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Egypt’s Military Exemption Initiative Opening Again in May 2024

March 19, 2024
Image Credit: US National Archives/Combined Military Service Digital Photographic Files

A government initiative that allows Egyptian men residing abroad to pay off their compulsory military service is opening applications for a second time starting 1 May 2024.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urges all citizens residing abroad to quickly register on the Ministry’s website during the stipulated period to swiftly settle their military status definitively through the initiative,” reads a joint statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Emigration and Expatriates’ Affairs.

Details regarding the registration process, criteria, and conditions can be found on the initiative’s website.

Prospective applicants will be required to register online when applications open and provide an accredited presence confirmation certificate from the relevant Egyptian embassy or consulate abroad, along with payment to designated bank accounts.

The first round, launched in August 2023, allowed Egyptians abroad who met the correct conditions to settle their military service permanently by paying a fee of USD 5,000 (EGP 235,793) or EUR 5,000 (EGP 255,715).

The joint ministerial announcement did not clarify whether the cost would remain unchanged or increase for the coming round.

The statement also noted that passport renewals will be unavailable for Egyptians residing abroad who have not fulfilled their military service obligations.

The revived program targets all male Egyptian expatriates aged 18 and above, including those beyond the typical conscription age of 30, who are legally obligated to serve the Egyptian military.

Military service is compulsory for Egyptian male citizens except in cases in which they are the only child, the father has passed away, or their siblings are females. The duration typically ranges from one to three years, often depending on the individual’s education level.

Approximately 12 million Egyptians are currently residing abroad according to 2023 data, and the government will look to utilize the initiative as an opportunity to raise further foreign currency amid a shortage situation.

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