News report | | 09/10/2023 | ±5 minutes reading time

In June 2023, e-Visa.co.uk published an article on the easing of Egyptian visa policy intended to foster the recovery of the tourism sector after the Covid-19 pandemic. The aim was to simplify visa applications and to make visas accessible for more people. Due to a recent policy measure by the Egyptian authorities, however, the Egypt visa application has become more complex for Canadian travellers.

Egypt tourism recovery

In early 2011, Egypt was shaken by a revolution, followed by violent protests throughout the country that would eventually lead to the resignation of president Mubarak. In the years following these events, Egypt became less popular among tourists and business travellers. Over the past few years, the political situation has become more calm. Since all Covid-19 measures were lifted, tourists are returning to the country en masse. This year, Egypt is even well underway to welcoming a record number of 15 million tourists.

Over the past few years, the Egyptian authorities have attempted to boost its tourist industry by making the e-visa and the visa on arrival available to travellers from an increasing number of countries. Starting in 2022, travellers from more than 180 countries can apply for the Egypt e-visa. In addition, Egypt introduced a new multiple-entry visa with a validity of 5 years. This makes it even more remarkable that travelling to Egypt has recently been made more difficult for Canadians.

Change in visa policy as of 1 October 2023

What will change for Canadian travellers? Starting October 1st 2023, holders of a Canadian passport can no longer apply for an online visa before their departure to Egypt, nor can they apply a so-called visa on arrival at the destination airport. Both options will be abolished for Canadian travellers, which means that they will have to visit the Egyptian embassy or consulate in Canada to apply for their Egypt visas from there.

For a long time, it was uncertain what this would mean for Canadian travellers who applied for an e-visa for Egypt before 1 October 2023. Eventually, it was decided that Canadian travellers for whom this applies, could still use their e-visas to travel to Egypt during the visa’s validity term. Additionally, it was announced that Canadians of Egyptian descent can enter the country without a visa if they carry a valid Egyptian passport. Canadian travellers of Egyptian descent who do not hold an Egyptian passport now have two options:

  • They apply for a free visa at the Egypt embassy or consulate and use this visa in combination with their Canadian passport to travel to Egypt. The processing time for this visa is 5 working days and the visa is valid for 6 months. During this term, multiple visits to Egypt are allowed.
  • They apply for a certificate at the consulate or embassy of Egypt, which they can show upon arrival in Egypt to prove that they hold the Egyptian nationality. This certificate is issued the same day it is applied for, or the next working day in case of a postal application. Travellers can use the certificate in combination with their Canadian passport to travel to Egypt, where they will receive a stamp in their passport.

Reaction to travel restrictions for Egyptian travellers

The contents of an email drafted by the Egypt embassy in Ottawa reveal that the new restrictions are a response to previous measures by the Canadian government, which have made it more difficult for Egyptian travellers to obtain a visa for Canada. The Egyptian authorities claim to handle the ‘principle of reciprocity’, and maintain that the Canadian measures are an insult to the dignity of the state of Egypt.

Furthermore, Egyptian member of parliament, Ghada Ajami, notes that Egyptian travellers generally need to meet considerably stricter requirements to be allowed entry to western countries than the other way around. Moreover, she states, the measure is not a very exceptional one in a global comparison. Therefore, she does not expect it to negatively impact tourism, as countries with similar entry requirements, such as Canada itself, do not seem to suffer from it.

Uncertainty among Canadian travellers

The new restrictions have caused confusion and provoked anger among Canadian travellers planning to travel to Egypt and travel agencies which offer trips to the country. A lot will change for these travellers and organisations. All travellers from Canada, irrespective of where they live, now need to visit the embassy in Ottawa or the consulate in Montreal to apply for their visas. Although Canadian travellers can also apply by post, there is a lot of uncertainty as to the duration of such an application.

The interest group CATO (Canadian Association of Tour Operators) is anything but pleased with the new measure and believes Canadians will be discouraged from visiting Egypt due to the restrictions. Many customers are weary to complete their bookings or to make the payment for their accommodation. CATO has therefore petitioned the Egyptian authorities to reconsider the restrictions, and, at the very least, to offer an online application form.

Travellers from the UK are not affected

For travellers from the UK and continental Europe, everything will remain as-is. These travellers can simply submit an online application for the Egypt e-visa. An Egypt visa application through e-Visa.co.uk can be easily and quickly submitted using the online application form. The electronic visa for Egypt is issued by email within 11 days, on average. For an additional charge of £17.50 per visa, you can also opt for an urgent application, with an average delivery time of 5 days.

Apply for the Egypt e-visa now

e-Visa.co.uk is a commercial and professional visa agency, and supports travellers in obtaining, among others, the Egypt visa. e-Visa.co.uk acts as an intermediary and is in no way part of any government. You can also apply for a visa directly with the immigration service (25 USD per visa, via visa2egypt.gov.eg). However, not with our level of support. If you submit your application via e-Visa.co.uk, our support centre is available to you 24/7. In addition, we manually check your application and all the documents you provide before submitting it to the immigration authorities on your behalf. If we suspect any errors or omissions while doing so, we will personally contact you to ensure that your application can still be processed quickly and correctly. To use our services, you pay us 25 USD in consular fees, which we pay to the immigration service on your behalf, as well as £35.19 in service fees as compensation for our services, including VAT. Our services have saved many travellers from major problems during their trip. Should an application be rejected despite our support and verification, we will refund the full purchase price (unless an application for a previous Egypt visa was rejected for the same traveller). Read more about our services here.