The tourist-visa multiple renewal conundrum...
Replies: 3 - Last Post: Mar 30, 2013 11:07 AM Last Post By: Jolly_Roger
Mar 25, 2013 5:01 PM
The tourist-visa multiple renewal conundrum...Hi all,
I am in the (hopefully) final stages of arranging an (unpaid) internship in Jerusalem with a joint Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolution organisation, it will probably last about 4 months after which I am hoping to do some more interning for one of the UN agencies.
The aim of this is to secure a more permanent position which will hopefully enable me to get a work visa however until then my intention will be to renew the 3 month tourist visa as required. I have heard mixed reports of the reliability of this and whether honesty is the best policy with the authorities. I have no intention of being an 'activist' and none of the organisations I wish to work for could be categorised as such. My instinct would be to be entirely honest about being there to intern and providing full details because, lets be real, a single male tourist needing to spend 6 months + in the country purely for tourism would be very unlikely.
How wise do you think this is? I know many people do it successfully but are there many who get refused re-entry? Do they mostly tell the truth? I know the user 'yallah' on here has previously said he/she has lived for mutliple years on the tourist visa so I would be particularly interested to hear his/her advice - of course everyone else's advice is also very much appreciated also.
Mar 26, 2013 1:55 AM
Mar 29, 2013 6:29 AM
I have indeed lived in Israel for several years on tourist visas. I do now have a yearly work visa, but they are not easy to come by!
I have always heard that it is best not to reveal any plans to volunteer, because you may be required to have a volunteer visa, which are very limited in availability and most organizations don't have an avenue to secure them. I have never tried being up front about volunteering, so I can't really speak from experience.
As far as renewing after 3 months, this is usually not a problem, but there is no guarantee that the visa will be re-issued. Of friends I know in the region, probably 20 have had no problems re-entering, 1 was denied re-entry, and 1 was issued a 2-week visa and told to sort it out with the Ministry of Interior. I would recommend having a good story for why you are there for more than 3 months, such as doing self-directed research, studying Hebrew, or that you are a freelancer of some sort. Of course it's best if it is not an outright lie, but a creative interpretation of what you are really doing. :)
Best of luck!
Mar 30, 2013 11:07 AM
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