Foreigners applying for a visa or residency in Egypt are now required to pay the applicable fees in U.S. dollars or another hard currency, in line with a decree issued by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly on Thursday, 31 August.
When applying for a visa, residency, or paying a fine for lateness in issuing their residence card, foreigners visiting or residing in Egypt must now submit a receipt indicating that they have transferred the corresponding amount in U.S. dollars or another hard currency.
The decree goes on to state that foreigners who are currently residing in Egypt illegally will be given three months from the date of issuance of the decree to legitimize their stay in the country. To do so, individuals must provide evidence that they are residing with a host carrying Egyptian nationality, and must pay 1000 U.S. dollars in administrative fees to complete the process.
In 2022, Egypt was home to over 9 million foreign nationals from 133 different countries, according to a report published by the International Organization for Migration. This number has been on the rise since the eruption of the ongoing conflict in Sudan, opposing the country’s Armed Forces and the insurgent Rapid Support Forces. In June 2023, Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El Sisi stated that the number of war refugees in Egypt had reached 200,000.
The Prime Ministerial decree is the latest in a series of measures implemented to replenish the country’s foreign currency reserves. Since March 2022, the Egyptian pound has lost more than 50 percent of its value against the dollar. Egypt is currently suffering from a shortage of foreign currency, amid rising debt and staggering inflation.