Egypt extends grace period for unlawful foreign residents to legitimise their residency by three months

Ahram Online , Wednesday 8 Nov 2023

The Egyptian government has extended the grace period for foreigners residing unlawfully in Egypt to adjust their status by three months, a Cabinet statement read on Wednesday.

File photo of Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport. AFP
File photo of Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport. AFP


Based on the recent decision, the deadline, which was originally set to expire on 15 December 2023, is extended till 15 March 2024.

The decision aims to facilitate the process for a new segment of foreigners targeted by the decree, the Cabinet said.

In August, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly issued a decree requiring foreigners residing in the country without valid residencies to legitimise their stay within three months.

However, the process is conditional upon having an Egyptian host and paying $1,000 in administrative fees.

Per August’s decree, foreigners applying for residency — whether for tourism or other purposes — are required to pay the fees in US dollars or other hard currency through a local bank or a registered foreign exchange house.

They are required to submit an invoice for that transaction as per the new regulations.

The decree is the latest in a series of moves aimed at collecting more foreign currency as the country is suffering from a shortage of US dollars amid rising debt and inflationary pressures.

Around 9.1 million foreigners from 133 countries are living in Egypt, according to a report by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

The number has increased since the beginning of the Sudanese civil war in April 2023, which resulted in more than 200,000 people fleeing to Egypt.

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