Egypt - Country Commercial Guide
Business Travel

Includes information on acceptable business etiquette, dress, business cards, gifts, etc.

Last published date: 2022-08-08

Business Customs

Business formal dress is typical for meetings in Egypt, as is an exchange of business cards. Proper etiquette calls for the utmost courteousness and addressing others by their proper titles, whether it be doctor, engineer, sir, madam, etc.

Travel Advisory

The American Citizens Services (ACS) unit of the U.S. Embassy is typically open to the public from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon Sunday through Thursday, except for American and Egyptian holidays. Those seeking routine services should schedule an appointment through the online appointment system or email consularcairoiv@state.gov with any questions.

For emergencies during and after business hours, U.S. citizens can contact the ACS unit via the main U.S. Embassy Cairo switchboard: 02-2797-3300. The physical mailing address for the U.S. Embassy in Cairo is 8 Kamal el-Din Salah Street, Garden City, Cairo, Egypt. Express mail services also use the physical address. Consular information for U.S. Citizen services is available on the U.S. Embassy Cairo website.

U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry at least a copy of their U.S. passport with them at all times, so that, if questioned by local officials, proof of identity and U.S. citizenship is 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 if requested to do so by the foreign citizen.

Visa Requirements

U.S. citizens living in or visiting Egypt are encouraged to register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to obtain updated information on travel and security within Egypt.

Passports and Visas

U.S. citizens must have a visa to enter Egypt.

U.S. citizens can obtain a renewable single-entry 30-day tourist visa on arrival at Egyptian airports for a 25 USD fee. A multiple entry visa is also obtainable for 60 USD.

The Government of Egypt has created a website for the issuance of “e-visas.” There are other websites purporting to offer electronic visas, some of which reportedly charge double the official price, but this is the only official Government of Egypt portal for this service. U.S. citizens and the citizens of 44 other countries are eligible to apply through this means in advance of their travel.

Egyptian immigration officials occasionally have denied entry to travelers without explanation. 

U.S. citizens who have experienced difficulty with their visa status in Egypt or are concerned about their eligibility for a visa upon arrival should apply for a visa at an Egyptian embassy or consulate prior to travel, but a visa obtained prior to entry does not guarantee admission to Egypt.

Visas for gainful employment or study in Egypt must be obtained prior to travel.

Work Permits

U.S. citizens who wish to come to Egypt for work must obtain work permits and work/business visas before arrival.

All work permits must be obtained through the employer. These permits may be acquired from the Ministry of Manpower and Migration offices in the district of the employer; accordingly, these permits authorize residency in the country.

U.S. citizens who arrive as tourists but want to change their status after arrival in country may acquire a three-month tourist/non-working residency visa to allow sufficient time to change their status from tourist to worker.

U.S. citizens in Egypt on tourist visas are not permitted to work. 

For additional information on entering Egypt, please contact the nearest Egyptian Embassy or Consulate in the United States.

Currency

Egyptian Pound (EGP) – Exchange Rate: 1 USD ~ 15.65 EGP

Telecommunications/Electronics

Cell phone usage is highly prevalent in Egypt. SIM cards are inexpensive and widey avaible at severage carriers, including Orange and Vodafone

Transportation

High volumes of traffic, particually in the Cairo metro area, routinely cause congestion. Cairo is serviced by a metro system and other forms of puclib transportation. Uber and taxis are widely available for use and quite inexpensive compared to U.S. fares.

Language

The official language is Egyptian Arabic. In the corporate world, as well as in tourist parts of Cario, Alexandria, and elsewhere, English is widely spoken, though not universally.

Local Time, Business Hours and Holidays

Typical work hours are Sunday through Thursday 8:00 am – 4:30 pm. The U.S. Embassy is open Sunday through Thursday and is closed on American and Egyptian holidays. During the month of Ramadan, local employees work seven hours per day (one hour less than normal either in the morning or in the afternoon).

Temporary Entry of Materials or Personal Belongings

Customs Regulations: Egyptian customs authorities enforce strict regulation

s concerning temporary importation into or export from Egypt of items such as firearms, religious materials, antiquities, medications, business equipment, currency and ivory.

Personal use items such as jewelry, laptop computers, and electronic equipment are exempt from customs fees and are allowed into the country. Commercial merchandise and samples require an import/export license issued by the Ministry of Trade and Industry 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.


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 same protections available to the individual under U.S. laws. Penalties for breaking local laws can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Egyptian laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned.

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 of drugs.

Consular Access: U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a copy of their U.S. passport with them at all times, so that, if questioned by local officials, proof of identity and U.S. citizenship is 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 if requested to do so by the foreign citizen.

Photography Restrictions: There are restrictions on photographing military personnel and sites, bridges, and canals, including the Suez Canal. Please note, these locations are not always clearly marked.  Egyptian authorities may broadly interpret these restrictions to include other potentially sensitive structures, including embassies, police stations, and other public buildings with international associations, and some religious edifices. Visitors should refrain from taking photographs that include uniformed personnel.

Children’s Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, please refer to the website State Department on Child Abduction or telephone the Overseas Citizens Services (OCS) call center at 1-888-407-4747. The OCS call center can answer general inquiries regarding international adoptions and will forward calls to the appropriate country officer in the Bureau of Consular Affairs. This number is available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Callers who are unable to use toll-free numbers, such as those calling from overseas, may obtain information and assistance during these hours by calling +1-317-472-2328.

Embassy Location and Registration: U.S. citizens living in or visiting Egypt are encouraged to register at Smart Traveler Enrollment or at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Egypt and obtain updated information on travel and security within Egypt. The American Citizens Services (ACS) office of the U.S. Embassy is located at 5 Latin America Street, Garden City, Cairo, and is open to the public from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon Sunday through Thursday. The ACS is closed the last Tuesday of each month and on American and Egyptian holidays. Those seeking routine services should schedule an appointment through the online appointment system. Those needing emergency services do not need an appointment.

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 +2-02-2797-3300. The Consular Section telephone number is +2-02-2797-2301, the fax number is +2-02-2797-2472, and the email address is: consularcairoiv@state.gov.Consular information is available via the Internet at U.S. Consult Cairo:

https://www.osac.gov/Pages/ContentReportDetails.aspx?cid=25939

For U.S. citizens who work or study at the Cairo American College and the American University in Cairo, the consular section maintains a special appointment day on Thursdays. It is not obligatory to make an appointment online, however U.S. citizens should notify consular staff at the following email address: consularcairoiv@state.gov.

Resources

Department of State Travel Sheet on Egypt: Egypt Travel Sheet at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Egypt.html

U.S. State Department’s travel warnings and travel alerts: Travel Warnings

Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Washington, DC: Egyptian Embassy

Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Egypt: U.S. Embassy Egypt

State Department Travel website: travel.state.gov/content/travel/en.html

Egypt Tourist Authority: Egyptian Tourist Authority (http://www.egypttourism.org/)

Smart Traveler Enrollment Program: Smart Travel Enrollment