Entry Visa to Egypt

A lot of this information comes from the expat forums but I can vouch for it as I have checked it against the US and UK embassy information in Cairo and from my own experience getting a tourist, and Extended Residency Visa

Most visitors and tourists can get an entry visa to Egypt from various departments. These include:

•    Immigration and Nationality Administration;
•    Entry Visa Department; and
•    any major airport.

All foreigners entering Egypt must have a valid passport with at least 6 months validity to acquire an entry visa. Egyptian tourist visas such as multiple or single entry visas are valid for 90 days or 3 months within a 6-month period.

The cost of an individual entry visa is $15, or £10. Buy your visa from any bank at the airport in Egypt just before you go to the immigration officer (before you pick up your luggage)

The Egyptian consulate requires the citizens of the following countries to possess a visa before arriving in Egypt:

•    Algeria
•    Afghanistan
•    Bangladesh
•    Armenia
•    Azerbaijan
•    Bosnia-Herzegovina
•    India
•    Chechnya
•    Georgia
•    Croatia
•    Iraq
•    Iran
•    Indonesia
•    Israel
•    Kyrgyzstan
•    Kazakhstan
•    Lebanon
•    Macedonia
•    Macau
•    Malaysia
•    Montenegro
•    Moldavia
•    Morocco
•    Palestine
•    Pakistan
•    Russia
•    Slovenia
•    Serbia
•    Sri-Lanka
•    Thailand
•    Tajikistan
•    Tunisia
•    Turkmenistan
•    Uzbekistan
•    Ukraine
•    All African countries

The Egyptian immigration government or consulate does not require a visa from nationals of Jordan, Bahrain, Libya, Kuwait, Oman, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Holders of diplomatic passports in Bosnia, Italy, Herzegovina, Argentina, Malta, Malaysia, the Slovak Republic, Turkey, and Singapore are also exempted from getting Egyptian visas.

The Egyptian government provides travel documents for the following:

  • Palestinians from Gaza who live in Egypt and Gaza Sector. Documents are valid for 5 years and cost L.E.39.30. (including stamps).
  • Laissez-passer is granted to stateless persons, political refugees and foreigners unable to obtain national passports from their countries of origin. It is valid for 5 years and costs L.E. 41.15 (including stamps).
  • Temporary travel documents (road documents) are granted to foreigners who are, for any reason, unable to obtain passports from their countries of origin and wish to return home. Such documents are issued free of charge to facilitate their one-way travel and are valid for (2) months.
  • The refugees’ documents related to the UN Office in Egypt (C.T.D) are valid for one year and are free of charge.

OK so I’m in Cairo now – Where to go to get a Residency Visa?

If you are in Cairo, the Mugamma (Visa Office) in Midan Tahrir (Tahrir Sqaure) adjacent to the AUC (American University Cairo) is the place to go. It’s a whopping great grey building, you can’t really miss it. make sure you go there first thing in the morning (9am). You will need your passport and 4 passport type photos (you can have these taken on the ground floor – just go to the end of the hall after entry and turn right) You should expect to fill in the application form and be asked to return after 5 working days. Take some money with you as you will need to pay for the process up front. In most cases you should not need more than 200 LE.

Egyptian Visa Types

Egyptian Tourist Visa

The Egyptian tourist visa has a 3-month validity upon issuance. Tourists entering Egypt through the overland border of Taba to visit St. Catherine and the Gulf of Aqada coast will not need a visa. They may also have a free residence grant authorized for 14 days to visit the area. This type of visa is intended only for applicants wanting to visit the territory of Egypt for tourism purposes. Applicants under this visa should leave on or before the visa’s expiration date and should not hold any form of employment while staying in Egypt. Egyptian tourist visas may also be issued with multiple or single entry status.

Egyptian Entry Visa

The Egyptian entry visa was designed for applicants wanting to study and work or engage in activities excluded from the Egyptian tourist visa’s coverage. Applicants must present a passport with at least 6 months validity and other documents supporting the application to qualify for this Egyptian visa.

The Egyptian entry visa is the first step for applicants hoping to gain an Egyptian permanent residency. The requirements for this visa are as follows:

•    a visa valid for 6 months;
•    1×1 ID picture (in color);
•    the completed and signed application form; and
•    the declaration form.

Egyptian Immigration Permit

Egypt has more than 80000 working holidaymakers per year and over 60000 skilled workers receiving visa grants annually.

Immigration to Egypt as a Skilled Worker

An immediate permanent residence status grant will be given to applicants provided they gather essential documents required for the Egyptian skilled worker point system.

Residence in Egypt for Foreign Nationals

Egypt grants legitimate rights for temporary residence to foreign nationals. There are 2 types of residence permits in Egypt. These include Special Residence and Ordinary Residence.

Special Residence – This is usually granted for a period of 10 years and can be renewed after the date of validity. Special residence is granted for those people born or currently living in Egypt.

Ordinary Residence – This is issued with a 3 or 5-year validity to foreign nationals.

3-Year Residence

Non-Egyptian nationals are entitled to obtain a temporary 3-year residence permit in the country. They can renew the permit after its validity. The list below is a detailed information of foreign nationals classified under the temporary 3-year residence.

1.    Foreign nationals employed by the public institutions, government, public business sector, and the public company sector.
2.    Non-Egyptian nationals receiving monthly pension from the National Authority for pensions and insurances.
3.    Palestinians employed by the department for the Governor General of Gaza and retired citizens of Egypt.
4.    Spouses of non-Egyptian nationals entitled to an ordinary or special residence.
5.    Non-Egyptian nationals employed by the Swiss institute for archeological and architectural research in Egypt.
6.    Foreign nationals with approval of a 3-year residence permit from the Ministry of Interior and Local Government.
7.    Palestinians residing in Egypt for more than 10 years and in possession of travel documents issued by Egyptian authorities.

5-Year Residence

Non-Egyptian nationals are entitled to obtain a temporary 5-year residence permit.  Non-Egyptian nationals belonging to the categories listed below are entitled to a 5-year residence permit.

1. Spouses of the non-nationals entitled with an ordinary residence.
2. Adult children with mothers entitled to ordinary, special, or 5-year residence.
3. Spouses and widows of Egyptian nationals.
4. Individuals below sixty years and above residing in Egypt for 10 years.
5. Individuals with mothers and fathers granted Egyptian citizenship.

Most of the time you will require a bank account in Egypt to get a residency visa!

Egyptian Immigration Policy

The Egyptian immigration policy helps Egyptian lawyers assist foreigners through the current difficulties involved in Egyptian migration. These lawyers are helping Egyptian families assist their loved ones abroad to enter Egypt. These lawyers also assist businesspersons in recruiting foreign workers.

The Egypt immigration policy emphasizes the importance of immigration in modern Egyptian economy and society. It also made Egypt a culturally diverse nation. It also states that the government’s commitment is joining families throughout Egypt and integrating immigrants as well as protecting the health and safety of all Egyptians. The Egyptian policy can execute Egypt’s international legal obligation.

The permanent residence permit is required for permanent-re-entering foreign nationals. This also increases boundary security. The permits allow a child born outside Egypt to be adopted by an Egyptian citizen and to receive an Egyptian citizenship.

Egypt Immigration Restriction

An applicant can be refused during the process of the application if the applicant:

•    Has a criminal record in any country;
•    failed the medical exam;
•    has financial issues;
•    failed to present any requested documents or information requested by the immigration officer;
•    failed the background check; and
•    failed to give evidence of language skills.

It also focuses on the citizenship application process and for the final stage of citizenship immigration. The Egyptian immigration government maintains a number of people entering in Egypt and approves the types of immigrants entering Egypt.

Egyptian Immigration Points

Applicants wishing to enter Egypt will require a sufficient number of points to get an entry clearance or extend their stay to remain in Egypt. Points can be awarded for different criteria. In the first criteria, points can be awarded to individuals who comply with immigration requirements. Points can also be awarded through other areas such as previous salary or prospective salary, qualification, criminal records, age, and birth certificate.

Special Service

Foreign nationals arriving in Egypt by ships are granted permission to visit the port of arrival for 24 hours and catch their ship at the same port. Foreign nationals may also be issued permission to enter Egypt for less than 3 days before catching their ship. Passengers arriving through Egyptian airports are allowed to enter Egypt for less than 24 hours. In the case of emergencies, passengers are entitled to enter Egypt for less than 24 hours due to reasons such as poor weather conditions. They are also allowed to enter Egypt for less than 40 hours in case of technical aircraft problems.

Here is a link to the Egyptian Immigration Website
Content Management Server Channel:ForignersServices

What will happen if you overstay your visa?

In truth not a lot. Whilst I am not condoning staying here without a valid residency permit, many expats live in Egypt without one. Immigration officers are unlikely to track you down. However, if you are planning to work in Egypt you may find it difficult to get a new job without the correct paperwork. When you do decide to renew your outdated Visa you will be fined a penalty of at least 150 LE. You will have to pay that and collect stamps which prove you have paid, before a re-newel will be issued.

Can I retire here in Egypt?

If you are over 60 you can gain a permanent residency visa as long as you can prove your income (your pension for example) or have bought property (which must be registered in your name and worth at least $50,000).

In all cases please contact the embassy for the country that you own citizenship and check the information here applies to you BEFORE you travel.

Egypt, Cairo, British Embassy

  • Ambassador:

  • The Hon Dominic Asquith CMG

Address:

British Embassy
7 Ahmed Ragheb Street
Garden City
Cairo
Egypt

Switchboard:

(002) (02) 27916000

Fax:

(002) (02) 2791 6130 Trade & Investment
(002) (02) 2791 6131 Political
(002) (02) 2791 6132 Press
(002) (02) 2791 6133 Consular
(002) (02) 2791 6134 Visa
(002) (02) 2791 6135 Management
(002) (02) 2791 6056 Defence

Website:

http://ukinegypt.fco.gov.uk/en/

Office hours:

GMT:
Sun-Wed: 0500-1230
Thurs: 0500-1100

Local Time:
Sun-Wed: 0800-1530
Thurs: 0800-1400

I will update this post as I get more information. I will also post the application form here as soon as I am able to scan it in. If you have questions or comments please feel free to post them below and I will do my best to answer or find the answer for you.

Written by Sam Welbeck

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