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I am and was here on a visit to Israel to visit my fiance and friends here originally for an intended 2 weeks. During the 2 weeks I decided to stay for the duration of my allowed legal stay in Israel (90 days).

During the visit, my debit card which was my sole source of finances here, was mistakenly set to be renewed without my permission due to a computing error. It resulted in my debit card being locked and my bank access limited or denied.

All my funds then had to be rerouted into my fiances bank to be accessed. At some point recently, a few days before my 90 days was set to expire, we paid for 2 tickets to Germany with Ryanair for a week in order to potentially renew for a new set of 90 days.

It failed when we successfully made it through the security check at the airport and they revoked my exit pass to Israel, but the woman at the counter for check-ins refused to allow us on the plane citing "we recommend passengers be here 3 hours early".

We were there at least 1 and a half to 2 hours early for our flight, and she had originally offered us a late check-in fee which she later revoked and refused us entry to the plane which was a nonrefundable flight.

This refusal to allow us our flight resulted in an inability to leave the country in time before my expiration and without either of us enough money for a new ticket.

Now due to the overstay, we are scared to approach the airport again for fear of being arrested. And when we manage to gather resources to leave its estimated it would not be until at least 3-6 months from now.

We have heard varying reports for the consequences of overstay ranging from a 20 minute yelling and interrogation to a fine for each month thats overstayed to being detained and we are unsure if we would even be allowed back on the plane to go home when we approach resulted in more wasted money and distress.

I have not committed any crimes while in Israel or disrupted any level of business while here or been employed at any level. I am perfectly fine staying in the house continually until my fiance procures enough to remedy the situation.

I understand these situations are viewed on a case by case basis and its my first time traveling outside of the United States. I would really like to know what I'm up against and what standard procedure is for individuals who are stuck in this situation with no money to get home yet.

  • If Israeli Immigration revoked your entry successfully, what did they do/say after you were refused boarding and needed to re-enter? – Traveller Mar 3 at 16:13
  • I havent left the country. They refused me at the gate to the plane so security basically took my exit pass that proves that i left after they marked us as clear and sent me to figure it out. Its a small airport, i guess technically i never even made it to customs – Brie Mar 3 at 16:16
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    Which airline? Have you contacted the US Embassy? il.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/… – Traveller Mar 3 at 16:20
  • Ryanair. Ive sent the embassy an email because they said that all consular and nonimmigration questions need to be handled via email and they have yet to answer me back. We went to the internment office to try to get an extension on visa/ work visa as a replacement but they refused. Ive gone through most government sites looking for answers on specific things to expect but really all it tells us is try to get an extension. It doesnt elaborate what happens if we cant – Brie Mar 3 at 16:23
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    I’m voting to close this question because I think this question belongs on travel.stackexchange.com – einpoklum Jul 25 at 7:51
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This is probably the point where you should get some legal advice.

Prepare a letter stating all the facts including all available original documentation. This letter should be as detailed as possible (dates, times, names and places) as far as you can reliably remember them.

You attempted to leave the country within the 90 days.
After passing through Immigration, you were force by a private corporation to remain in the country and they retained your exit pass issued by Immigration. Request for Consulate assistance has been made (results pending).

The result will probably be a letter from the lawyer to the Ministry of Interior asking What now?

In how far an Airline is required to obey national laws and be responsible for passengers leaving the country (as they definitely are when entering a country) is something that the Ministry of Interior should clarify with the private corporation.

A clarification of your legal status within the country is desired, since all your attempts to do so on your own have failed to resolve this catch 22 situation caused by the private corporation.

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    I agree that the OP should seek legal advice (assuming they don’t get help to resolve the situation from the US Embassy). But I’m not sure about the the overstay being forced on the OP by the airline. It seems to me that it’s likely the OP didn’t comply with Ryanair’s check-in rules and, unfortunately (possibly due to over-booking by the airline) when the OP tried to checkin at the airport the flight was already full. I’m not a fan of Ryanair - they’d have to pay me to fly with them - but in this instance it’s not clear that they’ve failed in their responsibility to the OP. – Traveller Mar 4 at 0:14
  • @Traveller Thus the need for a detailed summary of the events. The given reason (as stated in the question) was the time and not that the seats had been reissued. That the checkin happened after Immigration seems strange. Officialy leaving the country only to find you can't fly? – Mark Johnson Mar 4 at 0:39
  • To be more clear, the lady first offered us a late checkin, which we had no choice but to try for because ryanairs app had been broken for the few days up to the day of flight , & refusing to register our checkin attempts. after we tried to argue this,and that we shouldnt be held responsible for a glitch in their system, she then said that the flight was closed & revoked her offer for a late payment and refused us access to a supervisor saying "if you want someone to talk to, youre talking to me right now" But despite saying the flight was closed, the man behind was allowed on the same flight – Brie Mar 4 at 1:54
  • Which to be honest was rather infuriating. – Brie Mar 4 at 1:56
  • @Brie The clarification of your legal status should be priority # 1. A legal statement, through a Lawyer, to the Ministry of Interior (with a copy to your Embassy) seems to me to be the best option. This would also simplify any future action taken against this corporation (which is an EU corporation which was to fly you to the EU). Any Ministry statement they may make about what they think this corporation has done would be of importance when such a case is taken to an EU Court. Through the airlines action, you have become an illegal alien - get the backgound paperwork right is my advice. – Mark Johnson Mar 4 at 7:20
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(A much-belated reply which will hopefully help others in your predicament.)

Given that you don't have certain iron-clad knowledge of what to do in this situation, I believe you should get in touch with the US embassy:

U.S. Citizens with emergencies, please call 02-630-4000
Outside of Office Hours, contact: 02-630-4000
Outside of Israel: 011-972-2-630-4000

and ask them both for information and for help in contacting Israeli authorities on your behalf to arrange safe passage back to the US.

See also the embassy website section for US citizens.

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