The German government wants to “support people from Israel in this difficult situation” with a visa exemption. The Central Council of Jews in Germany praises the Interior Minister for her empathy.
Israeli citizens can stay in Germany until 26 April without having to apply for a residence permit or visa. The German Federal Ministry of the Interior announced a corresponding regulation in the Federal Law Gazette on Monday. It is aimed at Israelis who came to Germany visa-free after the Hamas attacks on 7 October. “We are not leaving the people in Israel alone – and we also want to support those who are living with friends and family in Germany for a while in the face of Hamas terror.”
Israel is one of more than 60 third countries with which the EU has concluded visa-free agreements for short stays. In principle, Israeli citizens can therefore stay in Schengen states, including Germany, for 90 days without a visa. Only after this period must an application for a visa or residence permit be submitted.
The new visa privilege is now intended to extend this period exclusively in Germany. This is a contribution of solidarity in view of the “barbaric terrorist attacks by Hamas on Israel”, said Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (Social Democratic Party, SPD) on Monday. The regulation is a pragmatic and unbureaucratic aid for people “whom we want to support in this difficult situation”, Interior Minister Faeser continued.
The Central Council of Jews in Germany has welcomed the Ministry of the Interior’s decision. In a statement, Faeser’s quote is repeated in the Council’s own words. Many Israelis were “looking for closeness to friends and family in Germany after the ongoing war in Gaza”, it continued. “With this decision, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser is showing empathy for this situation. I am very grateful to her for this, also on behalf of the Jewish community.”
Image: Israeli passport (Creative Commons).