from Israel/palestine, and your regular 10 year passport for the rest of the world. good luck. if you have any more questions just send me a pm.

by [former member] | 26 May 2006 05:05 | Amman, Jordan | | Report spam→
Hi Julie,
You can get a new American passport in 24hrs if need be. It will cost you some bucks, but I needed a new one for my daughter right before I left the US last time and it literallly arrived on my doorsteps an hour before we took off to the airport. Good luck!

by Sonya Winterberg | 26 May 2006 05:05 | Berlin, Germany | | Report spam→
Guilad, it’s actually not complete bull. Please read what Bryan Denton wrote.


by [former member] | 26 May 2006 08:05 | Scotrun, United States | | Report spam→
Mike, Israelis know about this drill therefore they stamp you on a separate detachable page if you will travel other Middle eastern countries, make sure you tell them on the way in so they stamp it on a separate paper.
No they can’t know the history of your traveling countries other then the stamps in your passport

Good luck, you will needed in that area of the world


by Raffi Kirdi | 26 May 2006 15:05 (ed. May 26 2006) | Paris, France | | Report spam→
Mike, Israelis know about this drill therefore they stamp you on a separate detachable page if you will travel other Middle eastern countries, make sure you tell them on the way in so they stamp it on a separate paper.
No they can’t know the history of your traveling countries other then the stamps in your passport

Good luck, you will needed in the area of the world


by Raffi Kirdi | 26 May 2006 15:05 | Paris, France | | Report spam→
A second passport is the best solution — just remember to hide the Israel-stamped passport pretty well when going to Lebanon and especially Syria. If you don’t end up with a 2nd passport and you’re entering Israel from Jordon, you can pay a company at the border for “VIP” entry where an English speaker sort of wisks you through the whole process and makes sure yr passport doesn’t get stamped. With a group, it might be worth it.
Another piece of advice — remember after leaving Isarel to get rid of Israeli luggage tags, security stickers, etc..

by Jen Banbury | 26 May 2006 16:05 | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
Thanks for all of the advice guys, it’s been very helpful. Now I see why so many people recommended this site to me!

One more question though – Surely it doesn’t matter whether you have an Isreali stamp in your passport or not if you are trying to go from Israel into Syria or Lebanon then they know you’ve been there….right? I know it’s an obvious statement but I just wondered whether it was just a case of stamps? Or does it mean you can only leave Israel into the relatively friendly state of Jordan?

by Mike Hills | 26 May 2006 16:05 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
If you are headed to Jordan, the unfriendly states will check to see if you got your Jordan stamp from the bordering towns, thus they’ll know you’ve been to Israel even without an Israeli stamp. All the more reason to get your 2nd passport. I got mine for this reason and it was fairly painless.

by Tommy Huynh | 21 Jun 2006 21:06 | San Antonio, United States | | Report spam→
We use the two passport system for this reason. It’s a no-brainer.

Sgt Frank Hudec
Cameraman/Canadian Forces Army News

by [former member] | 21 Jun 2006 21:06 | Ottawa, Canada | | Report spam→
Mike, you can’t get from Israel directly into Syria and Lebanon.

by Scout Tufankjian | 21 Jun 2006 22:06 | Brookyn, United States | | Report spam→
you have to get a new passport. i am here now and NO WAY. especialy after this invasionesqe type bullshit they are pulling on us now. PHAT CHANCE. i know someone who got a passport just and exclusively only for her travels to palestine. you could try that. just renew between now and then…you have to LOOSE your passport. i am lebanese

by [former member] | 15 Jul 2006 10:07 | Beirut, Lebanon | | Report spam→
Hi Guys

I have just posted this http://www.lightstalkers.org/jerusalem_to_beirut within last day or so. Anyone got any good advice?

by [former member] | 01 Jun 2007 11:06 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
Do you know what I have read all the above and I’m fucked. In any case how do you do the 2nd passport swap if you need to get an entry visa at the Israel-Jordan crossinG? How do you get a Jordanian entry visa on the new passport?

I think I now have to fly from Tel-Aviv to Cyprus and into Beirut. I have an assignment in Lebanon and must get in. Shit.

by [former member] | 01 Jun 2007 11:06 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
I’ve just had a crew of Uruguayan jurnos here, they told the migration they are journalists and no stamps in the Passports, not even the small paper with the stamp.I was worried because the army asks in checkpoints for the paper but i was told that now everything is through the computer. For my surprise things worked smoothly.

by Quique Kierszenbaum | 01 Jun 2007 11:06 | Jerusalem, Israel | | Report spam→
it’s also best to avoid crossing those israeli borders. fly or take the boat to Cyprus, and go from there to the Arab country of your destination. this may sound extreme but it’s a pleasant weekend anyway which you will probably need after weeks or months in gaza, etc. so this way it’s all a non issue. Israel trip totally cut out from your other travels. And yes, two passports. always. not just for the borders but so you don’t freak out if one gets lost, stolen, confiscated, etc.

and Kai’s driving license is no joke. i should have had a tattered one like his, when a czech policeman stopped me for not having deep enough treads in my tires (!) and upon my presentation to him of my San Francisco issued license, he said that this was a serious matter that would have to be discussed with the “Foreign Ministry Of California.”

by [former member] | 01 Jun 2007 18:06 | New York, NY, United States | | Report spam→
anyway all spoke about the same solution concerning to have the two passports, and this is the only choise you might have. now your seconed question,i’ts only a case of stamps. that means you cannot enter Syria or lebanon with passport that showing you have been in Israel. and beleive me it’s serious case. in case you need any help please contact me.

by Qasem Sabagh | 02 Jun 2007 21:06 | Jerusalem, Israel | | Report spam→
Great thread! I am going to Iran next month which also doesn’t allow Israeli stamps. Fortunately I have a fresh passport with nice, clean pages.

by John Goldsmith | 02 Jun 2007 22:06 | Vancouver, Canada | | Report spam→
It’s pretty annoying certain countries like mine don’t issue duplicate passports at all.

by | 03 Jun 2007 10:06 | Southampton, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
they do if you tell them you lost the other one.

by [former member] | 03 Jun 2007 15:06 | Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | | Report spam→
I have a British passport and have used the border crossing between Israel and Jordan several times. I do not think there is a problem if you get a new passport, you should be allowed anywhere!

by Leo Bieber | 04 Jun 2007 15:06 | Sussex, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Hi i dont know if am let for the advise, but you can ask them to Stamp the Israeli Visa on separate official paper , which they do have on thier boarder points.

Therefor that should be no problem.


by Noor Khatib | 23 Jun 2007 09:06 | Ramallah, Occupied Palestinian Territory | | Report spam→
passports get lost all the time…. good thing as well is the possibility two have two US ones. one though is olnly valid for one year. easy fix, easily renewable.

by [former member] | 23 Jun 2007 15:06 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
Does anyone know if Yemen will let you in with an Israeli stamp? I actually got refused from the Allenby Bridge Crossing 2 weeks ago and they stamped “Entry Denied” on my passport. I am guessing Arab countries wont look too favourably on that, but it does prove I never visited Israel…

by Conor | 23 Jun 2007 16:06 | Dubai, United Arab Emirates | | Report spam→
I thought I would update you guys on something new.

I entered Israel today and did not bother to ask them to not stamp my passport. They never stamped it anyway or gave me the fly paper. They told me if you have the new biometric passports they have all your details on computer. It maybe because I told them I would only be in the country for 48 hours. Not sure what the deal is at the checkpoints as the big one before you enter Jerusalem did not even stop the taxi?

by [former member] | 23 Jun 2007 16:06 | Jerusalem, Israel | | Report spam→
Yeman with Israeli Stamp , no way you will enter unless you hide the Stamp!

Israel no problem just ask them as i have mentioned before to Stamp not on your Passport.

If you got Israeli Stamp and you want travel to Jordan or Egypt,Morrocco, That should be no problem at all.

Be awear NOT!!! to enter Some arab countries with an Israeli Stamp ( Preffer to ask your Embassis before starting anything ).

For Syria , Lebanon as Example having Israeli Stamp on your Passport will start Problem, there for better to ask, you dont need this kind of useless Problems.

Have a nice trip

by Noor Khatib | 24 Jun 2007 06:06 | Ramallah, Occupied Palestinian Territory | | Report spam→
I have a question about the other way around. If you have a Iranian stamp in your passport will you be allowed to get into Israel ? Does Israel restricts the entrance of any foreigner ?

— Anderson

by Anderson Fortaleza | 27 Jun 2007 11:06 | Fortaleza, Brazil | | Report spam→
hi, sorry im new to this topic so apologies if i am stating the obvious but….it seems that theres a general opinion about the benefits of having 2 passports, but due to the highly stringent security checks in many ME countries what if they search you or your baggage (also loss?) and find the second passport??

by Masood | 11 Jul 2007 10:07 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Just stumbled upon this site through a google search on this topic, so apologies if I’m not as savvy as the traveling journalists etc here. I was wondering the same thing as the previous poster, and would also be interested in the answer to question of the second passport swap. Two questions please. Wouldn’t you need an exit stamp from ‘somewhere’ upon entry into a country? Or do they not care about where you’ve been if the information is not readily available in your passport? Also, don’t you have to fill out immigration/customs forms on the plane, so you won’t you have a card saying you just got off a plane from somewhere ‘hostile’?

by Amira | 07 Sep 2007 06:09 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
I just returned from Lebanon after visiting Israel via Amman and after I presented my passport , The officer asked me if I had another passport? I fibbed and denied it but if I was searched I would have been in trouble!!!

by Kahtan Alamery | 07 Sep 2007 12:09 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
it’s doubtful that any airport search would be so thorough that they would single out another passport tucked in between the pages of the book of poetry that you’re reading. but if they do, just say, you have two passports in case you lose one, which is true, and also for the times when you need to apply for two countries’ visas at the same time, as in, one passport goes to Pakistani Embassy overnight while you stand in line at Afghan Embassy with the other. This is also true. No lies.

Regarding exit stamps, not all countries issue exit stamps. if you’re flying from Paris to Damascus obviously you do not have a French exit stamp as they do not stamp US/EU passports. On the rare occasions when this has been a problem, you can always say that the guy forgot, and after a bit of nonsense you will be on your way. It is simply not a big enough deal, an exit stamp.

As for filling out forms, if you’re flying directly from one country to another, of course they know where the plane is coming from! but not the place before. Which is why Cyprus is so useful, not just as a Mediterranean getaway, but precisely for this reason, as a way of isolating all Israel travel from all Arab-countries travel.

by [former member] | 07 Sep 2007 14:09 | New York, NY, United States | | Report spam→

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Mike Hills, Journalist Mike Hills
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Conor, Conor
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