US Embassy Tel Aviv 311.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Traveling to the US just got cheaper and easier for non-Americans, thanks to a
new visa application system that goes into effect in Israel on
With the new system, the applicant saves $70 and lots of red tape
for both the US government and potential visitors. A US Consulate official told
The Jerusalem Post the change was meant to make it easier for people to apply by
making it a “one-stop shop.”
The old system required applicants to buy an
ID number, or PIN, from the consulate in Tel Aviv, which they would then use to
book an appointment for an interview. The interview would determine whether they
received the visa.
There would be additional fees for getting information
and for receiving the visa via courier.
Now, however, there will be a
single payment for the entire process, including the ID number and courier
In addition, the original system required interaction with five
different sections for a single application. Now only one is
The new system also allows somebody to fill out an application
on behalf of someone else, and unlike before, people can now pay by credit
Anyone who has applied but hasn’t had their visa authorized yet
will have their application passed through the old system, the consulate
According to the consulate press release, those who
have already purchased PINs can still use them, as long as they book an
interview by Sunday, December 11. If an appointment is not booked before this
date, the PIN will expire, and the applicant will have to schedule an interview
under the new system. Those with interviews already scheduled will not be
affected by the transition.
With the new system, applicants for
non-immigrant visas must obtain a visa photo and then complete an online
application that can be accessed at http://ceac.state.gov/genniv/. They will
receive an ID number, which is required when scheduling an
The confirmation form must be printed and presented at the
Before the interview, the applicant must choose their
preferred courier – either UPS or Wassal – and give a delivery address
via http://Jerusalem.usvisainfo.com. Israelis can then pay in cash at
Post branches, and Palestinians at Bank of Palestine branches.
also pay by credit card online or via a call center at (02) 567-7833.
The fee is
between $140 and $390, depending on the type of visa.
14-79 must make an interview appointment in advance.
Anyone outside that
age bracket does not need to be interviewed and can send in their application by
mail. Alternatively they can hand their forms in to the consulate, but only if
someone within the age bracket is also applying and has an
Applicants are notified on the spot, at the interview,
whether they have successfully obtained the visa. However, the process will
sometimes take longer if additional documents are required.