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Egypt Visas on Arrival Scrapped

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As of May 15th 2015, travellers not on package tours to Egypt will need to apply in advance for permission to enter. Whereas, tourists travelling with registered tour operators and intend to stay for less than 15 days will be issued a visa-on-arrival.

With the tourism industry in Egypt still recovering from the political events of 2011, the change in policy comes as a shock that may harm an already struggling industry. Prior to 2011, the tourism industry revenue was at a high of £7.7bn in 2010 compared to £3.6bn in 2013.

Egypt Visas on Arrival

The decision results from the Egyptian Economic Development Conference of March 2015, where the country presented itself as open for business following 4 years of political instability, whilst enabling the Egyptian Intelligence Services to better out those using Egypt as a transit point to Syria and Iraq to join militant groups.

Egypt’s policy change has been played down by the Egyptian Tourism Minister Khaled Ramy, as the minster expects it to have a minimal effect on tourists.

However, those traveling as backpackers or for business visits and not as part of an organised package tour will be affected by the change and need to consider visa arrangements in advance.

Such travellers will now have to obtain a visa for tourism or business.

Applying for a Business visa

All nationals requiring a visa prior to arrival should apply at their local Consulate General of Egypt. Applications can be made in-person at the Consulate or via post.

In-person applications
Generally, in-person applications require the following:

  • A valid passport, with at least 6 months validity
  • 2 recently taken colour photographs
  • A completed application form
  • Payment of fees in cash
  • An official letter detailing the business visit to Egypt.

Applicants can collect their visa and documents 5 working days after submission. Applicants are required to collect their passport from the Consulate personally; the Consulate will not send passports by post.

Postal applications

Generally, postal applications require the following:

  • A valid passport, with at least 6 months validity
  • 2 recently taken colour photographs
  • A completed application form
  • Exact payment of fees by postal order
  • An official letter detailing the business visit to Egypt.

Following submission, applicants should expect a decision to be made after 10 working days. Applicants applying via this route should provide a self-addressed return envelope with their name and address (in block capitals) with recorded or special delivery stamps, so that their passport and application can be returned.

Passports and applications sent by post can only be returned to the applicant by post, and cannot be collected in person.

For support with your business travel to Egypt, please feel free to contact the DavidsonMorris Global Immigration Team at info@davidsonmorris.com or on 020 7494 0118.

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