Are you an Israeli citizen whose passport has expired – or who never got one and now needs one?
If so, then you already know about the enormous backlog in the Interior Ministry that has made it nearly impossible for the average Israeli to get a new passport or renew one that has expired.
Now the Israeli government is attempting to resolve the problem with a one-month window in which any Israeli can show up at a local Interior Ministry branch office – without an appointment – to be able to get it done.
Interior Minister Moshe Arbel told reporters Monday that the new plan will go into effect from May 14 to June 15 at the ministry’s branch offices in Jerusalem, Be’er Sheva, Tel Aviv and Haifa, with a temporary office being set up in Bnei Brak that will operate with appointments. Appointments that were already in place at other branches will also be honored.
But be warned: plan to get there before the office opens – 7:30 am — and plan to spend the day.
“There will be long lines,” Arbel cautioned. “A lot of people will come to the offices. The line could take a few hours, so choose a day that works for you to arrive.”
The huge shortage of appointments has led to such a logjam that the waiting time at your local branch office will probably be just as much of a nightmare. But at least the tough part will be over by the end of the day, with only the weeks-long wait to receive the document left to endure.