A common question from foreign travelers planning to visit Cairo and the Great Pyramid of Giza, or take a cruise on the Nile, is ‘How long does it take to get a visa for Egypt?’. However, the first question should probably be ‘Do I need a visa for Egypt for tourism?’. While there are a few countries whose citizens can travel to Egypt visa-free, the majority of passport holders do require a visa to travel to the country, no matter the duration and purpose of the stay.
The process of getting an Egypt visa for short stays for tourism or business previously involved long waiting times to obtain an Egypt visa on arrival at border entry points. However, since December 2017, citizens of 46 eligible countries have been able to get an Egypt visa online for stays of up to 30 days for the same purposes. This Electronic Travel Authorization is available as either a single-entry or multiple-entry visa through a simple application that only takes minutes to complete.
It doesn’t take long to complete the online Egypt visa application for a tourist visa for Egypt, only a few minutes. Applicants are required to fill in some personal and passport information, including full name, date of birth, nationality, travel document number and passport issue/expiry date. It’s also necessary to provide details of travel plans in Egypt, as well as credit/debit card information to pay the visa fee.
Providing a current valid email address is also an essential requirement for the Egypt visa application, as a copy of the e-Visa is sent to the inbox provided upon approval.
The Egypt visa does not take long to process, providing all the information on the form has been entered correctly. The application is usually processed within 5 business days, although travelers are advised to apply at least 7 days in advance of the intended departure to Egypt, in the rare case of delays.
In order to prevent any delays in receiving the visa within the normal processing time, it’s essential to try to avoid some common mistakes in the application process for the Egypt visa.
Before even starting the application, it’s necessary for eligible citizens to make sure their travel document meets the passport requirements to travel to Egypt. Applicants are required to have a passport valid for at least 6 months from the entry date to Egypt, as well as to provide a scanned copy of the passport information page, although this can be submitted at a later date and doesn’t need to be uploaded at the moment of application.
The most common errors that can cause the visa to be delayed are usually made when filling out the application, so it’s essential to double check all the information provided is correct before submitting the form.
All of the personal and passport details entered must match the information as it appears on the travel document used to apply. Applicants with dual nationality should take care to use the same passport to travel as the one with which they applied for the Egypt e-Visa.
Applicants should also ensure the correct indented date of entry is provided on the form, as an incorrect date can affect how long it takes to get the Egypt visa. Finally, applicants should carefully review the email address provided, in order to ensure that the e-Visa for Egypt arrives in the correct inbox.
The Egypt visa is valid for a stay of up to 30 days in the country within a total validity period of 90 days. However, it’s possible to renew the eVisa for Egypt before the initial visa expires to enjoy a longer stay in the country.
It takes the same amount of time to renew the Egypt e-Visa as the initial application process and requires completing the online form once more. Again, once the application has been submitted it is normally processed within 5 working days.
Citizens who have remaining validity on the Egypt visa but whose passport is lost, has been stolen or has changed in some way are also required to reapply for a new e-Visa if they want to continue to travel Egypt. The e-visa cannot be transferred between passports, so a new application must be made if the passport details have changed in any way.
Many of the same e-Visa eligible citizens are able to obtain a single-entry Egypt visa on arrival for business and tourism. However, this involves waiting in long immigration queues at border entry and takes much longer than getting an Egypt visa online. Those wishing to enter and leave Egypt various times during their stay should also be aware that a multiple-entry visa for Egypt is only available online through the e-Visa application.