Residency Options in Egypt

Those looking to move abroad to Egypt tend to do so for the sake of adventure. Egypt is home to the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx, the famous Nile River, and a great concentration of ancient monuments and pharaoh’s tombs. It is a city for history lovers and explorers of the world – and for those seeking that life, there are a few visa options available.

Tourist Visa

No matter your reason for entering the country, you must have a tourist visa to enter Egypt. You can easily attain one at any entry level into the country, as long as you have a valid passport, but it should be valid for at least the next six months. The fee for the tourist visa is $25 and it is valid for 30 days. It only works for one entry into the country, so if you leave and come back, you must get another. You can renew this visa as necessary if you are seeking to remain for tourism purposes.

Student Visa

If you’re traveling to Egypt to study, you must first obtain a tourist visa in order to enter the country, and then within seven days of entering, go to a local police station to register with your information. While in this process, you must also fill out a visa application form that should be provided by your institution of study. When you have your application form ready, you’ll have to take it, along with your valid passport and a passport-sized photo, to the Ministry of the Interior to finish your application. The fee will be somewhere between 50 EGP and 100 EGP, which translates to around $3 -$6 USD.

Work Visas/Permits

While in many countries there are separate visas just for work, this is not the case in Egypt. Foreigners can apply for work permits once inside the country; however the process does sometimes take a very long time. Once approved, the work permit is valid for one full year and can be renewed. While many of its visa processes are straightforward, Egypt is known for moving quite slowly on the government’s end, so you’ll need your employer to help this process along as well. While the documentation for each of the visas is pretty standard, the documentation for the work permit is a bit more thorough. In addition to the usual valid passport and application, you’ll need seven passport photos, both the originals and copies of your certificate (college degree, etc.) that qualifies you for the position, a reason that a foreigner should have the job rather than a qualified Egyptian, a representative from your employer to sponsor you, approval from Egypt’s State Security office proving that you are not a threat to the nation, and approval from the ministry relevant to your field. Finally, an application fee of 1,000 EGP must be paid to complete the application. That equates to $56.28 USD.

Temporary Residence Visa

There are two types of visas for residency outside of the work permit. There is one for those looking to relocate as expats, and this one is usually good for one, three, or five years. The other is for anyone who was born in Egypt before May 29, 1952, or who has lived in Egypt for 20 years.

The process for the temporary residence permit is fairly straightforward. First, you’ll need the tourist/entry visa, which is essentially the same thing, and then you’ll need to apply at the local police station with an application in both English and Arabic, a valid passport that should be current up to six months, and a passport-style photo. These qualifications can change, so check with your local Embassy of Egypt to be sure before heading out.

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Citizenship

In order to gain citizenship in Egypt, you’d have to live in the country for 10 consecutive years. You must also be at least 21Consumer Resource Guide years old. Other requirements include proving that you are mentally and physically healthy, have no criminal record, and that you are proficient in Arabic. You must also have a legal means of earning a living in the country. With this citizenship, you will not have to renew any visas or permits any longer, and you also won’t have to renounce your original citizenship, so you can have an Egyptian passport along with your original passport.

Documentation

For any of the visas, or for temporary residency status, the required documentation is pretty standard. You must provide a valid passport that still has at least six months on it, several passport-sized photos, your completed application forms, proof of financial means for residency, a letter from your employer for the work permit, and proof of a return ticket or funds to purchase a return ticket when the time comes.

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