If you have recently traveled to Israel and are planning to visit Egypt, then you may have concerns that your previous trip may cause you problems from entering the country. Although many Arab countries have good diplomatic relations with Israel, many countries in the Middle East will not permit entry to travelers with evidence of having visited Israel in their passport.
As Israel tends to give entry and exit stamps to all travelers who cross its borders, this can be a problem for those who later intend to travel to some Arab countries. However, this is not usually the case when traveling to Egypt.
Egypt customs and entry requirements state that entering Egypt with an Israeli stamp in a passport normally does not cause any problems in gaining access to the country. However, it’s worth finding out how you can avoid getting an Israel stamp in your passport in case you wish to visit neighboring Arab countries who do not tolerate Israel.
Where Can’t I go if I Have an Israel Stamp in my Passport?
In general, you will be allowed into Egypt with an Israel stamp on your passport, although the final decision will be made on an individual basis by Egyptian authorities at border control.
Many travelers to Egypt who visit the Sinai Peninsula resorts such as Sharm El Sheik decide to make short trips over the border into Israel and to visit Jordan. If you do visit Israel from Egypt, you are likely to receive a stamp at Egyptian border control. This stamp will not cause problems when returning to Egypt, but may limit travel to other countries in the region.
While Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates all accept Israeli stamps in a passport, the following countries do not:
- Saudi Arabia
Immigration personal in some of these countries may be extremely vigilant in looking for any trace of prior travel to Israel. Even luggage tags issued in Israel may be used as evidence to deny entry, and those with any trace of Israeli entry stamps in their passport will be immediately turned away.
However, in recent years it has become much easier to avoid getting an Israel stamp in your passport, thanks in large part to new procedures implemented by the Israeli government.
Can You Ask Israel Not to Stamp Your Passport?
The easiest way to avoid getting entry/exit stamps in Israel is simply to ask Israeli immigration officials not to stamp the passport, which they will usually comply with. In fact, this has now become common practice because Israel has recognized that a passport stamp can cause problems with onward travel.
It is now standard procedure for Israeli immigration to stamp two separate pieces of paper upon entry and exit to the country, a blue slip upon arrival, and a pink slip upon departure.
The blue slip must be kept on the traveler’s person during the entire stay – it may be requested for review at your accommodation – and exchanged for the pink when leaving Israel’s borders.
Travelers with biometric passports will not be obliged to receive any kind of stamp, as officials will be able to see all of their details through the biometric system.
How to Avoid Getting a Passport Stamp in Israel
Although it is now possible to avoid getting a stamp from Israel in your passport through the new slip system, there is still a chance you may receive a stamp at the border from Egyptian authorities if you choose to visit Israel during your stay. Although not issued by Israel, this stamp may still be considered grounds for rejecting the traveler from other Arab countries.
If you do intend to visit other Arab countries after Egypt, it’s a good idea to ask Egyptian border control to place your stamp on a separate piece of paper. Those traveling in a family should also make sure that no Israeli stamps get placed in their kids’ passport.
Travelers with dual nationality and multiple passports have another way of getting around any potential stamps: they can simply use one passport to visit Israel, and the other travel document to visit those countries with restrictions against Israeli stamps.
In conclusion, those planning to visit Egypt after traveling to Israel should not face any problems because of the new stamping procedures introduced by the Israeli government. However, it is also essential to check the Egyptian visa requirements for your nationality before departure, as it may be necessary to obtain a visa to gain access to Egtypt.