Have you recently moved to Egypt as an expat or, are you planning to?
Relocating to another country can be an overwhelming process for everyone. Because you would have to make new friends, learn new traditions and perhaps even make some changes to your lifestyle to fit in your new environment. If you are not prepared for this experience, you might not fare very well.
There are some Egyptian guidelines for expats that can help make your transition from your country to Egypt easier than it would naturally be if you stick to them. These guidelines will give you all the information you need to know about Egypt and also prepare your mind against expectations. You will also learn some safety measures you can adopt to make your living in the country a better experience. Whatever you need to know regarding the culture, vaccines you have to take, entertainment options, the country map, and expats’ websites will also be shared in this Egyptian guideline for expats. And all you have to do is read all of this information and take down the necessary notes as a future guide.
Is Egypt a safe place to go in 2020?
There is no doubt that Egypt, like any other country, has its own imperfections. But it is generally a safe place to be. Once you take note of your surroundings and ensure you are at the right place at the right time, you really don’t have to worry about anything.
What to expect in your relocation to Egypt?
Moving from one country to another is usually a tedious process. You are very likely to experience stress and fatigue from all the packing and traveling you would have to do. And as time goes on, you may feel lonely and homesick if you have moved alone. But all of this is normal, and with time, you will adapt to your new life and eventually grow to love it.
Egyptian guidelines for expats
The focus of this guide is on Egypt’s capital city, Cairo, because this is where most people move to. Right from the moment you have made up your mind to move to Egypt, here is what you have to do:
Make Preparations to move.
Naturally, you will need to get your passport ready for your relocation. Your passport should be valid for not less than 180 days on the day you get into Egypt. Make sure you have a valid passport document before you go ahead to get a traveling visa or work permit if you are moving to Egypt for work purposes.
Getting a Visa
If you are getting an electronic visa, then make sure you are buying from a legitimate buyer to avoid complications that will sabotage your travel plans. You should obtain your visa by yourself if you can.
If you are from any of these countries, you can stay in Egypt for three months without getting a visa or come into the country under some conditions:
- United Arab Emirates
- Hong Kong
- Saudi Arabia
For most people coming in from Western countries, you can get an entry visa upon your arrival at the Cairo International Airport. This option applies to all the countries from the European Union, including the following:
- United Kingdom
- United States
Getting a Student/Business Visa
Student visas are required by those who are moving to Egypt for school. And the business visa is for those who have come into Egypt for work purposes. You should know that you may be required to contact the company or University in question in the process of getting either of these visas.
There is usually a transit time of about 48 hours for citizens with international citizenship, and exemptions may be provided to those who meet the necessary requirements.
Get a travel insurance policy.
You should consider taking a travel insurance policy to take care of unprecedented occurrences such as a piece of lost baggage, canceled flights, and medical injury-related situations that can occur in the process. This will help make the situation easy to take care of if it happens.
Flight Ticket Recommendations
If you want to save your money, then you should go with Egyptian Airlines, but if you are looking for more expensive flights, you may consider flights like Emirates and Air France. The cheapest flights are usually those stopping once or twice along the way, and you can get an opportunity to sightsee at any of these stops if you have the necessary documents. Book your tickets directly from the website of the airline of your choice to avoid unnecessary booking costs.
Get a Tour Guide
Consider getting a tour guide for a full Egypt experience. There are so many places of attraction you can get to visit, and this can be done without hassles when you have an experienced tour guide with you.
Vaccination and Medication
You must take all the necessary precautions to stay healthy while in Egypt. The country is not particularly clean, especially in the local areas where residents don’t really care about clean surroundings. Get the necessary information on vaccinations you might need and contact your insurance company to see if they can arrange a free vaccine or get a discount. While you are not obligated to get vaccinated before entering Egypt, you will be asked to present a vaccination passport if you are coming in from a “Yellow Fever country.” Other diseases you are advised to get vaccinated for include Polio, Measles, Hepatitis A, Rabies, and Diphtheria.
Consult your doctor if you have underlying health issues before submitting to any vaccination, and if you need to carry medicine along with you to Egypt, make sure you check with the Egyptian Drugs Authority to ensure your drugs are legal for entry. Drugs like codeine can get you into trouble and lead to a jail term.
Driving in Egypt is quite tough, and it is probably best that you leave the driving to the locals in the first weeks or months of your arrival. Wear very comfortable shoes when you are crossing the streets and even on your tourist trips because the Egyptian streets can be filthy.
Cairo has a metro system for easy movement that you can make use of. It is also one of the cheapest means of transportation, and you are not likely to meet other foreigners because of the fear of getting robbed. But if you want to enjoy the local experience, then this is a good option for you. Alternatively, make use of Uber or Careem ride services.
Learn to bargain with locals if you need goods or services from them so that you can get the best deals. You should also know that you are expected to give a tip from time to time, especially when you are satisfied with a service.
Choose your outfits very carefully to avoid odd stares and wrongful advances. Dress according to the occasion and try to blend with the crowd in public places. Females are expected to wear clothes to cover their knees and shoulders and wear a scarf when they visit religious sites.
You will need lots of water as the weather in Egypt can be very hot. Avoid tap water and buy bottled water instead. Even the locals don’t really drink the tap water.
Another essential you might want to get is tissue. You will need it for when you visit public restrooms and also for the hot weather. Having hand sanitizer is also a good idea when visiting public places.
- Watch your step on the roads of Egypt to avoid trips and falls because they are not well maintained.
- There are honest people in Egypt, but many cannot be trusted. Don’t be too quick to give your money out.
- Know that you are regarded as a walking wallet on your arrival to Egypt. Make sure you watch where you go, and at what time of the day.
Find a comfortable place to stay.
You definitely want to stay in a safe and friendly neighborhood where you can easily relate with the people. Consider areas like Maadi Sarayat and Degla, Zamalek, Mohandessin, and Heliopolis. Of course, some of these areas are more expensive than the rest. And some offer more opportunities and improved living. Find the one that best suits your purposes and settle. It is easier to get a furnished apartment, but you can rent a space and do your own furnishing.
Do not forget to stay connected with other expats, especially if you are planning to stay for a long time. Join expat clubs or forums, but be wary of those who want to get close just to rip you off. The ultimate thing is the desire to move and stay in Egypt, and once you have that, you will survive the odds and finally make a home for yourself.