U.S. Embassy Not Issuing Tourist Visas

Staff shortages due to the security situation have led to reduced activities, including issuing of visas and services to U.S. citizens.

Ariel Schalit

Israelis applying for visas at the United States Embassy have not received them since July 11. The American embassy has stopped issuing ordinary visas and cut back on ongoing services to American citizens due to staff reductions because of the security situation.

The embassy issued a statement to the effect that it is issuing visas only in urgent cases and after in-depth inquiry of each application. The embassy’s website provides an email address for urgent applications. Those who have appointments to receive permits are supposed to receive a notice of the cancellation of their appointment, then receive notice of a new appointment later on.

In cases of security threats such as from the current fighting, the American embassy in Tel Aviv prefers to reduce its staff for fear of a direct attack, as it did on similar occasions in the past. The ordinary work schedule resumes only after the security threat has ended. It is expected that the policy of staff reductions will lead to particularly long lines once the embassy resumes working at full strength, and that getting a visa will take a good deal longer than usual.