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Studying at the Rothberg International School (RIS) may require obtaining a visa before traveling to Israel. The exact visa you need will depend on your citizenship and the length of the program you wish to attend.

It is your responsibility to contact your nearest Israeli embassy or consulate to determine what type of visa is required for the length of your stay and whether you need to acquire that visa prior to leaving for Israel.

Only an Israeli embassy or consulate can issue a visa and determine the visa type and dates. RIS is not involved in this process.

If you are an Israeli citizen or have Israeli parents, or if you are entitled to immigrate to Israel under the Law of Return, you will find additional relevant information below.

To learn about the procedures and documents required to obtain your visa, please visit the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs website or check with your nearest Israeli embassy or consulate.

Summer & Short-Term Programs

Short-term programs are less than three months in duration. They include:

  • Summer courses & special programs
  • Jerusalem Ulpan, Summer Ulpan, Scopus Ulpan, and Winter Ulpan  

Contact your nearest Israeli embassy or consulate to determine if you need to obtain a special visa prior to leaving for Israel and what type of visa may be required for your length of stay. It is very important to note that if you choose to extend your stay in Israel beyond the period of your visa, you may be required to exit the country and then return.

Likewise, the Ministry of the Interior does not allow visitors to convert a tourist visa into a student visa while in the country. Students who wish to change their visa type may be required to leave the country.

Long-Term Programs

Long-term programs are more than three months in duration. They include:

  • Semester and year programs
  • Graduate degree programs 
  • Semester-long Hebrew studies as an external student
For long-term programs, you must obtain a multiple-entry A/2 student visa through an Israeli embassy or consulate prior to your arrival in Israel. Otherwise, you may not be allowed to enter the country. A multiple-entry student visa will also simplify the process of traveling in and out of Israel during your studies.

It is important to note that you may not be allowed to convert a tourist visa to a student visa once you arrive in Israel.

Students Taking Hebrew Language Studies as External Students

(I.e. students not associated with other programs)

The Rothberg International School can provide external students studying Hebrew Language with visa-related documentation – family members will need to apply for visas themselves.

Students who need to extend their visa during the course of their studies are required by the Ministry of the Interior to present a letter from the Hebrew Language Division confirming their status at the Hebrew University. This letter is valid for the current or upcoming program only.

The Hebrew Division (Room 444-445) accepts visa extension letter requests only on Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.–13:00 p.m.

Students are required to bring the following documents with them:

  • Original passport with current visa (not photocopy)
  • Valid Hebrew University Student Card
  • Confirmation of tuition payment from the Financial Office (Boyar 501-502)
  • Receipt for payment of US$ 15 service fee

Preparation of the letter can take up to five working days.

Israeli Citizens

If you are an Israeli citizen, were born in Israel, or have at least one Israeli parent, please contact your local Israeli embassy or consulate before leaving for Israel.

The embassy or consulate staff can clarify and formalize your citizenship status, provide information about deferment of military service, issue appropriate travel documents, and advise you as to the appropriate visa for your stay in Israel. If you are an Israeli citizen who is eligible for military service, you must obtain an official letter of deferment for at least six months in order to study at HebrewU. It is critical that you address these matters before you arrive in Israel. Otherwise, the government may require you to stay in Israel until resolution, during which time you may incur extra costs and face additional legal requirements.

New Immigrants

If you are entitled to immigrate to Israel under the Law of Return, you should contact the Jewish Agency Global Service Center for information about entering Israel with a new immigrant visa (oleh). US, Canadian, and British students who are eligible to immigrate under the Law of Return can find more information through Israel’s Ministry of Interior (Misrad HaPnim).

Visa Extensions

Your initial entry visa must cover the entire period of your intended study. If you are already in Israel and your visa is expected to expire during the course of your studies, you must apply to the Ministry of Interior to extend your visa. For more information, contact the Jerusalem office of the Ministry of Interior. Please make sure that you have the appropriate paperwork.

Note: External students studying in the Division of Hebrew Language Instruction will be charged US$ 15 for an official letter confirming they have been admitted to studies and have paid tuition.


Please get in touch with us if you have any trouble securing your visa.

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