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Your Proposed trip to Israel
Hi Ben, Great blog !!
Why not kill 2 birds with one stone and fly AC YUL to TLV and return on LY to NYC ?
I saw your post on FB about Israel’s policy on stamping passports, especially for a dual national; hopefully you’ll find this helpful:
Firstly – Israel won’t stamp your passport, you just get a little print out with your picture and biographical information on it – just make sure you hold on to it until your departure – then you will get another one for exiting the country. You get to keep them, they’re kind of odd souvenirs. The only evidence in/on your passport will be a yellow sticker with a barcode that they place on the back of your passport (there are many rumors about the significance of these numbers…just Google it…FWIW mine started with a 5). If you plan on going to a hostile (as in, very anti-Israel) Middle Eastern country in the future like Lebanon, Iran, or Kuwait, definitely plan on peeling that off as they are extremely paranoid and aware of any evidence of having been in Israel). But if not, you can keep it there in lieu of a passport stamp.
As far as flying in on your US or German passport (I’m dual US-Swiss so can relate), it depends – are you flying directly into Israel from the US? If so, I would probably use my US passport, as if you use your German, they will then inquire about your Green Card/ESTA/authorization to travel to/from the US. In which case they will have to see your US passport, and knowing security agents at El Al and Ben Gurion Airport, you can safely assume that they will thumb through both passports. If you have Middle Eastern stamps from places like the UAE, Qatar, or Morocco; I wouldn’t worry too much, however, if you have Lebanese or Iranian stamps, then yes, I would either get a new passport, OR just budget more time at the airports both in and out. Which – on a side note, the exit procedure out of Israel is much more thorough than on the way in. If you’re flying in/out of Germany or Europe, then I’d say use the one that doesn’t have Middle Eastern stamps in it. I’ve always used my Swiss passport for the Middle East, so I went in/out on my US passport. Less questions, probably helped that my most exotic stamp on that passport was from Japan. Anyway, hope this helps and enjoy!