The charm and mystery of the ancient pyramids and old mummies attract millions of people towards the country of wonder that is known as Egypt or Misr. The ancient civilization of Egypt, its immense wealth, hidden treasures and other unanswered secrets are still a hot topic for the historical and archaeological research worldwide. Egypt is not only about Pyramids and Mummies, it also has many ancient temples, amazing tombs, the grandeur of Nile River, some of the world’s best snorkeling and diving sites and a vast desert and its oasis. That is why about 14 million tourists visited Egypt every year, before the civil unrest in the country due to the Egyptian Revolution in 2011.
Post-revolution number of tourists drop significantly for a year, but then tourism sector started picking its speed in the middle of 2012. When everything was returning back on the track in the first quarter of 2013, suddenly, Egypt started burning due to recent political unrest and civil demonstrations in June-July, 2013. The tourism in Egypt is again derailed from the track.
However, the charm of Egypt is not going to end because of these events. We hope that everything in Egypt will be fine very soon and life will be back on the track again. This type of civil unrest and political destabilization do not harm the tourists only, but there are thousands of local people also, whose daily business is on the stake due to rapid fall in tourism. Sooner or later, peace will prevail in Egypt and tourists will visit that country again. If you are still uncertain what is there in Egypt, please go through this post to know What do You Lose As a Backpacker, if you do not visit Egypt.
Once you make your mind to visit Egypt, the present post comes in the picture. It provides you the complete details of the application process to apply for a Tourist Visa for Egypt as well as many other useful tips/suggestions. At the end of this post, I hope you will be able to apply for an Egyptian Tourist Visa without any hassle.
Getting Egypt Visa In India:
Visa Requirements: As an Indian Citizen, you need a pre-approved visa for Egypt before your departure from India. Egypt does not offer any kind of visa-on-arrival to the Indian Citizens, except in the case:
On March 20, 2013, The Tourism Minister of Egypt announced to offer Visa-on-Arrival at the airports to those Indian citizens, who are having a valid UK or US visa. However, shortly after that the civil unrest in Egypt started and nothing heard more on this policy. But there is a strong chance that this policy is implemented by now. Please contact the local consulate to get a clear idea on this. Some reports also state that Egypt does offer the visa-on-arrival for the Indian Citizens, if they arrive there in a group through the authorize travel agents, but this is also not sure.
Special Case: To visit the peninsular part of Egypt known as Sinai Peninsula, you don’t require any pre-approved visa. Visa-free entry is allowed for the maximum duration of 14 days to visit that part of Egypt. We will discuss it later in this post.
Different types of Visas: There are mainly five broad categories of visa available for Egypt. They are Tourist Visa, Work Visa, Transit Visa, Business Visa and Seamen Visa. For the purpose of travel, we either require a Tourist Visa or a Transit Visa to visit Egypt.
How to get a Tourist Visa for Egypt in India ?
Where to Apply? The Embassy of The Arab Republic of Egypt in New Delhi or The Consulate General of Arab republic of Egypt in Mumbai.
New Delhi: The Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
1/ 50 M Niti Marg,Chankya Puri, New Delhi-110021
Tel : (011) 26114096/ 4097
Fax : (011) 26885355
Mumbai: The Consulate General of Arab republic of Egypt
101, Benhur Apartments, Off Nepensea Road, 32 Narain Dabholkar Road, Malabar Hill,
Mumbai, Maharashtra 400006
Tel : (022) 23676407
Fax : (022) 23634558
Timings for visa application:
New Delhi: 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM Daily (Saturday and Sunday Closed)
Mumbai: 09:30 AM to 15:00 PM Daily (Saturday and Sunday Closed)
Timings for for passport collection, after the approval/rejection of visa:
New Delhi: 02:30 PM to 03:00 PM Daily (Saturday and Sunday Closed)
Mumbai: 09:30 AM to 15:00 PM Daily (Saturday and Sunday Closed)
Documents Required for the Tourist Visa:
An applicant needs to submit following documents:
- A cover letter stating the purpose of visit
- Passport or travel document with validity not less than 6 months with one blank page.
- One Copy of the identification pages (First and Last Page) of the passport
- Visa Application Form completely filled out and duly signed (download here for New Delhi : Egypt Visa Application Form). Print out and photocopy are allowed.
- Two recent photographs (3.5x 4.5 cm) of the applicant (preferably not older than 3 months)
- Confirmed return air ticket
- Detailed tour itinerary
- Proof of finance as Foreign Exchange Endorsements, Credit Card Statement and Savings Account Statement of last six months. The bank balance should be at least INR 80,000.
- Copy of income tax returns from last three years
- A complete list of all hotel reservation in Egypt as a proof of accommodation.
- A letter of leave approval from the employer
Visa Fee: INR 1900 for single entry tourist visa, payable in cash only. INR 2800 for multiple entry tourist visa.
1. Cover Letter: A cover letter stating the purpose of visit is a must. It should be in a clear and concise manner. It should be addressed to the consular section of the embassy in New Delhi and to the consulate general in Mumbai.
How to right a cover letter for the tourist visa? Here is a sample of my cover letter addressed to the consular section of The Embassy of The Arab Republic of Egypt:
The Consular Section
The Embassy of The Arab Republic of Egypt
Subject: Request for a Tourist Visa to visit Egypt from…..to……
With reference to the afore-mentioned subject, I would like to apply for a TOURIST VISA to spend a holiday in Egypt from…….to……
I have keen interest in travelling, so that I can meet different people at new places to understand their cultural and traditional values in a better way. In pursuit of this desire, I wish to visit the Arab Republic of Egypt on the stated period. My purpose for travel is tourism, to see the beautiful sights especially the Pyramids and The Ancient Temples. I also look forward to experiencing the foods, learning the Egyptian way of life in this visit and meeting new people.
I am working at……and currently holding the position of ….. Vacation from work has already been approved for the whole duration of this trip. I request you to kindly consider my application to grant a Tourist Visa. I will be highly obliged to you.
2. Photo Specifications: Color Photographs taken against a white background and your full face should be visible. The photograph should be taken without sunglasses and without a hat or any other head covering, unless you wear such an item because of your religious beliefs or ethnic background.
3. Proof of Finance: Expect to show at least INR 80,000 in your bank or credit card statements. You can also use foreign exchange endorsements on your passport. At least INR 50,000-60,000 should be there in your bank account from last six months regularly. It is not like you transfer around INR 75,000 in your account suddenly just 2-3 days before your visa application and earlier it was only INR 2000-3000 of balance in your account. The bank account statement should be in original with a bank seal on it. If you are applying with the bank passbook, then it should be in original. If you are having a regular INR 50,000-60,000 in your account and at the time of application there is approx. INR 70,000 amount in you account, then to prove more finance, you can show the statement of your credit cards.
4. In case of travel to Egypt with tourist visa, a confirmed return air ticket is required.
5. If you want to book a hotel after your arrival in Egypt to get a better bargain, then it is advisable to book cheap hotels/hostels online with full refund on cancellation and get your confirmed reservation printouts. Later, after getting your visa, you can always cancel all these bookings with full refund (in most cases) and then re-plan your trip accordingly.
6. In my case, they did not ask for copies of income tax returns from last three years. It may be required any time.
7. Letter of leave approval from the employer is must for every applicant.
Please Note: 1. If required, you may be requested to bring additional documents by the Embassy / Consulate.
2. There is no need to appear personally at the embassy to apply for the Egypt visa. You can also apply with the help of any visa agent.
3. While filling the visa application form: There are two columns in the application form asking for your address in Egypt and asking for the address of any friends/relatives in Egypt. Write the address of the hotel, where you are intended to stay for the most of the days during your trip or the address of the hotel booked for the first day of the trip. If you do not have any friends/relatives in Egypt, leave that column blank.
Application Process at The Embassy in New Delhi:
1.There is no parking lot to park the vehicle outside the embassy. You will see lot of bikes/cars parked on the main road itself. Generally visa agents do so. But traffic police may charge you for the traffic rules violation anytime. Just look further 100 meters from the embassy. There is ample parking space available on the left hand side adjacent to the boundary wall of a government office.
2. Reach at the Embassy Gate and stand in the queue, if any. The security guard will give you an entry pass and deposit your mobile there.
3. Leave the bag in a corner near the main entrance, after entering through the main entrance.
4. Walk for 100 meters and you will reach in the visa application room. There is no rush (normally 10 people) for the visa application. There is no sequence there, however just decide your sequence among yourself, so that only one person go on the window at a time. There may be some people who tends to jump ahead of you. So, manage that situation anyhow. Standing in a queue in front of the window is generally not allowed.
5. There are two windows in the room. Left window is for visa application process and right window is for document verification process. While waiting for your turn in the room, go to the right window for document verification. There is an officer of Egyptian Embassy who will verify your documents of the visa application. While verifying my documents, he took about 20 minutes and spend most of that time on the hotel booking pages and cover letter. He also scrutinized the bank passbook.
6. Once your documents get verified and your turn come, go to the left window. Deposit all the documents there with the visa fee in cash only. The person at the counter will give you a receipt, that you have to show at the time of the passport collection. They also returned my original passbook at that time only.
7. Passport is generally returned on the fourth day or fifth day from the day of the visa application.
Collection of Passport after Visa: To collect your passport on the fourth/fifth day, again enter through the main entrance after getting the entry pass from the security guard. Wait for your turn in the room and when your turns come, go to the left window, show your receipt and collect your passport.
Visa Validity: Single entry tourist visa of Egypt is valid for three months (90 days) from the date of issue. It is valid for a single entry in Egypt and permitted you to stay there upto 30 days from the date of arrival.
Multiple entry tourist visa of Egypt is valid for six months (180 days) from the date of issue. It is valid for multiple entries in Egypt and permitted you to stay there upto 90 days in total with multiple entries, but no stay should be more than 30 days.
Transit Visa: This type of visa is required when you transit through any city/airport of the Egypt to the third destination country. It is valid for 3 days only. If you are going to any third destination country, then you can opt this visa to visit Egypt for a short period. For example, if your connecting flight is from Cairo, after 30-40 hours, you can apply for transit visa to visit nearby pyramid complex of Giza. Similarly, you can visit the temples in Luxor, if your connecting flight is in 2-3 days from Luxor.
Documents Required: All documents required as in the case of tourist visa except:
1. In place of confirmed return air ticket, you have to produce a confirmed onward ticket to any third destination country, that ensure your departure out of Egypt within 3 days of arrival.
2. Approved visa of the third destination country, if that country does not offer visa-on-arrival to the Indian citizens.
3. You can so less money in your account.
4. If there is no night stay in Egypt, then no need to show the hotel bookings.
Note: If you do not leave the transit area of the airport to catch your connecting flight, you do not require a transit visa.
Transit Visa Fee: INR 1900 per entry.
Transit Visa Validity: Single entry transit visa of Egypt is valid for one month (30 days) from the date of issue. It is valid for a single entry in Egypt and permitted you to stay there upto 3 days from the date of arrival.
Visa Requirements for Sinai Peninsula: Sinai Peninsula is the peninsular part of Egypt, that include resorts areas like Sharm-El-Shiekh, Dahab, Nuweiba, Taba etc. These cities on the coast of the Red Sea are considered as one of the best diving and snorkeling sites in the world. UNESCO World Heritage site St. Catherine’s Monastery is also situated in this part of Egypt.
If any visitor is intended to visit this part of Egypt only, and has no intention to travel to the other Egyptian cities on the mainland, he is eligible for a visa-free entry at any port of entry in this part of Egypt. You do not need a visa to visit Mt. Sinai, St. Catherine’s Monastery, Sunset quad biking, Tiran Island boat trip, Jeep safari, Star-gazing in the desert, Coloured Canyon, Dahab, Nuweiba etc, but to leave the immediate beach area and to go further out to sea to some dive sites, you will need a visa.
Maximum Duration of Visa-free stay: 14 days including the date of entry
How much money can a person take with him to Egypt? There is a limit of L.E. 5,000 and $10,000 or equivalent GBP on the amount of cash allowed to be carried in or out of Egypt.