As Egypt strives to bolster its foreign currency reserves, legislative changes are anticipated to align with and support this economic initiative, and given that Egypt currently hosts more than 9 million foreigners from more than 133 nationalities, Egypt’s Cabinet has identified an opportunity to regulate residency application fees, contributing further to its financial goals.
In August 2023, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly issued Decree No. 3326 of 2023 (the “Decree”). It stipulates that foreigners applying for a residency permit, whether for touristic purposes or other purposes, before the Ministry of Interior’s General Administration of Passports, Immigration, and Nationality, must provide evidence of converting the relevant fees from USD (or its equivalent in free currency) to EGP. This conversion must be done through any licensed bank or exchange company.
Concerning legitimising their residency, the Decree grants foreigners unlawfully residing in Egypt a three-month grace period from the Decree’s entry into force to “legitimise their residency”. This is conditional upon having an Egyptian host and requires the payment of administrative fees of USD 1,000 (one thousand United States Dollars). It should be noted that such grace period has been extended to March 2024 by virtue of the Prime Minister Decree No. 4313 of 2023, which was issued on 7 December 2023.
It is worth noting that the failure to reconciliate within the above-mentioned grace period will result in imposing a fine of no less than EGP 1,000 (one thousand Egyptian pounds) within the first 3 (three) months, to be increased by 50% (fifty per cent) for every other 3 (three) months that follow, in addition to the possibility of deporting the foreigner subject of the breach.
Ministry of Interior.
It is crucial to ascertain that the issuance of the Decree is regulatory rather than restrictive, especially as the number of foreigners is expected to increase due to the current unfortunate political situation.
Accordingly, Egypt’s legislative framework will continue adapting to geopolitical factors, ensuring the State’s readiness to provide services, maintain security, and prevent any violations that may obstruct Egypt’s hospitability.