Immigration to Egypt
Living and Working in Egypt
Egypt, situatеd at thе crossroads of Africa and Asia, is thе Arab world’s most populous country, with an еstimatеd 97 million pеoplе. Encompassing an еxpansivе arеa of 1,010,408 squarе kilomеtеrs, Egypt sharеs land bordеrs with Palеstinе, Sudan, Israеl, and Libya. Prеdominantly locatеd in thе Nilе Rivеr Vallеy, about 98% of thе population rеsidеs in this rеgion, which sеrvеs as Egypt’s lifеlinе. Thе Nilе, thе world’s longеst rivеr, coursеs through thе country. Thе capital city, Cairo, is a bustling mеtropolis. Egypt is rеnownеd for its iconic tourist attractions, from thе manmadе marvеls of thе pyramids of Giza to thе Sphinx. Luxor, known as “Thе Palacеs” in Arabic, boasts anciеnt tеmplеs and tombs adornеd with colorful wall art dating back to thе 16th to 11th cеnturiеs B.C. Additionally, Egypt offеrs bеautiful bеachеs along thе Rеd Sеa, particularly in South Sinai, providing a uniquе diving еxpеriеncе amid thе Rеd Sеa’s coral rееfs. With its rich hеritagе and historical significancе, Egypt rеmains a popular dеstination for tourists and еxpatriatеs alikе. For thosе considеring living and working in Egypt, thе country is gеnеrally considеrеd safе, offеring a uniquе blеnd of cultural еxpеriеncеs and divеrsе landscapеs, dеspitе thе prеdominancе of dеsеrt in its еastеrn Sahara rеgion.
The Following Factors Speak For An Immigration To Egypt
- Rich Cultural Heritage
- lower cost of living
- Diverse Landscapes
- world-renowned tourist attractions
- Unique Red Sea Experience
- predominantly warm climate
- Cultural Diversity
- Economic Opportunities especially in tourism
Flights for tourists and visitors are now open in Egypt and visas can be procured on-line. However, entry restrictions due to Covid-19 is still valid and all passengers must be aware of the same. Visitors from around the world can enter Egypt with a valid proof of negative Covid-19 test result or vaccination certificate.
For a detailed guide on Travel information requirements during covid-19 and to apply for online Visa please visit: www.egyptonlinevisa.com
How to immigrate to Egypt
To enter Egypt, you must either get a tourist visa or a business visa depending on the purpose of visit. Visas can be procured on-line or at the nearest Egypt consulate. You can also buy Visa after you arrive at the Airport, before reaching immigration. It is a must that Expats check with local Egyptian embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date information on nationality requirements regarding visas for Egypt.
Expats travelling for work or study will have to get a residence permit and work permit. Work permit and residence permits are made separately and takes long therefore you must have secure jobs/employment before applying for work permit. A work permit is granted for 1 year and can be extended upto 5 years.
To get more information on Egypt tourist visa, please visit: www.egyptonlinevisa.com
The people of Egypt, known as Egyptians, have a rich and diverse ancestral background rooted in the crossroads of Africa and the Middle East. Their heritage includes influences from ancient civilizations like the Pharaohs, as well as later Greek, Roman, Arab, and Ottoman rule. They are about 76.4 million of the total population. It is estimated that 90% of the population is Sunni Muslim and 10% is Christians. The ethnic minorities are Turks, Greeks, Abazas and Bedouin Arab tribes in the Sinai Peninsula & desert to the east. Along the Nile valley are the “Nubian” and the “Siwis” in the Siwa Oasis.
Egyptian culture is renowned for its historical significance, including the pyramids, hieroglyphics, and the Nile River, which has sustained their civilization since ages. Traditional Egyptian attire often includes modern Western-style clothing, but many still wear the traditional “galabeya” or “jellabiya,” long robes that provide comfort in the hot desert climate.
Staple foods in Egyptian cuisine include dishes like falafel, koshari, and taameya, reflecting their love for flavourful spices and legumes. Egyptians are known for their warm hospitality and friendly attitude towards foreigners and immigrants, as Egypt has a long history of being a cultural melting pot due to its strategic location and historical significance. Visitors often find the people of Egypt to be welcoming and eager to share their vibrant culture and history.
Job offers in Egypt
Egypt’s growing economy attracts skilled workers seeking jobs overseers and opens lots of business opportunities for expats. Teaching is the most common profession available for expats here. Other areas where foreigners are employed are media, oil & gas and IT companies. The capital city Cairo has most expats working in Egypt. It is strictly prohibited to work on tourist visa, however while on tourist visa, expats can look for job and change their visa type.
The unemployment rate in 2021 was 7.4%. As per the 2022 Data (1993-2021 Historical) – the unemployment rate in Egypt is expected to be 7.60% by the end of this quarter according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts’ expectations.
In the second quarter of the year 2021 the number of unemployed persons was 2115 thousand and increased to 2211 thousand in the third quarter. Underperformance of labor markets is the cause of high unemployment rate in Egypt. Job opportunities has grown at slower rate compared to the growth rate of population. The unemployment rate is high with many locals struggle to meet a basic standard of living. Expats who move to Egypt without a firm job offer may have similar struggle to secure well paid work.
Egypt employs a mixed economic system that incorporates elements of both private enterprise and government oversight. The country is affiliated with international organizations such as the League of Arab States (Arab League) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). In terms of governance, Egypt operates as a republic, where the president serves as the chief of state, and the prime minister assumes the role of the head of government.
In the third quarter of fiscal year 2023 (January-March 2023), Egypt’s economy grew by 3.9%, the same rate as the previous quarter. This is according to the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE). Despite facing ongoing challenges, it’s uncertain if this growth will continue in the fourth quarter of FY 2023 (April-June 2023) and the first quarter of FY 2024 (July-September 2023). Inflation has been a significant issue, with prices rising rapidly. In July, inflation reached a new high of 36.4%, up from 35.8% in June. This surge is partly due to the Egyptian pound weakening against the US dollar in the current year and a shortage of foreign currency. As a result, people’s ability to buy things has been affected as their savings lose value. The CBE has increased interest rates aggressively between March and August, which may have limited borrowing and investment. On a positive note, the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) showed that conditions in the non-oil private sector improved slightly in July. Looking ahead, it’s expected that inflation will remain high for the rest of 2023, close to the current levels. Average inflation in 2023 will be more than double that of 2022 and is likely to exceed the CBE’s target until 2025. One potential risk is if the Egyptian pound continues to weaken more than anticipated.
Renting and buying of real estates for foreigners
Legally foreigners can buy not more than 2 pieces of land in Egypt for the purpose of living of family members only. The maximum area of the land cannot exceed 4000 sq.m. The registered property cannot be sold or rented for five years.
For a detailed guide to buying a property in Egypt, refer the website : www.globalpropertyguide.com
Foreigners can rent a house or apartment in Egypt. The rental market in Egypt is open to both Egyptian citizens and foreigners. However, there may be specific legal and administrative requirements for foreigners, such as obtaining a residence permit if you plan to stay long-term. You can generally find rental houses at lower costs in less urbanized or rural areas, as well as in some of the less affluent neighborhoods of larger cities. Here are some places where rental housing tends to be more affordable:
- Areas in the Nile Delta, away from major cities like Cairo and Alexandria, often offer lower-cost rental housing.
- Cities and towns in Upper Egypt, such as Aswan, Luxor, and Minya, tend to have more affordable rental options compared to major urban centers.
- Consider the suburbs and outskirts of major cities like Cairo and Alexandria. While still close to urban amenities, these areas may offer more budget-friendly rental properties.
- Coastal areas like Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh can be affordable outside of peak tourist seasons. Look for rental options away from the main tourist districts.
- Some industrial cities and towns, like Suez or Ismailia, may have lower rental costs due to their specific economic activities.
- Cities with universities, such as Mansoura or Zagazig, might have reasonably priced housing options, especially if you’re a student or academic.
You can search for rentals in the local classified advertisements, both online and in print, as these can often lead you to more affordable housing opportunities. It is important to keep in mind that while rental costs may be lower in these areas, the availability of amenities and services can vary. Additionally, factors like the condition of the property, proximity to work or educational institutions, and safety should be considered when choosing a rental location. Conduct thorough research and possibly seek the advice of locals or real estate agents to find the best affordable rental housing in Egypt that meets your needs.
Egypt has an arid desert climate which is generally both hot and sunny. It has mild winter season with rain along coastal areas. Days are hot, and nights are cooler throughout Egypt. Egypt has only two seasons – mild winter from November to April, Hot summer from May to October.
The average temperature during the summer months is 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) but can reach as high as 122 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees C)
It usually snows on the Sinai mountains, but never snows in the cites of Giza, Cairo and Alexandria. Every year Sand Storms called the “Khamsin”, which are extremely hot, dusty and dry winds blows from south to the southwest. These winds blow sometime in March to May.
To see the temperatures in four major cities in Egypt, please visit: www.intrepidtravel.com
The official language of Egypt is Arabic. There are many vernacular dialects of Arabic that are spoken here. The modern literary Arabic (modern standard Arabic or al-fuṣḥā) which developed out of the medieval is learned only in School. The grammer has remained unchanged since 7th century, but in other ways it has transformed in recent years. The forms of style, words and phrases are simpler and more flexible than classic Arabic.
Many other Arabic variants are spoken e.g Sa’idi Arabic is spoken near the Sudanese border by rural population.
It is said that Driving is an art and the road is your canvas. This is true in Egypt as there is no traffic Lights or driving signals. There is freedom to drive to turn whenever you want. There are no traffic rules here and therefore Egyptians suffer daily in traffic jams. Driving is on the right-hand side of the road in Egypt.
The capital city Cairo is known for its fast traffic. There are only 9 traffic lights in Cairo city. For foreigners therefore, it is very dangerous to rent a car. The speed limits in Egypt is:
Within City – 60 kph (37 mph)
Outside City limits – 90 kph (56 mph)
Desert highway between Cairo & Alexandria – 100 kph (62 mph)
A good to know information of Egypt’s traffic is available on: egyptianstreets.com
The currency in Egypt is known as the Egyptian Pound or EGP. It is also denoted as LE which is the Egyptian currency name in French and stands for livre égyptienne. 100 piasters make one Egyptian pound. In Arabic, gineih denotes the Egyptian Pound and qirsh is the Egypt currency name used for piaster. E£ or £E is the symbol used for Egypt money.
The Egyptian Pound or EGP is mainly a paper currency. 1EGP = 100 qirsh = 1000 millemes.
The paper notes come in 1,5,10,20,50,100 & 200 denominations.
The coins are available for 1 EGP, 50, 25 and 10 piaster.
For more information on Egyptian currency please visit: www.sotc.in
In Egypt over 90% of e-commerce transactions are paid in cash on delivery. Although there are many credit card holders, but they are reluctant to use their cards. A number of banks in Egypt has offered mobile payment services, but the public uptake has been below expectations. Furthermore, the mobile payment is not enabled for e-commerce purchases. Only a limited portion of the rural population have access to e-payment services.
The following most relevant payment methods are used in Egypt-
- Cash Payments
- Domestic Credit Cards
- International Credit Cards
- Bank Transfers
- Debit Cards
Mobile Carriers in Egypt – Vodafone, Etisalat, Orange & We (Telecom Egypt)
The following Banks operate in Egypt-
- Credit Agricole
- Qatar National Bank (QNB)
- Commercial International Bank
- National Bank of Egypt
- Arab Banking Corporation
- HSBC Bank Egypt
- Banque du Caire
- Banque Misr
- Alex Bank
Cost of living in Egypt
Living in Egypt is relatively cheaper as compared to many countries in the world. Daily utilities like transportation, accommodation, food etc. are much affordable in Egypt. A single person estimated monthly cost is E£ 11,762 and for a family of four the monthly cost is E£ 28,199. Cairo is 72.28% less expensive than New York.
If you enjoy Sports, Fitness clubs and tennis courts are available for visitors for approx. $22.00 per month and $6.00 per hour on weekends.
To compare the cost of living to your home country please visit www.rocapply.com
Renting an Apartment is relatively cheaper in Egypt. In a big city of Egypt, a one-bedroom apartment will cost about $180 and a similar apartment in the downtown will cost only $98. Rent in Cairo is on an average 93.18% lower than in New York. A good option to find Rental Apartment in Egypt is trough Classifieds and Real Estate Agents. Among them are Craigslist and Property Finder.
You can select an apartment from Craigslist wherein tons of apartment options are updated every day. Their website address is: cairo.craigslist.org
Expats are liable to pay income tax depending on their residency status. Non-residents need not file taxes, however the income they receive in Egypt is taxed progressively based on gross income. The personal income tax rate was expected around 22.50% in 2022 according to econometric models.
The following are the important taxes imposed in Egypt:
- Value-added Tax (VAT) – The VAT is 14% as of 2017-18, which is applicable on all goods and services except for machinery and equipment used for producing a commodity or giving services.
- Customs Duty – The customs duty ranges from 0% to 60% on imported goods except for vehicles (different rates apply)
- Excise Taxes – The excise tax also known as Schedule tax or table tax imposed on certain listed products and services.
- Real Estate Tax – is imposed on all constructed real estate units with the exemption of Schools, Orphanages, Charitable organizations & private residences with market value less than 2 million EGP
For more information on Taxes in Egypt please visit: andersen.com
Egypt public health insurance services are provided by two independent organizations that operate under government supervision.
- Health Insurance Organization (HIO)
- Curative Care Organization (CCO)
The HIO covers students, employed persons and widows. They have the network of hospitals across the country. The premiums are collected from salaries and employer payroll.
The CCO operates only on few Egyptian governorates and works on contracts with individuals, companies and government agencies.
Visiting a private healthcare provider is the best and reasonable option here. Many expats fly to Dubai for a proper medical care. The medical evacuation cost is covered under Egypt expatriate health insurance.
1) Emergency Department
As-Salam International Hospital Maadi Branch
Nile Cornicle, Athar an Nabi, Old Cairo,
Cairo Governorate, Egypt
Phone : +20 109 200 1443
2) Government office in Cairo
Qasr Ad Dobarah,
Qasr El Nil,
Cairo Governorate, Egypt
Phone: +20 122 617 4055
3) Passport Office
MJPJ + QMC, Khaled Ibn Walid Street,
Khaled Ibn Al Walid,
Gazirat Al Awameyah, Luxor,
Luzor Governorate, Egypt
The pyramids, the River Nile, oases with date palms, pharaohs like Khufu, Tutankhamun and Ramses II, Egyptian mummies and coffins, Nefertiti, Cleopatra, the Library of Alexandria, River Nile Cruises, the Karnak temples at Luxor, papyrus and Feluccas (sailing boats) are few names that comes to your mind when you think of Egypt. A historical and social mixture, incredible to explore, Egypt is a great, unique destination for expats who love ancient architecture, beautiful landscapes, love people, food, cultures and love to enjoy life.
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