Is it possible to obtain an Egyptian visa on arrival?

When travelling to Egypt, it is mandatory to obtain a visa. However, there is a difference between the classic visa, the e-visa and the visa on arrival. It is indeed possible to obtain a visa at the Egyptian border, upon arrival in the country. But as we will see together here, the visa on arrival application is far from being the most convenient and simple and it is preferable to go through an e-visa procedure before departure.

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Is it possible to obtain a visa on arrival in Egypt?

It has therefore been possible for many years to obtain an Egyptian visa on arrival in the country. This procedure is done by going to one of the airport's immigration counters. You will have to go there and wait in a sometimes long queue to buy the visa sticker by presenting your passport and two identity photos.

However, this visa on arrival is subject to certain conditions. It is necessary to be a resident citizen of one of the authorised countries and to have a passport valid for more than 6 months.

On site, it will be necessary to pay the application and visa fees in cash as credit cards are not accepted. If you are considering this option, be sure to budget the exact amount.

You should also be aware that the visa obtained locally is only valid for one entry into the country and for a maximum stay of 30 days.

 

Which countries are residents allowed to apply for a visa on arrival in Egypt?

The application for a visa on arrival is reserved for citizens of certain countries including :

  • European Union member countries
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • South Korea
  • The United States
  • Georgia
  • Japan
  • Macedonia
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • The United Kingdom
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Ukraine

It is therefore necessary for your passport to have been issued by one of these countries in order to apply for a visa on arrival. If you are not a citizen of one of these countries, you can still apply for a visa before departure, thanks to the online e-visa procedure.

 

At which Egyptian airports is it possible to obtain a visa on arrival?

It is therefore possible to apply for an Egyptian visa on arrival at the border control. However, it is strongly advised against crossing the land border as information on checkpoints that issue visas on arrival is not always up to date.

Thus, applying for a visa on arrival in Egypt can be done mainly at the following international checkpoints:

  • Cairo International Airport
  • Hurghada International Airport
  • St Catherine's International Airport
  • Borg El Arab International Airport in Alexandria
  • Sharm El Sheikh International Airport
  • Luxor International Airport

 

How much does a visa on arrival cost for Egypt?

The price of a visa for Egypt when applying on arrival is €20 and it is possible for travellers to pay in US dollars or euros. It is strongly recommended that you prepare a top-up and present yourself at the visa collection point with the exact amount in cash.

To have the best chance of obtaining your visa on arrival, you should ensure that you have the necessary documents and information with you. But there is no guarantee that you will get the visa even if you have prepared your application.

Remember that if you are refused a visa on arrival, you will have to find your own way home.

 

What is the difference between visa on arrival and e-visa for Egypt?

There are several differences between the visa obtained on arrival in Egypt and the e-visa that can be obtained online.

Firstly, the visa on arrival allows only one entry into the country whereas the e-visa can be applied for with multiple entries. Thus, for a period of 6 months, you can enter and leave Egypt as many times as you wish as long as your stay does not exceed 30 consecutive days.

The e-visa application process is also simpler and faster as it is done 100% online without having to travel. It will also make it easier for you to pass the controls on arrival.

The application only takes a few minutes via a form in which you simply have to fill in some information. You can then validate your application by paying the application fee by credit card. Once your application has been accepted, you will receive your visa by email and will only have to print it out to present it when you arrive at the border.

The Egyptian government has introduced this system precisely in order to simplify and modernise the visa application procedure.

 

Conclusion: should I apply for a visa on arrival in Egypt?

If you are from one of the countries eligible for the e-visa scheme for Egypt, it is of course preferable to go through this simplified online procedure rather than applying for an e-visa on arrival.

Indeed, there are some shortcomings to the visa-on-arrival process that you should be aware of. In particular, you should be aware that the price you will pay on arrival may be higher than expected if you come across unscrupulous border officials.

It is also possible that your application will be rejected outright, in which case you will have to return immediately to your country of origin at your own expense.

Finally, be aware that waiting times at the visa application desk can be very long and thus prevent you from fully enjoying your stay.

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Frequently asked questions

What documents do I need to apply for an Egyptian visa on arrival?

If you wish to apply for a visa on arrival when you arrive in Egypt, you will need to provide certain documents and evidence, in the same way as for a traditional visa application. You should therefore bring a passport or identity card that is valid for at least 6 months, two recent passport photos and cash to pay the fee.

What to do if the visa is refused on arrival in Egypt?

If your visa is finally refused on arrival in Egypt, then you will have no other way of getting into the country. The only solution will be to return to your country of origin on your own at your own expense, without being able to leave the airport you are in.

How to obtain a visa for Egypt before your arrival?

If you want to simplify the process and ensure that you travel to Egypt with peace of mind, you always have the option of applying for a visa beforehand in your home country. This can be done at an Egyptian embassy or consulate or online through the e-visa procedure which was introduced in 2017 by the government and is the easiest and fastest solution currently.