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Egypt – Work Permits and Working Legally

Necessity of Work Permits for Expats in Egypt

Working legally in Egypt as an expat often requires obtaining a work permit, also known as a work visa. However, the necessity of a work permit depends on various factors, including your nationality, the type of work, and the duration of your stay in the country. In this article, we will explore the necessity of work permits for expats, who must make the application, exemptions, and other essential details related to working legally in Egypt.

Who Submits a Work Permit Application

In Egypt, the responsibility for submitting a work permit application typically falls on the employer who intends to hire the expat. The employer initiates the application process and provides the necessary documentation. However, the expat employee also plays a significant role by cooperating with their prospective employer, providing required information, and attending any necessary appointments or interviews.

It’s important for both the employer and the employee to understand the specific requirements and processes for obtaining a work permit in Egypt.

Exemptions from Work Permits

While work permits are generally required for expats working in Egypt, there are exemptions and special categories that may not necessitate a standard work permit. Some common exemptions and categories include:

  • Diplomatic Personnel: Diplomatic personnel and their family members, such as ambassadors and consuls, are often exempt from work permit requirements.
  • United Nations Personnel: Personnel working for the United Nations and its affiliated organizations may have exemptions from work permit requirements.
  • Specific Agreements: Some foreign nationals working on specific projects or under international agreements may be exempt from work permit requirements.

It is essential for expats to thoroughly research these exemptions and confirm their eligibility with the relevant Egyptian authorities or seek legal advice to ensure compliance with immigration regulations.

Types of Work Permits for Expats in Egypt

Egypt offers several types of work permits and visas to accommodate different categories of expat workers. The most common work permit categories include:


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  • Work Permit for Employees: This permit is typically issued to foreign nationals who have secured a job offer in Egypt from a local employer.
  • Investor Visa: Entrepreneurs and investors who plan to establish businesses in Egypt may apply for an investor visa.
  • Freelancer Work Permit: Individuals who work as freelancers or self-employed professionals may be eligible for a freelancer work permit.

Each type of permit or visa has its own eligibility criteria, requirements, and limitations. expats should consult the Egyptian Visa Portal or seek legal advice to determine the most suitable option for their situation.

Procedure to Apply for a Work Permit in Egypt

The process of obtaining a work permit in Egypt involves several key steps:

  1. Job Offer: expats seeking employment in Egypt must secure a job offer from an Egyptian employer. The job offer is a fundamental requirement.
  2. Employer’s Role: The Egyptian employer initiates the work permit application process and provides the required documentation to the Egyptian Visa Portal or relevant authorities.
  3. Document Submission: The expat employee, with the support of their Egyptian employer, submits the work permit application, along with the necessary documents and fees, to the Egyptian Visa Portal.
  4. Processing Time: Work permit processing times can vary depending on the type of permit and the specific circumstances. Applicants should check with the Egyptian Visa Portal or their employer for current processing times.
  5. Work Permit Approval: Once the work permit is approved, the expat employee is notified and can proceed with the next steps, such as obtaining a visa if required.

It is essential to follow the prescribed procedure diligently and provide accurate and complete information to avoid delays or potential rejections.

Documents Required for a Work Permit in Egypt

The documentation required for a work permit application in Egypt may vary depending on the specific permit or visa category and individual circumstances. However, common documents typically include:

  • Valid Passport: A passport with an expiration date beyond the intended period of stay in Egypt.
  • Job Offer Letter: A formal job offer from an Egyptian employer.
  • Health Insurance: Proof of health insurance coverage for the duration of the stay in Egypt.
  • Passport Photos: Recent passport-sized photographs meeting specific requirements.
  • Educational and Professional Certificates: Copies of relevant educational and professional certificates or diplomas.
  • Application Forms: Completed application forms provided by the Egyptian Visa Portal or relevant authorities.

Expats should be prepared to provide additional documents if requested during the application process. It is advisable to verify the specific document requirements based on the chosen permit or visa category.

Costs Involved in Applying for a Work Permit in Egypt

Obtaining a work permit in Egypt may involve various costs, which can vary depending on the type of permit or visa and individual circumstances. Common expenses related to work permits may include:

  • Application Fee: The fee associated with processing the work permit application, typically paid by the employer.
  • Visa Fee: If a visa is required in addition to the work permit, there may be visa application fees.
  • Legal Fees: Some expats choose to seek legal or immigration consultancy services, incurring additional fees.
  • Health Insurance: The cost of health insurance coverage, which is mandatory for all residents and workers in Egypt.

Expats should budget for these costs and confirm the current fee structure with the relevant authorities or their employer to avoid any surprises during the application process.

Reliable Sources for Information on Working Legally in Egypt

Expats seeking reliable information on working legally in Egypt can refer to various sources:

  1. Egyptian Visa Portal: The official website provides comprehensive information on visa and permit requirements, application forms, and procedures.
  2. Egyptian Embassies and Consulates: Contact the Egyptian embassy or consulate in your home country for guidance and information.
  3. Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: The ministry’s website may contain valuable information on immigration regulations and procedures.
  4. Expat Forums and Websites: Online expat communities and forums often provide insights and advice from individuals who have experience working in Egypt.
  5. International Labor Organization (ILO): The ILO website may offer information related to labor laws and employment in Egypt.

Staying informed about the latest immigration policies and requirements is essential, as they can change over time. expats should rely on official government sources and seek professional advice when necessary to navigate the complexities of obtaining a work permit in Egypt.


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