Saturday, September 10, 2011

No visas on arrival in Egypt

Just as Egypt tries to revive its tourism industry, they do something which seems so counter-productive. A friend of mine in New Zealand made the following remark yesterday:
"Egypt doesn't have an embassy in NZ and because I am here on a Work Visa going to Residency, I don't think I can legally just mail my passport to Canberra, Australia to get the visa. I'll probably have to go to the trouble and expense of going all the way to Canberra to get the thing and it will probably run me $750 all up. Very annoying indeed. This move is going to cost them even more tourists because I had at 2 Americans drop out after hearing this and some of the people joining me from here don't want to go to the extra trouble either."

Bikya Masr

In another odd move by the Egyptian government, foreign nationals will no longer be allowed to obtain an entry visa at a port of arrival, ending years of ease for foreign citizens hoping to visit the country.

It comes as the government appears to be continuing its crackdown of foreign nationals living in the country, where a large number have reported not being able to extend their visas or obtain longer permissions to stay in the country since the revolution ousted the government of Hosni Mubarak in February.

Despite relying heavily on tourism, the move means nations from the United States, Europe, Australia, Gulf countries, Africa, Latin America and Asia will now be required to apply for a visa at their local Egyptian embassy and consulate before arrival.

The Daily News Egypt (Reem Abdellatif)

Tourism officials are concerned with a Cabinet decision to change Egypt’s visa regulations, requiring visitors to obtain visas before arrival.

Visitors from Europe, the United States, or Gulf countries were given visas upon entry at the airport; this however, is set to change from now on. Visitors will be required to obtain visas from Egyptian embassies and consulates abroad.

“I was told by the minister of tourism that this won’t be applied right away,” Elhamy ElZayat, head of the Egyptian Tourism Federation, told Daily News Egypt.

“We are currently trying to find a solution that can appease all sides,” he added.

The new rules will affect citizens from the United Stats, Europe, Australia, the Gulf, Africa, Latin America, and Asia, Cabinet spokesman Mohamed Hegazy told The Associated Press.

ElZayat said the move would impact tourists mainly coming to Egypt’s Red Sea resorts, in cities like Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada, because these tourists often use the internet to book their stays.

“There was a very good solution suggested by the tourism minister for the issue and it’s to give out visas via the internet, which will be faster and more convenient for visitors,” he added.

1 comment:

AliceG said...

There is a saying - "Bite off your nose to spite your face." Also you can kick yourself in the butt. Looks like they're doing both, very well.