It is essential for all students to bring at least six passport-size photographs to Israel. (These do not have to be "official" passport photos.) These will be used throughout the year for registration at HUC, registration with the United States, or Canadian Consulate, registration at the Hebrew University, visa extension, etc. You can also get vending machine photos made here in Jerusalem, when you arrive.
However, you are strongly advised to apply to the nearest Israeli Consulate for an A-2 multiple-entrance student visa, valid for a year, which will not need to be renewed after a three-month period. The initial fee is much less expensive and the process much less time-consuming than renewing your visitor's visa in Israel. Contact the nearest Israeli Consulate, well ahead of departure, for further information. Be sure to bring your HUC acceptance letter. A-4 visas may be available for spouses and children of students. Be sure to bring your HUC acceptance letter. In some cases, the consulate may request an acceptance letter issued from the Jerusalem campus. You can request this directly from the registrar in Jerusalem.
Helpful Hint: Some students had to renew their visas in Israel because of the wording of the visa issued abroad. Make sure that the consulate clarifies, IN WRITING that the visa is good for a year from the date of entry and that the expiration date refers to the last possible date of ENTRY into Israel and not the expiration date of the visa.
If you do not receive a student visa abroad, the HUC Office of Student Affairs will help you extend your original tourist visa while you are in Israel for the remainder of your stay. Note that each time you leave Israel during the year, your old tourist visa will be canceled and reissued for only a three-month period from when you re-enter the country. (Visitors entering from Sinai receive a one-month visa only.) The charge to extend a tourist visa is approximately $30 each time. Students may also apply for a multiple entry student visa in Israel allowing the holder to re-enter the country without the need to extend the visa. The cost for this visa, when applied for in Israel, is approximately $60.
A student born in Israel, who was an Israeli citizen in the past, or whose parents were/are Israelis should clarify the status of his/her Israeli citizenship. This can be done by contacting the nearest Israeli Consulate. If you are asked to visit their offices, you should bring all documents related to Israeli citizenship as well as your letter of acceptance from HUC. The Israeli consulate will clarify and formalize your present citizenship status, give you official information as to deferment from military service, and issue appropriate travel documents if necessary.
Copyright © 1998 Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion