The Sinai

Visas for South Sinai

map, flight, vacation-3953229.jpg
map, flight, vacation-3953229.jpg

Getting and renewing visas can be a nightmare or a relatively simple procedure when you follow the procedures step by step. Fortunately, South Sinai wants tourists and the visa procedures are simpler than in Cairo. 

Short Term Visas

Egypt requires visitors to purchase visas to stay in the country. E-visas can be bought online in advance from the official government website. Be very careful to fill out the form exactly or else you can be denied a visa and not refunded your application fee. Avoid using any agencies as they will charge you extra for the same outcome. 

$25 single entry visa, valid for 30 days

$60 multi-entry visa, valid for 60 days. 

Currently, it is simplest to purchase a $25 dollar visa sticker from one of the small bank kiosks at the airport on arrival. These visas are valid for 30 days. 

Egyptian Entry Visa

Have 25 USD ready with you to avoid any problems with change. The visa can be difficult to separate from the backing paper so you may want to ask the person you buy it from to peel the back off and stick it in your passport for you. Then go through border control where you will need to have your visa stamped, your photo taken, and fingers scanned.

If you are only visiting South Sinai (Sharm El Sheikh, Dahab, Nuweiba, Taba and St Catherine’s) for less than 2 weeks you can get a free 14-day stamp at the airport on arrival. You will not be permitted to travel beyond this area. 

5 Steps to Receiving your Visa Extension

If you wish to stay longer in Egypt, you must extend your visa. Visa extensions are 3 months, 6 months, 9 months or 1 year. It is a little erratic what you will receive, regardless of what you apply for. Generally, 1-year visas are only given to those over 60 or those who own property in Egypt. Unfortunately, since February 2024 multi-entry visas are no longer available in the Sinai.

1. Get your Currency Exchange Receipt

Before going to the visa office in Nabq, Sharm El Sheik, make sure you have your Currency Exchange receipt. To pay for the visa at the Visa Office, you must bring EGP with proof that you exchanged foreign currency. Only USD, EUR or GBP are accepted for this at an approved Egyptian Bank (National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr and Banque Du Caire). You will need around 2000 EGP for a standard visa. Visit the bank with your passport in advance of your visa renewal trip and tell them that you need to exchange money for your visa and require a ‘currency exchange receipt’. They will give you a slip of paper with proof that you exchanged money with them. Make sure it has your full name written on it. This is necessary to proceed with the visa application. Take the original plus two copies.

2. Make Photocopies

Make Photocopies of:

  1. Your passport photo page – 3 copies.
  2. Your A ‘Currency Exchange Receipt’- 2 copies.
  3. Your current residency card (if you have one) – 2 copies.

There is a photocopier on the ground floor of the Nabq Visa Office which charges a very modest fee of a few EGP per copy. For peace of mind and to save time on the day you may prefer to get your copies before you go. 

3. Transport to the Visa Office, Nabq, Sharm El Sheikh

To get a visa extension you must visit the visa office in Nabq, Sharm El Sheikh before your current visa expires. It’s simplest and most affordable to join a group that is going specifically for this task by minibus. These run regularly each week, leaving early in the morning and usually returning to Dahab by early afternoon. You can find these trips in Telegram groups and on this group on Facebook

4. Procedures at the Visa Office.  

When you arrive at the Visa Office 

  • Location: greet those on security duty and go around the right hand side of the building and up the stairs. 
  • Ticket: As you have your bag searched by the man at the door, take a ticket with a number on it. 
  • Forms: Fill in the application form with your personal details.
  • Application: When your number lights up above a counter go and ask clearly for the type of visa you are after and give them your documents. 
  • Payment: You will then need to pay the cashier for the visa in EGP and get a receipt. 
  • Authorisation: You application will then need to be checked and stamped by a police officer in the office in the back right hand corner. 
  • Submit your papers: present all your papers again at a desk and get your photo taken for your residency card. Keep your receipt safe and bring it with you when you return to collect your visa. 

5. Collecting Visa

Having completed the visa application in Sharm, you will need to return after at least 2 weeks. This can take a bit longer, so many people prefer to leave it 3 weeks to pick up your residency card. Some nationalities are required to have a security interview with the police in Dahab before being able to receive their visa. 

Overstay Fines

If you overstay your visa, expect to pay fines at the airport before departure. Currently (March 2024) these are starting from 1520 EGP for the first 90 days and increase the longer you overstay. You are expected to pay the fine in EGP. Again, you are required to have proof of changing this money from foreign currency (USD, GBP or EUR) at an approved Egyptian Bank. 

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