Extending your Birthright Israel trip is certainly possible, and we can’t recommend it enough!
For starters, the tourist visa you receive upon entering Israel lasts 90 days, so you are able to stick around for up to around 3 months on it if you’re so inclined!
Extending your trip allows you to keep your adventure going and get to know Israel beyond the 10 days of Birthright. We recommend you:
Visit places that interest you that you might have missed on your trip
Go back to some of your favorite spots on the trip and explore at your own pace
Meet up with your new Israeli friends and other participants who are extending their trip!
So, how do you extend your trip?
Before your Trip
All extensions made before your departure must be done through Gil Travel. They require 15 business days before your departure to process your trip extension request. Here is the link to the extension form on their website:
When you are on the ground in Israel, to make an extension you must contact the airline directly (see below for Airline Information).
Here's what the airline needs to process your request:
your E-ticket number
Passenger Name Record (PNR)
list of desired return dates
credit card information
a local telephone number in Israel
your email address.
Some things to keep in mind:
Extensions are NOT guaranteed and can be expensive.
We do NOT advise that you plan post-trip travel until you've reserved a new return flight.
Extension can be made for up to 90 days maximum.
Stopovers are not permitted.
Please note: If you have confirmed an extension and then cancel or change your trip, you will be forfeiting your extension, including all fees paid to Gil Travel and the airline. Birthright Israel is not responsible for extensions processed with Gil Travel or with the airlines. Extensions are the individual’s responsibility. Cancelling/Forfeiting Your Return Ticket You are able to cancel your return ticket and plan the return flight to your home country on your own. Before departure: You must notify us in advance or you may lose your $250 deposit. Forfeiting your return flight is different from extending your return flight. By forfeiting your return ticket you will be canceling your return flight altogether and will be responsible for arranging your own flight home from Israel. To forfeit the return flight before the trip, email email@example.com with the subject “Return Flight Forfeit.” In Israel: If you decide to forfeit your return flight during the trip, notify the airline at least 48 hours before your group's return date to avoid losing your deposit. See airline contact information below. *If you fail to contact the airline prior to your original return date to coordinate another flight home, or if you do not arrive on time for your flight, your ticket will be cancelled by the airline. This means you are unable to book another flight under the same reservation and will have to purchase a new ticket at your own expense. It also means you must forfeit your trip deposit. INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL LAW: Your passports must be valid for 6 months from your final scheduled day in Israel. No exceptions! You must fly with the group from the scheduled gateway airport. If you change your trip AFTER booking your extension, your extension will be forfeited.
Plan Ahead Your ticket can be extended, but some airlines limit how many tickets can be extended in a group. Please understand availability for date changes can become very limited or even nonexistent during peak summer. You can generally extend your ticket up to 2-3 months from the date you depart depending on the rules of the airlines. You will be on an organized group flight, which means you can only change the date of the return. You can not change the route on the ticket to include another destination. You will not be allowed to extend your ticket on the front end and meet the group in Israel.