Overview of Travel to UK from Israel
London is famous for being a melting pot of international cultures and communities, with one of the most notable being the Israeli and Jewish community in north London.
There are a significant number of Israeli-born residents in the areas of Hendon and Golders Green, with a significant proportion of these being Jewish. There are additionally over 40 synagogues serving the community, as well as over 30 Jewish schools in the area.
In total, it was estimated that around 21,000 Israeli-born residents were residing in the UK in 2011, and the number is steadily rising. The UK remains a popular destination for Israelis looking to relocate, and the already-established community in London and beyond is a great draw for many.
Israelis benefit from visa-free travel to the UK for short trips of up to 6 months. For longer trips or for purposes other than tourism, however, many travellers will require an appropriate visa to enter the UK.
Short-Term Visits to the UK for Israelis
Most Israelis will be able to visit the UK for up to 6 months for tourism, business, short-term study and other permitted activities.
You must ensure that you have a full, valid Israeli passport in order to take advantage of this. If you have a provisional passport, or a travel document in lieu of a national passport, you may instead need to apply for a Standard Visitor visa to come to the UK instead.
Israelis may visit the UK as a visitor:
- For tourism
- To see family or friends
- To volunteer for up to 30 days with a registered charity
- To pass through the UK to another country
- For certain business activities, such as attending a meeting or interview
- To take part in a school exchange programme
- To do a recreational course of up to 30 days
- To study, do a placement or take an exam
- As an academic, senior doctor or dentist
- For medical reasons
You will need a specific dedicated visa if you wish to carry out any kind of work in the UK, or if you wish to stay in the UK for longer than 6 months.
Long-Term Visits to the UK for Israelis
If you wish to visit the UK or reside in the UK for longer than 6 months, you will have to apply for a dedicated visa to allow you to do so.
The UK has a number of visas to suit a range of specific circumstances. For example, there are dedicated visas if you wish to come and work in the health sector, work in a religious community, or if you wish to join family in the UK.
UK visas all vary in their costs, eligibility criteria and allowances for what you can and can’t do. For this reason, it’s important to read carefully on the details of your chosen visa before you apply for it.
In most cases, you will have to apply for a visa before you travel to the UK. Some visas may also require you to fulfil certain other criteria to travel, such as obtaining a certificate of sponsorship if you are being sponsored by an employer to come and work in the UK.
You will also have to pay an application fee for most UK visas, which range from a couple of hundred pounds to a few thousand.
You will also normally have to pay the immigration health surcharge with a long-term UK visa. This is a fee paid for every year you’ll be in the UK that will allow you to access NHS services.
UK Entry Requirements for Israelis
There are a few important things to remember when travelling to the UK, such as important document guidelines and entry requirements you must follow.
First of all, you are required to have a valid passport or travel document when you come to the UK. It must be valid for the whole duration of your stay.
You must also ensure that you have an approved visa for your stay in the UK if you need one, such as if you plan to work or get married in the UK.
As of 2022, you will not have to take a COVID-19 test or fill in a passenger locator form.
You must also ensure that you comply with UK customs laws and declare any restricted items. These include (but are not limited to) goods that you plan to sell, firearms, drugs or more than €10,000 (or equivalent) in cash.
Note that your identity will be checked and your baggage may be searched at the UK border.
How Can IAS Help?
When travelling to the UK, it’s essential that you’re aware of all of the immigration guidelines and travel restrictions that you may have to adhere to in order to enter the country as safely and smoothly as possible.
If you’re planning on travelling to the UK from Israel or anywhere else in the world, IAS can help.
We are experts in international immigration and travel. We can offer bespoke, personalised legal advice for your situation to ensure that you can get to where you’re going with minimal fuss and hassle.
Whether you’re looking to travel to the UK short term, need help applying for a work or family visa, or need help with travelling back to Israel or onwards to any other part of the world, we can help.
Last modified on July 17th, 2023 at 7:47 am
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In most cases, you will have to apply for a visa through the Gov.uk website in Israel before you travel.
As part of the application process, you will have to provide your personal information and upload a range of supporting documents.
You may also have to attend a local visa application centre in order to give additional information, such as your biometrics.
There is one visa application centre located in Tel Aviv.
Yes. Permanent settlement in the UK is known as indefinite leave to remain. You may be eligible for indefinite leave to remain if you’ve spent enough time in the UK on a qualifying visa.
For example, you will be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain after spending at least 5 years in the UK on a Skilled Worker visa.
In order to be eligible, you must pass the Life in the UK Test. You may also have to meet certain financial and English language criteria in order to apply.
After obtaining indefinite leave to remain, you’ll be able to reside in the UK for as long as you wish, without having to update or extend your status.
How much money you’ll need in the UK will depend heavily on where you’ll intend to be living and how much you’ll be earning.
If, like many Israelis, you wish to live in London, you may need around £1,500 a month in order to live comfortably.
However, this figure goes down significantly when moving outside of the city. In parts of north England, you may only need around £1,100 to live comfortably.
You will also need to factor in additional costs of moving to another country, such as the cost of travel insurance, moving your furniture and belongings, transport, and legal/visa immigration fees.
You should always carefully consider your budget and expenses well in advance of making an international move, as it can be a stressful process.