Take the 2-minute tour ×
Travel Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for road warriors and seasoned travelers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

In this question I learned that entering Kuwait with an Israeli stamp in your passport will be a problem. (Less surprising was that Iran doesn't like them either).

Later during my current trip I am hoping to visit Kuwait via Iran and I certainly intend to visit Israel at some point in the future.

Since these issues are often but not always reciprocal I would like to know if the Kuwait stamp will be a problem when visiting Israel or if they are less fussy than the reverse.

I'm expecting that the Iran stamp will definitely be a problem for an Israel visit but I'd be glad to be proven wrong.

share|improve this question
I have just flown to Israel and my security pre-screening didn't come through in time. I was asked about my trips to Egypt, Jordan, UAE and Morocco for about 25 Min and had my luggage opened tested for bomb residue and my laptop dissembled at Heathrow airport before boarding my El Al flight to Tel Aviv. Basically be prepared to sacrifice an extra couple of hours in and out if flying and just in if leaving by land. –  Stuart Feb 19 '12 at 12:14

3 Answers 3

up vote 19 down vote accepted

In short: Come to the airport early, security checks will take longer.

You should expect a longer and more serious security check before your departure and after your landing, including questioning about your whereabouts and activities in Iran or Kuwait. If you just visited there, this should be it - your entrance is very highly unlikely to be refused.

Predictive Profiling 101: Why are you being checked?

Unlike some other Middle Eastern countries, Israel does not ban or punish tourists who have visited certain countries in the past. This is a security measure, based on Predictive Profiling often used by Israeli air transportation security. This means that the passenger's personal details are aggregated, and if they fit into a presumably dangerous profile, the passenger is thoroughly questioned prior to boarding. This method is based on hundreds of variables (age, nationality, purpose of travel, ...), it's arbitrary and unpredictable by nature, so nobody knows know if Iranian stamp will raise more questions than a Kuwait stamp.

Further notes

  • Don't lie or hide details. Lying will probably get you into longer questioning, and you're more likely to get banned.
  • Questions might get nosy and personal.
  • The terminals for Israeli (and US) flights are often remote and isolated, especially in European airports. Taking a special in-airport bus to an unmarked terminal is not unusual. Do really come early.
  • For further reading about the roots and disputes about Predictive Profiling, you can also read about Mike's Place and the Hindawi Affair, which are taught in security courses in Israel. This is not a political statement, just the viewpoint of the security official.
  • On a last personal note, I envy you a little! Iran is supposed to be a truly beautiful country, a mixture of Asian and Middle Eastern geography. I hope I can visit it as a tourist, one day soon.
share|improve this answer
I assume the Kuwaiti visit will be less of an issue - do you know anything about that? –  hippietrail Sep 16 '11 at 12:40
Updated my answer according to your comment. Short answer: nobody knows, it's arbitrary. –  Adam Matan Sep 16 '11 at 15:10

Some countries (e.g. UK) will give you a second passport. This way you get all your stamps from one set of countries in one passport, and all your stamps from another set of countries in another.

share|improve this answer

I don't think any stamps will be an issue for the Israeli authorities. They might ask about it, but don't expect trouble if its obvious you were just visiting for holidays. It is obviously safest to check with your local Israeli embassy though.

share|improve this answer
Do you know that Israel doesn't worry about such stamps or are you assuming they don't? –  hippietrail Aug 10 '11 at 11:43
@hippietrail, I am pretty sure I had a Syrian and Lebanese visa in my passport when entering Israel. I didn't experience any difficulties. Obviously I can't guarantee anything. –  Grzenio Aug 10 '11 at 13:02
I think the check with the Israeli Embassy is probably the best advice you can have. –  Zachary K Feb 27 '12 at 7:35

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.