Visa processing is not that easy to some embassy, but we want to explore and so let the hassle begin…
For some nationalities they are visa-free or visa on arrival for short stay in Egypt, but to others it is a hectic process and a huge hassle. Before I will proceed to the process, check this wikipedia link first. Once you know where your passport belongs, if it’s a visa-free, visa on arrival, visa required, authorized visa required or for security approval… then you need to figure out the process. I will share to you our experience in getting our visa and the requirements.
Before I’ll discussed the details, let me give you a tip… If your passport is under the Authorized Visa Required, and if you don’t want a hassle of visa processing and waiting, if you have enough budget to book with a tour group, then you might able to enter Egypt on a visa upon arrival. Note, do your inquiries with the tour operator first. Make sure that it’s clear to both parties that a representative will be meeting and assisting you with your visa upon arrival at the airport. What I know there should be at least 10 of you in a group. And, for passport that requires Security Approval, I don’t know if a tour group is also applicable to you. It is better to contact the embassy and inquire.
So in our case, we decided to process our visa on our own and look for tours when we arrive in Egypt. As Philippine passport holders we are under the “Authorized Visa Required” while my travel buddy, Nikki with South African passport, is under “Visa Required”. Then, us all four needed to get a visa before flying to Egypt. We have all the necessary requirements. For us three Filipinos, after the embassy personnel collected some of our documents and returning our passport including the bank statement, flight and hotel bookings, we were told to inquire after 20 days because they will still send our application to Cairo Immigration for approval. While for South African, she was advised to leave her passport and collect it after 3 days, with her visa on it and it’s free.
When Nikki went back to collect her passport, she asked the officer about our application because there’s no point of her getting a visa if us three Filipinos won’t have it. The officer replied that it could be ready by next week, we just have to call and inquire. We did, but seriously they won’t give you a proper answer, we called twice, the answer on both calls, “Come, bring passport”. So we decided to go and it was not ready yet. We only have 10 days left before our flight. We agreed to go back, “AGAIN”, and if it’s not ready still, we will fly to a different country then. Our excitement was gone to be honest. But here’s the twist, one of our colleagues who happened to know someone working in the embassy offered to help us, and told us we don’t have to change our plan. After a few phone calls, few days of waiting, bingo!, we got our visa for 140.ooAED (about 38.ooUSD).
If you would ask me if we would able to get a visa without a help, frankly speaking, I don’t know, because as per the one who helped us, our previous application was not approved yet by the time our visa was issued, and it was more than 20 working days already.
So anyway, here’s the requirements and a piece of advice if you are planning to go to Egypt and will process your own visa…
- COMPLETELY FILLED-UP FORM (LINK)
- PASSPORT and a copy, including the residence visa page (Passport expiry must be at least 6 months from the date of visit)
- PHOTO (2×2 with white background)
- EMPLOYMENT CERTIFICATE
*** Here’s my advise, don’t book anything yet if your passport is under the Authorized Visa Required or Security Approval. The normal visa processing only starts once you get the approval from Cairo Immigration and it takes at least 15 working days and believe me “your patience” should be leveled-up here. So better submit your application 3 months before your flight and give them a call fifteen days to a month after the submission of documents to follow-up. I suggest that you only submit the documents that are mentioned on their official website (LINK), there might be some changes from the time we applied, so check it before you proceed to avoid any hassle. And by the way, according to the one who helped us, your working visa title has a big impact if you are from the countries that would require authority/security approval. If you have a managerial/officer level on your working visa then it might be easier for you to get the tourist visa. This information was only a word of mouth, it was not written on their website, so I could not attest if it’s 100% true. All I can say, we had a hard time in getting our visa and we got it because someone helped us. We are grateful, because Egypt wonders are truly amazing.
Wishing you all the best!Tags: Ancient Egypt, Egypt, Egypt Tourist Visa, Filipino Passport, Pyramid, Visa