Visitors to Egypt are used to purchasing a visa label at the currency exchange booths upon each arrival as part of the visa on arrival process but now Egypt has finally rolled out their e-Visa system.
Being able to handle all visa related matters ahead of time can be an advantage especially if you like to pay all your fees through credit card. This is possible effective immediately for all Egypt travelers, even though I never had a problem with buying the simple visa label in a matter of 30 seconds upon arrival in Cairo by keeping US$25 or a currency equivalent in cash ready.
The official Government of Egypt eVisa website can be accessed here.
It didn’t take long however for proxy sites to pop up and offer a private service for this eVisa which isn’t immediately visible and sear engine optimized they show up on page one of the google results. Make sure you don’t fall for that as they tag on additional service fees which you don’t have to pay when using the official site as referenced above.
A total of 46 countries are eligible to apply for the eVisa and it’s recommended to do so at least 7 days prior to departure.
You can theoretically apply for the eVisa right before your departure as well, however as well know and sometimes experience there can be delays on processing of such online applications and keep in mind you also need to print it out so it’s probably best not to do it on the very last minute.
eVisa are available for Tourism purpose only and can be issued as a single or multiple entry version:
- Single Entry US$25
- Multiple Entry US$60
Once approved, the electronic visa for Egypt is valid for a period of three consecutive months and can be used for up to 30 days.
Egypt has been rowing back and forth with their visa regulations and innovations over the years. Just earlier this year it was rumored that the Visa on arrival fee would increase from US$25 to US$60 (I wrote about it here) which was then quickly dropped again and eventually forgotten about.
I definitely like the option of being able to purchase a multiple entry visa online now. Previously that was not possible, even on arrival (asked about it twice). For all those who only visit Egypt once I’d say it’s not really necessary to go through the hassle of applying for the eVisa unless you want to pay by credit card. Visa labels can be purchased at all the currency exchange booths upon arrival and it’s a transaction of a few seconds as long as you have the $25 prepared.
The time and effort to prepare the eVisa is considerably higher and especially when you’re a tourist the actual visa sticker in your passport might be a nice memorabilia compared to the plain arrival stamp.