14 September 2023| Post by
Citizens of Canada will no longer be able to get an Egypt e-Visa or visa on arrival, according to a recent announcement from Egyptian authorities.
This change in Egypt’s visa policy comes into effect from October 1, 2023.
From this date, passengers planning to travel on a Canadian passport will need to complete a visa application in person at an Egyptian embassy or consulate.
Canadians and Egyptian Online Visas
Until now, Canadian passengers have been eligible for Egypt’s online visa, or e-Visa. This digital system offers the convenience of being able to apply from anywhere using a computer or device, instead of having to go all the way to an embassy or consulate.
Fortunately for Canadians, they will still be able to apply for an Egyptian e-Visa online until October 1.
Online visas will still be valid for the usual period of 3 months from the date of issue, even if this extends beyond October 1.
Canadians planning a trip to Egypt within the next 3 months are advised to take advantage of the e-Visa while it is still available and apply as soon as possible, before the cut-off date.
Canadians and Egyptian Visas on Arrivals
The other visa option that will no longer be available to Canadian travelers are visas on arrival.
Until now, citizens of Canada have been able to travel to Egypt without getting a visa in advance. The only requirement to board a flight to the North African nation was a valid Canadian passport.
On arrival, Canadians were able to complete a visa application at Egyptian border control and get an Egypt visa there and then to authorize their entry to the country.
From October 1, this will no longer be possible. Canadians will need a valid visa to board a flight to Egypt and will not be allowed to apply at the border.
Why Has Egypt Stopped Issuing e-Visas and Visas on Arrival to Canadians?
The Egyptian government’s decision comes in response to changes in Canada’s own visa policy, with many Egyptian nationals being denied a Canadian visa.
The restrictions imposed by Canada have been branded as “insane” by Adel Boulos, president of the Egyptian Canadian Business Network:
“It’s getting more difficult for Egyptians to come to Canada. I have cases, unbelievable stuff like parents wanting to see their children, people are getting married here and they want their parents and family to come and they can’t.”
The Egyptian Embassy in Ottawa stated in their announcement that the new rules were due to Canada’s own measures, citing the “principle of reciprocity”.
It also said that Canada’s restrictions were “offensive in nature to the dignity of the Egyptian state.”
Egyptian member of Parliament Ghada Ajami backed the move as fair, citing the entry requirements for Egyptians traveling to many Western countries, proclaiming that Egypt “is not less significant than other nations”.
How Will Egypt’s New Rules Affect Travel?
Egypt’s new regulations change the visa requirements for Canadian citizens planning a trip to the country.
With e-Visas and visas on arrival unavailable, Canadian passport holders will need to apply for a visa at an Egyptian diplomatic mission.
This can be done in person at the Egyptian embassy in Ottawa or the consulate in Montreal. Canadians will also be able to apply by mail.
This is a lengthier, more complicated process than the simple online e-Visa application. Embassies take longer to process and issue visas and more documentation is required.
The regulations also affect dual citizens who could previously enter Egypt visa-free if they had proof of their Egyptian citizenship. However, from October 1, all Canadian citizens will need to get a visa — even if they also hold an Egyptian passport.
David Green, managing director for G Adventures, described the situation as “a blow to both Canadian travel agents trying to support their clients and operators like G Adventures that send thousands of travelers to Egypt each year.”
There are also some concerns about how the change in policy will affect tourism in Egypt.
In recent years, the country has made efforts to encourage tourism. It appears to be on course to break records with 15 million tourist arrivals in 2023, according to the Egyptian tourism minister. By 2028, Egypt aims to increase this to 30 million.
However, making visa regulations stricter is likely to put potential visitors off and could hamper efforts to boost tourism.
Ghada Ajami has claimed that this will not be the case with the following statement:
“These measures will not adversely affect tourism, as some may imply, because those countries apply the same precautions, so why haven’t they affected tourism there? Additionally, entry fees or obtaining a visa are common practices in many countries worldwide.”