Since the beginning of the Corona crisis, foreign citizens have been banned from entering Israel. Last week, Chaim V’Chessed published the list of exceptional circumstances for entry of foreigners to Israel. Since that publication, we have received untold questions regarding other circumstances. These have included foreigners wishing to enter Israel for:
- A parent’s yahrtzeit
- A hakamas matzeva (unveiling)
- Davening at the kotel for a seriously ill family member
- A grandchild’s bar mitzva
- An impending birth
- A grandchild’s pidyon haben
- A business meeting
- A niece’s wedding
Sadly, we have had to tell each applicant that, regretfully, they have no chance of being approved. The authorities are extremely strict, and only those in the permitted categories are issued permits.
Moreover, many applicants are persistent, and ‘know someone’ in one position or another, who they believe can help. Another decides that the route to an approval would be to bombard the embassy with emails. Others figure that they might as well apply to the consulate, anyways – can it hurt?
In the past, before the rules were concrete, we have advised ‘trying your luck’. Now, we are forced to state something different: Requests which do not conform with the permitted categories WILL NOT be approved. The consulates are staggering under the avalanche of requests. Spurious applications which are certain to be refused not only is a waste of time, but also contributes to difficulties for others, who ought to receive permits.
As we were forced to tell one caller: We understand that you have been travelling to Israel every single year for your father’s yahrtzeit, since his passing, 23 years ago. But are you willing to apply for permission, and thereby cause someone else who wants to come for his father’s funeral to miss it?