Visa trouble

This page is about problems that may arise from evidence of travel to or visa for certain territories. For the issue of visas in general see Visa

Understand

It is a sad reality that diplomatic conflicts and wars often adversely affect travel. While most of those issues are more or less temporary, some have plagued travelers for decades, and don't show any signs of going away soon. The reason for being denied admission is usually related to travel to a place that is a) not recognized as a country by your national government, or another country that it borders b) has some sort of territorial dispute with the other country c) has sanctions put in place by the other country (see Americans in Cuba for the most long-lived example). There are some work-arounds for most of those cases, which will be discussed below.

Israel and Arab and Muslim countries

While the state of Israel is a member of the United Nations, and has been at peace with both Jordan and Egypt for four decades now (and travel between these three is no problem), several Muslim-majority and Arab nations do not recognize the existence of the state of Israel deny admission to anybody who is Israeli, or shows any evidence of having been to Israel (e.g. visa stamps in a passport).

Countries that are known to deny entry to travelers who have been to Israel

Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and to a lesser extent, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Ways to avoid an Israeli entry stamp

In most cases there are basically two alternatives, depending on your nationality and in some cases the type of travel you engage in.

and

While the former may be illegal or subject to some conditions (frequent travel, business travel) in some countries it is easily arranged for a nominal fee (usually not more expensive than your first passport) and perfectly legal to have more than one valid passport at a time in other countries. If you are unsure whether your country allows that, go to the place that issued your passport and ask well in advance of your Israel trip, as issuing a passport can take months.

The latter is now frequently done by Israeli authorities and is usually always done on request without any problems. Do remember to hand in the stamped piece of paper upon leaving. There are other possible issues with this if you intend on leaving Israel overland (see below)

Problems with overland entry / exit to/from Israel

Unfortunately most countries that ban travel to Israel take an exit stamp from one of the border crossings in Jordan or Egypt that offers entry to Israel as proof of travel to Israel, as there is nowhere else that you could enter besides Israel. Therefore, you should try to get stamped for this border crossing in some other way than using the passport you intend to use for travel to countries that deny entry. While many border officials know of this issue, and will accommodate travelers by stamping a piece of paper instead. However, you may be unlucky, and thus having two passports (where legal), and using one for your trip to Israel, Egypt, and Jordan, and the other for non-recognition-of-Israel countries is the vastly preferable option.

Entities with limited recognition

Some territories while de facto being under the control of one administration are considered by others (and often the international community) to be de jure under the administration of another country. While Wikivoyage takes no side on these issues, information as far as it relates to travel is provided below

Border disputes

Crimea

Entering Crimea from Ukraine requires special permission of the Ukrainian government. Unless you hold a Ukrainian passport, the only way to Crimea is through Russia, and this generally does not leave any imprints in your passport other than a standard Russian visa with an entry stamp from Moscow, St. Petersburg, or some border town (it is not possible to travel directly to Crimea from abroad). You should, however, consider carefully when talking about your visit to Crimea. Ukrainian officials will likely consider this visit an offense and will ban you from entering their country. The U.S. and EU countries may do the same, although such cases have been unheard of to date.


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, March 20, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.