There are restrictions on photographing military and police personnel and sites, bridges, and canals, including the Suez Canal. Egyptian authorities may broadly interpret these restrictions to include other potentially sensitive structures, such as embassies, other public buildings with international associations, and some religious edifices. Visitors should also refrain from taking photographs of any uniformed personnel. A number of U.S. citizens have been arrested after unwittingly photographing sites considered sensitive by Egyptian authorities. Equipment is sometimes confiscated and electronic photos are deleted.
Travelers entering Egypt must complete a “currency customs declaration” if they are traveling with $10,000 or more (or the foreign currency equivalent thereof). Travelers who attempt to leave or enter the country with more than $10,000 (or foreign-currency equivalent thereof) risk having their money confiscated.
In addition to being subject to all Egyptian laws, U.S. citizens of Egyptian origin may also be subject to other laws that impose special obligations on Egyptian citizens. The Government of Egypt considers all children born to Egyptian fathers to be Egyptian citizens even if they were not issued an Egyptian birth certificate or a passport. U.S. citizen women married to Egyptians do not need their spouse's permission to depart Egypt as long as they have a valid Egyptian visa. Dual nationals residing in Egypt for more than six months from the date of arrival or whose entry visa has the annotation “Egyptian origin” require proof of Egyptian citizenship, such as a family I.D. card or Egyptian birth certificate. In some cases where U.S. citizens fail to renew their residency visas or lose their U.S. passports, dual nationals are required to present their parents’ Egyptian birth certificates and be documented as Egyptian citizens in order to obtain a temporary/replacement entry stamp to facilitate their travel out of Egypt. Dual national men residing in Egypt for more than six months could be required to complete mandatory military service. Exemption from this requirement is determined by the Military Recruitment Authority and requires that a request be presented to the Nationality Department at the Egyptian Immigration Authority for approval. The dual national is then provided with a movement certificate along with the approval to present to the Recruitment Authority. The dual national must obtain an exemption certificate through the Ministry of Defense Draft Office before he can leave Egypt.
Individuals who believe they could be affected by the military-service requirement can inquire at an Egyptian embassy or consulate abroad before traveling to Egypt. Dual nationals may enter and leave Egypt on their U.S. passports. Dual nationals who travel to Egypt on their Egyptian passports are regarded as Egyptian citizens by the local government. Our ability to provide U.S. consular assistance to those traveling on Egyptian passports is extremely limited.
The Government of Egypt deals firmly with anyone attempting to illegally adopt a child. Islamic law does not allow adoption as it is understood in the United States. Laws in Egypt regarding adoption are unclear and may vary according to a prospective adoptive parent’s religious background. There have been cases of U.S. citizen couples sentenced to prison for attempting to circumvent Egyptian laws on birth registrations and adoption.
Services for U.S. Companies: The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Officers and Commercial Specialists are available for counseling U.S. business representatives on market-entry opportunities and techniques. They actively support U.S. companies who are bidding on projects, advocate on their behalf, and assist in removing trade barriers.
Marriage in Egypt: The Egyptian government allows U.S. citizens to marry in Egypt. For further information, please refer to the website of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.
The Embassy warns that marriage fraud perpetrated by both U.S. citizens and Egyptians is common. Entering into a marriage contract for the principal purpose of facilitating immigration to the United States for an alien is against U.S. law and can result in serious penalties, including fines and imprisonment for the U.S. citizen and the Egyptian. At the same time, it is not uncommon for Egyptians to enter into marriages with U.S. citizens solely for immigration purposes. Relationships developed via correspondence, particularly those begun on the Internet, are particularly susceptible to manipulation. The U.S. government urges U.S. citizens who meet Egyptians on the internet or while touring the country to take the time necessary to get to know them before considering marriage. Unfortunately, the Embassy sees many cases of abuse, physical and verbal, against U.S. citizen spouses and often those marriages end in divorce when the Egyptian acquires permanent residency (a “green card”) or citizenship in the United States.