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Today I am going to talk about a country located in a continent that is becoming more and more famous for retiring or investing in. Egypt is the best that Africa has to offer, and it also boasts a pretty relaxed immigration system that, people can move through if they wish to obtain a permanent residency and an eventual citizenship.

You will find that Egypt offers very similar visa types than most of the other countries, but there is a small difference. The Egyptian government is usually slow on this process. They are not harsher or stricter, just slow when it comes to the whole immigration process.

The visa that you buy at the airport is valid for 30 days. If you want to stay for a longer period you can get an extension of 6 months at the visa office it is called "Temporary residence visa for touristic purposes" and you'll need a stamped rental contract for it.

If you want to stay longer than 6 months, you can get another extension, but after staying in Egypt for 1 year you'll have to leave the country for at least 24 hours to get a new visa.

Also if you leave Egypt during your stay, you're visa will not be valid anymore, unless you get a re-entry visa before you leave for one, 3 , 6 months or one year depending on your situation.

A residence permit is different, it is issued for 1, 3 and 5 years, it gives you unlimited re-entry and you don't have to leave the country after staying in Egypt for 1 year. Residence permit is only granted to people married to Egyptian citizen (that's why it's usually called the spouse visa) or if you own property with a value of at least $100.000 with green contract.

With this Visa you don’t need re-entrance and you can have sometimes Egyptian prices.

Instead of stamp in your passport you get new ID card It’s called « residency card » ,but that doesn't give you the right as resident if you are only tourist.

There are no guidelines that will let you know what you need to switch between permits, they are left to the interpretation of the immigration officials.

The documents that you will need to show to apply for the resident visa include:

  • Completed Application

  • A Valid Passport

  • 4 Passport Sized Photographs

  • Paid Fees

Egypt also offers a residency visa to those, who purchase property in the country. The length of the visa depends on the cost of the property that was purchased and this may vary depending on where the house is located.

If your property is worth $100,000 dollars then you are given a one year visa, for $200,000 dollars you get a visa for a period of three years, and for $400,000 dollars this can extend to a five year period.

A five-year residence in Egypt is the best thing you can obtain, but they might be a little restrictive towards who they are given to. The list of persons that may obtain a five-year residence includes:

  • Investors

  • Children of Egyptian Mothers

  • Children whose father was granted an Egyptian Citizenship

  • Those who are older than 60 years old and who have been living in Egypt for more than 10 years

  • Spouses and Widows of Egyptians

Renewing VISA

If you’re planning on staying in Egypt for more than a month, you have to renew your Egypt tourist visa in person. Previously, this was at the Mogamma building, but it is now at the Egypt Passport and Immigration Administration. Also, previously, you got a visa; you now get a “Foreign Residence Card”, a plastic ID card with your address, photo, and date of birth.


  • Go in the morning, early in the week (Monday/Tuesday). Plan to arrive at 8 am (or earlier).

  • Your Passport. If you have more than one, the one with the visa in it.

  • A face mask. Please consider protecting others and yourself in a busy area.

  • Copy of your e-Visa if you got one (lost it? Take the file on a USB stick to print there)

  • The address of where you’re staying in Arabic.

  • Cash of 1175 LE per person (see Egypt Tourist Visa costs below) OR a debit card to use with the ATM

  • On credit cards: Some visa cards are accepted (e.g. Egyptian ones), but many foreign ones are not accepted (e.g. our US JP Morgan Chase or Australian Commonwealth Bank cards). Cash is much more reliable.

  • Pen

  • Patience!

Optional but recommended

  • A lease agreement or long-term residency contract. A booking confirmation is sometimes accepted. Get it in Arabic if possible (e.g. translate the page, or set the website to Arabic). The address must be in Arabic.

  • Food & water — There are some long breaks! You can also buy snacks and drinks from vendors, or of course go out for food.

  • Debit card — in case you need more cash. In theory, you can use credit cards, but the machine rarely works.

  • If you can ahead of time —

  • Passport photos (you only need one, but may as well have backup)

  • 2 x Photocopies of your passport main page and all Egypt visa pages. There are copy shops around the city that can do it (cheaply), and hotels can too (more expensive)

  • 2 printouts / copies of your e-visa if you have one.

Costs for Egypt Tourist Visa Renewal

It was very hard to find the costs for Egypt renewed visas on the Internet, and we only found out in person. We rely on people on the ground telling us for updates.

  • The renewed Egypt visa costs 1175 LE (~$70) per person (valid as of Aug 2019) + another fee of 775 LE on collection.

  • The price is independent of how long you request the visa for (3 months, 6 months, 12 months).

  • (Optional) The re-entry visa cost is 815 LE

Overstaying of Visa

So everyone can overstay their visa for 2 weeks and there’s no need to go to the Passport and Immigration office for 2-week visa extensions.”

Multiple other people have confirmed you can overstay for 15 days and not be fined.

As at November 2019, the fine for overstaying an Egypt tourist visa up to 3 months is 1515 EGP (including 15 LE for some stamps). You pay a police officer at the airport.

This fine has been constant since early 2019.

If you overstay your visa in Egypt for a few days: the police at the airport are likely to not care (but will give you a tsk tsk, and may still fine you)

  • If you overstay your visa in Egypt for up to 3 months, it will cost you 1515 EGP (inc. 15 LE for some stamps) — this is valid at November 2019. But it will only take you two minutes to pay the fine.

  • If you overstay more than three months, you can be liable for a multiple of 1515 EGP. It is at the discretion of the officer to enforce it.

Obtaining residency in Egypt sounds a little harder than the other countries, but it isn’t. The great thing that Egypt has that other countries don’t is an easy and clear path to citizenship if you have already been granted a residency.

For legal consultation for foreigners in Egypt, you can contact me directly on my Facebook page Vera Adel Red Sea consult

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