New Guidance Issued for U.S. Passports Difficulties in Israel

YERUSHALAYIM -
An almost empty Ben Gurion International Airport. (Flash90)

Chaim V’Chessed together with Amudim have offered the following guidelines addressing the difficulties of U.S. citizens in Israel with obtaining or renewing U.S. passports, or Consular Reports of Birth Abroad. This is related to a worldwide slowdown in the issuance of U.S. passports. It is further complicated by coronavirus restrictions which severely limit the number of citizens allowed into the Embassy.

They note that the consulates in Israel will be adding more daily appointments, allowing a greater number of clients to be served. Real life-and-death emergencies will be a higher priority than those seeking travel.

As of now, foreign students studying in Israel, regardless of their vaccination status, will not be allowed to enter Israel should they leave for Pesach. This applies to single students as well as married students. While this policy can change at any time, any non-Israeli who does not need to leave Israel for a true emergency should consider deferring travel plans if they hope to return to Israel after Pesach.

Meanwhile, anyone requiring assistance from the U.S. Consulates should email either the Yerushalayim or Tel Aviv Consulate, but not both. Include the last name of the person in need of assistance as well as the matter that requires resolution on the subject line, with clear details of the request listed in the body of the email, including your phone number and email address, so that consulate staff can contact you easily. Be sure to attach all relevant documentation such as passports, marriage licenses, medical documentation, travel itineraries, proof of loss of health coverage etc.

All emergency requests will be verified. If you are making a request for medical purposes, be advised that the physician who wrote the letter, or the hospital, will likely be contacted for confirmation.

Currently, all appointment requests should be emailed to either JerusalemACS@state.gov or TelAvivACS@state.gov, (email one location only, not both) and must come directly from the individual(s) in need of assistance – third party requests will generally not be accepted. Attempts to deceive officials by submitting fraudulent documentation have created a tremendous chillul Hashem. This has undermined the trust we have built with government agencies, hampered our ability to serve the public and created lengthy delays and significant frustrations for everyone.

Switching appointments will not be allowed, as there have been incidents of fraud, with people selling their appointments to others.

They urge anyone who has a scheduled appointment that is no longer needed (for any reason) to cancel the appointment online or to email the consulate where the appointment was scheduled so that it can be available to someone else.