- Expats may look for a job on a tourist visa but need to exit and re-enter Egypt with a work permit to work in the country
- A work permit for Egypt is granted for 1 year and may be extended for 5 years
- The number of work permits issued each year is limited by a quota.
Egypt’s growing economy makes it a popular country for skilled workers seeking jobs overseas. There are a number of business opportunities available for expats. To be able to work in the country, expats need a valid work visa for Egypt. Read on to find out more.
Egypt may be most well-known for its pyramids and the sphinx but it also has a growing economy that employs expats. Teaching is the most common profession for expats in Egypt. Other industries that employ foreigners include media, oil & gas and the IT department. Amongst the cities in Egypt, Cairo is most popular with expats.
Most foreigners arrive in Egypt on a tourist visa. They may later re-enter the country and change their status when they get a job. Foreigners are strictly prohibited from carrying on any work on a tourist visa. However, there is nothing stopping expats from looking for jobs while they are on a tourist visa.
Work Visa for Egypt
A work permit for Egypt can be granted by the Ministry of Manpower in Egypt but must be applied for by the expat’s employer. The number of work permits issued each year is limited under a quota wherein no more than 10% of the total workforce in Egypt may be made up of foreign nationals.
In addition, the compensation of the expat must not be more than 35% of the company’s total payroll.
A work permit for Egypt is usually granted for a period of 1 year. It may be extended for a maximum duration of 5 years. Working in Egypt cannot be considered as a way to permanent residency.
How to get a Work Permit for Egypt
The process of applying for a work permit in Egypt is influenced by many factors. This includes the nationality of the applicant, the applicant’s personal circumstances, type of work permit being applied for, presence of dependents and the status of the labor market.
The first step of applying for a work visa in Egypt is getting approval from the Egyptian Labor authorities. The applicant can then apply for an entry visa at the overseas Egyptian diplomatic post. On arrival, the applicant can apply for a temporary work permit and must undergo an HIV test. After being granted a temporary work permit, the applicant may apply for a change in status to a temporary residence permit.
To be eligible for these permits, a test of the labor market must prove that there are no local residents eligible for the position. When a work permit is granted, the applicant must also undertake the training of at least 2 local Egyptian nationals to be able to work in the same position.
The process of applying for a work permit typically takes 1 to 3 months until the applicant can enter Egypt. It may be a further 2 to 4 months before the process is completed.
Documents Required for a Work Visa for Egypt
The documents required when applying for a work permit vary from country to country. All documents that accompany the application must be translated before submission and/or legalized. The common documents required by all applicants are:
- A valid passport
- 7 recent passport sized photographs
- Copy of university degree
- Certificates of experience
- Results of medical tests including HIV test
- Copy of birth and marriage certificates if dependents are included in the application
- Copy of a job offer letter
In addition, the company employing the applicant will need to provide
- A job description of the position the applicant is being hired for
- List of foreign employees
- Copy of the previous year’s tax documents
- Company registration documents
- Declarations if any
In addition, when applying for a work permit, a processing fee of about 1000 EGP must also be paid.
Life and Work in Egypt
Expats can get paid quite in Egypt. This is significantly higher than the amount most Egyptian nationals get paid. When converted to western currency, this may seem low but Egypt’s low cost of living allows expats to live very comfortably in Egypt.
Unlike other countries, Friday is the main day off instead of Sunday. The work week usually begins on Sunday and continues till Thursday. Saturday may or may not be working. Thus, expats get to enjoy a comfortable work-life balance.