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March 2015

Egypt Will Tighten Visa Rules For Travelers In May

Published: Thursday 19 March 2015

Authorities in Egypt have announced that as of 15th May 2015, all "individual" travelers wanting to enter Egypt will be required to obtain a visa from an Egyptian consulate or Embassy, prior to departure. This can take up to five days to process and it's likely that there will be an associated fee for application. Full details of the new visa system haven't been released yet, but it can be assumed that the word "individual" refers to those visiting the country independent of a package tour. Independent travelers make up 15-20% of Egypt's tourists, so this news will effect many. Khaled Ramy, Egypt's new tourism minister recently stated that Egypt hopes to generate $20 billion in revenue from tourism by 2020, attracting a total of 20 million visitors. So, these tighter restrictions may prove difficult for Egypt achieving this goal. These restrictions are reportedly the result of security services needing more time to assess individual applications to visit Egypt. However, security sources have also commented that the restrictions are intended to monitor visits by Western human rights advocates, who have criticised the Egyptian government's harsh treatment of liberal activists.