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.