EGYPT - Consular Information Sheet
February 9, 2001
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Egypt is a developing country with
extensive facilities for tourists.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A passport and visa are required.
Travelers can obtain a renewable 30-day tourist visa at any port
of entry, except at Taba and Rafah, for a $15 fee, payable in
U.S. dollars. Visitors arriving overland and/or those previously
experiencing difficulty with their visa status in Egypt must obtain
a visa prior to arrival. Military personnel arriving on commercial
flights are not exempt from passport and visa requirements. Proof
of Yellow Fever immunization is required if arriving from an infected
area. Evidence of an AIDS test is required for everyone staying
over 30 days. For additional entry requirements, U.S. citizens
Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
3521 International Court, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
or the Egyptian consulates at:
1110 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10022
500 North Michigan Avenue, Ste. 1900
Chicago, IL 60611
1990 Post Oak Boulevard, Ste. 2180
Houston, TX 77056
(713) 961-4915 or 961-4916
3001 Pacific Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 346-9700 or 346-9702
of Egypt's website is http://www.mfa.gov.eg.
DUAL NATIONALITY: In addition to being subject to all
Egyptian laws affecting U.S. citizens, dual nationals may also
be subject to other laws that impose special obligations on Egyptian
citizens. The Government of Egypt considers all children born
to Egyptian fathers to be Egyptian citizens. Even if the children
bear American passports, immigration officials may require proof
that the father approves their departure before the children will
be allowed to leave Egypt. Americans married to Egyptians do not
need their spouse's permission to depart Egypt as long as they
have a valid Egyptian visa. To renew a visa, or to leave the country
after a visa has expired, an American woman married to an Egyptian
must present proof of her husband's consent. If a dual national
resides in Egypt for extended periods, proof of Egyptian citizenship,
such as a family I.D. card, is required. Male dual nationals who
have not completed military service are not generally required
to enlist in the armed forces. However, they must obtain an exemption
certificate through the Ministry of Defense Draft Office before
they can leave Egypt. Individuals who may be affected can inquire
at an Egyptian consular office abroad before traveling to Egypt.
Dual Egyptian-American nationals may enter and leave Egypt on
their U.S. passports. Persons with dual nationality who travel
to Egypt on their Egyptian passports are normally treated as Egyptian
citizens by the local government. The ability to provide U.S.
consular assistance to such persons, therefore, is extremely limited.
For additional information, please see our Dual Nationality flyer
on the Consular Affairs home
page on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov/.
SAFETY AND SECURITY: Following an attack by extremists
on tourists in the Upper Egypt town of Luxor in November 1997,
Egyptian law enforcement and security officials took measures
to enhance security at airports, international hotels and tourist
sites throughout the country. There have been no attacks on tourists
since that time, and there have been very few terrorist attacks
at all. Effective police operations in the past few years and
the heightened security posture throughout Egypt have made it
more difficult for extremist groups to conduct terrorist operations.
However, the threat has not been eliminated.
The U.S. Embassy periodically receives information concerning
extremists' intentions to target American citizens or interests
in Egypt. In light of this information, we urge Americans to be
vigilant and exercise good security practices while in Egypt.
Americans may contact the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy
in Cairo for the most up-to-date information concerning the security
situation in Egypt. (Please see contact information in the Registration/Embassy
Information section below.)
RESTRICTED AREAS: Those wishing to visit areas near Egypt's
frontiers, including oases near the border with Libya and off-road
areas in the Sinai, must obtain permission from the Travel Permits
Department of the Ministry of the Interior, located at the corner
of Sheikh Rihan and Nubar Streets in downtown Cairo. Travelers
should be aware of the possible dangers of off-road travel. Mines
left from previous conflicts remain buried in several regions
of the country and have caused several deaths, including deaths
of Americans. As a rule, all travelers should check with local
authorities before embarking on off-road travel. Known minefields
are not marked by signs, but are usually enclosed by barbed wire.
Travelers should, therefore, avoid areas enclosed by barbed wire.
After heavy rains, which can cause flooding in desert areas and
the consequent shifting of land mines, travelers should avoid
driving through build-ups of sand on roadways.
CRIME: The crime rate in Egypt is low. While incidents
of violence are rare, purse snatching, pickpocketing and petty
theft are not uncommon. Unescorted women are vulnerable to sexual
harassment and verbal abuse. The loss or theft of a U.S. passport
abroad should be reported immediately to local police and the
nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. U.S. citizens may refer to
the Department of State's pamphlets, A
Safe Trip Abroad and Tips
for Travelers to the Middle East and North Africa, to promote
a trouble-free journey. They are available by mail from the
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su
docs, or via the
Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov/.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: There are many Western-trained medical
professionals in Egypt. The U.S. Embassy in Cairo can provide
a list of local hospitals and English-speaking physicians. Medical
facilities are adequate for non-emergency matters, particularly
in tourist areas. Emergency and intensive care facilities are
limited. Facilities outside Cairo fall short of U.S. standards.
Most Nile cruise boats do not have a ship's doctor, but some employ
a medical practitioner of uncertain training. Hospital facilities
in Luxor and Aswan are inadequate, and they are nonexistent at
most other ports of call.
Beaches on the Mediterranean and Red Sea coasts are generally
unpolluted. However, persons who swim in the Nile or in canals,
walk barefoot along the Nile, or drink untreated river water are
at risk of exposure to bacterial infections, hepatitis, and the
parasitic disease schistosomiasis (bilharzia). There is a low
risk of exposure to exotic diseases in Egypt such as Rift Valley
Fever (RVF). RVF, which flares up in parts of the country from
time to time, is a mosquito-borne disease of domestic animals
that can infect humans.
It is safe to eat properly-prepared, thoroughly-cooked meat and
vegetables in tourist hotels, on Nile cruise boats, and in tourist
restaurants. Eating uncooked vegetables should be avoided because
this can cause diarrhea. Tap water is not potable. It is best
to drink bottled water or water that has been boiled and filtered.
Well-known brands of bottled beverages are generally considered
MEDICAL INSURANCE: U.S. medical insurance is not always
valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs
do not provide payment for medical services outside the United
States. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment
for health services. Uninsured travelers who require medical care
overseas may face extreme difficulties.
Please check with your own insurance company to confirm whether
your policy applies overseas, including provision for medical
evacuation, and for adequacy of coverage. Serious medical problems
requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United
States can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Please ascertain
whether payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor
or if you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you incur.
Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric
treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.
Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas
insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau
of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical
Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via
of Consular Affairs home page or autofax: (202) 647-3000.
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Information on vaccinations
and other health precautions may be obtained from the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international
travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX
(1-888-232-3299), or via the
CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign
country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ
significantly from those in the United States. The information
below concerning Egypt is provided for general reference only,
and it may not be totally accurate in a particular location or
Safety of Public Transportation: Poor
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor
The roads in Egypt can be hazardous, particularly at night outside
major cities. Cars and trucks frequently travel at night without
headlights and at a high rate of speed. Emergency and intensive
care facilities are limited outside Cairo. Egypt is one of the
world's leaders in auto accidents. Traffic regulations are routinely
ignored. If available, seatbelts should be worn at all times.
Roads in Cairo are congested, and traffic is badly regulated.
The Cairo Metro (subway) system is good, but buses and commuter
micro-buses are usually extremely crowded and poorly maintained.
Sidewalks and pedestrian crossings are non-existent in many areas,
and drivers do not yield the right-of-way to pedestrians.
For additional general information
about road safety, including links to foreign government sites,
see the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs home page
at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html. For specific information
concerning Egypt's driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax
and mandatory insurance, please contact the
Egyptian National Tourist Organization offices in New York
(Egypt Tourist Authority, 630 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1706, New York,
NY 10111; telephone (212) 332-2570 or toll-free, (877) 773-4978;
Internet website: http://www.egypttourism.org; e-mail
address: email@example.com or in California at Wilshire
San Vicente Plaza, 8383 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 215, Beverly
Hills, CA 90211; telephone (323) 653-8815, or in Illinois at 645
N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 829, Chicago, IL (312) 280-4666.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) has assessed the government of Egypt's civil aviation authority
as Category 1 -- in compliance with international aviation safety
standards for oversight of Egypt's air carrier operations.
For further information, travelers may contact the Department
of Transportation within the United States at telephone 1-800-322-7873,
or visit the
FAA's Internet web site at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/. The
U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign
air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services.
For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers,
travelers may contact the DOD at telephone (618) 229-4801.
CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: Egyptian customs authorities may
enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into
or export from Egypt of items such as firearms, religious materials,
antiquities, medications, business equipment, currency, and ivory.
It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Egypt in Washington,
D.C. or one of the Egyptian consulates in the United States for
specific information regarding customs requirements.
Egyptian law allows for the imposition of duties on photographic
and video equipment. However, such duties are rarely imposed,
except when large quantities of photographic equipment or expensive
video equipment are brought into Egypt. Persons bringing in such
items should be prepared to comply with certain customs formalities.
Personal use items such as jewelry, laptop computers and electronic
equipment are exempt from customs fees. However, Egyptian customs
authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary
importation into or export from Egypt of items such as computer
peripherals, including printers and modems, which are subject
to customs fees. For tourists, electronic equipment is annotated
in their passport, and the person is required to show the same
items upon exiting Egypt. For residents, a deposit, refunded upon
departure, may be made in lieu of customs fees.
Commercial merchandise and samples require an import/export license
issued by the Egyptian Ministry of Trade and Supply in Egypt prior
to travel and should be declared upon arrival. It is advisable
to contact the Embassy of Egypt in Washington, D.C. or one of
Egypt's consulates in the United States for specific information
regarding customs requirements.
Travelers are not required to convert foreign currency into Egyptian
pounds or submit exchange currency statements on arrival. The
maximum amount of Egyptian currency that can be brought in or
taken out of Egypt is 1,000 Egyptian pounds.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S.
citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which
sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States
and may not afford the protections available to the individual
under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe
than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating
Egyptian laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or
Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs
in Egypt are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences
and heavy fines. The death penalty may be imposed on anyone convicted
of smuggling or selling marijuana, hashish, opium, LSD, or other
narcotics. Law enforcement authorities prosecute and seek fines
and imprisonment in cases of possession of even small quantities
CONSULAR ACCESS: U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry
a copy of their U.S. passports with them at all times, so that,
if questioned by local officials, proof of identity and U.S. citizenship
are readily available. In accordance with Article 36 of the Vienna
Convention on Consular Relations, to which Egypt is a party, competent
authorities in the host country must notify a consular post of
the arrest of one of its citizens without delay.
PHOTOGRAPHY RESTRICTIONS: There are restrictions on photographing
military personnel and sites, bridges, and canals, including the
CHILDREN'S ISSUES: For
information on international adoption of children and international
parental child abduction, please refer to our Internet site
at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html or telephone
REGISTRATION/EMBASSY LOCATION: U.S. citizens living in
or visiting Egypt are encouraged to register at the Consular Section
U.S. Embassy in Egypt and obtain updated information on travel
and security within Egypt. The American Citizens Services office
of the U.S. Embassy is located at 5 Latin America Street, Garden
City, Cairo and is open to the public from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00
noon. The workweek in Egypt is Sunday through Thursday. Telephone
calls are accepted from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
The mailing address from the United States is: Consular Section,
Unit 64900, Box 15, APO AE 09839-4900; in Egypt, it is 8 Kamal
el-Din Salah Street, Garden City, Cairo. The main Embassy telephone
number is (20)(2) 795-7371. The Consular Section telephone number
is (20)(2) 797-2301, the fax number is (20)(2) 797-2472, and the
e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Consular information
is available via the Internet at http://www.usembassy.egnet.net.
Once a month, American Citizen Services are available at the
American Center, 3 Pharana Street, Azarita, Alexandria from 11:00
a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Please check the Embassy web site for a schedule
of upcoming dates. Every 5-10 weeks, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
American Citizen Services are available at the Cairo American
College, Room 600, Maadi. Please check the Embassy web site for
dates and details of services available.