5

My friend is a dual citizen of Israel and Russia, who was born in Russia and lives in Israel. He would like to travel to some of the countries which currently boycott Israel. Obviously this is a risky endeavor since double-citizens from Israel have been involved in spy plots, which makes it highly unrecommended to get caught holding a second Israeli passport.

What are the steps he should take to have a safe journey? Some of the possible issues include:

  • Place of birth. In this scenario everything is okay, since it's not in Israel.
  • Where the Russian passport was issued. This is also okay, since it was issued in Russia.
  • Getting the right passport stamps before entering the destination.
  • Getting a visa (where Russian citizens can't go visa-free).
  • Storing the Israeli passport while making the journey.
  • Avoiding violating the Israeli law on visiting "enemy" countries.

Note that this question is not a duplicate of "I have two passports/nationalities. How do I use them when I travel?", since it's about a specific issue which only affects Israeli citizens.

1

1 Answer 1

7

Of course, there is no way you will be able to directly enter an enemy country from inside Israel unless you want to illegally cross the border to Syria or Libanon — not recommended. So your friend’s travel will always be via a third country. Israeli law requires you to enter and exit Israel on your Israeli passport if you have one, but once you enter whichever third country it may be, you can stuff the Israeli passport somewhere deep into your suitcase, or maybe even leave it at a friend’s place while you travel further (assuming an appropriate itinerary).

At the time of this answer being initially posted (June 2016), the Wikipedia article Israeli Passport (version from 16th June 2016) stated (unsourced) that the Israeli law on visiting enemy countries did not apply to dual nationals who travelled to these countries on their second passport. This has since been removed. Now, the relevant section does not state that exception, so you will probably need to ensure that you do not visit countries Israel considers enemies. Not all countries that prohibit entry to Israeli citizens (or prohibit entry to people whose passports show evidence of travel to Israel) are also considered enemies by Israel. For example, at the time of adding this edit Kuwait will refuse passports with evidence of travel to Israel but is not considered an enemy by Israel according to the data present on Wikipedia.

The most tedious process will probably be acquiring a visa where it is necessary. All visa applications will have to go via embassies in Russia. You will probably have to remain there for some time to allow for visa processing and/or have a trused contact there with whom you can leave your passport between granting and collecting. Typically, embassies and consulates only issue visa to nationals or inhabitants of the country they are in or to a group of regionally close countries. And, of course, your friend doesn’t want the enemy state sending his Russian passport to an address in Israel. It would get harder if you need to supply proof of residence in Russia.

6
  • 1
    Proof of residence usually only required if you apply outside your home country. If you apply to an embassy in Russia with a Russian passport, you will be assumed to be Russian and that's enough. Jun 26, 2016 at 5:40
  • It very much applies. The wikipedia article you linked to specifically says "Israeli citizens may not visit". If you have another citizenship, you're still an Israeli citizen and subject to the law.
    – littleadv
    May 13 at 19:28
  • @littleadv There are two groups of countries: 1) countries that Israeli citizens may not visit due to Israeli law; 2) countries that reject Israeli passports (and in some cases passports with evidence of travel to Israel). The Venn diagram of these two is not a circle or a pair of concentric circles. For example, Kuwait bans people entering on passports with evidence of travel to Israel, but Israel does not (according to the list) ban Israeli citizens from visiting Kuwait.
    – Jan
    May 16 at 8:57
  • @littleadv That being said, at the time of me posting this answer the wording of the Wikipedia article was different and did include the segment I was quoting; it has since been removed as can be seen in the version history.
    – Jan
    May 16 at 9:01
  • 1
    That's why you should be careful using the Wikipedia as the source. It actually did say "and an Israeli citizen may not visit them without a special permit", and it also said "not verified" right before the segment you're referring to.
    – littleadv
    May 16 at 15:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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