Egyptian Parliament (Reuters)
Kamal Amer, head of the Egyptian parliament's defence and national security committee, told reporters that the committee has finished debating the amendment of two laws aimed at regulating Egyptian nationality (law 26/1975), and the residence of foreigners in Egypt (89/1960).
"Article 17 of the first law will be amended to state that foreigners who will be allowed to have residence in Egypt are the ones who have a special stay permit, a normal stay permit, and a temporary stay permit," said Amer, "but the amended Article 17 will make it no longer possible for foreigners who stay under a banking account to have a permit."
Amer, in a statement to reporters on Monday night, also indicated that the amendment of the nationality laws stipulates that Egyptian nationality be granted under certain conditions.
"It can be granted for the first time against payment of a certain amount of money," said Amer, adding that the "prime minister will be the one authorised with deciding whether a foreigner who bought state-owned or private property or set up an investment project in line with the rules of the investment law, or deposited a certain amount of money in foreign currency in a local bank, can be granted Egyptian nationality."
Amer said the above amendment aims to boost foreign investments in Egypt.
"The new facilities and incentives in the residence and nationality laws seek to encourage foreign investors to come to Egypt and invest," said Amer.
Amer explained that a unit affiliated with the cabinet will be set up to review "nationality requests" and give recommendations to the prime minister.
"The unit will include representatives from the ministries of foreign affairs, interior, investment, international cooperation, and concerned security apparatuses," said Amer, adding that "the nationality request will be submitted to the unit against a payment of $10,000 or the equal value in Egyptian pounds."
"A foreigner can have this amount refunded in the case that his request is rejected."
Amer also said that "the unit will be required to review the request within three months from the date of submission."
"If the request gains initial approval, a foreigner will be granted a six-month temporary residence," said Amer.
Ahmed Samir, the head of parliament's Economic Affairs Committee, told reporters that the amendments of the nationality and residence laws go hand in hand with the new investment law.
“All aim to boost foreign investments in Egypt in terms of helping foreigners have easy access to residence and nationality, particularly those who have long-term investments and need to have residence or an Egyptian nationality to promote their activities," said Samir.