Germany and Israel have shared a warm and cooperative relationship for several decades. As part of the effort to maintain this relationship, Germany is on Israel’s list of visa-exempt countries, prompting thousands of Germans to visit Israel on vacation each year. But these travel requirements are changing – soon, German passport holders will need an ETA-IL to enter the country.

Do German citizens need a visa to enter Israel?

A common question asked by German citizens is whether they need a visa to enter Israel. The answer is no – Germany is on the visa-exempt list, and until recently, Germans have required no preparation or documentation whatsoever before entering the country.

There are no plans for Germany to be removed from the visa exemption list. However, as of 2024, Germany will join fellow visa-exempt countries in being part of the ETA-IL for Israel program.

What is the ETA-IL?

The ETA-IL for Israel is a new electronic travel authorization system, which Israel will use to keep track of the influx of tourists into the country.

Unlike a regular visa, the ETA is quick and easy to apply for and the approval rates are high. In addition, because there is no need to go to an embassy, the turnover rate is quick. Typically, applications are approved and sent back within a week.

The ETA-IL is similar to an e-visa or ESTA, as well as many other programs used by countries around the world to promote tourism while still maintaining control of borders. As in all of these programs, the ETA-IL is obtained through an online form, which will be approved and sent back to you by email.

Validity | Israeli ETA for German Nationals

The ETA-IL is valid for short stays of up to 90 days, and is intended for tourists and non-working visitors. Once you have your ETA, you can use it for 2 years from the initial date of issue as long as your passport remains the same.

The document itself is electronic, so all you will need to do is show it to the border officials at the airport upon being asked.

Why is the Israeli ETA necessary for Germans?

The ETA-IL is being introduced for German citizens because of Germany’s right to enter Israel without the need for a visa. All other countries with this right will also be required to get ETA approval before entering the country.

The reason that the ETA-IL is being introduced to Israel is the same as for all other countries with similar programs – it is an effective way to manage and track tourist activity with attention given to each individual applicant, improving border safety for everyone without compromising on ease and convenience for the traveler.

ETA for Israel eligibility criteria for German citizens

There are certain conditions to entry to Israel, and to obtaining an ETA-IL, for German nationals. You must:

  • Be a full German citizen, with regular citizenship.
  • Have a valid passport. Only regular passports are considered for the ETA-IL program – diplomatic, special and temporary passports will require other routes. Please make sure the passport you use to apply is the same one you’ll be using to enter Israel
  • Have no history of overstaying your 90-day period as a visitor in Israel (without good reason), violating visa conditions, or posing a security risk to Israel. If this is the case, your application will take longer and will be done outside of the ETA system.
  • Be born after 1928 – otherwise you will need a visa.

How to apply for the ETA to Israel | German passport holders

The application process for the ETA-IL is simple and easy.

  1. Load the online form.
  2. Apply. You will be required to submit personal details, including your name, date of birth, and passport number.
  3. Press send and await approval. This should take a week at most, but is usually done within just a few days.
  4. Flag your ETA-IL to show border officials when you arrive.

In order to apply, you’ll need a few things on hand.

  • A valid passport
  • An email address (which will be used to send and receive correspondence, as well as to link your ETA-IL)
  • Means of payment, such as a debit or credit card, to handle the small processing fee
  • Your personal details on hand, including employment status, criminal record, and so on.

A summary of entry requirements for German passport holders

Whether you plan to come as a tourist, on a spiritual visit, or on a business trip, the ETA-IL for Israel is an essential requirement for your short-term stay. German passport holders can expect a quick application, fast turnaround and high approval rates. We hope to welcome you to Israel soon.