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The Passport Stamp Issue

Central Illinois
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129 posts
17 reviews
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The Passport Stamp Issue

I've looked for this in the forum, but the answers I've found are from two years ago. The question is about getting my passport stamped at Ben Gurion, and whether it will cause me to have problems traveling to an Arab country in the future. I read this in Fodor's, and I've got to say it would seem like I'm insulting the country of Israel if I asked that my passport not be stamped. Is this really a problem, or more of an international urban legend? Thanks, Lisa

Jerusalem, Israel
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem
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1. Re: The Passport Stamp Issue

Hi Lisa,

Firstly, I must say that I (and I'm sure many others) really appreciate your sentiments with regards to having (or rather not) your passport stamped on entering Israel. Amazingly, some travelers look at this problem as being Israel's fault !!

I would like to say that it's an international urban legend, but unfortunately it is not. Many Arab countries will not let you enter if you have an Israeli stamp.

So, if you have a choice, and would rather not go to places that will not accept an Israeli stamp - well done for you. If you do not have a choice, or even if you just want to visit those countries (I know I would like to ...), you should request that your passport not be stamped on entering or exiting Israel. If you already have a passport with an Israeli stamp, you should probably get yourself a new one before traveling to these countries.

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
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2. Re: The Passport Stamp Issue

Lisa-

I should add that there have been reports of problems with NOT getting your passport stamped. When you rent a car or go to a hotel, as a tourist you do not have to pay the VAT tax. Proof of tourist status is the stamp in your passport. It was reported that not everyone was willing to accept the stamp on a piece of paper. So--while this could have changed--as Debi indicated there are a number of Arab countries that will not allow you to enter with the Israeli stamp. BTW Jordan and Egypt have no problems with the stamp.

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3. Re: The Passport Stamp Issue

Masha (Mashunia) just had the same issue - PM her or look for her posts in this forum.

Ann Arbor, Michigan
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4. Re: The Passport Stamp Issue

Very important to mention as RGlady did, that Jordan and Egypt are unconcerned.

YZD
Toronto
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561 posts
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5. Re: The Passport Stamp Issue

Please realize if you visit any Arab or other Muslim country, you can visit Israel with those stamps in your passport, you may be asked a few questions, but will (depending on your answers) be allowed to pass.

There are many myths and realities concerning having an Israeli visa in your passport. Currently the only countries in the Arab League that you can enter with an Israeli stamp in your passport are:

Egypt

Jordan

Mauritania

Bahrain

Oman

Qatar

UAE (officialy no, but know others who have, they want the business)

Tunisia

Morocco

If you for example plan to visit Syria, and are going to Petra during your stay in Israel, do not get the Jordanians to stamp your passport in Aqaba, as the Syrians will know you crossed from Israel.

Seattle
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6. Re: The Passport Stamp Issue

Two quick points:

1. A few years ago, soon after a trip to Israel, I had a chance to go to Lebanon on a relief trip. The trip never panned out, but I had started to jump through the hoops to quickly get a second passport (yes, you can have two passports if you have a reason).

2. My 2007 Egypt passport stamp got me a lot of extra attention and questions from the Israeli security people at TLV when I was leaving there last November. I’m not complaining, I appreciate their security. But the stamp issues can go both ways.

We do tend to forget that most of the countries that won’t let you in with an Israel stamp are still technically at war with Israel. How easy would it have been to get into the USA in 1966 with a North Vietnam stamp in your passport?

Cincinnati, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Israel
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7. Re: The Passport Stamp Issue

That is a false equivalence, Al. It is not Israel's fault that most of the Arab world is "at war" with it. They continue to refuse to accept its very existence. This applies to many Arab states that have never been in direct conflict with Israel.

And, again, Israel admits visitors to those countries. It is the Arab countries alone that categorically exclude people based on a visit to Israel.

You may have gotten extra scrutiny . . . but you got in.

Douglas Duckett

8. Re: The Passport Stamp Issue

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