In reading these forums, I've noticed a couple of times that people did not want their passports stamped in Isreal. Why is that?
It may limit future entry into other countries in the region....... it is a concern of mine actually. I hear you can ask the, to stamp a seperate piece of paper?
Yes. Some Arab countries will deny entrance if your passport carry Israeli stamps at all. Israeli Authorities acknowledge this problem and thus allow, upon request, not to stamp your passport upon entering Israel but rather stamping a seperate piece of paper. You MUST RETAIN the piece of paper till you leave the country (and hand it to immigration when departing). You may expect to be questioned about the reason you are asking for it. Make sure you ask it clearly before you hand in your passport to passport control, the border police officer might not notice your demand. (long shifts there..)
Very informative reply Amos, thanks for taking the time to explain it properly!!
If you are planning to visit the following countries, you cannot have an Israeli entry stamp in your passport or you will be denied entry: Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Iran, Libya, Kuwait and Sudan. Then there is the list of countries where it might be a problem: Libya, Algeria, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brunei, Iraq, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia. You would have to check if going to these countries whether it is currently a problem or not.
If you plan to travel to any of these countries before your passport expires, you can have the border control person stamp a separate piece of paper instead of your passport. They will ask you why and you will have to be specific in your answer. They may want to know why you will be traveling there. Generally it is not a problem if you have a reason. You must ask before you hand over your passport.
Further to anmejoshme's post - I wouldn't try going to any of the countries she listed as "might be a problem" with any evidence of having been in Israel. Saudi Arabia will definitely ban your entry, along with some of the others - and if they do let you in, you will already have a "black mark" in their eyes.
As I said on a different thread. WHen I returned to Israel on Jan. 14 ( after 1 week away) I got a full "VISA" on a piece of paper. This is something new. You then scan it to enter the country. If this becomes the norm ( some were getting it, others were getting stamped and I do not know the criteria) then no one will be asking for "no stamps"-and my passport is already FULL of Israeli stamps.
To add to everything that has been said above:
(1) You can ask to have your stamp on a separate piece of paper but it isn't 100 percent guaranteed that the immigration official will comply with your request. There have been reports on this and other travel forums that people have begged and pleaded, but got the stamp in their passport anyway. There is no knowing how often this happens, but you COULD be unlucky. If it's vital that you don't have evidence of a trip to Israel (for instance, you need to go to one of the countries mentioned in post 4 for work), the only absolutely guaranteed way not to get a stamp from Israel is <not to go to Israel>
(2) If you cross into Israel from Egypt or Jordan (or the reverse) by a land border, Egypt/Jordan WILL stamp your passport because they don't have any option not to. This is clear evidence that you were in Israel. Flying - say from Amman to Tel Aviv - won't be a problem in this regard, since your Jordan stamp will say Amman airport and you could be flying to anywhere. Exception: If you start in Jordan and cross into Israel at the Allenby/King Hussein Bridge you won't get a stamp. If you return to Jordan THE SAME WAY you won't get a stamp. Therefore it appears you were in Jordan the whole time, so you don't have a stamp problem. Any other combination of Jordan-Israel by land will immediately indicate that you were in Israel.
Some people have dual nationality and hence two passports, or are able to get two passports for some other reason. To do the "stamp juggle" you must use your MAIN PASSPORT for countries denying entry with Israel evidence, and your SECONDARY PASSPORT for Israel. Israel doesn't object if you want to go to Iran, Syria etc., and makes allowances for this. The reverse is not the case. This post isn't really the place to explain all the intricacies, but it's out there on the Internet for those who need more information.
Thank you everyone for such comprehensive information. Since I do not ever plan to go to any of those countries listed, I have no problem getting my passport stamped.
Israel now don't stamp passports (at least not at airport); everyone gets a printed ticket which is loose and not stuck in passport. We will find out later in month about land border with jordan. I am lucky and have two passports so am still using my other passport to avoid any trace of a visit... As others have pointed out you need to be careful if you visit middle east as some countries will look for evidence of israeli entries/exits.
Quick update for anyone interested - at Arava land crossing with Jordan our passports were stamped on entry to Israel. They don't have the ticket system in place. Jordan also stamp both ways plus an Aqaba SEZ visa. So be careful if this could be an issue for you.
But hey worst case is you have to get a new passport. Our exeriences in Israel, jordan and Palestinian Authority have been amazing!