All international students planning to study at the Rothberg International School (RIS) must obtain a multiple-entry A/2 student visa through an Israeli embassy or consulate prior to arrival in Israel. This applies to students in short- and long-term programs alike, as well as to students in any of the School’s Hebrew Language Programs. It is your responsibility to contact your nearest Israeli embassy or consulate and apply for the relevant visa in advance of your departure. Only an Israeli embassy or consulate can issue this visa, and RIS is not involved in this process.
You should start the process of applying for a visa at least one month prior to your departure for Israel. Processing times and procedures vary from embassy/consulate to embassy/consulate. Please contact your nearest Israeli embassy or consulate to get information on how to apply for a visa and what visa application documents you will need to submit. In most cases, an acceptance letter to your program of studies is the only documentation that you will need from the Hebrew University. If the Israeli embassy or consulate requires further documentation from the Hebrew University, please be in touch with the Rothberg International School representative who supplied you with your acceptance letter to the program.
- Without the appropriate visa, you may not be permitted to enter the country.
- A multiple-entry student visa will simplify the process of traveling in and out of Israel during your studies.
- You may not be allowed to convert a tourist visa to a student visa once you arrive in Israel. In order to change your visa type, you may be required to leave the country.
- 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.
- The exact visa you need will depend on your citizenship.
- Holders of student visas are not legally permitted to work in Israel.
- Your passport must be valid for the full period of the visa.
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.
Students Enrolled in Hebrew Language Studies during the Year
Special procedures exist for students who register only for Hebrew classes during the school year and are not affiliated with any other program. RIS can provide such students with visa-related documentation. Please note, this documentation does not extend to family members of the student. As such, family members will need to apply for visas themselves, without documentation from RIS to support their application.
Hebrew Language 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 on Mondays and Wednesdays only, from 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 RIS Financial Office (Boyar 501-502)
- Receipt for payment of US$ 15 service fee
Please note, preparation of the letter can take up to five working days.
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.
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).
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.
Please get in touch with us if you have any trouble securing your visa:
- Division of Undergraduate Studies
- Division of Graduate Studies
- Division of Hebrew Language Instruction
- Department of Summer Courses & Special Programs
- Preparatory Program (Mechina)
- Ministry of the Interior, Regional Population Administration, Jerusalem:
Address: 1 Shlomzion HaMalka St., Jerusalem.
- Nefesh B’Nefesh (for US, Canadian and British students eligible to immigrate under the Law of Return).
- Minstry of Foreign Affairs information pertaining to obligations to the Israel Defense Forces (Israeli citizens and children of Israeli citizens).
Apply to RIS
Hebrew University’s Rothberg International School offers you a challenging and rewarding academic environment to help you achieve your goals. Our tailored, flexible programs offer short- and long-term study opportunities.