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International Travel

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Country Information

Egypt

Country Information

Egypt
Arab Republic of Egypt
Last Updated: January 17, 2017

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens to consider the risks of travel to Egypt due to threats from terrorist and violent political opposition groups. This replaces the Travel Warning issued on December 23, 2016. A number of terrorist groups, in

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens to consider the risks of travel to Egypt due to threats from terrorist and violent political opposition groups. This replaces the Travel Warning issued on December 23, 2016. A number of terrorist groups, including ISIS, have committed multiple deadly attacks in Egypt, targeting government officials and security forces, public venues, tourist sites, civil aviation and other modes of public transportation, and a diplomatic facility. Terrorists continue to threaten Egypt’s religious minorities and have attacked sites and people associated with the Egyptian Coptic Church.

Terrorist attacks can occur anywhere in the country, including major metropolitan areas. In early May, ISIS media threatened that places associated with Westerners, Christians, the Egyptian military or police, and Egyptian government facilities could be struck at any time. The northeastern Sinai Peninsula remains a particularly dangerous area, with frequent attacks on security forces and civilians. There are also reports of attacks on security forces in Egypt’s Western Desert, the large, mostly uninhabited area west of the Nile Valley, and in Egypt’s border areas. The Egyptian Military frequently conducts counterterrorism operations in these areas.

For security reasons, U.S. Mission personnel are prohibited from traveling to the Western Desert and the Sinai Peninsula. Overland travel is not allowed anywhere in the Sinai Peninsula, but U.S. Mission personnel are permitted to travel to and from Sharm El-Sheikh by air. Mission personnel are prohibited from visiting religious sites outside greater Cairo.

The Egyptian Government maintains a heavy security presence at major tourist sites in and around greater Cairo and Alexandria; at Sharm el-Sheikh, Hurghada, Marsa Alam and other beach resorts on the Red Sea and the Mediterranean coast; and at many of the major temples and archaeological sites located in and around the Nile Valley cities of Luxor and Aswan, including Abu Simbel.

Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or in the vicinity of Egypt, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR). For further background information regarding FAA flight advisories and prohibitions for U.S. civil aviation, U.S. citizens should consult Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

For further detailed information and assistance:

  • See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Egypt.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. 
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Egypt. For non-emergency inquiries, U.S. citizens may send an email to the American Citizens Services Unit at consularcairoacs@state.gov. For emergencies during and after business hours and on weekends and holidays, U.S. citizens can contact the Embassy Duty Officer via the Embassy switchboard at +20-2-2797-3300. The Embassy is located at 5 Tawfik Diab Street (formerly known as Latin America Street), Garden City, Cairo.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
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Embassy Messages

Cairo

 

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 

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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

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: AlexPA@fan.gov

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Destination Description

Egypt is a republic with a developing economy. It has extensive facilities for tourists. Read the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Egypt for additional information on U.S.-Egypt relations.

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Passport and Visas:

  • You 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 35 USD.
  • 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.
  • 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 you don’t get one prior to arrival, you may either apply for a no-fee, 14-day visa that is only valid for travel within the Sinai, 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.
  • The U.S. Embassy in Cairo temporarily has prohibited its personnel from traveling anywhere in the Sinai Peninsula pending the results of the investigation into the October 31 downing of a Russian commercial airliner.

Gaza:

  • Currently, this border crossing is closed and the government of Egypt has not stated when it will reopen.
  • Should it reopen, 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 in any way provide assistance to cross to and from Gaza.
  • Travelers to Gaza from Egypt should read the Travel Warning for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.

Diplomatic and Official Passports:

  • Holders of these passports are required, without exception, to have visas before arrival in Egypt, irrespective of the purpose of their trip.
  •  Holders of official or diplomatic passports who arrive without visas will not be granted admission to Egypt under any circumstance, including when travel is of a personal nature.
  • Travelers arriving at an Egyptian airport 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 for the most current visa information.

Medical Requirements

  • If you plan to stay in Egypt for more than 30 days for work or study, you are required to have an HIV test.
  • U.S. citizens arriving from an area that has been infected with yellow fever will need to provide proof of immunizations/
  • U.S. citizens arriving from an area affected by Ebola may be subject to quarantine.
  • 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 you attempt to depart Egypt after the expiration of your visa, you may be required to pay a fine at the airport. Ensure that you 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.

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Safety and Security

The Department of State issued a Travel Warning in late December 2016 for U.S. citizens considering travel to Egypt. There are a number of extremist organizations, including the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), operating in Egypt. Over the past two years, terrorist attacks have targeted Egyptian government and security forces, public venues, including tourist sites, civil aviation and other modes of public transportation, and a diplomatic facility. Terrorist incidents have also occurred in the Western Desert, the large, mostly isolated area west of greater Cairo and the Nile Valley, including in the vicinity of various oasis towns visited by tourists. Terrorist organizations are also active in the northeastern Sinai Peninsula, particularly in the area bordering Gaza. While terrorists primarily target police, military and government officials, civilians have been killed and injured in attacks.

On December 11, a suicide bomber killed dozens of civilians in a church adjacent to the main Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo. This incident followed two roadside bombings targeting police officers on December 9, one that killed six police officers on a major road that leads to the Giza Pyramids, and a second that killed a civilian and injured three policeman in the Kafr el-Sheik Governorate in the Nile Delta. 

The Egyptian government maintains a heavy security presence at major tourist destinations and archaeological sites, especially the beach resort of Sharm El-Sheikh in the southern Sinai Peninsula and other resort towns, and the many temples and historical sites located in and around Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, Aswan, and Abu Simbel.   

Political protests can occur without warning anywhere in Egypt. These protests can result in clashes with police and security forces and should be avoided. 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.

Restricted Areas:

  • The U.S. Mission in Egypt restricts its employees and their family members from traveling outside of greater Cairo and Alexandria without prior approval and advises all U.S. citizens to carefully consider the security implications of travel outside of greater Cairo, Alexandria, and major tourist destinations.
  • U.S. Mission personnel are prohibited from traveling anywhere in the Sinai Peninsula with the exception of the beach resort of Sharm El-Sheikh; travel to Sharm El-Sheikh is only permitted by air. Mission personnel are also prohibited from traveling anywhere in the Western Desert.
  • 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.
  • 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 off paved roads.
  • The highest 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.
  • Harassment can occur anywhere, but particularly serious incidents have occurred at demonstrations.
  • Tourists should be alert to being overcharged for various services and for being victimized in scams common to tourist destinations world-wide. See International Financial Scams for more information.
  • Tourists should expect to encounter aggressive vendors at Egypt’s 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.

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, we 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:

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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: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you 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 U.S., 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.

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. 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.

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

LGBTI Travelers:  The laws in Egypt do not explicitly criminalize same-sex sexual activity, but LGBT persons have been arrested on charges such as “debauchery,” “prostitution,” and “violating the teachings of religion,” providing for prison sentences of up to ten years. Reports of such arrests have increased in recent years. Gay men and lesbians faced significant social stigma and discrimination in society. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 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 exist, but motorists have the right of way and pedestrians should exercise extreme caution.

Students: See our 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 our 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 our travel tips for Women Travelers.
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Health

Insurance:  Make sure your health insurance plan covers you when you are outside of the United States.

  • We cannot pay your medical bills.
  • U.S. Medicare does not pay overseas.
  • Doctors and hospitals often expect cash payment for health services.  
  • We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation, since medical transport out of the country can be prohibitively expensive or logistically impossible. 
  • See our 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 of uncertain qualification. Hospital facilities in Luxor and Aswan are inadequate, and they are nonexistent 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 many 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: Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription

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

Further Health Information:   

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Travel and 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, and disabled vehicles without lights or 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. Trains are a particularly unsafe means of transportation, with regular accidents that sometimes involve mass casualties and Embassy personnel are prohibited from traveling by train.

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.

Carjackings have occasionally been reported. While generally occurring during late night or early morning hours, carjackings can also occur in the middle of the day. Carjackings have been reported by Egyptians, foreign private sector personnel, and the diplomatic community. In most cases, perpetrators target newer sport utility vehicles, sometimes with the intent to extract a ransom from the owner. Other instances suggest that perpetrators target transport vehicles in order to steal cargo. Recent incidents suggest that the best response to ensure one’s personal safety is to surrender the vehicle immediately. Reports have not indicated that any violence or harm has come to those victims who posed no resistance. 

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.

Aviation Security Enhancements: The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), in consultation with relevant Departments and Agencies, has determined it is prudent to enhance security, to include airport security procedures for passengers departing from 10 airports, including Cairo International Airport, to the United States. These enhancements will require that all personal electronic devices (PED) larger than a cell phone or smart phone be placed in checked baggage. For more information, please contact your air carrier or visit the Department of Homeland Security website.  

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
No
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
No
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
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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

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: AlexPA@fan.gov

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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.

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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.

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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: AskCI@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. 

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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.

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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.

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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. 

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
No
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
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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.

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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.
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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.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
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
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Country Specific Footnotes

Enter text here.

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Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

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General Documents

Please check back for update.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth

Available. May be obtained from the appropriate Public Health Office of the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs having jurisdiction over the locality in which the birth occurred.

Note: The registration of births of foreign nationals with the Egyptian authorities has been compulsory since 1912, but in many cases the requirements have not been complied with. Birth certificates issued by the Egyptian authorities are, therefore, not always obtainable in such cases. The Mixed Courts in Egypt were abolished on October 14, 1949.

Death/Burial

Available. Death Certificates are issued exclusively by the civil authorities (Ministry of Public Health) and may be obtained upon application.

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage

Available. Foreigners of the same religious denomination (all Christians are considered of the same denomination) and same nationality may receive their certificates from the ecclesiastical authority performing the marriage, without regard to the local authorities. Egyptians and all other couples having different religious denominations must apply to the Office of the Shahr el Akari, 14 Sharia Mahdy, Exbekieh, Cairo for a marriage certificate, either by mail or personally.

Divorce

Unavailable.

Adoption Certificates

Unavailable.

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Identity Card

Unavailable.

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

Available. Police certificates are obtainable by both Egyptians and non-Egyptians who were born in, or who permanently reside, or have resided in Egypt. The Police Certificate, called a "Criminal Status Record" (Saheefat al Hala al Gina'iyya), may be obtained upon application to the police station nearest the applicant's place of residence in Egypt, and normally takes between one and five working days. Applicants are fingerprinted on the reverse side of the application form. The certificate will indicate if the applicant has served prison time, but will not indicate detentions, arrests or convictions without imprisonment. An applicant abroad must apply to the nearest Egyptian consular officer who will fingerprint them and forward their applications to the Ministry of Interior, Cairo. Upon completion, the report is sent to the applicant. The latter procedure usually involves considerable delay. Since the certificates are eventually issued, they must be considered available.

Court Records

Unavailable.

Prison Records

[See Police Certificate]

Military Records

Available. May be obtained from the Department of Recruitment, Ministry of War, Cairo.

Passports & Other Travel Documents

A Laissez-Passer is valid only if it contains a reentry visa valid for six months beyond the applicant's intended stay.

Other Records

Not applicable.

Visa Issuing Posts

Cairo, Egypt (Embassy)

Mailing Address:(from the U.S.)
Consular Section
Unit 64900
Box 15
APO AE 09839-4900

Within Egypt or a third country:
8 Kamal ed-Din Salah Street
Garden City, Cairo

Tel: (Embassy) (20) (2) 797-3300

Visa Services

All visa categories for all of Egypt.

Note: Cairo will act as a temporary issuing post for IV and Visas 92 applicants who are nationals of Eritrea.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

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

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Cairo
Consular Section 5
Tawfik Diab Street
Garden City, Cairo
Egypt
Telephone
+(20) 2-2797-3300
Emergency
+(20) 2-2797-3300
Fax
+(20) 2-2797-2472
Egypt Country Map

Learn about your destination
Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

Country Information

Egypt
Arab Republic of Egypt
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Embassy Messages

Cairo

 

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 

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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

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: AlexPA@fan.gov

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Destination Description

Egypt is a republic with a developing economy. It has extensive facilities for tourists. Read the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Egypt for additional information on U.S.-Egypt relations.

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Passport and Visas:

  • You 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 35 USD.
  • 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.
  • 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 you don’t get one prior to arrival, you may either apply for a no-fee, 14-day visa that is only valid for travel within the Sinai, 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.
  • The U.S. Embassy in Cairo temporarily has prohibited its personnel from traveling anywhere in the Sinai Peninsula pending the results of the investigation into the October 31 downing of a Russian commercial airliner.

Gaza:

  • Currently, this border crossing is closed and the government of Egypt has not stated when it will reopen.
  • Should it reopen, 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 in any way provide assistance to cross to and from Gaza.
  • Travelers to Gaza from Egypt should read the Travel Warning for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.

Diplomatic and Official Passports:

  • Holders of these passports are required, without exception, to have visas before arrival in Egypt, irrespective of the purpose of their trip.
  •  Holders of official or diplomatic passports who arrive without visas will not be granted admission to Egypt under any circumstance, including when travel is of a personal nature.
  • Travelers arriving at an Egyptian airport 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 for the most current visa information.

Medical Requirements

  • If you plan to stay in Egypt for more than 30 days for work or study, you are required to have an HIV test.
  • U.S. citizens arriving from an area that has been infected with yellow fever will need to provide proof of immunizations/
  • U.S. citizens arriving from an area affected by Ebola may be subject to quarantine.
  • 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 you attempt to depart Egypt after the expiration of your visa, you may be required to pay a fine at the airport. Ensure that you 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.

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Safety and Security

The Department of State issued a Travel Warning in late December 2016 for U.S. citizens considering travel to Egypt. There are a number of extremist organizations, including the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), operating in Egypt. Over the past two years, terrorist attacks have targeted Egyptian government and security forces, public venues, including tourist sites, civil aviation and other modes of public transportation, and a diplomatic facility. Terrorist incidents have also occurred in the Western Desert, the large, mostly isolated area west of greater Cairo and the Nile Valley, including in the vicinity of various oasis towns visited by tourists. Terrorist organizations are also active in the northeastern Sinai Peninsula, particularly in the area bordering Gaza. While terrorists primarily target police, military and government officials, civilians have been killed and injured in attacks.

On December 11, a suicide bomber killed dozens of civilians in a church adjacent to the main Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo. This incident followed two roadside bombings targeting police officers on December 9, one that killed six police officers on a major road that leads to the Giza Pyramids, and a second that killed a civilian and injured three policeman in the Kafr el-Sheik Governorate in the Nile Delta. 

The Egyptian government maintains a heavy security presence at major tourist destinations and archaeological sites, especially the beach resort of Sharm El-Sheikh in the southern Sinai Peninsula and other resort towns, and the many temples and historical sites located in and around Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, Aswan, and Abu Simbel.   

Political protests can occur without warning anywhere in Egypt. These protests can result in clashes with police and security forces and should be avoided. 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.

Restricted Areas:

  • The U.S. Mission in Egypt restricts its employees and their family members from traveling outside of greater Cairo and Alexandria without prior approval and advises all U.S. citizens to carefully consider the security implications of travel outside of greater Cairo, Alexandria, and major tourist destinations.
  • U.S. Mission personnel are prohibited from traveling anywhere in the Sinai Peninsula with the exception of the beach resort of Sharm El-Sheikh; travel to Sharm El-Sheikh is only permitted by air. Mission personnel are also prohibited from traveling anywhere in the Western Desert.
  • 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.
  • 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 off paved roads.
  • The highest 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.
  • Harassment can occur anywhere, but particularly serious incidents have occurred at demonstrations.
  • Tourists should be alert to being overcharged for various services and for being victimized in scams common to tourist destinations world-wide. See International Financial Scams for more information.
  • Tourists should expect to encounter aggressive vendors at Egypt’s 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.

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, we 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:

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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: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you 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 U.S., 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.

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. 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.

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

LGBTI Travelers:  The laws in Egypt do not explicitly criminalize same-sex sexual activity, but LGBT persons have been arrested on charges such as “debauchery,” “prostitution,” and “violating the teachings of religion,” providing for prison sentences of up to ten years. Reports of such arrests have increased in recent years. Gay men and lesbians faced significant social stigma and discrimination in society. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 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 exist, but motorists have the right of way and pedestrians should exercise extreme caution.

Students: See our 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 our 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 our travel tips for Women Travelers.
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Health

Insurance:  Make sure your health insurance plan covers you when you are outside of the United States.

  • We cannot pay your medical bills.
  • U.S. Medicare does not pay overseas.
  • Doctors and hospitals often expect cash payment for health services.  
  • We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation, since medical transport out of the country can be prohibitively expensive or logistically impossible. 
  • See our 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 of uncertain qualification. Hospital facilities in Luxor and Aswan are inadequate, and they are nonexistent 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 many 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: Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription

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

Further Health Information:   

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Travel and 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, and disabled vehicles without lights or 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. Trains are a particularly unsafe means of transportation, with regular accidents that sometimes involve mass casualties and Embassy personnel are prohibited from traveling by train.

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.

Carjackings have occasionally been reported. While generally occurring during late night or early morning hours, carjackings can also occur in the middle of the day. Carjackings have been reported by Egyptians, foreign private sector personnel, and the diplomatic community. In most cases, perpetrators target newer sport utility vehicles, sometimes with the intent to extract a ransom from the owner. Other instances suggest that perpetrators target transport vehicles in order to steal cargo. Recent incidents suggest that the best response to ensure one’s personal safety is to surrender the vehicle immediately. Reports have not indicated that any violence or harm has come to those victims who posed no resistance. 

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.

Aviation Security Enhancements: The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), in consultation with relevant Departments and Agencies, has determined it is prudent to enhance security, to include airport security procedures for passengers departing from 10 airports, including Cairo International Airport, to the United States. These enhancements will require that all personal electronic devices (PED) larger than a cell phone or smart phone be placed in checked baggage. For more information, please contact your air carrier or visit the Department of Homeland Security website.  

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
No
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
No
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
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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

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: AlexPA@fan.gov

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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.

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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.

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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: AskCI@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. 

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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.

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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.

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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. 

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
No
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
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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.

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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.
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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.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
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
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Country Specific Footnotes

Enter text here.

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Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

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General Documents

Please check back for update.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth

Available. May be obtained from the appropriate Public Health Office of the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs having jurisdiction over the locality in which the birth occurred.

Note: The registration of births of foreign nationals with the Egyptian authorities has been compulsory since 1912, but in many cases the requirements have not been complied with. Birth certificates issued by the Egyptian authorities are, therefore, not always obtainable in such cases. The Mixed Courts in Egypt were abolished on October 14, 1949.

Death/Burial

Available. Death Certificates are issued exclusively by the civil authorities (Ministry of Public Health) and may be obtained upon application.

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage

Available. Foreigners of the same religious denomination (all Christians are considered of the same denomination) and same nationality may receive their certificates from the ecclesiastical authority performing the marriage, without regard to the local authorities. Egyptians and all other couples having different religious denominations must apply to the Office of the Shahr el Akari, 14 Sharia Mahdy, Exbekieh, Cairo for a marriage certificate, either by mail or personally.

Divorce

Unavailable.

Adoption Certificates

Unavailable.

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Identity Card

Unavailable.

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

Available. Police certificates are obtainable by both Egyptians and non-Egyptians who were born in, or who permanently reside, or have resided in Egypt. The Police Certificate, called a "Criminal Status Record" (Saheefat al Hala al Gina'iyya), may be obtained upon application to the police station nearest the applicant's place of residence in Egypt, and normally takes between one and five working days. Applicants are fingerprinted on the reverse side of the application form. The certificate will indicate if the applicant has served prison time, but will not indicate detentions, arrests or convictions without imprisonment. An applicant abroad must apply to the nearest Egyptian consular officer who will fingerprint them and forward their applications to the Ministry of Interior, Cairo. Upon completion, the report is sent to the applicant. The latter procedure usually involves considerable delay. Since the certificates are eventually issued, they must be considered available.

Court Records

Unavailable.

Prison Records

[See Police Certificate]

Military Records

Available. May be obtained from the Department of Recruitment, Ministry of War, Cairo.

Passports & Other Travel Documents

A Laissez-Passer is valid only if it contains a reentry visa valid for six months beyond the applicant's intended stay.

Other Records

Not applicable.

Visa Issuing Posts

Cairo, Egypt (Embassy)

Mailing Address:(from the U.S.)
Consular Section
Unit 64900
Box 15
APO AE 09839-4900

Within Egypt or a third country:
8 Kamal ed-Din Salah Street
Garden City, Cairo

Tel: (Embassy) (20) (2) 797-3300

Visa Services

All visa categories for all of Egypt.

Note: Cairo will act as a temporary issuing post for IV and Visas 92 applicants who are nationals of Eritrea.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

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

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Cairo
Consular Section 5
Tawfik Diab Street
Garden City, Cairo
Egypt
Telephone
+(20) 2-2797-3300
Emergency
+(20) 2-2797-3300
Fax
+(20) 2-2797-2472
Egypt Country Map

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Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.