Often, the documentation you need for a trip abroad involves planning ahead. If you’re a Swiss national and are thinking about visiting Israel, it’s essential to know your travel requirements before you leave. The ETA-IL for Israel, a mandatory document for Swiss visitors, is a new requirement that can be applied for easily and quickly online.

Do Swiss citizens need a visa to visit Israel?

Swiss citizens are visa-exempt, meaning that they do not need a traditional visa. This means there is no need for a Swiss passport holder to book an appointment at the embassy, endure long wait times, or undergo a long and expensive application process if they wish to visit Israel.

However, Israel is introducing a new protocol in 2024 that requires that even visa-exempt citizens acquire documentation that shows they have been permitted to enter the country. This document is called the ETA-IL – electronic travel authorization for Israel.

An ETA-IL is far simpler, quicker, and affordable to obtain than a traditional visa. Both the application process and the document itself are online.

Because Switzerland is on the visa-exempt list, if your passport is Swiss, you will need to get an ETA-IL before travel.

Israeli travel requirements for travelers from Switzerland

As with any country, it’s important to know your bureaucratic obligations before you depart for Israel. As a Swiss national, your travel requirements are manageable, but still essential to get right.

To enter Israel, you need an ETA-IL. This stands for electronic travel authorization. The ETA-IL is applied for online and typically authorized within a week. Your ETA is an electronic document – you do not have to print it or receive it by mail.

Alongside your ETA-IL, you will require a valid passport to enter Israel. Make sure that the passport is not only valid but is the same one you used to apply for your ETA. ETA-IL applications are passport-specific, so if you use a different passport to enter the country, you will be considered without an ETA by Israeli authorities.

When does my ETA-IL expire as a Swiss passport holder?

If your passport remains valid for the full duration of this period, the ETA-IL lasts for 2 years after authorization. The expiry date will also be disclosed on the document.

However, if the passport you used to apply for your ETA-IL was lost, stolen, replaced, or expired before this 2-year period, you will need to apply for a new ETA-IL.

The ETA-IL is only valid for visits of up to 3 months (90 days) at a time. Any more spent time consecutively in Israel is considered a long-term stay, which requires a visa. It is essential not to overstay the 90-day period – doing so may lead to consequences, including the inability to enter the country in the future.

I am a Swiss national. How can I apply for an Israeli ETA-IL?

The ETA-IL application is done online through a form, which will ask you questions about your personal details and your plans for the trip.

The process is simple, straightforward, and affordable. To apply, you will need:

  • A computer or smartphone with an internet connection
  • Your valid Swiss passport (no temporary or diplomatic passports)
  • An email address of an account you have access to
  • A debit/credit card to process the application fee

You are recommended to have these by your side before you start for a quick application.

To apply, simply:

  • Load the online form
  • Fill in your details as required
  • Submit and await approval

Your approval should be sent to you within about a week.

A summary of travel requirements for Swiss citizens

To enter Israel, an easily-acquired ETA-IL and a valid passport are the key requirements for a Swiss national. If you plan on becoming one of hundreds of thousands of tourists to visit Israel in a year, sort out your travel requirements as soon as possible before you travel. We wish you a pleasant trip.