Are you finding our new visa series useful? After telling you about Brazilian eVisas and Thailand tourist visas, here’s an article for those who wish to visit the land of the Pyramids – should you opt for an Egypt visa on arrival, or an eVisa?
First things first – Egypt is absolutely worth visiting. We recently spent three weeks in the country, visiting incredible cities, archeological sites, mosques, markets and more, and loved every minute of our experience.
We’ve already told you about what to do in Aswan and places to see in Cairo, and with this article we aim to answer a question that many wannabe Egypt travellers are probably debating – should you opt for a visa on arrival, or an Egypt eVisa?
Let’s have a look at both options, including pros and cons!
Egypt Visa on Arrival in 2019
Do I Need a Visa for Egypt?
First things first, pretty much all people visiting Egypt need a visa. The only exemption are citizens of 9 countries – Bahrain, Hong Kong, Macau, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Lebanon, Kuwait, Oman, and the UAE. Visa free travel is also allowed for 11 more nationalities under certain conditions. Check the full list here.
The only exception to this rule is if you’re visiting the Sinai – keep reading the post as we’ll be talking about that too!
Where Can I Get an Egypt Visa on Arrival?
Luckily, it’s pretty easy to get a visa for Egypt! Passport holders from several countries can get a visa on arrival at all Egypt ports of entry.
Just remember – you need to get your Egypt visa on arrival BEFORE queuing up for immigration. Head to the window with the ‘visa on arrival’ sign and queue up – the entire process only takes a few minutes.
You just need to present your passport valid for at least 6 months and with at least 2 blank pages, and pay the visa on arrival fee. You’ll be given a sticker – place it on a blank page, and join the immigration queue.
How Much does an Egypt Visa on Arrival Cost?
Egypt visas on arrival cost $25 USD. For a long time, USD were the only currency being accepted but apparently as of 2019, you can also pay in Euro or GBP. Credit or debit cards are not accepted, so plan accordingly.
What Nationalities are Eligible?
Travellers from over 40 nationalities are eligible for Egypt visas on arrival – this including all EU countries, plus Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, South Korea, Macedonia, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, and the United States.
How Long is an Egypt Visa on Arrival Valid For?
Visas on arrival are single entry, and are valid for a 30-day stay.
Can I Extend an Egypt Visa on Arrival?
I can guarantee that getting an Egypt visa on arrival is straightforward, but according to reports, extending your visa can be a long and confusing process.
In theory, it is possible to extend your 30-day visa by a further 6 months. You need to visit an immigration office with your passport plus copies of your photo and visa on arrival page, fill an immigration form and pay a fee. When your visa extension is granted, you have to pay another fee to collect your passport.
Processing times for visa extensions vary depending on applicant’s nationality, and there doesn’t seem to be a ‘clear-cut’ rule. Make sure you allow enough time, and read this post for detailed info on Egypt visa extension.
What if I Overstay?
We never recommend overstaying visas, as rules can change last minute resulting in hefty fees and delays upon departure.
Apparently, you can overstay by up to 14 days with no extra charge, and the fine to overstay up to one month is 1500 LE. However, this is anecdotal evidence and as I said, enforcement is random and can change at a minute’s notice.
Make sure you visit an immigration office in Egypt if you’re planning to stay longer than 30 days. Extending a visa is certainly possible but you’ll be asked to present a number of documents – a reader reports you need a valid rental contract, and you may also be asked for a blood test to prove you do not suffer from hepatitis C.
Egypt Visa on Arrival Pros and Cons
Pros: the process is straightforward and inexpensive, perfect for last-minute trips to Egypt and for those who don’t like to plan.
Cons: you need USD and exact change, and there may be queues – if you’re just off a long flight and just want to get to your hotel asap, opt for an Egypt eVisa!
Egypt eVisa in 2019
From December 2017, it is also possible to apply for Egypt eVisas online before travelling to Egypt. Once the visa is granted, you’ll receive a PDF document which MUST BE PRINTED OUT and presented to immigration when you enter Egypt.
Let me say that again – your Egypt eVisa must be printed out. You can’t show an electronic copy.
What are the Requirements for Egypt eVisas?
46 nationalities are eligible for Egypt eVisas – this includes all visa on arrival countries, plus Albania, Iceland, Moldova, Switzerland, and Montenegro.
Similarly to visas on arrival, you’ll need a passport valid for at least 6 months and with at least 2 blank pages.
How do I Apply?
The process is super easy. Just head over to the Egypt eVisa application page, fill the form with all the required information and submit a scanned copy of your passport.
Make sure you also have a credit or debit card at hand for your payment. It only takes about 5-10 minutes to complete your application, and you’ll receive confirmation via email.
You can choose to apply for single or multiple entry visas online, while visas on arrival are always single entry. Bear it in mind if you’re planning to visit Egypt more than once within six months!
What is the Processing Time for Egypt eVisas?
Processing time is usually 3/4 days, but it is recommended to apply for your Egypt eVisa at least 7 business days before your departure date.
How Long are Egypt eVisas Valid for?
You can apply for single or multiple entry eVisas. All visas need to be used within three months – single entry visas are valid for 30 days (just like visas on arrival) while multiple entry visas are valid for 6 months, for stays of up to 30 days at a time.
How Much does an Egypt eVisa Cost?
Egyptian eVisa fees are $25 for single entry, and $60 for multiple entry, plus application fees. This is to ensure your visa has been filled in correctly before being submitted, as once the visa application has been sent to the Egyptian authorities there’s no turning back – visas can be denied even for minor imprecisions, and application fees are not returned.
Egypt eVisa Pros and Cons
Pros: getting an Egypt eVisa reduces waiting times at the airport, and you won’t have to use an entire passport page for the visa on arrival sticker. It’s a super convenient solution!
Cons: you need to apply a week or more before your trip – make sure you set a reminder if you are forgetful like me!
What if I Just Visit the Sinai?
Did you know you can also visit Egypt visa-free? Travellers from the EU or US entering Egypt from Sharm el Sheikh, Dahab, Taba or Nuweiba get a 15-day entry stamp, also known as the Sinai Only Visa or Sinai Resort Visa. This type of visa is also granted to Israeli nationals entering Egypt from Taba.
It’s a convenient solution for a resort holiday, but this entry stamp does not allow you to roam freely around the Sinai, nor to access mainland Egypt.
Did you find this article about Egypt eVisas vs visas on arrival useful? We would like to remind our readers that visa rules change constantly, so if you notice mistakes or imprecision we’d love if you let us know in the comment section!