Visa on Arrival to Egypt
THE EGYPTIAN VISA ON ARRIVAL
What is the Egyptian Visa on Arrival (VOA)?
The Egyptian Visa-on-Arrival, also very commonly known as VOA, is a visa that is obtainable upon arriving to the Egyptian borders or airports. It is a single-entry visa, therefore if you decide to leave the country for any reason and come back, you will most likely have to purchase another Visa-on-Arrival, even if you are still within your 30-day limit. This style of travel visa was initially introduced in March 2015 and was officially implemented two months later in May 2015. It is now a very convenient and usually quick way to get a visa to enjoy all the spectacles of Egypt.
Which countries can receive a Visa on Arrival in Egypt?
The Egyptian visa on arrival is available to the majority of international tourists, but more so to the citizens of Europe and America. There are currently 41 countries whose citizens are eligible to apply and obtain a visa to enter Egypt on arrival, are the following:
All of the 27 member states of the European Union (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden), Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, South Korea, Macedonia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, The United States and The United Kingdom.
As long as the traveler holds a valid passport from one of the listed above countries and complies with the visa conditions, they will be allowed to get a Visa on arrival in Egypt.
Some other nationalities like the Far East & India will be required to receive a visa prior to arrival within their passports. This process is done through the Egyptian consulate or the Egyptian embassy in their home countries. If you are part of this category and are looking to come to Egypt, then it is strongly recommended that you contact your local embassy or consulate well in advance in order to prevent any potential issues.
Opposingly, some countries are fully exempt from Visa on arrival in Egypt and may enter Egypt with just an entry stamp in certain cases. It is advised that the traveler contacts the local embassy to be up to date with current visa services.
How to Get Egypt Visa on Arrival (VOA)?
The visa is issued once the traveler has already reached Egyptian territory. Once they land at an Egyptian airport, foreign nationals are expected to look for and queue at the relevant visa desk before proceeding to the immigration counter. These visa desks will generally be in the form of a local Egyptian bank and will charge you a set fee of $25 to purchase one. Some airports will have signs on the bank booths stating “VISA, $25”. Once you have been handed the Visa, Officers from the Egyptian General Department of Passports, Immigration, and Nationality will be the ones adding the visa to your passport. They will apply the purchased visa sticker to a blank page in the traveler’s passport as proof of purchase. Make sure to never stick the visa in yourself, as the designated officer will do so themselves. The visa receiving process itself takes around 2 minutes maximum per passenger, if there are no queues.
There is only one type of Egyptian VOA available to tourists coming into the country which will last 30 days before expiring, it is impossible to purchase more than one of these visas at any one time, however, if you are approaching to the end of your visa and are looking to extend it, then there are a few ways in which you can renew your visa and stay longer. Keep reading to find out the different ways that you can renew your visa in Egypt.
Criteria for obtaining an Egypt visa on arrival
There are a few things that will definitely be worth checking before you fly to Egypt so that you prevent any mishaps that may occur. Firstly, refer to the countries list above (which countries can get an Egypt VOA) and make sure that your passport is from one of the 41 countries listed there. Secondly, the passport that you choose to use for entering Egypt must have at least 2 blank pages still in it, if you find that you have less then you may be refused the Egypt VOA, so it is recommended that you make sure to have the 2 or more spare pages before departing. Finally, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your entry date, for example, if you enter Egypt on 1st June 2021, then your passport’s expiry date will need to be 2nd December 2021 at the earliest, ideally it would be at a later date. If your passports expiry date is less than 6 months, then again you may be refused entry, therefore you should look to renew your passport before travelling to Egypt.
Which Egyptian airports can I obtain a visa to enter Egypt from?
There are currently six major airports in Egypt that will allow you to purchase a visa on arrival from them. They are the main airports of Egypt and are as follows:
• Cairo International Airport, Cairo
• Hurghada International Airport, Hurghada
• Borg El Arab International Airport, Alexandria
• Sharm El Sheikh International Airport
• Luxor International Airport
• St Catherine International Airport, St Catherina
The most popular of these airports are Cairo International Airport, Sharm El Sheikh Airport and Hurghada Airport. These will be the points of entry that will see the most tourists coming through and may therefore take some time to obtain an Egypt VOA due to longer queues. However, you may rest assured that as long as you meet all the VOA Egypt criteria, you will be able to get a Visa on arrival in Egypt.
How Much Is an Egyptian Visa on Arrival (VOA)?
The cost of the Egypt visa on arrival is a set price of $25 (US Dollars), however, the price can be converted into a few other major currencies and paid that way (payable in pounds sterling, US dollars, or euros). International travelers will receive the visa at approved bank kiosks. These kiosks are within airport arrival halls, before reaching immigration counters. Once granted, the Egypt visa on arrival will allow travelers to stay in Egypt for a period of 30 days, as well as an added grace period of 14 days. Make certain to only ask airport officials or officers regarding visas at the airport, in the case of confusion, airport staff will be happy to direct any lost traveler.
Can I extend my visa past the 30 day period?
Applications for visa extensions should be made at the Egyptian General Department of Passports, Immigration, and Nationality Offices.
You may face some difficulties when leaving Egypt with an out-of-date visa. You will not be allowed to leave without paying a fine if your visa is out of date by more than 14 days. If you would like to extend your 30-day visa, you must contact the visa application center at the respectable city you are residing in, and dedicate at least a full day to the extension process prior to the visa expiration date. A new 30-day visa will cost the same amount as the first, $25 payable by cash.
Crossing the Border from Jordan to Egypt
Egypt shares a maritime border with Jordan. Tourists may choose to take a ferry across the Gulf of Aqaba and arrive at the Taba or Nuweiba border crossing.
The exact same rules apply for crossing from Jordan , tourists are able to get a free entry stamp only if they are staying in a resort that is within 1km of the borders, and if they do not wish to travel outside of this resort and explore more of what Egypt has to offer. Remember to present a booking confirmation or reservation details of the nearby hotel that you are staying in to be certain that the visa fee can be waived. If the tourist wishes to venture outside of the nearby resorts, a fee applies and must be paid in Jordan. If the tourist is staying in a nearby hotel and decides that they would like to travel around more, they may be able to apply and pay for a visa at the nearest Visa Center or apply online. When paying for a visa before coming into Egypt, this can be done by bringing cash to the checkpoint in Jordan or Israel, before arriving in Egypt.
Egypt Visa On Arrival vs. E-Visa
Before traveling to Egypt, make sure to check if you are eligible for a Visa-On-Arrival. Both visas have the exact same purpose and will grant you the same entry to Egypt, if you would like to save some extra time, you may apply for a visa online. Getting an Egypt eVisa requires filling in a simple application form.
You must complete the online form with all the required and relevant information, upload a few documents, and complete the payment. Once the online form has been submitted, the Egyptian online visa application will be sent to the visa issuing authority. Then all that is left is the wait for the visa to arrive, in the chosen time frame that the applicant would have chosen before submitting their application.
The price for the electronic version of the Egyptian Visa costs the same as the visa on arrival, $25. During seasons when there are not many travelers coming into Egypt, tourists usually choose to obtain a Visa on arrival in Egypt as there are no long queues and long waits when receiving the visa. When it is peak season, visitors choose to resort to the electronic Egyptian Visa services to avoid hefty waiting times at the issuing booth.
Useful Advice for Traveling to Egypt
Travelers must make sure that the passport that they are using to enter Egypt has at least two blank pages, as well as an expiry date of at least six months from the date of entry to Egypt. Those who are bringing any sort of strong medication into the country should consider getting a medical certificate or official letter from their healthcare practitioner to avoid any confusion when entering Egypt.
Tourists are highly urged to check the Egyptian customs regulations when they are preparing luggage to avoid packing any items that are prohibited by the Egyptian government. Lastly, and most importantly, foreigners should always be aware of the cultural differences and local customs in Egypt. Be mindful of the appropriate dress code for women and men when packing clothes for the trip.
Rania El Sherbini
Global Staffing & Immigration Partner
EGYPT’S PREMIER WORK PERMIT AND VISA EXPERT SINCE 2007
3 Oraby Street – Maadi – Cairo
02 2358 6853
33 Fawzy Moaaz St.- Smouha, Alexandria, Egypt.