Update: As of July 2019, Visas are now processed at the Egypt’s Passport and Immigration Administration. Do not go to the Mogamma. The newer, updated space should create an improved experience. However, based on early experience from our readers, it seems that it’s a bit chaotic while they figure things out. If you want to share your experience, please contact us.
If you’re planning on staying in Egypt for more than a month, you have to renew your Egypt tourist visa in person. Previously, this was at the Mogamma building, but it is now at the Egypt Passport and Immigration Administration. Also, previously, you got a visa; you now get a “Foreign Residence Card”, a plastic ID card with your address, photo, and date of birth.
We updated this guide after the recent changes.
This guide includes:
- The latest move to the new building in Abbasiya (aka Abbassia, el-abaseya)
- New steps added late 2018 (like photography and fingerprinting)
- The latest costs (it’s much more expensive!) plus fines
- Shortcuts for women
Like many things in Egypt (the transport being a significant one), the process is kind of hectic. Hopefully the guide below will help you make sense of it.
Comment or drop us a line if something needs updating. Happy to give credit where it’s due!
Summary of how to update your Egypt tourist Visa
- How long visa renewal takes: Renewing your visa will take you a few hours on two days, in the morning.
- What hours is the visa office open: 8am-2pm.
- What days is the office open: Every day but Friday. (Yes, it’s open Saturday, but for pickups)
- Period of Egypt visa renewal: The period of renewal for your Egypt tourist visa is 3 months standard. There are no other options.
- Cost of Egypt visa renewal: It costs around 1,750 LE to renew your Egypt visa (all in)
- Where to renew your Egypt tourist visa: You can’t renew it online.
- Services for Egypt visa renewal: You don’t need to pay someone to do it — they’re probably using this guide!
- Do you need to speak Arabic: You don’t need to speak Arabic (but it helps, talking to security guards etc.)
- Are there food and bathrooms: No foods, but there are bathrooms.
- Can I do this: Yes, you can do it 🙂
General advice on updating: there’s little information at the site, and few people speak English. People will line up in the wrong lines to ask questions, will try to crowd lines or jump the line, and nobody behind the counter will make them wait. If you have questions, go to counter 20… try to restore some order to the chaos of Egypt (good luck)!
Also, if something changes… make a note of it, and send us an email at [email protected] so we can help other travellers. (Thank you to many people who have written in!)
What to Take to Renew your Egypt Tourist Visa
- Go in the morning, early in the week (Monday/Tuesday). Plan to arrive at 8am.
- Your Passport. If you have more than one, the one with the visa in it.
- Copy of your e-Visa if you got one (lost it? Take the file on a USB stick to print there)
- Cash of 1250 LE per person (see Egypt Tourist Visa costs below) OR a debit card to use with the ATM
- An empty bladder
- Food & water — there are some long breaks 🙂
- Debit card — in case you need more cash
- If you can ahead of time — passport photos and photocopies of your passport main page and all Egypt visa pages. There are copy shops around the city that can do it (cheaply), and hotels can too (more expensive)
Do not take
- Camera — you’d have to leave it at security
- Any valuables you’re worried you’ll have to leave at security. (Phone, wallet and passport are OK.)
Day One of Egypt Visa Renewal: Application Paperwork
Time taken: 2-3 hours round trip (about an 30 minutes to one hour in person there)
Cost: 1250 per person (nearly all of it)
Main events: filling out paperwork, photography
- Get ready to leave at 7:30am, to arrive at 8. (You can also arrive at 9 or even 10 and it won’t be abysmally crazy, don’t worry. This isn’t the DMV!)
- Get a taxi to the Visa and Passport building in the old police academy. Tell the driver “abbassia, maktab al gawaazaat”. In Arabic it’s called “مصلحة الجوازات والهجرة والجنسية”. Here’s a link for Google Maps.
The building may be busy after a weekend or holiday, but otherwise it’ll be fine.
Once you enter the building, there are signs saying where you need to go… although there’s nothing for visa extensions. That’s why you need this guide 🙂
- (To get passport photos and photocopies if you don’t have them) On the first floor (one above ground) there’s a room for photocopying and for passport photos. Photocopies are 2 EGP per page, and photos are 50EGP each.
- If you need a re-entry visa: Get an extra copy of passport pages if you plan on getting a re-entry visa.
- Go to the second floor (two above ground) for visa extensions. It should be relatively empty compared to the chaos of the first floor you’ll pass (don’t panic)
- Go to window 20. Present your passport, and they’ll give you a number.
- Go to window 37 on the other side of the building and get some A3 forms (you may have to line up). Get some spare ones if you plan on coming back.
- Wait for your number to be called. It can take hours for your number to be called (roughly 4-5 per hour). The number will be displayed on a big screen with a robo-voice announcing it and the window you are to go to. If you come later in the day, you may not be seen that day.
A note on dealing with your teller: you’ll work with them for the whole day. If they’re grumpy, prepared for grumpiness in several stages! Be polite, speak Arabic if you can, or take someone with you to help and keep the process calm and smooth.
Tips for filling out the first form:
- For an address, you need to have an address for the duration of your stay, written in Arabic. This means having a lease contract, or a long-term booking. Previously, a hotel address in Giza/Cairo was sufficient, but this has changed as of mid 2019. From one person who wrote in (thank you): “This contract must be stamped on Floor 3. If it’s not stamped by the police or local authorities, then it is void.”
- Duration of stay: three months. This is the only kind of visa you can get.
- You don’t need to put your phone number if you don’t have one.
- For ‘Religion’, put down something that won’t cause trouble. Not “Buddhist” or “Unitarian” or something. I’m sorry, with due respect to religious freedoms, this is Egypt, the country where “all three Abrahamic religions” are recognised.
OK, now on to the rest of the steps.
- You’ll get a receipt, and be told to go to the bank and pay.
- Now, go to the bank and pay! The bank lines are usually quite empty. For a 3-month extension it’s 1140 EGP.
- Take your receipt back. Your teller will give you a military security form.
- Fill out the security form. For “the countries you visited in middle east” be sure to include your sojourn to Occupied Palestine, just to troll the guy (don’t do this).
- Take the security form back to your teller. He’ll take your photo, and your fingerprints, all at the same booth.
- You’ll get your passport, and a receipt, and be told to come back the next day (or on Saturday, as it’s closed on Friday.)
You’re done. You should be out of there by 10-11 am. Go get yourself a delicious Egyptian lunch!
Day Two of Egypt Visa Renewal: Paperwork and collection
Time taken: 4-8 hour round trip (it can blow out, if it gets very busy)
Cost: Take 600+ per person (or more for fancier food). There are additional fees of 530, but you want extra money for food and taxi fares Just taxi fares, and coffee/food while you wait.
Main events: Paperwork, collection
This is what happens on Day 2 of getting your Egypt visa renewed:
- Get ready to leave — but not so early. They’ll tell you when, but you can usually arrive around 10am.
- Go to window 1 on the the third floor. You get a ticket. Grab two; keep one for when you have to return. The ticket number will be on your application which you gave the previous day.
- Wait to be called. They’re not called in any specific order, and you might just be called based on the teller recognising your face from the photo. When you are called, you hand over your passport. You’ll be given another slip.
- Head back to the bank teller to pay the second fee of 530 EGP (Sep 2019 updated)
- Once you’ve paid, head back to the counter. They’ll tell you to come back the afternoon of the same day (after 1pm).
You can now leave (temporarily). On the way out, notice the number signs, and watch them: the numbers don’t go in order. You’re grouped somehow. But still, you can leave the building and go get a coffee or smoke some deadly morning shesha.
Come back in the afternoon (1pm). Your number might have been called, so go up to the security guard and give him your number. He’ll either wave you through, or tell you to go wait outside (if you don’t speak Arabic it’ll be clear from his hand signals).
Optional Day 2-3 for Re-entry visa
This part we’re not sure about the exact steps since it moved from the Mogamma; nobody has been able to figure it out. If you do, tell us!
Time taken: Another 30 minutes on day 2, plus 20 minutes on day 3 (with an awkward 4 hour gap)
Costs: 435 LE plus taxis
If you plan to leave Egypt and come back, like to visit a nearby country, you need a re-entry visa. The procedure for this is easy, but means you’ll have to come back on day 3. It might be easier for you to just pay for new visas at the airport coming back, but it’s up to you.
Ask your agent for the process, and forms required. Once you know, please tell us so we can share it!
Costs for Egypt Tourist Visa Renewal
It was very hard to find the costs for Egypt renewed visas on the Internet, and we only found out in person. We rely on people on the ground telling us for updates.
- The three month renewed Egypt visa costs 1140 LE (~$70) per person (valid as of Aug 2019) + another fee of 530 on collection.
- (Optional) The re-entry visa cost is 435 (valid as at February 2019)
- Photocopying and photography costs about 60 LE per person (about $4)
- Taxis will cost you about 20 LE each (about $1)
Total cost for Egypt visa renewal: around 1750 LE (about US$100) per person.
This might sound expensive, but you will probably pay more if you just pay the fine at the airport — not a strategy I’d recommend, though I know some take it.
Here’s a price list for services at the Egypt passport and visa office (Feb 2019)
The most important prices here are
- Renewal of stay, maximum one year: 1105. You pay this plus presumably some stamping fee. If you want a 6-12 month renewal, you need proof of address which includes a lease with your name on it.
- Marriage: 10 (so cheap!)
- Divorce: 35 (this is presumably a disincentive)
FAQs about renewing your visa in Egypt
Is it a visa, or an ID card?
Surprise, it’s actually a plastic ID “Foreign Residence card”! This changed in June 2019. It used to be a visa in your passport, but it’s now a separate plastic card.
Can I renew my Egypt Tourist Visa online?
No you can’t renew your Egypt Tourist Visa online. Despite the fact that you can get your initial visa online (using the official visa portal — fun fact, avoid egyptvisa.com as it’s is a scam, see those TripAdvisor reviews), you have to go to the renewal office to renew your visa.
Is it easier just to leave Egypt and come back to get a new visa on arrival?
It’s very easy to get a visa on arrival in Egypt. You line up for a few minutes, pay $25 (cash only, USD) and get a visa. If you have some travel to do to a nearby country — like anywhere in the Mediterranean — that’s an option. If you have travel planned, definitely don’t update your visa… so much annoyance, and a waste of money for a there-month single-entry visa.
Note the Egypt visa you get when you return will also be only a one-month visa.
Can I just overstay my visa? What’s the fine for overstaying my visa in Egypt?
Unfortunately there are no “official prices” for overstaying your visa. Anecdotally we’ve heard the following but we do not recommend relying on it as enforcement of these is random.
- If you overstay your visa in Egypt for a few days, they’re likely to not care
- If you overstay your visa in Egypt for up to a month to a few months, it will cost you 1505 EGP (Feb 2019). But it will only take you two minutes to pay the fine.
- If you overstay more… we don’t know. But people have done it.
Just some photos of how it used to be back at the Mogamma. The good old days 🙂