Egypt Adds 78 New Countries to Its Electronic Visa Scheme

Egypt facilitates entry to more international travelers by adding 78 new countries to its electronic visa program. Currently, over 180 nationals can apply for a visa to Egypt entirely online.

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In August 2021, the Egyptian authorities added 28 new countries to the electronic visa scheme. Now, other countries have been given the opportunity to enjoy the facilitated visa application process. Egypt has added 78 new countries to the e-Visa system.

Currently, the list includes over 180 nationalities. This step aims at attracting more visitors to Egypt and restoring the tourism sector in the country after the restricted travel caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

In 2020, Egypt welcomed 3.5 mln tourists amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. For comparison, in 2019, the country hosted 13.1 million visitors. In 2021, Egypt saw a steady recovery in the tourism sector which is one of the major sources of foreign currency in the country.

Before the pandemic, tourism accounted for up to 15 % of the GDP. The Egyptian authorities hope for a full recovery this year. 

Egyptian electronic visa system

Egypt introduced an electronic visa service in July 2021. Since then, foreign travelers can apply for a visa to Egypt entirely online. 

Travelers from over 180 eligible countries can obtain either a single-entry or multiple-entry visa to Egypt and use it for tourism or business-related purposes.

With a single-entry visa, a traveler can stay in Egypt for up to 1 month throughout its 3-month validity period, while a holder of a multiple-entry visa can enter Egypt numerous times and stay for up to 30 days each time as long as the visa remains valid (6 months). 

Emergency tourist visas upon arrival

The same 78 countries recently added to the Egyptian electronic visa system are now allowed to obtain emergency tourist visas on arrival at one of the Egyptian ports. 

The country decided to introduce this huge facilitation due to the number of nationals arriving in Sharm El-sheikh and Taba. They may obtain a visa on arrival as long as they provide a return ticket, hotel accommodation, a credit card, or enough amount of money necessary for the entire duration of their stay in Egypt. 

Currently, over 180 nationals can receive tourist visas on arrival in Egypt. They, however, need to have a valid and used visa on their passports for the US, New Zealand, the UK, Japan, or Schengen countries.  

Egyptian entry requirements

Travelers from all over the world are required to fill out a paper health declaration (issued either by the airline or by the officials upon arrival). The declaration includes all essential personal details. Passengers may also be required to provide confirmation of a valid health insurance policy when entering Egypt. 

Fully vaccinated travelers

  • are exempt from testing and quarantine requirements;
  • must provide a vaccination certificate confirming that at least 14 days have passed since receiving the full COVID-19 vaccination course (Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Sinovac, Sinopharm, Janssen, or Sputnik V); the certificate must be issued by an accredited laboratory in the traveler’s home country and linked with a verifiable QR code;
  • are subject to COVID-19 rapid testing upon arrival if arriving from areas where coronavirus variants of concern have been recorded.

Non-vaccinated travelers

  • need to provide a negative PCR or ID NOW, or rapid antigen test report (taken no earlier than 72 hours before the planned arrival time in Egypt); (COVID-19 recovery proof is not acceptable). All COVID-19 test reports must be issued by an accredited laboratory and must state the exact date and time of sample collection, and must be stamped and linked with a verifiable QR code.

Important note: Non-vaccinated travelers planning to arrive at airports in the coastal governorates of the Red Sea (Hurghada and Marsa Alam), Marsa Matrouh, and South Sinai (Sharm El Sheikh) can take a PCR test upon arrival for $30. When awaiting the test result, they need to self-isolate at the hotel. The country’s authorities will notify them about the report within 12 to 24 hours. If the result is negative, they may end the self-isolation.

Katarzyna Żyła

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