Like most countries in the world, Egypt has a wide variety of visas that can be applied for. The focus of this article will be on the online version of the visa, also called the e-visa. It comes with a number of strict requirements, and failing to meet them will result in your application being rejected.
Online Visa or Embassy Visa
When people hear the word “visa” their first thoughts usually go to the local embassy. And not without reason, embassies have historically been the main distributor of visas of all kinds, whether they be for leisure, work or to study. Egypt also has embassy visas, which naturally require a visit to be made in person. Usually, two visits are required, one to provide all your information and a second visit to pick up the actual visa. Depending on where you live, this can quickly become an expensive ordeal.
These days, with technology being such a natural part of our daily lives, more and more countries are starting to shift towards a digitised version of their visa application system. Kenya, for example, recently announced that visas can no longer be applied for at embassies, but that everything has to take place online. While most countries still offer embassy visas, the digital visas or e-visas are becoming increasingly popular.
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The reasons for this growing popularity are fairly straightforward. Since everything related to e-visa applications take place online, no visit to the embassy is required. As a result, the process is much faster and a fair bit cheaper. The electronic Egypt visa, for example, is generally issued within a few days, while an embassy visa can take weeks or even months to get processed.
In 2017, Egypt introduced their own version of the electronic visa. The requirements to apply for one include:
- Having a passport that is valid for at least 8 more months from the moment you arrive in Egypt.
- If you are staying with family or friends in Egypt, you need to have a letter of invitation from them.
- A basic itinerary can be asked for, containing all your booked flights and accommodation.
- Children each need their own visas, regardless of age. They also need to have their own passports.
The digital visa for Egypt is valid for 90 days. However, this does not mean that you are allowed to stay in the country for the same period. The maximum length of stay on an e-visa for Egypt is 30 days. Overstaying your visa can lead to serious fines and deportation. In worst case scenarios, you can be barred from submitting future applications.
The Egypt e-visa comes in two forms: a “single entry” visa and a “multiple entry” version. Both have the same overall validity and length of stay (90 and 30 days respectively). However, the multiple entry type allows you to travel to Egypt several times with the same visa within the overall validity period. The single entry variant can only be used once; for future trips, a new Egypt visa has to be applied for.
Future Plans For the Egypt Visa
Recently, Egyptian prime minister Mostafa Madbouly revealed that the digital tourist visa for Egypt will have its validity period and length of stayed extended. As noted above, these are currently 90 and 30 days respectively. Egypt is looking to drastically extend this term. In the future, the e-visa Egypt will be valid for 5 years, with a maximum length of stay of 90 days. This is yet another sign that Egypt is among those countries who is increasingly seeking to digitise its visa system. Based on growing tourist numbers pre-Covid, their tactics are paying off.