As a US citizen, it does not matter your reason for traveling to Egypt, you will need a visa one way or another. Of course, this comes with a few exceptions. For instance, if you intend to visit a few resorts that are located along the Sinai Peninsula, you may not be required to produce a visa. Some of the notable resorts in Egypt where you can stay without necessarily producing a visa include Dahab, Nuweiba, Sharm El Sheikh, and Taba. Upon arrival, you are issued with a free entry stamp. You can stay up to 15 days without a visa.
Interestingly though, you will not be allowed to explore the rest of Egypt without producing a visa. So, your stay will only be confined to these resorts, which means you will be missing out on quite a lot of the country’s majestic landscape, rich historical heritage, and enchanting beaches.
All in all, as a US citizen, your best bet is to get a visit if you intend to explore every corner of this beautiful country.
Also, US citizens may not be required to have a transit visa for layovers not exceeding 48 hours. Within this duration, you will actually be able to leave the airport and travel freely.
What Are The Visa Options?
There are two main visa options for US citizens traveling to Egypt:
Tourist Visa – This is a visa you apply for if you wish to explore Egypt for the sole purpose of traveling and taking in the sights. As expected, holders of tourist visa will not be required to engage in any form of work, be it gainful employment or as a volunteer. This visa can be obtained from a consulate or embassy as well as online. Even better, you can apply it on arrival.
Business Visa – This is a visa that is granted to those who wish to work in the country.
Student Visa – As the name implies, the visa applies to those who wish to pursue their studies in an institution based in Egypt. In order to be granted the visa, you should produce testimonials suggesting the institution from which you intend to pursue your education is aware of your intent to travel. In most cases, student visas are classified under tourist visas. Usually, you would enter the country on an average tourist visa and then proceed to the nearest police station so as to register your name and public address.
Basic Requirements for Applying For A US Visa
First, you will need to head to the official Egyptian embassy that is based in Washington DC. Alternatively, you can check into any of the 4 consulates based in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Houston.
Common requirements include a completed form as well as 2 recent passport-size photographs.
You will also be expected to produce a passport with no less than 6 months’ validity. The passport should also have a blank page.
You will be required to pay an application fee of USD 15 for both the single-entry and multiple-entry options.
In some cases, the immigration officials could schedule an interview where you shed more light on your intent for visiting Egypt.
Usually, typical applications take about 10 business days. When ready, you may collect it at the embassy or consulate where you applied, or have it delivered to you through the post.
If you choose to go the online way, you should ensure your passport has a validity of no less than 8 months.
You will pay USD 25 for single-entries and USD 60 for multiple-entries. Either can be paid through a credit or debit card. As soon as your visa is ready, the officials will send it to you via email in PDF format. You can proceed to verify its authenticity and then print it out. This visa will allow you to stay in the country up to a period of 30 days.
Egypt is one of the most permissive countries for US citizens. Why not make it part of your next vacation plans? And the best part is, getting an Egypt visa for US citizens is a less-rigorous process.