Egyptian passports are issued to an Egyptian citizen for the purpose of international travel. For adult Egyptian citizens, this passport is valid for 7 years. College students or citizens yet to settle their status in the military have shorter passport validity. Egyptian passports are non-renewable. This means Egyptian citizens or naturalized foreign citizens must apply for a new passport when the original passport has expired.
Entry Visa to Egypt
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.
The Egyptian consulate requires the citizens of the following countries to possess a visa before arriving in Egypt:
• 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.
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;
• 1x1 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Another way to gain residency in Egypt is discussed in the Egypt Expat Forum last September 19, 2009:
Here is a link to the Egyptian Immigration Website Content Management Server Channel:ForignersServices
Here is a sumary of residence via property purchase
- REGISTERED property (ie the Green Paper - all stamped and all paid up - no 'installments' left to pay) in YOUR NAME for property with a ****registered***** value of at least $US50000 - note that this may not be the price YOU PAID!!! You must have brought the money INTO Egypt and converted it into Egyptian Money to pay for it and you must provide PROOF from the bank that you did this.
Most people buying in new developments will NOT have registered property!!!
- also you need receipt for the property tax + utility bill IN YOUR NAME for THAT PROPERTY
Egyptian Immigration Costs
There are individual factors and circumstances affecting the overall costs involved in Egyptian immigration. Visa costs vary since it depends on the specific visa class. The cost may be from 200 Egyptian dollars to as much as 70000 Egyptian dollars. The total costs of visa including all professional fees as well as government fees is around 5,000 to 7,000 Egyptian dollars.
As for the time frame for approval of the visa, the matter was discussed in the Egypt Expat Forum last August 27, 2009:
About two and a half years ago I obtained the five year residency visa from Cairo. It took about a week I think, but I'm not sure if it was easier for me as I am married. When I first came three years ago and got my first visa I just made a trip to El Tur early one morning and came back a few hours later with a one year visa - that was before I was married. Of course things may well have changed in the last few years since I went through it, but that was my experience.
If you are applying in El Tur remember to take photocopies of all your documents before you go because they don't have any copy machines at the offices there.