American citizens who plan on visiting Egypt for tourism purposes will need to apply for a visa, which you can apply for ahead of time at an embassy, apply for online (e-visa) or obtain upon arrival.
Note that this guide does not take into account any additional, temporary requirements in place during the Covid pandemic. For the most up-to-date Covid requirements, visit the Egypt embassy website.
- Visa needed for US citizens: Yes, with some exceptions noted below.
- Visa types for US citizens: Single-entry or multiple-entry tourist visa or single-entry or multiple-entry transit visa
- Visa application: Online in person, or on arrival
- Visa issued: By email, mail, or on arrival
- Cost: $25-60 for tourist visa, $35-$55 for transit visa
- Timing: 7+ days in advance (unless doing upon arrival)
- Length of validity: 90 days
- Max length of stay: 30 days for tourist visa, 48 hours for transit visa
Egypt offers several different types of non-immigrant visas, including tourism, business, and transit options.
Depending on where you are traveling within Egypt, you may not need a visa at all. One of those exceptions is US passport holders headed only to resorts in Sharm El Sheikh, Dahab, Nuweiba, and Taba can enter without one. For those destinations, upon arrival, a free entry permission stamp will be granted that allows you to stay up to 15 days max. If you intend to travel outside of the aforementioned resort areas, or you are staying longer than 15 days, you will still need to apply for a visa.
Who Needs a Visit to Visit Egypt?
Tourism: Tourist visas are required for American travelers intending to pass through Egyptian immigration and spend time traveling around the country. This visa is necessary even if your travel plans only include spending one or two days in Cairo.
Transit: Transit visas may be required for American travelers passing through Egypt as well. If you plan to only be at the airport for a couple of hours and immediately hop on an international flight (not leaving the airport), a transit visa will not be necessary. However, if your layover is between 6 hours and 48 hours, you will need a visa.
What Types of Visas are Available for US Citizens?
Egypt offers travelers with United States passports several types of non-immigrant visas. You can apply for a single entry or multi-entry visa, or a tourism visa if the purpose of your trip is for tourism. Tourist visas are valid for a maximum stay of 30 days at a time, which is at the discretion of the immigration officer upon arrival.
How to Apply for an Egyptian Visa
There are three main ways for American travelers to apply for an Egyptian visa.
- In person at a local Egyptian embassy
- Online through the eVisa application
- Requesting a visa on arrival.
Of these three methods, the online visa application is the easiest option.
If possible, try to avoid applying in person as it is a far more involved process. Depending on what consulate you are visiting, there will be travel time involved, and the processing times may vary.
You can consider waiting and doing a visa on arrival in Egypt, but you may be stuck in a long line. The eVisa takes only minutes to complete, and you will have an answer shortly after that.
Here’s a look at how the application process works and what documentation you will need.
Required Documents and Information
For American travelers completing the eVisa option, you will need:
- Payment information to set up an account
Once your visa is approved, you will need to download and print it to present to immigration when you arrive in Egypt. When you arrive in Egypt, you should also have print-outs of your itinerary, hotel details, or an invitation or supporting letter if required.
No matter which application method you plan to use, your passport needs to have a minimum of six months validity beyond your intended travel dates and a blank page for the visa.
It’s important to note that if you plan to arrive in Egypt from certain countries, you may need to show proof of vaccines as well to secure a visa. For example, you will be required to show an original polio vaccination certificate if your flight will arrive from a country that is considered to be “Polio-infected.” These countries are Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Somalia, and Syria.
If you are arriving in Egypt from a country with a confirmed risk of Yellow Fever transmission, then you will need a Yellow Fever certificate. This risk includes arrivals from Eritrea, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, and Zambia. You can see a list of Yellow Fever risk countries on IAMAT’s website.
Required documents differ if you plan to apply in person. You will need the following:
- Completed and signed application form, plus one copy.
- Two 2” passport-type photos on white background; photos cannot be older than six months. One photo needs to be stapled to the original, and the other will go with the application copy.
- Provide your physical passport plus two copies of the information page.
- Include two copies of your round-trip ticket or confirmed itinerary.
Cost of an Egyptian Visa
Through the eVisa portal or on arrival costs are:
- $25 for a single-entry tourism visa
- $60 for a multiple-entry tourist visa
- $35 for a single-entry transit visa
- $55 for a multiple-entry transit visa
Per the Egyptian Embassy’s website, the fee for obtaining tourist visas at the embassy is $15 and is the same price for the single and multiple entry visas.
The eVisa takes only minutes to complete, and you could have an answer in as little as 10 minutes. While you may be tempted to apply far in advance, remember that the eVisa is only valid for 90 days after it’s issued. You do not want to apply six months in advance, or you will need to complete another visa on arrival. You must do it at least seven days before your trip.
Process of Applying for an Egyptian Visa
For the online eVisa application, the steps are pretty straightforward:
- Create an account on Egypt’s eVisa portal page, confirm your registration, and log on.
- Click apply now and select the type of visa you are applying for.
- Be sure to read all of the instructions and accurately fill in the application form.
- Select your preferred payment method and enter the details. The eVisa site allows you to pay using your Visa, MasterCard, or other debit cards.
- Next, you will wait for your approval notice to arrive in your e-mail.
- Print the eVisa document from your e-mail.
- Be sure you have it printed to present to immigration when you land in Egypt.
For American travelers who want to apply for the Egypt visa on arrival, it can be relatively simple except for the long queue lines. You will bring your completed application form, your valid passport, and pay the fee at the desk. The fee needs to be paid in cash, and you can use U.S. dollars. If you opt for this route, you can only get a single-entry visa.
Applying in person before your trip means you may have to travel. The central Egyptian Embassy is located in Washington, D.C. There are consulates in Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, and New York. Only residents of certain states can apply at each office.
- Washington, D.C. — Residents of Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
- Chicago — Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin
- Houston — Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas
- Los Angeles — Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, and Utah
- New York — Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, and New York
To apply with the Egyptian Embassy or consulate by mail:
- Get a cashier’s check payable to the Consulate of Egypt. Note, you cannot send a personal check or money order. You can pay by cash if you apply in person.
- Provide only a Certified Mail or Express Mail pre-addressed and pre-stamped envelope. This envelope is for the Egyptian Embassy or consulate to return your documents.
- Mail everything to the Consulate of the Arab Republic of Egypt at 3521 International Court, NW, Washington, D.C. 20008. Processing time is at least ten business days, plus mailing time.