How to Enter Egypt

Do I need a passport or visa to enter?

A passport and visa are required for U.S. citizens traveling to Egypt. Tourists can obtain a renewable 30-day tourist visa on arrival at Egyptian airports for a $15 fee, payable in U.S. dollars. Tourists arriving overland and/or those who previously experienced difficulty with their visa status in Egypt should obtain a visa prior to arrival. Travelers arriving from Israel at the Taba border crossing are advised to obtain a visa prior to their arrival, otherwise they are granted either a no-fee, 14-day visa valid for travel within Sinai only, or they may buy a 30-day tourist visa for $15 upon submission of a travel agency support letter. The letters are obtainable from travel agents at the border; however, their fees for providing this service vary. Please see the Safety and Security section below for information regarding embassy restrictions on the travel of U.S. embassy personnel to Sinai.

The Egyptian government screens travelers before allowing entry/exit through the Rafah border crossing with Gaza, and the border crossing is often closed for several days at a stretch. U.S. travel groups and/or humanitarian aid convoys that wish to cross this border should contact the Egyptian Embassy in Washington for permission before travel. The U.S. government advises U.S. citizens to avoid travel to Gaza. Travelers to Gaza from Egypt should read the Travel Warning for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.

Diplomatic and official passport holders are required, without exception, to have visas before arrival in Egypt. Please note that holders of official or diplomatic passports who arrive without diplomatic visas will not be granted admission to Egypt. The Embassy in Cairo is unable to intercede with Egyptian officials to obtain entry permission for diplomatic and official passport holders who do not have visas in their passports. Such travelers will be required to remain in transit at Cairo Airport until their departure from Egypt at their expense can be arranged. Military personnel arriving on commercial flights are not exempt from passport and visa requirements. The Egyptian Embassy in Washington is currently requiring at least 10 working days, and sometimes much longer, to process official visa requests, an expedite letter from the Department of State notwithstanding. It is incumbent upon all official travelers to submit their visa requests and passports to the Egyptian Embassy well in advance of travel.

Foreigners who wish to come to Egypt for work must obtain work permits and work/business visas before arrival. Foreigners can acquire work permits from the Ministry of Manpower and Migration offices in the district of the employer, and accordingly are authorized residency in the country. Work permits must be obtained through the employer. Foreigners who arrive as tourists but want to change their status after arrival in country are allowed a three-month tourist/non-working residency visa to change their status from tourist to work. Foreigners in Egypt on tourist visas are not permitted to work.

Visit the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the most current visa information.

Foreign residents and their dependents aged 15 or older who are in Egypt applying for work, study, or training permits and staying longer than 30 days require HIV testing. A test performed in the United States may be accepted under certain conditions. Proof of yellow fever immunization is required if arriving from an infected area. Please verify this information with the Egyptian Embassy before you travel.


You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.

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2019 edition