Impact of the Middle East Crisis on U.S. Citizens and Visa Services: A Comprehensive Guide

The ongoing conflict in the Middle East has affected many, including U.S. citizens, green card holders, and non-U.S. citizens in need of visa services. This article aims to shed light on the current scenario and provide relevant resources and pointers for those impacted.

1. Visa Services Impact:

On October 13, 2023, the U.S. Embassy in Israel announced the suspension of Nonimmigrant (NIV) and Immigrant Visa (IV) services due to the escalating security situation. The directive resulted in the authorized departure of non-emergency U.S. government personnel and their families. For those in desperate need to travel to the U.S., the recommendation is to apply as a third-country national at any other global post and request an expedited appointment there.

Those who have upcoming visa appointments in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv should note that these appointments will be rescheduled. Those traveling due to medical or humanitarian emergencies should log into the U.S. visa information website and request an expedited appointment with relevant details.

2. For U.S. Citizens in the Middle East:

Given the unpredictable situation, U.S. citizens in Israel, The West Bank, and Gaza are advised to:

Stay Updated: Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive timely travel alerts and security updates.

Report Needs: In case of any emergency or assistance required for leaving the region, complete the online Crisis Intake Form. This form is vital for those seeking U.S. government assistance for departure.

Monitor Sources: Keep an eye on DOS, Embassy websites, and their social media accounts for real-time security updates, travel advisories, and other crucial information.

Understand Departure Assistance: The U.S. government has initiated departure assistance for U.S. citizens and their immediate family members through chartered flights and sea routes. The destination will not necessarily be the U.S., and travelers are required to sign an agreement promising to repay the U.S. government.

3. U.S. Citizens in Gaza:

The conflict between Israel and Hamas has further complicated departure options. However, U.S. officials are exploring potential solutions. For immediate assistance, U.S. citizens in Gaza should fill out the crisis intake form.

4. Contact Information:

U.S. citizens can contact the U.S. Embassy for emergency passport services or any other assistance. Details of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, U.S. Embassy Branch Office in Tel Aviv, and other relevant contact information can be found on the official embassy websites.

5. Additional Information:

New entry procedures have been announced by Israel for U.S. citizens listed on the Palestinian Population registry for Gaza. Those denied entry to Israel can contact the American Citizens Services (ACS) Unit for assistance.


The ongoing crisis in the Middle East has brought about significant changes to visa processing and has affected the mobility of U.S. citizens in the region. It is crucial to stay updated, remain vigilant, and make informed decisions during these challenging times. The U.S. government and its offices remain committed to assisting its citizens as the situation evolves.

If you or your family members have any questions about how immigration and nationality laws in the United States may affect you, or if you want to access additional information about immigration and nationality laws in the United States or Canada, please don’t hesitate to contact the immigration and nationality lawyers at NPZ Law Group. You can reach us by emailing or by calling us at 201-670-0006 extension 104. We also invite you to visit our website at for more inf