Published May 7, 2023 3:13 PM IST Updated June 13, 2023 1:59 PM IST
As has been detailed by Chaim V’Chessed and reported widely in the press, over the past year, it has been extremely difficult to obtain Israeli passports. This is due to a huge post-COVID demand. To address the great passport backlog, the Interior Ministry will be implementing a revolutionary new program instituted by the newly installed minister, Moshe Arbel.
In what is being billed as a ‘Passport Marathon’, from May 14 through June 15, the four largest branches of the Interior Ministry will open their doors non-stop from 7:30 AM until 9:00 PM. They will deal only with passport matters during this entire month, with no appointments required. These branches are located in Jerusalem (Shlomtzion), Tel Aviv, Haifa and Beersheva. UPDATE: The Passport Marathon will be extended until June 30, 2023.
Additionally, a special passport center will be opened in Bnei Brak as well. It will operate from 8 AM until 10 PM, by advance appointment only at this link. This massive effort is aimed to totally eliminate the passport shortage in Israel. We salute Minister Arbel for this initiative.
At the same time, these major branches will not provide any other services. This includes birth certificates, Daf K’nisot V’yetziot and visa matters. Considering the fact that Jerusalem is by far the largest branch handling visas, we expect considerable difficulty for visa holders during this period of time.
We encourage anyone with upcoming visa needs to hasten to Misrad HaPnim this week, before the new passport program gets underway. Matters other than passports or visas can continue to be executed at other Interior Ministry branches. However, delays are expected at those locations, as they will carry the brunt of the overage from the ‘Passport Marathon’.
Chaim V’Chessed has been in extensive contact with senior Interior Ministry officials over the past several days to try to find viable solutions for those urgently needing other services during this time period.