Egypt Keeps Single-Entry Visa Fee Unchanged — But…

“I wouldn’t worry too much about the higher fees actually going into effect. Egypt has a tendency to announce outlandish proposals and then rescind them after public outcries”, Ed — who is a reader of The Gate — posted in the Comments section of this article pertaining to the postponement of increase by 140 percent of the cost of visa fees until July for visitors to Egypt. “Egypt needs foreign investment and tourism…badly…especially after floating the currency and inflation at an all time high. They may eventually raise visa fees IF they see that tourism starts to pick up again. I wouldn’t bet on that anytime soon though…”

Egypt Keeps Single-Entry Visa Fee Unchanged — But…

Some good advice was imparted by Edthe Cabinet of Ministers of Egypt decided in its meeting on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 that the price of a tourist single entry visa to Egypt should be kept at the present limit of $25.00 instead of the original intent of increasing it by 140 percent to $60.00 — as originally proposed in late February for last month — on account of the current situation of the tourism industry…

Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut in Egypt

Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut in Egypt. Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

…but “the Cabinet approved raising the fees for 6-month multiple entry visa from US$25 to US$60, Egypt’s Tourism Minister Yahya Rashed said during a press conference on Tuesday”, according to this article written by Al-Masry Al-Youm of Egypt Independent; but in reference to the cost of the single-entry visa, “Ramy Rizkallah, a member of the Committee to Promote Tourism to Sharm el-Sheikh Resort, welcomed the decision, describing it as a positive incentive for tour operators abroad to work with Egypt. He added that tourism sector workers hope to increase the volume of traffic to Egypt during the coming summer.”

Authorities in Egypt announced in March of 2015 that they were contemplating to require visas in advance as of Friday, May 15, 2015 for all foreigners traveling to Egypt for tourism will require visas in advance; but fortunately, the decision was reversed in April of 2015 until an electronic visa system was in place — and there is still no sign of that happening anytime soon at this time.


Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut in Egypt

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

According to the aforementioned article, “Officials of the Tourism Companies Chamber stressed in a statement that the timing of the decision is inappropriate and would harm the tourism inflow to Egypt in light of the travel warnings in place in several foreign countries and the already high entry fees for archaeological sites in Egypt.”

I completely agree with that statement — as well as this one: “Other countries around the world cancel visas in order to attract tourists. Raising entry visa fees would decrease the inflow of tourists” — even though the value of a United States dollar can potentially go a long way in Egypt.

Egypt — a country which currently desperately needs tourist dollars — considered tightening restrictions last year on obtaining a visa prior to travel as opposed to upon arrival to the country; but has since abandoned those efforts with no word on renewing them. I still believe that considering an increase in the single-entry visa would have been a bad move for Egypt — especially given its fragile tourist economy over the past six years. That the cost of the single-entry visa fee will not increase for the foreseeable future is good news, in my opinion, as it will remain at $25.00.

I have long asserted that if a country wants to increase tourism, it needs to relax its reciprocity fees or visa requirements. Two examples of countries which did just that are Chile and Argentina — and effective as of Sunday, February 12, 2017, Belarus is the latest country to relax both visa fees and requirements in what seems to be an effort to increase tourism; and I am now scheduled to visit Belarus later this year.

Let visitors and tourists spend that money on local businesses within a country instead. After all, the government will still collect taxes through the businesses.

If you are interested in visiting Egypt, here is a series of articles pertaining to my experiences in that country — and I still have more articles which I need to write and post in the future:

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

7 thoughts on “Egypt Keeps Single-Entry Visa Fee Unchanged — But…”

  1. Robbo says:

    Hi there, thanks for this informative story. A little bit of info here if someone can assist. I have tried working out the visa entry situation for Egypt but am confused so I am hoping, as someone who has been there a lot, can assist.

    I took advantage of the lower EGP and the much lower airfares that came with it. Starting May 29 I will enter:
    CAI for 1 day
    June 6 for 3 days
    July 4 for 4 days
    August 14 for 1 day
    August 20 for 1 day
    September 4 for 1 day
    September 15 for 2 days
    September 19 for 5 days
    October 18 for 7 days
    November 22 for 3 days
    Dec 23 for 1 day

    Clearly I need a Multiple Entry visa. Can I obtain this on first arrival in Egypt? I am on an Australian passport. Any inside knowledge would be gratefully received.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I only used a single-entry visa when I visited Egypt, Robbo — and that was easy to obtain on first arrival at the airport in Cairo. I do not personally know about procuring a multiple entry visa; but if you are getting it in May, you should still qualify for the current fee.

      Let me see if I can find out the answer for you — if a reader does not beat me there first — but the initial information which I have found from multiple sources suggests that you must apply for a multiple entry visa in advance and cannot obtain one upon arrival at Cairo International Airport.

      You are visiting Egypt 11 times this year? Wow! Is this for business, leisure — or both?

      1. ROBBO says:

        Hi Brian, all leisure. I stopped working to travel full-time 5 years ago. All the 1, 2 or 3 day stays are basically transiting to other destinations. The 5 and the 7 are in HBE and LXR to take a break from all the flying.

        Thanks for the heads-up on the visa. I will take your advice and get the visa on arrival on the initial visit and then suss it out once I am there re the multiple entry visa. I have called Egyptian Embassy here in Colombo and they don’t even know, consequently my confusion. Many thanks.

        1. Brian Cohen says:

          Getting the single-entry visa upon arrival and then figuring it out while you are there is a good idea, Robbo.

          I believe the visa is good for 14 days. It does not hurt to ask whether or not a second visit requires another visa if you are entering Egypt within the 14-day period.

          As for transiting to other destinations: I get it. That is a great idea using Cairo as a base to travel elsewhere. If you do not mind my asking, where do you plan on traveling?

          Safe travels to you!

          1. Robbo says:

            Hi Brian, in order, April – December, I will go to Bangkok (Hua Hin), back to Cairo, then Sofia and Cape Town, back to Sofia, then Toronto, back to Sri Lanka ( Whisky Pt ), Bangkok, then Los Angeles, then Nosara ( Guiones ) in Costa Rica, back to Bangkok, then Cairo.

            A few days and then Mozambique, back to Alexandria, then Singapore, back to Alexandria, back to Mozambique for a few weeks, then back to Cairo.

            Next is Mexico and return to Cairo. From Cairo to Luxor, then Philippines. Then I am doing that cheap Oman Air Business flight to Newcastle in the UK via Muscat and CDG transit. A few weeks drive in the UK and back to Philippines. From Manila back to Luxor. A week there and will head to Hong Kong for a month or so, but looking for side-trips from HKG at the moment.

            Back to Cairo from HKG for a few days and then return to Sri Lanka ( Sri Lanka is as close to a home-base that I have ). Early December it’s a few days in Cairo before heading to MIA for a few weeks, back to Sri Lanka a few days before Christmas to come up for air for a month!

            My flights are with different airlines but my major airline is QR ( One World ) so through DOH a stack of times. But with this schedule I will fly with QR, UA, AA, AF, OS, LH, TK, MS, TP, CX, AZ, T M, WY and ET.

            70% of the flights are with QR so they love me ha ha! All my flights are only Business or First when available, except US domestic, where I endure Economy for flights less than 3 hours. I’m about 60K shy of bing a 2 million miler with UA, which is a lot of flying with them for someone who isn’t a US citizen.

  2. alan says:

    I feel sorry for them. I went there in 2010, i believe 1 USD was 4 EGP…
    and now it is 18 EGP per 1 USD. They just lost so much purchasing power.

    arab spring…

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Wow — you are correct, alan!

      Looking back, the Egyptian Pound lost almost half its value against the United States dollar on Friday, November 4, 2016; and it lost significant value again five days later.

      I thought Egypt was a bargain at approximately eight Egyptian pounds to the dollar. I was wondering why residents of Cairo were outraged when the fare for their Metro doubled to 11 United States cents for a ride.

      Indeed — sad times for them…

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