Egypt’s immigration system is characterised by its fragmented landscape involving multiple institutions. However, unlike other countries with similar complexities, access to information is relatively straightforward.
What is the Process?
The immigration process involves a three-step approach, starting with work authorisation, which comprises two stages, followed by residence authorisation.
Having good access to local authorities is important, even though dealing with them can be challenging at times. Additionally, you must be aware that certain documents must undergo legalisation in either the home or departure country before entering Egypt. These documents will be very important to the applications that need to be submitted at a later stage.
Business Visitors Visa
For foreign nationals visiting Egypt for business purposes, many are visa exempt and can obtain visas upon arrival at the designated entry points. Those not exempt need to apply for visas at the Egyptian mission in their home or country of residence.
Short-Term Work Authorisation
Regarding short-term work authorisation, Egypt does not have a separate process; instead, it follows the same steps as long-term authorisation, requiring a work visa and a work permit application.
Long-Term Work Authorisation
Long-term work authorisation in Egypt has certain limitations, as the number of foreign nationals employed cannot exceed 10% of the total workforce, though exceptions may be granted in certain cases.
This authorisation involves two main steps: obtaining a specific type of entry visa called a Work Visa, followed by the Work Permit application.
Work Visa Application
The Work Visa application is submitted in Egypt and typically takes 7 to 14 working days for processing. Once approved, the applicant must travel to Egypt for the endorsement of the work visa at the port of entry or the Egyptian Embassy in their country of origin. The work visa is valid for one month from the date of entry and is not renewable; the right to reside is granted through the work permit.
Work Permit Application
The second step is the Work Permit application, which is submitted to the Ministry of Manpower and Immigration. Before submission, the applicant must undergo an HIV/AIDS blood test at the Central laboratory of the Health Ministry in Egypt. The average processing time for the work permit is lengthy, taking 8 to 10 months. However, during this period, the applicant is allowed to start working. The work permit is initially issued for a maximum of one year, renewable for subsequent one-year periods.
Once the work permit submission receipt is obtained, the applicant can proceed to apply for a residence permit at the Ministry of Interior. If the final work permit is still pending, the residence authorisation will be issued for six months and subsequently renewed for another six months.
The processing time for the residence permit is approximately 30 days. During the validity of the residence permit, the foreigner can exit and re-enter Egypt freely.
While Egypt’s immigration landscape is fragmented due to multiple involved institutions, obtaining relevant information and following the permit process is generally manageable and straightforward.
IBN Immigration Solutions offers visa solutions for Egypt, and are familiar with all the requirements for applications, possible red-flags, and hold-ups, meaning that you’ll be in safe hands.
Written by Simon Carletti, PR and Creative Supervisor