Many companies that decide to expand to Egypt want to pick up and work quickly with a staff full of foreigners. Unfortunately, Egypt’s work permit application process is an arduous one that can leave some applications in the processing stage for close to a year or more. Understanding how to get a work visa in Egypt is key to a quick and easy expansion.
Types of Work Visas in Egypt
Egypt offers several types of visas, including the following:
- Work visa: Once a foreign national gets a work permit, their visa, such as a temporary/tourist visa, will get converted into a work visa.
- Temporary/tourist visa: This option is a renewable single-entry 30-day tourist visa that individuals can get when arriving at Egyptian airports. It’s also the visa individuals obtain for a job.
- Ordinary visa: An ordinary visa is valid for three to five years and allows an employee’s spouse to have a resident permit for the amount of time identified on their work permit.
- Special visa: The special visa is for expats born in Egypt before May 26, 1952 or individuals who have lived in Egypt for more than 20 years from that date. It’s valid for 10 years and can be renewed.
Foreign nationals will also need a work permit. The first step to getting one is obtaining a temporary or tourist visa and converting it into a work visa. This process can lead to a work permit as long as the employee applies with the Ministry of Manpower and Immigration. The person will also need to show proof of prospective employment and a clean bill of health.
Requirements to Obtain Egypt Work Visas
Employers in Egypt are encouraged to give jobs to locals rather than employing foreigners, which can impact work permits. Egypt also has a quota system, so limits on work permits could impact your workers. For example, non-Egyptian workers in any company should not exceed 10% of the total staff and 20% of your total payroll.
If no Egyptian nationals are qualified for a certain position, your foreign workers can apply for a work permit that’s valid for up to one year. They can then renew it for up to three years. Before applying for a work permit, each employee must get a security clearance from the National Security Agency in Egypt. Other requirements include:
- A completed application from the Ministry of Manpower and Training Facilities at the Tahrir complex
- A valid passport
- Seven passport-size photos
- Two copies of your company’s incorporation contract
- Two copies of the employee’s tax ID card
- Two copies of the individual’s academic degrees and certificates
- A copy of your company’s commercial register
- License for exercising the profession, if applicable
- A memorandum justifying your reason for hiring a foreigner
- Approval from the related authority
- Proof of a company representative acting on the employee’s behalf to apply for the work permit
- A negative HIV test
- Paid permit fees of 1,000 EGP
After the work permit request gets approved by the Ministry of Manpower and Immigration, they’ll notify the closest Egyptian consulate to authorize a tourist visa. Then, your employees can come to Egypt and spend four to six weeks securing a work permit. They can work during this time as long as they hand in all the applicable documents for a work permit.
Other Important Considerations
All employees must register with the Egyptian police after arriving in the country. The government recommends asking the tourist police, who dress in white uniforms during the summer, for assistance. Employees can also take care of this task as soon as they get to their hotel.
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