CSI Repository

CSI Country Catalog

Egypt

Flag_of_Egypt
Country
Country Name: Egypt
Official Country Name: Arab Republic of Egypt
Country Code 2-Letters: EG
Country Code 3-Letters: EGY
Street: Consular Section 5
Tawfik Diab Street
Garden City, Cairo
Egypt
Fact sheet: https://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/5309.htm
  • International Travel
  • Child Abductions
  • Intercountry Adoptions
  • Consular Notification
  • U.S. Visas
  • Contact
  • Quick Facts
  • Embassies and Consulates
  • Destination Description
  • Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws & Special Circumstances
  • Health
  • Travel & Transportation
Contact
Embassy Name: U.S. Embassy Cairo
Street Address: Consular Section
5 Tawfik Diab Street
Garden City, Cairo
Egypt
Phone: +(20) 2-2797-3300
Emergency Phone: +(20) 2-2797-3300
Fax: +(20) 2-2797-2472
Email: ConsularCairoACS@state.gov
Web: https://eg.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/cairo/

Embassy Messages

Cairo

 


Map
Country Map
Quick Facts
Passport Validity:


Must have six months validity


Blank Passport Pages:


At least one blank page


Tourist Visa Required:


Yes


Vaccinations:


None


Currency Restrictions for Entry:


Less than $10,000


Currency Restrictions for Exit:


Less than $10,000

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Cairo

Consular Section
5 Tawfik Diab Street
Garden City, Cairo
Egypt
Telephone:
+(20) 2-2797-3300
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(20) 2-2797-3300
Fax: +(20) 2-2797-2472
Email: 

The American Citizens Services (ACS) Unit uses an online appointment system for those coming to the Embassy to receive routine consular services Sunday through Wednesday, except for official holidays (U.S. and Egyptian). U.S. citizens with non-emergency inquiries may send an email to the ACS Unit at consularcairoacs@state.gov.

For emergencies during and after business hours, including on weekends and holidays, U.S. citizens can contact the ACS Unit via the Embassy switchboard at 02-2797-3300. The mailing address from the United States is: Consular Section, Unit 64900, Box 15, APO AE 09839-4900. Within Egypt or from a third country, it is 8 Kamal el-Din Salah Street, Garden City, Cairo, Egypt. Express mail services also use the physical address.

Consulates

U.S. Consulate Alexandria 
Helnan Palestine
Montazah Gardens
Alexandria
Telephone:
+(20-3) 538-5800
Email: ConsularCairoACS@state.gov

Destination Description

Read the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Egypt for additional information on U.S.-Egypt relations.

Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements

Passport and Visas:

  • U.S. citizens must have a visa to enter Egypt.
  • U.S. citizens can obtain a renewable single-entry 30-day tourist visa on arrival at Egyptian airports for a 25 USD fee. A multiple entry visa is also obtainable for 60 USD.
  • The Government of Egypt has created a website for the issuance of “e-visas” at visa2egypt.gov.eg/eVisa/Home. There are other websites purporting to offer electronic visas, some of which reportedly charge double the official price, but this is the only official Government of Egypt portal for this service. U.S. citizens and the citizens of 44 other countries are eligible to apply through this means in advance of their travel.
  • Egyptian immigration officials occasionally have denied entry to travelers without explanation. 
  • U.S. citizens who have experienced difficulty with their visa status in Egypt or are concerned about their eligibility for a visa upon arrival should apply for a visa at an Egyptian embassy or consulate prior to travel, but a visa obtained prior to entry does not guarantee admission to Egypt.
  • Visas for gainful employment or study in Egypt must be obtained prior to travel.

Entry from Israel:

  • U.S. citizens arriving from Israel at the Taba border crossing should obtain a visa ahead of time.
  • If travelers don’t get one prior to arrival, they may either apply for a no-fee, 14-day visa that is only valid for travel within the Sinai Peninsula, or they may buy a 30-day tourist visa valid for travel throughout Egypt for 25 USD.
  • The 30-day visa requires the submission of a travel agency support letter which may be obtained from travel agents at the border; their fees for providing this service vary.

Gaza:

  • The Government of Egypt opens this border on an infrequent and unpredictable basis.
  • Travel groups and/or humanitarian aid convoys that wish to cross at Rafah would need to contact the Egyptian Embassy in Washington for permission prior to travel.
  • The Egyptian government screens travelers before allowing entry/exit through the Rafah border crossing with Gaza.
  • The U.S. government advises its citizens to avoid travel to Gaza; the U.S. Embassy does not issue travel letters or provide any assistance in crossing to and from Gaza.
  • Travelers to Gaza from Egypt should read the Travel Advisory for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.

Diplomatic and Official Passports:

  • Diplomatic and Official passport holders, when entering Egypt for official business, are required to have visas before arrival in Egypt.
  • Diplomatic or Official passport holders must not use these passports to enter Egypt for unofficial travel, and should use their personal passports, following all appropriate regulations.
  • Travelers attempting to enter Egypt with diplomatic or official passports who do not have visas will be required to remain, at their own expense, in the airport transit area until their immediate departure from Egypt can be arranged.
  • The U.S. Embassy in Cairo is unable to intervene in such situations. Military personnel arriving on commercial flights are not exempt from passport and visa requirements.
  • The Egyptian Embassy in Washington currently requires at least three weeks, and sometimes much longer, to process official and diplomatic visa requests, an expedite letter from the Department of State notwithstanding.
  • It is incumbent upon all official travelers to submit their visa requests and passports to the Egyptian Embassy well in advance of travel.

Work Permits:

  • U.S. citizens who wish to come to Egypt for work must obtain work permits and work/business visas before arrival.
  • All work permits must be obtained through the employer. These permits may be acquired from the Ministry of Manpower and Migration offices in the district of the employer; accordingly, these permits authorize residency in the country.
  • U.S. citizens who arrive as tourists but want to change their status after arrival in country may acquire a three-month tourist/non-working residency visa to allow sufficient time to change their status from tourist to worker.
  • U.S. citizens in Egypt on tourist visas are not permitted to work. 

For additional information on entering Egypt, please contact the nearest Egyptian Embassy or Consulate or visit the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

Medical Requirements:

  • U.S. citizens arriving from an area that has been infected with yellow fever will need to provide proof of immunizations.
  • Please verify this information with the Egyptian Embassy before you travel. 

Exit Requirements:

  • U.S. citizen women married to Egyptians do not need their spouse's permission to depart Egypt as long as they have a valid Egyptian visa or valid Egyptian passport.
  • A U.S. citizen departing Egypt with a dual-national child (U.S.-Egyptian) may be required by Egyptian immigration officers at the airport to demonstrate that they have proof of consent of the non-traveling Egyptian parent.
  • If travelers attempt to depart Egypt after the expiration of their visa, they may be required to pay a fine at the airport. Travelers should ensure that they arrive to the airport early with sufficient Egyptian currency to pay any fines.
  • The U.S. Embassy does not issue travel letters to exit Egypt.

Dual Nationals:

  • If a dual national has the annotation “Egyptian origin” on their entry visa, they will require proof of Egyptian citizenship in order to exit Egypt. 
  • This is also true for dual nationals who remain in Egypt for more than six months.
  • In some cases, if a dual national loses their U.S. passport, they will be required to present their parents’ Egyptian birth certificates and be documented as Egyptian citizens in order to obtain a temporary/replacement entry stamp to facilitate their travel out of Egypt.

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Safety and Security

The Department of State Travel Advisory warns U.S. citizens to avoid travel to the Sinai Peninsula (with the exception of travel to Sharm El-Sheikh by air) and the Western Desert. Travel to the Libyan and Sudanese borders is also not recommended. U.S. citizens in Egypt should maintain a high level of vigilance throughout the country due to the threat of terrorism.

Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities. There is a possibility of terrorist attacks in urban areas, despite the heavy security presence. Terrorists have targeted religious sites, to include mosques, churches, monasteries, and buses traveling to these locations.

The Egyptian government has attempted to address security concerns and has visibly augmented its security presence at tourist locations, but challenges persist, and the threat of terrorism remains. Police and military are also engaged in operations to combat terrorism and disrupt terrorist cells in the Sinai Peninsula and the Nile Valley.

Do not travel to:

  • The Sinai Peninsula (with the exception of travel to Sharm El-Sheikh by air) due to terrorism.

The Sinai Peninsula remains a particularly dangerous area, with frequent attacks on security forces and civilians.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens anywhere in the Sinai Peninsula as U.S. government employees are not authorized to travel to these areas (with the exception of the beach resort of Sharm El-Sheikh; travel to Sharm El-Sheikh is only permitted by air).

  • The Western Desert due to terrorism.
  • Egyptian border areas due to military zones.

Egypt’s borders are under military control; movement of non-military persons and vehicles is substantially restricted, and in some cases prohibited, within these areas. U.S. citizens should not travel in these border zones.

It is illegal to photograph police stations, military barracks, and certain other sensitive public buildings.

U.S. citizens are urged to remain alert to local security developments, avoid demonstrations, and be vigilant regarding their personal security at all times throughout the country. U.S. citizens should also carry identification and a cell phone or other means of communication that works in Egypt, and it is advisable to pre-program the U.S. Embassy’s telephone number and email address into the device.

Travelers must obtain permission and a travel route from the Egyptian Military Intelligence and the Tourist Police Headquarters via a local or overseas travel agency to access Egypt's frontiers, including the borders with Libya, Sudan, Israel, and parts of the Sinai Peninsula off paved roads.

High concentrations of World War II-era unexploded landmines are located in the World War II battlefields along the Mediterranean coast west of Alexandria, the Eastern Desert between Cairo and the Suez Canal, and much of the Sinai Peninsula. Travelers are urged to be especially prudent in these areas.

Crime:

Crime levels in Cairo and Alexandria are moderate.

The vast majority of criminal acts against foreigners are crimes of opportunity, such as purse snatching and pickpocketing. 

Harassment of women, including foreigners, remains a serious problem. Incidents of harassment range from lewd comments and gestures to indecent exposure and inappropriate physical contact.

Tourists should be alert to being overcharged for various services and for being victimized in scams common to tourist destinations worldwide. See International Financial Scams for more information.

Tourists should expect to encounter aggressive vendors at Egypt’s shops in urban areas, as well as at the many temples and archaeological sites. Some will offer “free” gifts to tourists which, once accepted, lead to demands for money. Most sites have specially designated tourist police who can assist in uncomfortable situations.

The U.S. Embassy receives frequent reports of online financial scams, often involving a fraudulent romantic partner requesting money for hospital bills or legal expenses to depart Egypt. Be skeptical about sending money to anyone known only through online contact.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime:

Report crimes to the local police at 122 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(20) 2-2797-3300.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

Failure to report crimes before leaving Egypt will make it impossible to seek prosecution at a later date. U.S. citizen tourists can forward their complaints for investigation to the Tourist Police Headquarters. For crimes involving children, you may call the child emergency help line by dialing 16000. For issues involving violence against women and/or general complaints, dial 0800 888 3888.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

If you are a victim of a crime, the Embassy can: 

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: 

U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

For further information:

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Currency:

Entering or exiting Egypt with more than $10,000 is prohibited. Attempting to enter or depart Egypt with any instruments of currency in the sum of more than $10,000 could result in the confiscation of the money over $10,000 and other penalties.

Criminal Penalties: Travelers are subject to local laws. If visitors violate local laws, even unknowingly, they may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.

  • The Egyptian legal system is different from the legal system in the United States, with significantly different standards of evidence and due process.
  • Egyptian police and security forces do not require probable cause in order to stop, question, and detain individuals. Failure to carry proper identification, such as a passport, may result in detention and questioning.
  • Suspects may be detained without charges or access to immediate legal counsel for months during the investigative stage of a criminal case. Punishments often are harsher in Egypt for comparable crimes than they are in the United States.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Drones:

Importation of all types of drones, including small civilian drones used for personal or touristic purposes is strictly prohibited. Potential penalties for violating are harsh, and a recently passed law authorizes the death penalty for using a drone in support of terrorist activity.

Arrest Notification:

If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Egyptian law considers dual nationals to be Egyptian citizens and thus the Egyptian authorities do not automatically notify the U.S. Embassy when a dual national is detained. Family members, friends, and/or traveling companions may notify the ACS Unit at U.S. Embassy Cairo if the arrested U.S. citizen is unable to do so.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.

LGBTI Travelers:  LGBTI individuals face significant social stigma and discrimination in Egypt. Egyptian law does not explicitly criminalize same-sex sexual activity, but LGBTI persons and advocacy groups have reported harassment, intimidation, arrests, and other forms of abuse, including by police. There are also reports that authorities have used social media, dating websites, and cell phone apps to entrap persons suspected of being gay or transgender. LGBTI persons could be charged with offenses that provide prison sentences of up to 10 years.  See our LGBTI Travel Information page and sections 1c and 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

ACCESSIBILITY: While in Egypt, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from in the United States. Businesses and institutions in Egypt generally do not make special accommodations for persons with disabilities, and Egyptian authorities do not enforce laws mandating access to transportation, communication, and public buildings by persons with disabilities. Pedestrian sidewalks and walkways are limited, uneven, high, and sometimes used by cars and motorcycles.

Accommodations on public transportation are not offered for elderly individuals or persons with disabilities. Crosswalks are not in widespread use and motorists have the right of way. Pedestrians should exercise extreme caution.

Students: See the Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: Many women travel safely each year without incident. However, when it comes to health and security, women travelers are more likely to be affected by religious and cultural beliefs of the foreign countries they visit. The truth is that women face greater obstacles, especially when travelling alone.

Women, especially those traveling alone, should exercise particular care in crowds, on public transportation, in rural areas, and in isolated sections of temple and pyramid complexes. Women have been groped in taxis and while in public places.

The Embassy continues to receive reports of U.S. citizen women subject to domestic violence, sexual harassment, verbal abuse, and rape in Egypt.

The Consular Section strongly encourages women who seek its assistance to take legal action against perpetrators in order to bring them to justice. Some Egyptian NGOs provide assistance to victimized women within the Egyptian community. Women victimized overseas may be entitled to receive compensation for counseling and/or other services such as relocating back to the United States.

For further information see the travel tips for Women Travelers.

Health

Insurance: Travelers should make sure their health insurance plan covers them when outside of the United States.

  • The U.S Embassy cannot pay medical bills.
  • U.S. Medicare does not pay overseas.
  • Doctors and hospitals often expect cash payment for health services.
  • The U.S. Embassy strongly recommends supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation, since medical transport out of the country can be prohibitively expensive or logistically impossible. 
  • See the webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage

Medical Care: It is limited and well below U.S. standards. 

Emergency and intensive care facilities are limited. Most Nile cruise boats do not have a ship's doctor, but some employ a medical practitioner. Hospital facilities in Luxor, Aswan, and Sharm el Sheikh are adequate, but they are inadequate at most other ports-of-call. The Egyptian ambulance service hotline is 123. Although availability of ambulances is improving, getting them through Cairo traffic can be very challenging.

Beaches on the Mediterranean and Red Sea coasts are generally unpolluted. However, persons who swim in the Nile or its canals, walk barefoot in stagnant water, or drink untreated water are at risk of exposure to bacterial and other infections and the parasitic disease schistosomiasis (bilharzia).

It is generally safe to eat freshly prepared cooked food in hotels, on Nile cruise boats, and in mainstream restaurants. When selecting a restaurant, select a clean and reputable place, eat only freshly prepared, cooked foods, avoid all uncooked food including raw fruits and vegetables. Tap water in some locations is not potable. It is best to drink bottled water or water that has been boiled and filtered. Well-known brands of bottled beverages are generally considered to be safe if the seal is intact.

Although the Embassy cannot provide medical advice or provide medical services to the public, a list of hospitals and doctors in Egypt  can be found on the Embassy website.

Prescriptions: Travelers should carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. 

Vaccinations: Travelers should be up-to-date on all recommended vaccinations, per CDC’s information. 

Further Health Information:  

Travel & Transportation

Traffic Laws: Although the enforcement of traffic laws generally is lax, foreigners are subject to extra scrutiny and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs could result in arrest or detainment.

Road Conditions and Safety: Driving in Egypt is extremely hazardous. Egypt has one of the highest occurrences of road fatalities per mile driven in the world. Intercity roads are generally in good condition, but unmarked surfaces, stray animals, sandstorms and fog, vehicles without lights, and disabled vehicles without reflectors are among the many hazards present on highways, especially after dark.

Driving Cairo’s busy maze of streets can be an extreme challenge to foreigners, especially those used to a culture of structured rules and regulations. Even residents of Cairo must use extreme care and situational awareness to navigate the capital’s hectic streets. Impatient drivers typically ignore traffic rules, which police seldom enforce. Most traffic lights in Cairo do not function; instead, police officers, using finger and hand movements to direct traffic, normally staff the main intersections.

Vehicle accidents remain a significant safety concern.

Visitors thinking about driving in Egypt should carefully consider other options, such as a taxi or hired driver. If visitors decide to drive, it is essential that they take the utmost precautions and drive defensively. Drivers should be prepared for: unlit vehicles at night; few if any road markings; vehicles traveling at high rates of speed; vehicles traveling the wrong way on one-way streets, divided highways, and connecting ramps; pedestrians dodging in and out of traffic; and a variety of domesticated animals wandering the roadways. Motorists should be especially cautious during the rare winter rains, which can cause extremely slippery road surfaces and localized flooding; Egyptian drivers are not familiar with driving in wet conditions, making such periods particularly hazardous.

Pedestrians should also exercise extreme caution especially in high-volume/high-velocity streets like Cairo’s Corniche, which follows the eastern bank of the Nile River, and Alexandria’s Corniche along the Mediterranean.

Public Transportation: Public buses and microbuses are not safe, and Mission personnel are prohibited from using them. Mission personnel are also prohibited from traveling on Cairo’s metro system. Embassy personnel are prohibited from traveling by train, which is a particularly unsafe means of transportation, with regular accidents that sometimes involve mass casualties.

Mission personnel are generally prohibited from traveling outside the greater Cairo and Alexandria areas by motor vehicle, with the exception of travel to beach resorts on the western side of the Red Sea and near Alexandria. Furthermore, Mission policy prohibits personal travel via privately-owned vehicle to any part of the Sinai Peninsula or the Western Desert.

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information.

AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Egypt’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Egypt’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Egypt should check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at the Maritime Security Communications with Industry Web Portal. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website and as a broadcast warning on the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s website

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information
Use Style in the Text Component to tag city names and to tag phone numbers, fax numbers, and emails with the respective Style icon.

Washington, DC (202) 966-6342 (202) 244-4319

Chicago, IL (312) 828-9162 (312) 828-9167

Houston, TX (713) 961-4915 (713) 961-3868

Los Angeles, CA (323) 933-9700 (323) 933-9725

New York, NY (212) 759-7120 (212) 308-7643

  • General Information
  • Hague Abduction Convention
  • Return
  • Visitation/Access
  • Retaining an Attorney
  • Mediation
Hague Questions | Learn More Links
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention? No
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention? No
Learn why the Hague Abduction Convention Matters: /content/travel/en/International-Parental-Child-Abduction/for-providers/laws/important-feat-hague-abdtn-conv.html

General Information

For information concerning travel to Egypt, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Egypt.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

Hague Abduction Convention

Egypt is not a signatory to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention).  Egypt and the United States signed a Memorandum of Understanding in October 2003 that confirms both countries’ commitment to facilitating parental access to children in the other country.

Return

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country. Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Egypt and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances. 

The Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children's Issues provides assistance in cases of international parental child abduction. For U.S. citizen parents whose children have been wrongfully removed to or retained in countries that are not U.S. partners under the Hague Abduction Convention, the Office of Children's Issues can provide information and resources about country-specific options for pursuing the return of or access to an abducted child. The Office of Children's Issues may also coordinate with appropriate foreign and U.S. government authorities about the welfare of abducted U.S. citizen children. Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance.

Contact information:

U.S. Department of State 
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's Issues
CA/OCS/CI 
SA-17, 9th Floor 
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Fax: 202-485-6221
Website:  travel.state.gov
Email: MiddleEastIPCA@state.gov

Unless it is in violation of an Egyptian court order, parental child abduction is not a crime in Egypt. 

Parents may wish to consult with an attorney in the United States and in the country to which the child has been removed or retained to learn more about how filing criminal charges may impact a custody case in the foreign court. Please see Possible Solutions - Pressing Criminal Charges for more information. 

Visitation/Access

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country.  Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Egypt and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.

The Office of Children’s Issues may be able to assist parents seeking access to children who have been wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States.   Parents who are seeking access to children who were not wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States should contact the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Egypt for information and possible assistance.

Retaining an Attorney

Neither the Office of Children’s Issues nor consular officials at the U.S. Embassy or Consulates in Egypt are authorized to provide legal advice.

The U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, posts a list of attorneys, including those who specialize in family law at.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

Mediation

The Egyptian Good Intentions Subcommittee (GISC) provides mediation services directly to parents involved in international parental child abduction cases.  Mediation is voluntary and both parents must agree to participate. The GISC is only an option when the child(ren) and/or at least one parent is an Egyptian citizen. They do not provide services for families that are solely U.S. citizens. 

  • Hague
  • Hague Convention Information
  • U.S. Immigration Requirements
  • Who Can Adopt
  • Who Can Be Adopted
  • How To Adopt
  • Traveling Abroad
  • After Adoption
  • Contact Information
Hague Questions
Hague Adoption Convention Country? No
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
Hague Convention Information

Egypt is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore, when the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force for the United States on April 1, 2008, intercountry adoption processing for Egypt did not change.

Laws in Egypt regarding adoption are unclear and may vary according to a prospective adoptive parent's religious background. Islamic Shari'a law does not allow for full adoption of a child, as generally understood in the United States. (Please refer to our flyer on Islamic Family Law for more information on this issue.) U.S. citizens wishing to adopt a non-Muslim child may wish to seek legal advice from a local Egyptian attorney.

Fostering, which assumes no blood relationship, is sometimes permitted in Egypt through the Ministry of Social Affairs. Most commonly, a foster parent will agree to partially or fully support a child who remains in an orphanage. On occasion, however, a foster parent will enter into a contract with the orphanage, and will be permitted to raise the child at home. To begin this process, the foster family submits a request to the Ministry of Social Services. If the Ministry of Social Affairs approves the request, it will grant permission to allow an orphanage to release a child to be fostered at the home of the foster family.

Egypt has both Muslim and Christian orphanages, though not all orphanages release orphans to be fostered at one's home. Prospective guardians may only foster children of their same religion.

The Egyptian government assigns names to all orphans of unknown parentage. In some circumstances, an orphan may be issued a birth certificate that also contains fictitious names for the mother and father. Christians may request that the child's name be changed during the fostering process.

U.S. Immigration Requirements For Intercountry Adoptions

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Egypt, you must meet certain suitability and eligibility requirements. USCIS determines who is suitable and eligible to adopt a child from another country and bring that child to live in the United States under U.S. immigration law.

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States with an IR-3 or IR-4 immigrant visa.

Who Can Adopt

To bring an adopted child to United Stated from Egypt, you must be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn more.

In addition to these U.S. requirements for prospective adoptive parents, Egypt also has the following requirements for prospective adoptive parents:

  • RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS: There are no residency requirements provided that the prospective parents have satisfied the Egyptian legal requirements and are awarded legal custody with the right to remove the child from Egypt for immigration. For guardianship, a lawyer can move the prospective parent's case through the court system without the guardians being present. However, at least one of the prospective parents applying for guardianship or fostering needs to be able to show proof of Egyptian citizenship (e.g. an Egyptian passport or national ID card).
  • AGE REQUIREMENTS: Prospective adoptive parents must be at least 25 years old and not more than 55 years old.
  • MARRIAGE REQUIREMENTS: Only married couples can foster or obtain guardianship of an orphan in Egypt.
  • INCOME REQUIREMENTS: While there are no specific income requirements, the prospective adoptive family's income should be enough to cover the basic needs of the family including the child.
  • OTHER REQUIREMENTS:
    • At least one of the prospective parents should be of Egyptian nationality.
    • The number of children in the family should not exceed two unless they are old enough to depend on themselves.
    • The family is not allowed to provide care for more than one child until they obtain an approval from the Ministry of Social Affairs.
    • The foster mother should have enough time to take care of the child as well as the other family members.
    • Egyptian law does not allow for same-sex couples to apply for adoption.

Who Can Be Adopted

Egypt has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for fostering and or guardian. You cannot adopt a child in Egypt unless he or she meets the requirements outlined below.

In addition to these requirements, a child must meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. law for you to bring him or her back to the United States.
Learn more about these U.S. requirements.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

  • Relinquishment Requirements: A relinquished child is determined by the Ministry of Social Affairs to be a child whose parents are incapable of taking care of them and who do not have any relatives to take the parents' place. In this case the foster parent will enter into a contract with the orphanage and agree to fully support the child. To begin this process, the foster family is asked to submit a fostering request to the Ministry of Social Affairs with all documentation proving that they are capable of supporting the child.
  • Abandonment Requirements: Abandoned children include: children born out-of-wedlock who were abandoned by their parents, lost children, and children who were abandoned by their divorced parents. There are two ways to foster these children. The most common way is that a person would benevolently agree to partially or fully support the child who remains in an orphanage. It is also possible to foster a child in one's home, in which case the foster parent will enter into a contract with the orphanage and agree to fully support the child. To begin this process, the foster family is asked to submit a fostering request to the Ministry of Social Affairs with all documentation and with proof that they are able to support the child.
  • Age Requirements: There are no age requirements.
  • Sibling Requirements: The number of children in a prospective family should not exceed two unless they are old enough to depend on themselves. Prospective parents are not allowed to foster more than one child except after obtaining permission from the Ministry of Social Affairs.
  • Waiting Period: Impossible to predict. To satisfy the requirements of the Egyptian family law and be awarded legal custody or permission to foster an orphan at home with an approval to remove the child for immigration is a long and difficult process. However, once a child has been identified, an I-600A application for advance processing of orphan petition has been approved by the USCIS office having jurisdiction over the prospective parents' place of residence, and prospective parents have satisfied Egyptian law and been awarded legal custody, the immigration process takes between 1-2 weeks.

How To Adopt

Egypt's Adoption Authority:
Obtaining permission to foster an Egyptian child is a difficult process. Prospective foster parents are required to undergo a pre-qualification process through the Ministry of Social Affairs. This is similar to the U.S. screening process for foster parents and includes, among other things, regular visits by a social worker to determine whether prospective parents are able to care for the child properly. The number of visits is determined by the social worker.

THE PROCESS

The process for fostering a child from Egypt generally includes the following steps:

  1. Choose an Adoption Service Provider
  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
  3. Be Matched with a Child
  4. Foster and or obtain guardianship of a Child in Egypt
  5. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption
  6. Bring Your Child Home
  1. Choose an Adoption Service Provider

    The first step in fostering a child from Egypt is usually to select a licensed agency in the United States that can help with your adoption. Adoption service providers must be licensed by the U.S. state in which they operate. Learn more about choosing the right adoption service provider.

    Not all orphanages release orphans to be fostered at one's home. Adoptive parents are encouraged to seek the advice of the Ministry of Social Affairs about orphanages which release orphans to be fostered in the foster family's home.

  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt

    To bring a fostered child from Egypt to the United States, you must apply to be found eligible to adopt (Form I-600A) by the U.S. Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn how.

    In addition to meeting the U.S. requirements for adoptive parents, you need to meet the requirements of Egypt as described in the Who Can Adopt section.
  3. Be Matched with a Child 

    If you are eligible to adopt (foster), and a child is available for intercountry adoption, the central fostering authority in Egypt will provide you with a referral to a child. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of a particular child and provide a permanent family placement for the referred child. 

    The child must be eligible to be fostered according to Egypt's requirements, as described in the Who Can be Adopted section. The child must also meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. law. Learn more.

  4. Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in Egypt

    The process for finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in Egypt generally includes the following:

    • ROLE OF THE ADOPTION AUTHORITY: All prospective parents are required to apply to the Ministry of Social Affairs to qualify to become foster parents. To begin the process, foster parents need to submit the following documents:
      • A copy of the marriage decree.
      • Employment status and proof that they will be able to financially support a child (proof of income).
      • Proof that one of the parents is infertile.
      • Proof that one of the foster parents is an Egyptian citizen.

A social worker from the Ministry of Social Affairs will visit the parents to make sure that the foster family will be able to provide all types of support to the child. Once all documents are complete, they will be sent to the Ministry of Social Affairs Committee for adjudication. If all conditions are met, the Ministry of Social Affairs will issue an approval or denial. Foster parents are notified and then are free to visit an orphanage and choose a child.

The foster family will sign a contract with the orphanage showing that the orphanage is officially releasing the child to the foster family and that the foster family will allow a social worker from the Ministry of Social Affairs to visit the child on a regular basis to determine whether the foster parents are able to care for the child properly. (If the parents are planning to move the child permanently to the U.S., they should discuss this in detail with the Ministry of Social Affairs in advance.)

  • ROLE OF THE COURT: Christians wishing to adopt in Egypt should seek legal counsel from an Egyptian attorney in order to receive the most updated information regarding the proper procedures and documentation for adopting or acquiring custody of an Egyptian orphan.
  • ROLE OF ADOPTION AGENCIES: There are no adoption agencies in Egypt. Attorneys and/or prospective adoptive parents handle the cases themselves.
  • ADOPTION APPLICATION: All prospective parents are required to apply to the Ministry of Social Affairs to qualify to become foster parents. A social worker from the Ministry of Social Affairs will visit the parents to make sure that the foster family will be capable to provide all types of support to an infant. Once all documents are complete, they will be sent to the Ministry of Social Affairs Committee for adjudication. If all conditions are met, Ministry of Social Affairs will issue an approval or denial. Foster parents are notified and then are free to visit an orphanage to choose a child.

    The foster family will sign a contract with the orphanage showing that the orphanage is officially releasing the child to the foster family and that the foster family will allow a social worker from the Ministry of Social Affairs to visit the infant on a regular basis to determine whether the foster parents are able to care for the child properly. (This issue should be discussed in detail with the Ministry of Social Affairs in advance, if the parents are planning to move the child permanently to the U.S.). Christians wishing to foster in Egypt should seek legal counsel from an Egyptian attorney in order to receive the most updated information regarding the proper procedures and documentation for fostering or acquiring custody of an Egyptian orphan.

  • TIME FRAME: The time frame is typically impossible to predict. To satisfy the requirements of the Egyptian family law and be awarded legal custody or permission to foster an orphan at home with an approval to remove the child for immigration is a long and difficult process. However, once a child has been identified, an I-600A application for advance processing of orphan petition has been approved by the U.S Citizenship of Immigration Services (CIS) office having jurisdiction over the prospective parents' place of residence, and prospective parents have satisfied Egyptian law and been awarded legal custody, the immigration process takes between 1-2 weeks.
  • ADOPTION FEES: The U.S. Embassy in Egypt discourages the payment of any fees that are not properly receipted, "donations," or "expediting" fees, that may be requested from prospective fostering parents. Such fees have the appearance of "buying" a baby, this is criminalized by the 2008 Child Law, and may put all future fostering in Egypt at risk.
  • DOCUMENTS REQUIRED: To begin the process, foster parents need to submit the following documents:
    • A copy of the marriage decree.
    • Employment status and proof that they will be able financially to support a child (proof of income).
    • Proof that one of the parents is infertile (can not give birth).
    • Proof that one of the foster parents is an Egyptian citizen.

NOTE: Additional documents may be requested. If you are asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic, we can help. Learn more on the Judicial Assistance section of our website

  1. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption

    After you finalize the fostering process (or gain legal custody) in Egypt, the U.S Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) MUST determine whether the child is eligible under U.S. law to be adopted (Form I-600). Learn how.

  2. Bring Your Child Home: Now that your fostering process is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for several documents for your child before he or she can travel to the United States:
    • Birth Certificate 
      You will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child, so that you can later apply for a passport. Please note: Sharia's law does not allow for an orphan to take the family name of a non-biological parent. Christians may request that the child's name be changed during the fostering process. However, we strongly advise the prospective foster parents to seek legal advice from an Egyptian Attorney before trying to change the child's name in Egypt. Foster families can obtain a birth certificate for the child from the Egyptian Passport Office.

    • Egyptian Passport
      Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or Passport from Egypt. Once prospective parents have satisfied the requirements of Egyptian law and are awarded legal custody with the right to remove the child from Egypt for immigration from the Ministry of Social Affairs, the prospective parent may apply for an Egyptian passport for the child from the Egyptian Passport Authority.

    • U.S. Immigrant Visa 
      After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to apply for an U.S. visa from the United States Embassy for your child. After the adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted, visit the U.S. Embassy for final review and approval of the child's I-600 petition and to obtain a visa for the child. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you. As part of this process, the Consular Officer must be provided the "Panel Physician's" medical report on the child if it was not provided during the provisional approval stage. Learn more.

CHILD CITIZENSHIP ACT

For adoptions finalized abroad: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your new child to acquire American citizenship automatically when he or she enters the United States as lawful permanent residents.

For adoptions finalized in the United States: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your new child to acquire American citizenship automatically when the court in the United States issues the final adoption decree.

*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible. Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting.

Learn more about the Child Citizenship Act.

Traveling Abroad

APPLYING FOR YOUR U.S. PASSPORT

A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Egypt. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print-all in one place.

OBTAINING YOUR VISA

In addition to a U.S. passport, you also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. Where required, visas are attached to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation.

To find information about obtaining a visa for Egypt, see the Department of State's Country Specific Information.

STAYING SAFE ON YOUR TRIP

Before you travel, it's always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The State Department is a good place to start.

The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

STAYING IN TOUCH ON YOUR TRIP

When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to register your trip with the Department of State. Travel registration makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there's a family emergency in the United States, or a crisis in Egypt registration assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Registration is free and can be done online.

After Adoption

What does Egypt require of the adoptive parents after the adoption?

The Ministry of Social Affairs conducts regularly scheduled visits after the fostering of the child to determine whether the foster parents are able to care for the child properly. However, if parents are planning to travel to the United States, they should discuss the possibility of waiving the visit requirements.

We strongly urge you to comply with the wish of Egypt and complete all post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to that country's history of positive experiences with American parents.

What resources are available to assist families after the adoption?

Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family -- whether it's another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.

Here are some good places to start your support group search:

Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents.

Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Egypt
Address: Consular Section, IV Unit
Embassy of the United States of America
5 Tawfik Diab Street
Garden City, Cairo
Egypt
Tel: +(202) 2797-2200 or +(202) 2797-2201
Fax: +(202) 2797-2472
Email: ConsularCairoIV@state.gov or ConsularCairoACS@state.gov
Internet: eg.usembassy.gov

Egypt's Adoption Authority 
Address: Ministry of Social Affairs
Main office: 19, AlMarghani Street, Agouza
Cairo, Egypt
Tel: +202-3761-8183 / +202-3337-5404

Embassy of Egypt 
Address: 3521 International Ct. N.W. Washington DC 20008
Tel: 202.895.5400
Fax: 202.244.4319 / 202.244.5131
Email:Embassy@egyptembassy.net
Internet: http://www.egyptembassy.net

*EGYPT also has consulates in: New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Houston.

Office of Children's Issues
U.S. Department of State  
CA/OCS/CI  
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Tel: 1-888-407-4747
E-mail: AskCI@state.gov
Internet: http://adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) 
For questions about immigration procedures, call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC)

1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)

  • Visa Classifications
  • General Documents | Birth, Death, Burial Certificates | Marriage, Divorce Certificates
  • Adoption Certificates | Identity Card | Police, Court, Prison Records | Military Records
  • Passports & Other Travel Documents | Other Records | Visa Issuing Posts | Visa Services
Classifications
Visa Classifications

Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 60 Months
A-2 None Multiple 60 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 24 Months
B-1 None Multiple 60 Months
B-2 None Multiple 60 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 60 Months
C-1 None Multiple 60 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 60 Months
C-2 None Multiple 12 Months
C-3 None Multiple 60 Months
D None Multiple 60 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 None One 3 Months
F-1 None Multiple 60 Months
F-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-1 None Multiple 60 Months
G-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-3 None One 60 Months
G-4 None Multiple 60 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 24 Months
H-1B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2A None N/A N/A3
H-2B None N/A N/A3
H-2R None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
I None Multiple 60 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 60 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 60 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 None Multiple 60 Months
L-2 None Multiple 60 Months
M-1 None Multiple 60 Months
M-2 None Multiple 60 Months
N-8 None Multiple 60 Months
N-9 None Multiple 60 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 15 Months
R-2 None Multiple 15 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8

Country Specific Footnotes

Enter text here.

Visa Category Footnotes
General Documents | Birth, Death, Burial Certificates | Marriage, Divorce Certificates
General Documents

There are no general documents

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates

Available

Fees: No fee for the first version that parents receive (green).  Computerized copy: 15 Egyptian Pounds (LE).  New English- Arabic translated certificate: 100 Egyptian Pounds (LE).

Document Name:  Birth Certificate

Issuing Authority: Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs / Ministry of Health and Population

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Arabic-language birth certificates fade (left to right) from teal to orange to red to teal. English-language birth certificates fade (left to right) from blue to purple to blue. Both Arabic and English-language birth certificates contain an official eagle stamp in the top left corner.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: The issuing authority is listed at the bottom of the document, under the title, “Medical Office.”

Registration Criteria: Once the birth has been registered with the appropriate Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs office, the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs office registers the information with the Ministry of Interior Civil Status Organization (CSO) in Cairo.  Births must be registered within 14 days.

Procedure for Obtaining: Egyptian birth certificates may be obtained from the local Public Health Office of the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs with jurisdiction over the place the birth occurred.

Certified Copies Available: Egyptians can obtain multiple prints of an original birth certificate from local CSO offices. Each print cost 7 Egyptian Pounds (LE).

Alternate Documents:  There are no alternate documents.

Exceptions: None

Comments: None

 

Death Certificates

Available

Fees: 15 Egyptian Pounds (LE)

Document Name:  Death Certificate

Issuing Authority:  Death certificates are generally issued by the Ministry of Public Health.

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Death certificates contain an official eagle stamp.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: There is no issuing authority personnel title.

Registration Criteria: When no suspicious circumstances exist, and depending on where a death occurred, individuals must go in person to a Ministry of Health office to register a death within 24 hours.  If the death occurred in a hospital, the individual – generally a family member – will obtain all requisite paperwork for registration of a death with the Ministry of Public Health from the hospital where the death occurred. If the death occurred outside a hospital, the individual will need to work with a doctor from the Ministry of Interior or Ministry of Public Health to confirm the death was of natural causes. Once the individual notifies the Ministry of Public Heath office of the death, the Ministry of Public Health will register the death in the Civil Status Organization (CSO) system. Thereafter, an electronic death certificate may be issued from any CSO office.

Procedure for Obtaining: Once a death has been properly registered with the CSO, an individual can go in person to any local CSO office to obtain an official death certificate.

Certified Copies Available: These certified copies are generally known as “electronic copies.” Certified electronic copies can be obtained from CSO.

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents.

Exceptions: None

Comments:  In cases of death under suspicious or potentially criminal circumstances, the Office of Forensic Medicine issues the death certificate. In order for the Office of Forensic Medicine to issue a death certificate for a death under suspicious circumstances, an autopsy must occur. After the autopsy is conducted, a doctor affiliated with the Ministry of Justice will initiate the process of registering the death with the Ministry of Justice and Office of Forensic Medicine.

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates

Traditional Muslim:

Available

Fees: The Maazoun (the government-appointed religious authority) will generally charge a fee to register the marriage with the CSO; these fees vary based on the Maazoun.

Document Name:  Marriage Certificate

Issuing Authority:  The Maazoun, then registered with the Civil Status Organization (CSO)

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There is no particular standard for marriage and divorce documents originally issued by the Maazoun. These documents are generally handwritten. However, after the Maazoun registers the marriage with CSO, CSO issues a standard form marriage certificate, both in Arabic and English language. The Arabic-language CSO-issued marriage certificate fades (from left to right) from purple, to green, to yellow to purple. The English language CSO-issued marriage certificate fades (from left to right) from purple to blue to purple. Both Arabic and English-language marriage certificates contain an official eagle stamps in the top left corner.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: The location in which the marriage was performed is listed in the third section of the marriage certificate. No particular issuing authority personnel title is listed.

Registration Criteria:  The Maazoun must first register the marriage with CSO, in order for CSO to issue official, standard-form marriage certificates.  If the Maazoun fails to register the marriage, the husband or wife can go to a local CSO office and request that their marriage be registered on the basis of the original, handwritten marriage certificate. Generally, however, CSO will require that the Maazoun take some action to register the marriage.

Procedure for Obtaining:  The Maazoun will provide husband and wife a copy of the handwritten marriage certificate.

Certified Copies Available: Available. These certified copies are generally known as “electronic copies.” Certified “electronic” copies can be obtained from CSO.

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents.

Exceptions: None

Comments: The handwritten certificate issued by the religious institution is not considered valid for immigration purposes. 

 

Traditional Christian or Other Religions:

Available

Fees: The priest will generally charge a fee to register the marriage with the CSO; these fees vary.

Document Name:  Marriage Certificate for Non-Muslims

Issuing Authority:  The Church (or other religious group), then registered with the Civil Status Organization (CSO)

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There is no particular standard for marriage and divorce documents originally issued by the Christian church or other religious institutions. These documents are generally handwritten. However, after the religious official registers the marriage with CSO, CSO issues a standard form marriage certificate.  The Arabic-language CSO-issued marriage certificate fades (from left to right) from purple, to green, to yellow to purple. The English language CSO-issued marriage certificate fades (from left to right) from purple to blue to purple. Both Arabic and English-language marriage certificates contain an official eagle stamps in the top left corner.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: The location in which the marriage was performed is listed in the third section of the marriage certificate. No particular issuing authority personnel title is listed, but they will note where the marriage took place, i.e. the name of the church.

Registration Criteria:  The church or other religious institution’s office must first register the marriage with CSO, in order for CSO to issue an official, standard-form marriage certificate.  If the religious official fails to register the marriage, the husband or wife can go to a local CSO office and request that their marriage be registered on the basis of the original, handwritten marriage certificate.  Generally, however, CSO will require that the church’s administrative office take some action to register the marriage.

Procedure for Obtaining:  The church office (or other religious intuition) will provide husband and wife a copy of the handwritten marriage certificate within two-three days, after obtaining the official stamps from the court.

Certified Copies Available: Available. These certified copies are generally known as “electronic copies.” Certified “electronic” copies can be obtained from CSO.

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents.

Exceptions: There are no exceptions.

Comments: The handwritten certificate issued by the religious institution is not considered valid for immigration purposes. 


Non-traditional:

Available:   There are three types of marriages that can be registered with the Ministry of Justice’s Real Estate and Publicity Department:

  • Egyptians to Foreigners
  • Foreigners to Foreigners
  • Orfi – A hidden contract between men and women, but not considered to be official.  However, you can legalize an Orfi marriage at the Ministry of Justice’s Real Estate and Publicity Department, and then register it with the CSO.
  • Remarriage of a previously divorced Christian (The church does not recognize divorce.  If a Christian is divorced, the church does not recognize a marriage subsequent to that divorce.  Consequently, a Christian must obtain a divorce order from a court, and if the Christian remarries at a later late, the Christian must do so in the court.)

Fees: 15 Egyptian Pounds (LE)

Document Name:  Marriage certificate

Issuing Authority:  Ministry of Justice’s Real Estate and Publicity Department, CSO

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: The Arabic-language CSO-issued marriage certificate fades (from left to right) from purple, to green, to yellow to purple. The English language CSO-issued marriage certificate fades (from left to right) from purple to blue to purple. Both Arabic and English-language marriage certificates contain an official eagle stamp in the top left corner.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title:  The location in which the marriage was performed is listed in the third section of the marriage certificate. No particular issuing authority personnel title is listed.

Registration Criteria: The Ministry of Justice court representative who conducts the marriage is responsible for registering the marriage with CSO.

Procedure for Obtaining: The husband and wife can go together in person to a local Ministry of Justice office in order be married before a representative of the court. The representative of the court will then issue a marriage certificate.

Certified Copies Available: Available. These certified copies are generally known as “electronic copies.” Certified “electronic” copies can be obtained from CSO.

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents.

Exceptions: None

Comments: Egyptians and/or foreigners should, but are not required, to register non-traditional marriages with the CSO.  Occasionally, the Ministry of Justice automatically forwards marriages conducted under its authorities to the CSO for registration.

 

Divorce Certificates

Available

Fees:  The Maazoun (the government issued religious authority) will generally charge a fee to register the divorce with the CSO; these fees vary based on the Maazoun.

Document Name:   Divorce Certificate

Issuing Authority:  Maazoun, Ministry of Justice  (in the case of non-traditional divorces otherwise prohibited by the religious authority), CSO

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  The Arabic-language CSO-issued divorce certificate fades (from left to right) from orange to green to orange.  The divorce certificate contains an official eagle stamps in the top left corner.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title:  The issuing officer will stamp his name in the bottom left corner of the divorce certificate. The issuing officer’s number is located just above the bottom rectangle of the certificate.

Registration Criteria:

  • In cases where religious institutions permit divorce, once the appropriate Maazoun registers a divorce, the Maazoun is responsible for registering the divorce with CSO. Once the Maazoun has done so, CSO may issue an electronic divorce certificate.
  • In cases where religious institutions do not permit divorce, Egyptians may obtain a divorce decree from the Ministry of Justice. Once this divorce decree is obtained, an Egyptian may register this divorce with the CSO.  

Procedure for Obtaining: Once the divorce has been registered, the husband, wife, or lawyer representing either the husband or wife can go in person to the local CSO office to obtain a certificate or “electronic copy” of the certificate from CSO.

Certified Copies Available:  Available. These certified copies are generally known as “electronic copies.” Certified “electronic” copies can be obtained from CSO.

Alternate Documents:  There are no alternate documents.

Exceptions: None

Comments: None

Adoption Certificates | Identity Card | Police, Court, Prison Records | Military Records
Adoption Certificates

Unavailable: Adoption is illegal in Egypt.

Identity Card

Available

Fees:  20 Egyptian Pounds (LE)

Document Name:  National ID Card

Issuing Authority:  CSO is responsible for issuing national identification cards. Egyptians can obtain an ID card at age 16.  National ID cards are issued and delivered within three weeks of application.

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  National ID card is two-sided. The front side is primarily blue and tan in color, with the image of the Giza Pyramids and Sphinx printed to the center right of the card. National ID holder’s picture is in the top left corner of the card. The eagle seal is laser-engraved at the bottom left of the card. The back of the card contains three images: in the top right foreground is the image of an eagle, in the top left foreground is an image of a statute of King Tut, and in the center background is an image of multiple ancient Egyptian figures. The back of the card is primarily yellow in color, and contains the marital status, religion, and profession of the ID holder. If married, a female Egyptian national’s ID card contains the name of her husband on the back of the card. The barcode is printed across the bottom of the card.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title:  There is no issuing authority personnel title.

Registration Criteria:  There are no registration criteria.

Procedure for Obtaining:  

  • Egyptian nationals must present a birth certificate.
  • Egyptian students must have their application certified with a stamp from the Ministry of Education.
  • All other Egyptians must have their application certified with a stamp from the Social Security Office.

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are not available.

Alternate Documents:  There are no alternate documents.

Exceptions:  There are no exceptions.

Comments:

  • An Egyptian can only obtain a national ID card from the CSO in Egypt.  They cannot be issued by Egyptian Embassies overseas.
  • The ID card contains the same national identification number as the birth certificate. This national identification number remains the same if the bearer renews the card.
  • The validity period of an identity card is seven years.
  • Information from the registry is accessible via CSO intranet and by authorized Ministry of Interior officials.
  • National ID cards are only issued in Arabic.

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Certificates

Available:  Both Egyptians and foreigners, who were born in, permanently reside in, or have resided in Egypt in the past may obtain police certificates.

Fees: There are no fees.

Document Name:   “Criminal Status Records.”

Issuing Authority:  Police stations throughout Egypt

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  The police certificate is a white document with the record-holder’s photo in the top left corner and fingerprints in the bottom center of the document. Some police certificates, depending on date of issuance, are a faint red or green color. If police records exist for the individual, these records will be printed on the backside of the document. If police records do not exist for the individual, “no record” will be printed on the front side of the document.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title:  There is no issuing authority personnel title.

Registration Criteria:  There are no registration criteria.

Procedure for Obtaining:  In order to obtain a criminal status record certificate, an Egyptian must present a national ID card.

  • These records are normally issued between one and five working days of the date of request.
  • An Egyptian applying for a police certificate abroad must apply at the nearest Egyptian Embassy’s Consular Section. At the Egyptian Embassy, a Consular Officer will fingerprint the applicant, and then forward his/her application to the Ministry of Interior in Cairo. Upon completion of processing, the police certificate is sent to the applicant. This procedure usually involves considerable delay; nonetheless, they are available to Egyptians living abroad, and they will ultimately be issued upon request.

Certified Copies Available:  Certified copies are not available.

Alternate Documents:  There are no alternate documents.

Exceptions:  None

Comments:  

  • Criminal status records certificates are only valid for three months from the date of issuance.
  • The certificate will indicate whether the applicant has served prison time. The certificate will not, however, indicate whether an individual has been arrested, detained or convicted of any crimes not resulting in imprisonment.

 

Court/Prison Records

Available: Egyptians can obtain court records using the same process Egyptians would use to obtain police certificates.

Military Records

Available

Fees: There are no fees.

Document Name:   Military Records

Issuing Authority: Ministry of Defense

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  The documents vary dependent on where they are issued and what entity within the Ministry of Defense issues them; however, all documents will contain an eagle stamp.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title:  There is no issuing authority personnel title.

Registration Criteria:  There are no registration criteria.

Procedure for Obtaining: There is no particular procedure for obtaining military records; the process varies considerably.

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are not available.

Alternate Documents:  Military Exemption from service records.

Exceptions: None

Comments:  Egyptians can obtain both records of military service or records of any exemptions from service.

Passports & Other Travel Documents | Other Records | Visa Issuing Posts | Visa Services
Passports & Other Travel Documents

Types Available:   Regular, Diplomatic, Official and Service Passports

Fees:  The fee associated with first-time issuance of an Egyptian passport is 120 Egyptian Pounds (LE).

  • There is a 40 Egyptian Pounds (LE) renewal fee, if one renews an Egyptian passport before it expires.
  • Egyptians must pay this fee in person at the Immigration Office.
  • If you do not have a university degree, profession, or spouse (information typically listed on the passport), you must pay a 400 Egyptian Pounds (LE) guarantee to the bank and take the receipt to the Immigration Office.

Document Name:  Passport

Issuing Government Authority:  The Ministry of Interior prints all passports. The Ministry of Interior issues passports to Egyptians living within Egypt. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues passports to Egyptians living abroad. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues all diplomatic, official and service passports for Egyptians, regardless of where those Egyptians live.

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: All passports, regardless of type, have a green cover. Egyptian passports issued during or after 2015 are the same size as U.S. passports, whereas older Egyptian passports – those printed prior to 2015 - are larger. Current Egyptian passports do not break down names by Surname/Given Name. For visa purposes, Mission Cairo’s convention is to use the very last name in the “Full Name” section of Egyptian passports as the Surname and the rest of the name, however long, as the Given Name.  In the background of the biodata page, there are multiple images (from left to right, top to bottom): a falcon, a lotus flower, multiple eagles, and a band of lotus flowers, Giza Pyramids with “Arabic Republic of Egypt” underneath, and a sun disk containing a pharaonic eye.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title:  Only the issuing office’s assigned numerical code appears on the biodata page of the Egyptian passport.

Registration Criteria:  There are no registration criteria.

Procedure for Obtaining:  Forms to request Egyptian passports or other travel documents are available free of charge at the Egyptian Immigration Office.

In order to obtain a passport, applicants must present a valid national ID card.

  • Applicants must present original documents to validate the information contained in the Egyptian passport biographical page, such as documents verifying the applicant’s profession or employment and a marriage certificate if the applicant applies for an Egyptian passport after marriage.
  • Children under 16 years old at the time of application must present an original birth certificate.

Only the father can obtain a passport for his children.

  • In some limited instances, the mother can obtain a passport for her children, if she has the father’s permission or is able to present court orders documenting a divorce.

Alternate Documents:

  • Palestinian Travel Documents: Egypt also issues travel documents for Palestinians.  These documents are generally light blue in color. However, this travel document does not guarantee Palestinians may enter or reside in Egypt.

Exceptions:  There are no exceptions.

Comments:

  • The process for Egyptian nationals living abroad to obtain an Egyptian passport is as follows:
  • Egyptian Embassies may accept passport applications, and will process these applications by sending them to the main Immigration Office in Cairo. The Immigration Office will then verify the information contained in the applicant’s forms. If the passport is issuable, the Immigration Office will print the passport, and then send the passport to the relevant Egyptian Embassy.  The Egyptian Embassy will deliver the passport to the applicant.
  • Generally, passports are issued and delivered within three working days.
  • Passports are valid for a period of seven years.
  • If information contained in the biographical page of one’s Egyptian passport must be updated or otherwise changed, one must apply for a new passport.
  • Egyptian citizens may only possess one valid, regular passport at one time. When a new passport is issued, the old passport is cancelled in the Immigration Office’s records system even if the old passport had not yet expired. There is one exception to the prohibition of carrying multiple valid passports at one time: officials or diplomats may carry both an official and a regular passport at the same time.

Other Records

Not applicable.

Visa Issuing Posts

Post Title:   US Embassy  Cairo

Address:   

Consular Section, IV Unit
5 Tawfik Diab Street
Garden City, Cairo
Egypt

Phone Number:   (20-2) 2797 3300

Visa Services

All visa categories for all of Egypt.