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Around 1980, USA had a zone (I think it was 75 miles from the border) where Mexicans were allowed to come without a green card.  Is there anything like that in Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and/or Saudi Arabia?  I’m interested in visiting the area shown below, but it would be inconvenient to get four multi-entry visas.  I'm US citizen, rather than of any of those countries.enter image description here

(I’m aware that immigration and travel rules can change at any time.)

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    US citizens can access Egypt, Israel and Jordan without getting a visa in advance; Saudi Arabia allows for an e-visa.
    – JonathanReez
    Feb 28, 2023 at 0:09
  • For Jordan, visa on arrival has a two month limit and only one entry. Says Wikipedia, which of course might not be accurate. I'm still looking at the others. It would be convenient to have a rented base in whichever country is lower cost (which is not Israel).
    – WGroleau
    Feb 28, 2023 at 0:43
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    Not a full answer, but be aware that Elat and Aqaba are part of a special Israeli-Jordanian tax-free zone, which means there are no customs checks at the border crossing (only immigration), but there are customs checkpoints farther north in both countries. If you are not a resident of Israel or Jordan, you shouldn't have too much trouble with the checkpoints though.
    – A. R.
    Feb 28, 2023 at 19:47
  • I read about the tax issue, but I don't think that changes any visa rules.
    – WGroleau
    Feb 28, 2023 at 20:36

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As always, any of this information is subject to change on short notice, but:

  • Egypt offers a special Sinai resorts entry permission to visitors from some countries (including the US) when arriving at the Taba crossing or Sharm-el-Sheikh airport and not traveling beyond the resort zone. Otherwise, an e-visa is available in advance and costs US$25 for a single entry or US$60 for multiple entries.

    Note that the US government currently warns against travel to "the Sinai Peninsula (with the exception of travel to Sharm El-Sheikh by air) due to terrorism."

  • Israel does not offer any special relaxed-visa zone but US citizens may enter without obtaining a visa anyway.

  • Jordan offers a free "Special Economic Zone" visa to visitors from many countries, including the US, who arrive at the land, air, or sea border in Aqaba. Unlike the Egyptian program, you may travel to other parts of Jordan on this visa after arriving in Aqaba, but there are nonetheless some requirements:

    • You must leave Jordan through the same border from which you entered, so you can not use this program to e.g. travel from Israel through Jordan and leave for Saudi Arabia.
    • If arriving from Israel, you must spend at least two nights in Jordan in order to avoid fees.

    If you do not want to participate in the SEZ visa program, you can obtain a "Jordan Pass" which includes an entry visa and admission to some Jordanian tourist attractions bundled (though you also must stay at least three nights in Jordan), or a regular visa on arrival at the checkpoint. Note that the fine for leaving Jordan through a different border crossing on the SEZ visa is the same (JOD 40) as the cost as the regular visa, so it is okay to take the SEZ visa and then just pay the fee on departure if you are unsure of your plans or your plans change.

  • Saudi Arabia does not offer any special relaxed-visa zone. US citizens can obtain a Saudi eVisa in advance. It is supposedly possible to obtain a visa on arrival as well. A recent traveler report says that "none of the border guards knew about it and confusion was perfect" though they were eventually allowed to purchase the visa and enter.

It is probably overall easier to travel from one country to the next, rather than basing yourself in one spot and making repeated border crossings to neighboring countries.

(Remember that immigration and travel rules can change at any time.)

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    Thanks! From this, I think a better plan might be IL-JO-IL-EG-IL and leave SA for some other trip. I'm not a typical tourist. I like to wander around on foot or bicycle just looking at the landscape, houses, buildings, parks, etc., chatting with locals, and sleeping in a cheap hostel or AirBNB. I have an unfortunate tendency to not think enough about things like terrorism. Another American in Turkey pointed to an area on a map and said "People like us don't go here." I said, "Hmm, I already spent an enjoyable day wandering around in there." :-)
    – WGroleau
    Feb 28, 2023 at 8:18
  • To mitigate aging information, you might add the current date at the top of the post.
    – gerrit
    Feb 28, 2023 at 9:07
  • Each question and each answer is dated immediately above the ID of the author. And folks should know such things change. Still, a reminder wouldn't hurt.
    – WGroleau
    Feb 28, 2023 at 16:59
  • In fact, quite likely they will change before I actually make such a trip. But the pages cited will be helpful.
    – WGroleau
    Feb 28, 2023 at 17:19

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