March saw the announcement from the Egyptian Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Yasser al-Qady that Egypt would be joining a growing list of countries from around the world who have implemented a new electronic visa system to improve border controls. The electronic visa system for Egypt was meant to come into effect in June this year, however due to delays the Egypt e-Visa has been launched this November and is now available.
After Wednesday’s Arab Tourism Forum in Dubai, the Egyptian Minister for Tourism, Yehia Rashed told reporters that “under this system, any tourist anywhere in the world will have the right to apply for an electronic visa”. This means that Egypt are considering increasing the number of countries who can enter the country without an embassy or consulate visa. However, the official list of eligible countries is yet to be finalized and we are therefore still awaiting the definitive information about which foreign citizens will be eligible to apply for the electronic visa for Egypt, aka Egypt e-Visa.
This new system will most likely be similar to those of other countries in the world who have recently introduced the electronic visa system such as India, Myanmar, Bahrain etc. These visa schemes permit tourists to apply online by completing a form with their personal information, travel details and any security documentation before paying a fee to submit the application for approval. Once the corresponding authorizing body has granted the e-Visa, the applicant will be notified by e-mail.
In this case, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Yasser al-Qady stated that “tourists will be able to apply for a visa online via a barcode they will receive. After the approval of the Egyptian authorities, a copy of the visa is sent to them electronically”.
Tourism Minister Rashed also explained that, additionally, the electronic visa system will cause changes to other visa procedures such as allowing expatriates in Gulf countries to take advantage of the visa-on-arrival obtained at the airport of entry into Egypt.
Another amendment to Egyptian visa policies is the cancelation of the restrictions which were established for citizens of Arab Magreb countries thus promoting the flow of tourism through the North African region.
According to an earlier statement the Cabinet had previously granted the launch of the Egypt e-Visa project for May of this year, however the launch was postponed until November.
The Egyptian electronic visa scheme will allow eligible travellers to Egypt to fill out an online application and pay the visa fee online via credit/debit card before receiving the approved e-Visa in their e-mail. This will allow travellers to obtain their visas for Egypt beforehand, speeding up and facilitating the work of border and immigration control at ports of entry as well as making the general process of obtaining a visa for Egypt much easier for prospective tourists.
Finally, Minister Yasser al-Qady expressed that the new system will alleviate the responsibility of security authorities and tourists alike. In other parts of the world, the new electronic visa systems have seen a rise in tourist visa requests and the Egyptian authorities hope that the electronic tourist Visa for Egypt will provoke the same reaction in Egypt and also wish to modernize their immigration program to match other country’s systems.