1. At the Jordanian Terminal:
When you arrive at King Hussein Bridge, make sure you go to the Tourist Terminal (don’t worry – the bus will take you there anyways, and most taxi drivers know where to go as well; in case that you end up at the terminal for Jordanians/Palestinians, border staff will direct you to the Tourist Terminal). After entering the terminal, you will have to pay the exit tax if it is applicable, and get your passport checked. Usually, you will receive your exit stamp on a piece of paper. The staff will keep your passport and return it to you once you’re on the shuttle bus.
2. Between the Border Terminals:
Sometimes, you have to wait a bit until there are enough passengers to fill the bus to the Israeli Terminal, which is about 5 Km away. At some point, you will be told to board the shuttle bus (if you want to avoid the wait for the bus and speed up the whole border crossing you can take the VIP service). You have to buy a ticket for the transfer in the bus. You will also receive your passport back.
3. At the Israeli Terminal:
After getting out of the shuttle bus in front of the Israeli terminal, you will have to drop large items of luggage at one of the counters outside the terminal (it will go for a security check). You will get a sticker on your passport, indicating how many items you checked in. If you are only traveling with hand luggage, make sure to keep that with you.
Before entering the terminal, stop at a second counter, where your passport will receive it’s initial assessment and another sticker. The color of and the code printed on the sticker, supposedly tell about the outcome of this assessment (i.e. how dangerous you most likely are to the Israeli state), but nobody knows exactly what they mean. You can then continue inside the terminal, where an immigration officers will (after possibly some questioning) issue you with your visa.
After the immigration kiosks there is another passport check. Then you walk out to the hall where the checked luggage is discharged. You can collect your luggage, and continue past the customs counters and out of the Terminal.
Please note that much as we would wish otherwise, we have no control over the procedure, systems, crowds and queues at the border. Look at these as the possible price to pay to visit the great city of Jerusalem. If you want to avoid them consider taking the VIP Border Crossing service (see below); or travelling via the Jordan River Border (also known as Sheikh Hussein – though here you will add 3 hours of driving).