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Essential Guide to Obtaining a Tourist Visa for Egypt

Pyramids, Egypt
Pyramids, Egypt

Almost all travelers need a visa to enter Egypt, but the process is straightforward with a bit of planning. This guide will walk you through the requirements for obtaining a tourist visa to visit the land of the pyramids.

Who needs a visa to visit Egypt?

Most nationalities require a visa to enter Egypt, but many can apply for an e-Visa in advance or get a visa on arrival at Egypt’s international airports. Both options cost $25.

Getting an e-Visa is usually easier than getting a visa at the airport. You can apply online on the Egyptian Government's official e-Visa website. Simply fill out the online application form and pay the fee.

If you opt to get a visa at the airport, be prepared to wait in line. Bring a pen to fill out the paperwork in line or on the plane, and have cash (in US dollars, euros, or British pounds, but not Egyptian pounds) ready for payment.

Citizens of Bahrain, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Macau, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates can enter Egypt visa-free for up to 90 days. Citizens of Malaysia can stay for up to 14 days without a visa.

If you are not eligible for an e-Visa or a visa on arrival, you will need to apply in person at an Egyptian embassy or consulate in your home country. This process can take several weeks.

How to get an e-Visa for Egypt

To save time, apply for an e-Visa before your trip. Citizens of eligible countries can apply on the Egyptian government's official website. Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months from your intended arrival date.

The application process is simple: create an account, fill out the form, and pay the $25 fee with a credit or debit card. You’ll receive email updates as your application is processed.

If your visa is approved, you’ll get an email with a link to download and print your e-Visa. Present this document along with your passport to the Egyptian border patrol upon arrival. Have your accommodation details or tour booking ready in case you’re asked to show them at the airport.

Egypt’s e-Visa can be single-entry or multiple-entry. A single-entry visa allows one entry for up to 30 days. A multiple-entry visa lets you enter Egypt multiple times over 180 days, staying up to 30 days each visit. Apply for a multi-entry visa at least seven days before your trip.

Visa on arrival in Egypt

If you don’t have time to apply for an e-Visa, you can get a visa on arrival at the airport if eligible. The visa costs $25 and is available at a kiosk in the arrivals hall before the immigration counters.

Have the exact amount in cash in US dollars, euros, or British pounds to avoid delays. The visa is a stamp that you’ll place in your passport to present at immigration.

For a visa on arrival, you need a passport valid for at least six months from your arrival date, a travel itinerary, and proof of accommodations or tour bookings. This visa is only available for single entries, and the lines at the airport can be long.

Visiting Sinai without a visa

If you are visiting resort towns on the Gulf of Aqaba coast and not traveling to mainland Egypt, you can stay in Sinai for up to 14 days without an Egyptian visa. The Sinai-only visa allows visits to Sharm El Sheikh, Dahab, Nuweiba, Taba, and St Catherine, but not to Ras Muhammad National Park.

The Sinai-only visa is available at Sharm El Sheikh airport and the Egypt–Israel border crossing at Taba. If you arrive at Taba and plan to visit mainland Egypt, you must purchase a visa online in advance or at an Egyptian embassy.

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