Although Egypt is one of the oldest civilizations, it is also a modern country that attracts people from all over the world who want to settle here permanently, spend a summer vacation, invest in local real estate or open a business. The long list of reasons for such increased interest includes the low cost of living, great opportunities in the labor market, a developed tourism industry, a warm climate, picturesque nature and friendly people. Real estate in Cairo is extremely popular with foreigners who want to live comfortably and relax and earn on rentals and capital gains. Before investing in local real estate, they must obtain a residence permit in Egypt. We will analyse how this can be achieved below.
- Visa regime
- Types of visas
- Documents for long-term visas
- Addresses of embassies and consulates in Egypt
- Basic methods and documents required to obtain a residence permit in Egypt
- Marriage to an Egyptian citizen
- Family ties
- Residence permit for real estate investments
- Residence permit to open a business
- Residence permit for employmen
- Immigration visa application procedures
- Reasons for refusing a residence permit
- We will help you get a residence permit in Egypt
Foreign nationals who plan to cross Egyptian borders must obtain a visa in advance at one of the diplomatic missions of the state. The exception is immigrants from countries that are exempt from receiving a document or have the right to do so upon arrival. Foreign citizens must obtain a visa in advance or upon arrival in the country.
The following types of visas are used in Egypt:
- Sinai stamp. A foreigner can apply for this type of visa, free of charge if he arrives at the Sharm El Sheikh airport or the Hurghada airport. Its validity period is 15 days but does not give the right to visit settlements outside of South Sinai. This stamp cannot be renewed. If a foreigner decides to stay in Egypt for a longer period or travel outside of South Sinai, he will have to purchase a special stamp (visa sticker) and have it stamped at the visa center. The foreigner would then have to apply with a request to extend the visa.
- Airport visa. To obtain the right to stay in Egypt for 1 month, you must purchase the appropriate stamp, which will be pasted into the foreigner's passport upon arrival at the airport for $25. A foreigner can extend a sticker visa at the Sharm El Sheikh Visa center. The first two extensions will be free for foreign nationals.
- Tourist visa. This type of stamp is similar to the previous one and can also be obtained at the airport. A significant difference is an expected application for a 1-3 months visa and the confirmation of the purpose of the visit and financial viability.
- Guest visa. Foreigners who enter Egypt to visit friends or family members living here must obtain this type of visa. To do this, they will need documents confirming family ties with Egyptians (if any), a written invitation and an identity card that former citizens of the country who want to visit friends receive.
- Fiancée visa. This type of visa is intended for foreign women who are planning to marry Egyptian citizens and is valid for 6 months. To issue a document, the future spouse must provide a passport, a copy of the groom's identity card, a marriage contract and a passport photo. If there are no problems with the documents, she will be invited to an interview, where police officers will make sure that the woman is not a victim of human trafficking, blackmail or other criminal schemes.
- Professional visa. This type of visa is issued to foreigners who plan to enter Egypt to fulfill their professional duties. It is intended for diplomats, journalists and members of the sea and aircrews. The right to issue a professional-type visa is granted to specialists who can confirm their status, for example, with a media license.
- Work visa. This type of visa has nothing to do with the previous one. It is intended for foreigners who will work for Egyptian employers. In addition to the main documents, they need to provide an official invitation certified by a notary, a diploma of secondary or higher education, a medical insurance policy and a letter of confirmation from the employer that his company employs a maximum of one foreigner for 11 Egyptians. The document is valid for 6 months.
- Study visa. This type of visa is granted to foreign students of Egyptian educational institutions. To apply for it, you must have a letter from a school, university or educational center confirming the place reserved for a citizen of another state.
- Resident visa. This type of visa allows a foreigner to reside in Egypt for a long time. As a rule, it is given to owners of local real estate or spouses of citizens of the state. A resident visa for foreigners is valid for 5 years.
The main documents for a residence permit in Egypt are:
- an application was drawn up on a sample and filled out in English or Arabic;
- a foreign passport that will be valid for 6 months or more after the residence permit expires;
- 4 passport sample photos;
- an original and a copy of the passport;
- a certificate confirming a clean criminal record in the native country;
- a medical certificate indicating no dangerous diseases;
- documents confirming a person’s stable income or financial independence;
- a lease agreement or a title deed for immovable real estate;
- a medical insurance policy for $15,000 or more received in the native country;
- a receipt of payment of state duty;
- documents legally confirming the residence status of a person in Egypt.
The main documents for almost all types of visas were listed above. A foreigner can also provide additional documents, such as birth certificates of children, a notarised permit to enter Egypt with a child, a driver's license, etc.
There is an embassy in Egypt at 95 Giza Street, Cairo. You can also find a consular department at Misaha st. 34, Dokki, Cairo. The Consulate General is located in Alexandria at 9 Tag el Ruasa st.
Let's consider the most popular ways to obtain an Egyptian residence permit:
Marriage to an Egyptian citizen is one of the most common ways to obtain a local residence permit, but it is mostly women who do so. In fact, under Egyptian law, Egyptian women do not have the right to marry a man who does not profess Islam. Male citizens are freer in this matter, as they can marry representatives of any religion.
It should also be noted that the State only recognises official marriages. Marriages concluded outside Egypt should be legalised on its territory. When two years have elapsed since the signing of the documents, the foreign spouse will obtain citizenship.
The uniqueness of Egyptian marriage includes the absence of fictitious unions and the fact that a man who professes Islam has the right to marry 4 women (if he can provide them with a financially stable future).
Foreigners who have family ties with people who have lived in Egypt for over 5 years can use the family reunification program. It is available for children, parents, grandparents, sisters and brothers. Egyptian residents must issue an official invitation with the degree of kinship, the visitor’s intentions and financial guarantees for an unforeseen situation.
The other party will also have to confirm that they are relatives from Egypt and do not have dangerous diseases that could be threatening to others. After meeting all the necessary conditions, the foreigner will receive a 5-year residence permit.
According to the law, foreigners must invest at least $50,000 in houses in Cairo or other cities in Egypt to be eligible for long-term residence. They can dispose of real estate at their discretion. They can live in it permanently, rent it out or move into it for the holidays.
Opening a business or buying an existing one makes it possible for investors and entrepreneurs to obtain a long-term visa. To do business in Egypt legally, you will have to fulfill the following conditions:
- Coordinate the finished plan with representatives of the Ministry of Economy and Labor. They must then issue a permit to the foreign national. As a rule, this process takes about 3 months and costs $1,200.
- Have a sufficient amount of money in a state bank account to conduct business. The amount is determined by the Egyptian Government. The founders of an LLC must have at least $84,000, while the founders of a CJSC must have at least $42,000.
- Have a legal address. It must be registered on the territory of Egypt.
- Translate all documents about the company's activities into Arabic or English.
If the entrepreneur fulfills all of the above conditions, he will be entitled to Egyptian citizenship without a residence permit.
A residence permit based on employment is intended for foreigners who have received an invitation from an Egyptian employer and signed an official contract with them. People who are fluent in Arabic and English can receive this opportunity.
How do you apply for a resident visa? To obtain a residence permit, a foreigner must fill out an application form by the form of the Consulate of Egypt. After that, he will need to submit it and all the necessary documents. The period to apply depends on several factors, including the method of obtaining a residence permit.
The most common reasons for a refusal of a residence permit are incorrect documents, lack of certain papers, false data, problems with the law and serious diseases. In the first two cases, the foreigner has a chance to correct and re-submit the application, in the rest – crossing the Egyptian border will be prohibited for him indefinitely.
Applicants who believe that the refusal was unjustified have the right to file a lawsuit and appeal the decision to a court. These measures must be taken within 10 days of the refusal.
To receive help in obtaining a residence permit, selecting a residential property or on other issues related to moving to Egypt, please contact the representatives of the Cairo company. The catalog offers the best houses and apartments in Cairo. Highly qualified specialists of "Cairo" will provide an individual approach to the situation of each client. Therefore, whatever goal a potential emigrant pursues, he can achieve it.