EGYPTApril 28, 2015

With the purpose of increasing national security, last month the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the elimination of issuance of tourist visas on arrival to any nationality as of May 15, 2015. Although some Egyptian consulates, most notably the consulate in the UK,  immediately amended the visa information on their website accordingly, internally at the Ministry of Interior and the Immigration Department this subject was actually still under discussion and by no means considered to be decided.

In the meanwhile concerns were expressed by the tourist industry on how the industry would be affected by such a decision, after having already greatly suffered in the past years due to political unrest and the resulting revolution. Many therefore are relieved that the Ministry has now decided to postpone the elimination of the visa-on-arrival program until after the implementation of a new electronic visa system, implementation date as of yet unknown.

Readers should note that although tourist visas on arrival will for the foreseeable future continue to be issued at port of arrival for a selected group of nationalities, only US, Canadian and EU nationals are allowed to carry out limited business activities on the visa-on-arrival, such as attending business meetings and negotiating a contract. All other nationals, as well as these nationals if planning to carry out business activities beyond such as mentioned, will need to obtain a consular business visa prior to travelling to Egypt.

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