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Are There Penalties for Overstaying in Egypt?

The beauty of Egypt and its ancient wonders are captivating to say the least. 

Foreign travelers who visit the country often approach the authorities to extend their visa validity so that they can explore the country a bit more. 

Because of several changes in the immigration laws of the country in the recent past, there has been quite a bit of confusion among foreign travelers planning their trip to Egypt. Here is what foreign travelers need to know about extending their stay in Egypt. 

Who Requires A Visa in Egypt? 

All foreign travelers except those from visa-free countries require proper travel authorization to visit Egypt.

The government of Egypt grants an electronic travel authorization (eVisa) to travelers from a few eligible countries like India, Vatican City, United States, Canada and Iceland. Travelers from other foreign nations need to get their visas from an Egyptian embassy or consulate.  

Citizens of a few countries are also entitled for a visa on arrival at approved kiosks near the immigration counters of most Egyptian international airports. 

Foreign travelers are also allowed to stay visa-free at Dahab, Taba, Nuweiba and Sharma El Sheikh resorts (South Sinai Red resorts) for less than 15 days, provided they do not leave the campus.

They will be given a free entry permission stamp on arrival. If they want to extend their stay for more than 15 days, they have to apply for a visa. 

How Long Can I Stay? 

The validity of an Egyptian eVisa is three months. However, international travelers arriving on an eVisa can stay only up to 30 days. 

Travelers must leave the country before the visa expires. They would have to pay a fine if they overstay in the country. 

Earlier, there used to be a grace period for up to 14 days. However, this has been discontinued by the government of Egypt. 

If travelers overstay for a nominal period, they will not be paying heavy fines. The fine amount increases based on the number of days that they have stayed in the country illegally. 

However, if they have enough money to pay the fines, the Egyptian immigration allows them to leave the country without further actions.

How Much is the Fine?

The fine depends on the number of days a foreign traveler overstayed in the country. Furthermore, the Egyptian authorities prefer certain currencies. If they are not able to pay the fine in those bills, they will not be allowed to board their flight. 

If their passport and visa are not in order, they may be prevented from visiting the country in future. 

How Can I Pay the Fine for Overstaying?

Foreigners who wish to stay more than 30 days in Egypt can extend their visa. If they do not do so, they will have to pay a penalty at the airport while leaving  the country.

Officials at the immigration counter can check the date of entry to the country. Thus, they can identify if any foreigner has overstayed their permitted period. They will have to make the payment. 

In most airports, the payment is done in cash and there may not be the provision for digital payments.

How to Avoid Overstaying in Egypt? 

The wonders of Egypt may entice visitors to stay a little longer than the permitted stay. Be practical, no country will allow a foreigner to stay longer than the time permitted in his/her visa. 

There will be consequences like penalties and in some cases, foreign visitors may be deported. The fine can vary based on the number of days that they have overstayed and it can be a very large sum.
 
Do not overstay your welcome. 

Plan your return journey well in advance. Check the expiry date which will be written on the visa. Book the return tickets before the date of visa expiry.

What if You Want to Stay in Egypt Longer? 

Still, if a foreign traveler wishes to stay a little more than the 30-day period, try extending the visa term.

Previously, they could do this at the Mogamma building. This has been changed and they can extend the visa at the offices of the country’s passport and immigration administration. 

Travelers are advised to reach the office as early as possible and answer the queries by the officers sincerely. If their reasons are found to be genuine, the visa extension will be completed in a few hours. 

It is to be noted that they cannot apply for a new Egyptian e-Visa while they are in the country. For this, you need to leave Egypt and re-apply. 

Are There Long-Term Visas Available to Avoid This?

Citizens of several countries are eligible to apply for short-term eVisas for Egypt for tourism, business and cultural activities.
The eVisas only allow them to stay in the country for 30 days in a validity period of 90 days. 

Travelers from a country that is not entitled for an eVisa will have to apply for a visa at the Egyptian embassy or consulate in their nation. 

They have to fill out the application form and submit all the required documents including their passport and photograph.
 
The validity of an Egyptian embassy visa for tourism, business and cultural activities too is 90 days. However, visitors can stay only up to 30 days in the country. 

Travelers who wish to stay for more than 90 days will have to apply for a temporary resident permit.

For this, they have to apply in the embassy. If there are no Egyptian embassies or consulates in their home country, they can apply for a visa on arrival or eVisa. They apply for a temporary resident permit while in Egypt. 

The process is the same for long-term visas.

For a long-term visa for study and employment, a foreigner needs to file an application in the nearest Egyptian embassy or consulate.
 
He/she needs to fill out the application form and submit all the required documents. If their papers are in order, the embassy will mail the visa to their address in a few weeks. 

How Long Does It Take to Get a Long-Term Egypt Visa?

The processing time for a long-term Egyptian visa differs from country to country and embassy to embassy.

For long term visas, foreigners need to submit the completed application form and documents at the embassy.
 
The processing time depends on the volume of application at the embassy at a given time.

Errors in the application form can also cause delays. Depending on the long-term visa type there can also be additional documents. 

The processing time for a long-term Egyptian visa can vary from 10 days to a few weeks. In most cases, the visa will be delivered within a month.
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