Updated December 27, 2021 1:59 PM IST
For the past many months, there has been great difficulty in obtaining appointments for various passport services at the US Embassy. Responding to the public’s frustration the Embassy has now announced several viable options for US citizens in Israel. Be sure to read carefully and follow all the instructions in order to avoid disappointment.
Improved Embassy Services
- Emergency Passports:
US citizens who are without a valid passport or who do not meet the requirements to return to the United States on an expired U.S. passport (see here) may request urgent appointments for an emergency passport via this online form.
You may only request an urgent appointment if you meet one of the following criteria:
A) Your travel is scheduled within the next 2 weeks.
B) You are not an Israeli citizen, and the Israeli visa which appears in your US passport will expire within 30 days (or newborns without an Israeli visa).
All requests for urgent appointments must be submitted via this new system; those who contact the Consular Sections by email or telephone for urgent appointments will be redirected to this website.
Please note: This option can only be used when traveling in less than two weeks. It cannot be used to schedule a passport appointment for travel that is still months away.
When applying for visa purposes, enter today’s date as Date of Travel. When asked the reason for travel, write that the applicant requires a visa to stay legally in Israel.
- Appointments To Be Released Weekly:
Appointments for passports and CRBAs will now be added weekly to the calendar page every Wednesday between 3PM and 4PM. Additionally, a small numbers of appointments may be available at other times when appointments are canceled.
- Drop Box:
For those who do not wish to use the mail for mail-in applications, a drop box has been set up in the Jerusalem Embassy. The exact same documentation is required as when sent by mail. For additional information, see here. We point out that an inherent risk in the Drop Box option is that one does not receive any tracking number or confirmation of receipt.
4. Video Interviews For Children Under Age Three:
Those eligible for this program will be interviewed by a consular official by video. Only one parent will need to come to the Embassy or Embassy Branch Office to pay, submit the original documents, and sign the applications. For information on qualifying criteria, see here.
Be considerate and follow the rules!
- Book only one appointment – Do not make duplicate appointments at the same location or between both locations (Jerusalem and Tel Aviv). By making duplicate appointments, other US citizens needing urgent passport and CRBA services cannot find them. If duplicate appointments are discovered, both appointments will be cancelled. You will be informed by email that you must schedule a new appointment at a later date in only one location.
- Attend your appointment or cancel if not needed – Be sure to attend the appointment you make or cancel the appointment if you do not need it. By not doing so, others lose out on valuable slots that can be used. Jerusalem and Tel Aviv send reminder emails about appointments 1-2 business days in advance, so there is sufficient time to cancel them.
Avoid ‘Vendors’ To Schedule Appointments:
Scheduling an appointment is free, and the Embassy encourages US citizens to avoid paying third parties for this service. Using these services (particularly as some such service providers are making duplicate and fictitious appointments) makes it harder for the Embassy to address the backlog. Don’t be a victim of fraud!
We suggest that those who have expiring passports that can still be used for travel and have valid visas for return, do their renewals in America, a significantly easier process.
Renewals of passports issued when the passport holder was 16 or older can, and must, be done by mail. The average turnaround time is six to eight weeks. Those who need their passports in a shorter time frame should include a note with their application indicating their travel dates, along with a request for an emergency one-year passport.
Please note that the consulate will not grant in-person appointments for anyone who is eligible to renew their passports by mail.
Travel With Expired Passports
For the last several months, US citizens have been permitted to travel using expired US passports under many circumstances. See details of this rule here. Please note that this exception is due to expire on March 31, 2022.