Egypt implements biometric visa requirement for foreign officials

Ahram Online, Sunday 15 Jan 2012

Egypt imposes biometric visa requirement on officials from Schengen countries, US and UK after those countries imposed the restriction on Egyptian visitors


An Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman has said the officials of 27 Schengen Area countries, plus the United States and the United Kingdom, would have to show biometric visas when entering the country from Sunday.

“Foreign Minister Mohamed Amr has ordered Egyptian embassies in those countries to implement the decision starting from today. We are giving them the same treatment they give us,” the ministry’s spokesman Amr Roshdy said on Sunday.

“The decision will apply to all officials, including those who have diplomatic passports. The employees who work in the foreign embassies in Egypt will also have to follow the new rule.”

The biometric visa is already used in countries that are part of the Schengen agreement.

The decision to apply the measure on Egyptians visiting the Schengen countries, the United States and United Kingdom a few months ago was met with resentment by the Egyptian government.

The biometric visa requires visitors to submit a digital photo and fingerprints for approval.

“Because of the key role tourism plays in boosting the Egyptian economy, the new measure will not apply to ordinary visitors who come to Egypt for tourism,” Roshdy added.

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