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Preparing for a Trip to Egypt: Getting the right visa

Preparing for a trip to Egypt: getting the right visa
Preparing for a Trip to Egypt: Getting the right visa © Shutterstock

Egypt is among the world’s most popular holiday destinations, and it’s not difficult to see why. First and foremost, tourists go to the African country to see its famous pyramids up close. But Egypt is also a popular destination for its numerous resorts, for instance at Hurghada or Sharm el Sheikh. From deep-sea diving and scorching deserts to shopping at malls, Egypt has something for everyone. Like most countries around the world, Egypt has strict visa rules. These can be confusing for travellers, who can end up overpaying for a visa when a cheaper one would have sufficed.

The online Egypt visa: The best option

In the past, the only way to enter Egypt from abroad was by either getting your visa at the embassy, or getting a so-called visa on arrival, which could be purchased at the airport in Egypt. Getting an embassy visa is an expensive and time-consuming affair, which can easily take weeks if not months. The problem with the visa on arrival was that it led to extremely long queues at the Egyptian airports, causing the already busy airports to become almost unnavigable. To solve this issue, Egypt’s government introduced a new digital version of the visa: the electronic Egypt visa.

Preparing for a trip to Egypt: getting the right visa
Rubbing elbows with Pharaohs at the Egyptian Museum © Orhan Cam /

Who can use it?

The Egypt e-visa can be used by tourists of all ages. It allows you to stay in Egypt for up to 30 days. Keep in mind that the digital visa for Egypt is purely a tourist visa. It can only be used for holidays. If you plan to go on a business trip, you will either have to get an embassy visa or a visa on arrival. However, visiting family and friends also falls under the definition of a holiday. This means that the e-visa can also be used for things like weddings or funerals.

Single entry or multiple entry?

The Egypt visa is valid for a total of 90 days. But as noted above, it only allows you to stay in the country for a month. After those 30 days are over, you are required to leave the country. However, the visa has two versions: a single entry version and a multiple entry one. For those people that want to travel to Egypt multiple times during the 90-day validity period of the visa, the multiple entry type is the best choice. With it, you can enter and leave Egypt an unlimited number of times during these 90 days. However, each stay in Egypt can still only last a maximum of 30 consecutive days.

Preparing for a trip to Egypt: getting the right visa - Nile at Sunset © Shutterstock
Sunset over the Nile © Repina Valeriya /

How do I get it?

The benefit of the online variant of the Egypt visa is that it is very easy to apply for. Unlike the embassy visa or the visa on arrival, everything can be done from the comfort of your home. Simply open the online application form for the Egypt visa and fill in the required fields. Afterwards, the visa is sent to you by e-mail. Print it, and carry it with you on your trip.

To apply for the online Egypt visa, you need a passport. ID cards or residency permits are not accepted. Furthermore, your passport has to be valid for at least 8 more months from the moment you arrive in Egypt. This applies to both adults and children; there are no exceptions to Egypt’s visa rules. If you plan to visit family or friends, you need to be able to present a letter of invitation detailing who you are visiting. It is also advisable to create a short itinerary. While this isn’t mandatory, it might be asked for at the airport, and you can save yourself valuable time by having one ready. The visa is generally issued within two weeks, so apply well in advance of your trip to avoid last-minute trouble.

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