Egyptian Citizenship: All You Need to Know

Embarking on the quest for Egyptian citizenship? Dive into this comprehensive guide where we unravel the essentials for you.

From eligibility criteria to the application process, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re a seasoned expat or new to the journey, understanding the intricacies is key to navigating this aspect of expat life smoothly.

Let’s dive in!

What Does It Mean To Have Egyptian Citizenship?

Individuals with Egyptian citizenship enjoy various rights and obligations inside the country. In addition to conferring rights like the ability to vote, work, and live in Egypt, it also denotes membership in the Egyptian community.

Citizens are expected to uphold Egyptian law and support national well-being. Naturalization, marriage, descent, and birth are some ways to become an Egyptian citizen.

The principles of jus soli, or birth in Egypt, and jus sanguinis, or birth to Egyptian-national parents, are generally used to confer Egyptian nationality. 

It may be awarded to those who have ties to the nation or, through naturalization, to a permanent resident who has resided there for a sufficient amount of time.

Types Of Egyptian Citizenship

The following methods can be used to obtain Egyptian citizenship:

  • Citizenship by naturalization.
  • Citizenship by marriage.
  • Citizenship by descent.
  • Citizenship by birth.

To become an Egyptian citizen, one must meet certain conditions and follow specific procedures established by the Egyptian government. This process is known as naturalization.

The second kind, known as citizenship by birth, allows you to obtain Egyptian citizenship whether or not your parents are citizens if you were born in Egypt.

Citizenship by descent is the legal right to citizenship in Egypt if you or your parents are citizens.

While everything may seem straightforward, following the right processes and providing the necessary paperwork to government officials on time can still be challenging.

Naturalization In Egypt

Naturalization is the procedure that allows foreign persons to become citizens of Egypt. It entails fulfilling legal prerequisites, including a minimal length of stay, language competency, and observance of the Egyptian Nationality Law

Those who have lived in the country long enough to demonstrate familiarity with the Arabic language, social mores, and customs may be eligible for naturalization. 

The general requirements are that candidates be of excellent moral character and behavior, free of criminal records, in good physical and mental health, able to support themselves financially, and have lived in the nation for ten years. 

The question of whether adoptees can obtain nationality still needs to be addressed by Egyptian nationality legislation. 

Requirements For Naturalization Based On Egyptian Citizenship

A person must meet residency criteria, prove language competency, and follow specific legal procedures to be eligible for Egyptian citizenship through naturalization.

Applying for citizenship through naturalization requires a lot of paperwork, which must be gathered, properly arranged, and followed systematically.

It can be challenging to start this path if you have yet to learn about it beforehand and need help understanding the laws about becoming a citizen.

It is advisable to obtain professional counsel due to the complexity of the naturalization procedure. Legal professionals can offer invaluable support in comprehending the prerequisites and navigating the application procedure.

How To Apply For Naturalization To Become An Egyptian Citizen

The naturalization process for Egyptian citizenship is an organized procedure with rules and regulations. The following is a step-by-step guide to help you through the Egyptian citizenship naturalization process:

  1. Recognize Eligibility Requirements: Become acquainted with the requirements listed in the Egyptian Nationality Law. This covers prerequisites for residency, language ability, and other needs.
  1. Minimum Residency criteria: Verify that you fulfill the legal minimum residency criteria established by Egypt. Legal residency may last for various lengths of time, and during this time, it is essential to abide by immigration regulations.
  1. Language Proficiency: Show that you are an adept Arabic speaker. This prerequisite is frequently evaluated via a specific language competency exam. For this requirement to be met, prepare for and pass the test.
  1. Compile the Necessary Records: Gather any required paperwork, such as, but not limited to, Identity documentation (passport, national ID, etc.), residency licenses and background and certificate of marriage, if applicable.
  1. Obtain the Application Form: Get the official Egyptian citizenship application form from the appropriate authorities. This form will come with comprehensive instructions on what data is needed.
  1. Send in the Application: Accurately fill out the application and send it to the relevant government office (usually the Ministry of Interior). Ensure the information is accurate and all mandatory fields are filled in.
  1. Pass Security screenings: As part of the application process, be ready to undergo security screenings. Authorities may perform background checks to determine whether you qualify for Egyptian citizenship.
  1. Remit fees for naturalization: Pay the necessary naturalization fees to satisfy your financial commitments. As the price structure may differ, it is essential to enquire about the precise fees related to the naturalization procedure.

Foreigners who invest $250,000, equivalent to The Egyptian Pound (EGP) E£ 7711630.19, or more, can become citizens of Egypt. 

Investors can launch a business, make a non-refundable donation, open a bank account locally, or purchase real estate in the nation. The whole thing takes half a year or more. 

How To Get Egyptian Citizenship By Marriage

If a foreign woman marries an Egyptian, she only automatically obtains his nationality through marriage if she notifies the interior Minister of her wish to do so.

Along with that, the marriage should not dissolve before two years have passed for any reason other than his death.

Before the two years have passed, the interior Minister may issue a legally-based decree preventing the wife from obtaining Egyptian nationality. 

Additionally, “If a foreign woman obtains Egyptian nationality, she will not lose it upon divorce unless she has regained her previous nationality or marries a foreigner and obtains his nationality by the laws of that nationality.”

The legal spouse of an Egyptian national following two years of marriage and after declaring to the Interior Minister that she wished to become an Egyptian national. 

Thus, the spouse must:

  • Marry a man who is Egyptian.
  • Had been married to her spouse for two years before submitting an application for citizenship with the Ministry of the Interior, which is the government’s representative.
  • The marriage must last till the person obtains Egyptian nationality.

For a foreign spouse married to an Egyptian woman, this law does not apply. No matter what nationality he now holds, he is not eligible to petition for Egyptian nationality naturalization.

Required Documents

  • You must first ratify the marriage certificate before getting the Egyptian marriage certificate if the marriage still needs to be legally finalized under Egyptian law. The Egyptian consulates or embassies in the US can handle this.
  • The proof that the grandfather is Egyptian is the birth certificate of the husband’s father or uncle.
  • The husband’s Egyptian passport.
  • Passport of the wife.
  • A signed declaration in writing from the husband stating that they are still married and that he wants to become an Egyptian citizen.
  • 4 photos of the wife

Send all the above mentioned documents and a $95 check payable to the “Embassy of Egypt”.

How To Get Egyptian Citizenship By Descent

Citizenship through descent is a procedure that permits people to become citizens of a country based on their ancestry. 

Citizenship by descent, as used in Egypt, is a procedure that grants citizenship to people just by their birth to Egyptian parents or by having close family relations with Egyptian citizens.

Other foreign nationals who fit the requirements in addition to those who might be naturalized include:

  • Individuals born in Egypt are citizens of a Muslim nation or a nation whose majority language is Arabic and who have lived in Egypt for a year.
  • Foreign nationals who were regular residents of Egypt at the time of their majority can petition for naturalization within a year of becoming citizens, with the residence requirement waived.
  • Individuals born in Egypt and whose father was also born there and who, after five years of residency, had Arabic or Muslim ancestry.
  • When a parent obtains nationality, minor children may immediately become naturalized.

How To Get Egyptian Citizenship By Birth

Egyptian citizenship is not automatically granted to anyone born there. 

Birthright citizenship is only awarded in the following circumstances: If the father is unknown or undocumented and the child is born in Egypt to an Egyptian mother outside of marriage, the child is considered an Egyptian citizen. 

Unknown parent-born children born in Egypt are automatically accorded Egyptian citizenship.

Is It Possible To Obtain Egyptian Citizеnship By Invеstmеnt

Any foreign person may participate in the naturalization program, regardless of nationality.

Investors can purchase real estate, start a business in Egypt, deposit money in a local bank, or make a non-refundable donation to get an Egyptian passport. 

$250,000 minimum investment is required. In addition, investors pay a $10,000 government charge. It is not possible to transfer money from an Egyptian account to an investment; it must be done from overseas.

It takes six to twelve months to complete the passport application process for investors.

How Long Does It Take To Become An Egyptian Citizеn?

Depending on the route taken to apply for citizenship, there are several timeframes for becoming an Egyptian citizen. The following are broad schedules for several techniques:

  • Children born anywhere with at least one parent who is a citizen of Egypt will be awarded citizenship immediately.
  • Egypt citizenship by investment takes 6 to 12 months to process
  • Citizenship by marriage takes two years to grant citizenship.

Egyptian Dual Citizenship: And How To Get It

Nationality is a political and legal tie that ties a person to a nation, requiring its bearer to join its people and pledge allegiance in return for the nation’s promise to defend them domestically and internationally. 

With the approval of the Interior Minister, Egyptian nationals can naturalize a foreign nationality while maintaining their Egyptian citizenship.

Wives and non-minor children are omitted when permission is granted. Minor children (up to 18) are accepted, but each one needs to apply separately.

Since 2004, Egypt has allowed dual nationality with permission from the government; however, the prime Minister, the president, and members of their immediate family are not permitted to hold more than one nationality. 

Legislators are also prohibited from holding dual nationality by several court decisions in particular instances. 

Except for serving in the Egyptian military, Egyptian law permits its residents to naturalize a foreign nationality while maintaining Egyptian citizenship.

Generally, if a person obtains dual nationality without authorization from the government, there are no automatic repercussions; nevertheless, if the Cabinet of Egypt issues a ruling on the matter, the affected person is officially denaturalized.

How can I get an approval for dual citizenship?

The completed form (available by contacting the embassy) must be submitted by the citizen together with the necessary paperwork to the Consular Section:

  • The birth certificate from Egypt is in copy.
  • If necessary, a photocopy of the father’s Egyptian birth certificate or the birth certificate of one of the aunts or uncles to demonstrate the grandfather’s Egyptian ancestry.
  • A copy of the Egyptian passport’s information pages; the document needs to be current.
  • The Egyptian identity card is in copy form.
  • A copy of the foreign passport’s information pages (which must be valid).
  • A copy of the foreign national’s naturalization document.
  • The wife’s request for naturalization of her foreign nationality, with the husband’s approval.
  • Four pictures.

A dual citizenship approval typically takes six weeks to process. The documents will be sent to Egypt’s Passports, Immigration, and Nationality Authority by the consulate after they have been reviewed. 

For updates, the citizen must check in with the consular department.

Permit For Foreign Citizenship

A person’s nationality is a political and legal tie that unites them to a country, requiring them to abide by its laws and become a member of its populace in return for the nation’s promise to protect them domestically and internationally. 

With the approval of the Minister of the Interior, Egyptian nationals are permitted by law to naturalize a foreign nationality while keeping or losing their Egyptian citizenship.

Suppose a citizen wishes to lose their Egyptian nationality. In that case, they will be considered to have lost it as of the date of the ministerial confirmation or, if it occurs earlier, the date they obtained their foreign nationality.

It should be mentioned that:

  • A citizen will be considered to be of dual nationality in this situation. The citizen may petition to retain Egyptian nationality within a year of the date of losing Egyptian nationality.
  • If an Egyptian citizen is granted permission to get foreign citizenship, losing their nationality does not automatically mean that their wife will also lose their Egyptian naturalization unless she specifically requests it.
  • Children under eighteen will have their nationality taken away if their father changes their nationality and they adopt the new one.
  • Once they reach adulthood, children can choose to maintain their Egyptian citizenship for the year.
  • The approval of the Ministry of the Interior is required before the application for a permit to obtain foreign citizenship is considered granted.

Common Reasons For Citizenship Denial In Egypt

In Egypt, the refusal of a residence permit can be attributed to various frequent factors, such as:

  • Inaccurate or Incomplete Documentation: A residence permit application may only be accepted if the necessary paperwork is submitted or the information provided is accurate.
  • Missing Essential Documents: A residence permit may only be allowed if the application includes certain required documents.
  • Falsified Information: Including fraudulent or false information in your application may result in its rejection.
  • Legal Concerns: Applicants who have unresolved legal matters may have their residency permit denied. Legal difficulties or a criminal history are examples of these problems.
  • Severe Health Conditions: A person’s residency permit may be refused if they have a severe illness that puts their life in danger or is contagious.

Options After a Refusal

The ability to appeal the judgment is still available to applicants who feel their residence permit was denied unfairly. They can prosecute and go to court to do this. After receiving the denial notice, these legal actions must be started within ten days.

A Loss Of Egyptian Nationality

Egyptian nationals may relinquish their citizenship with state sanction. It takes five years after termination to regain lost nationality, whether through renunciation or denaturalization. 

In Egypt, citizens may lose their citizenship if they possess two nationalities, enlist in the armed forces of another country without permission, act against the interests of the state, or identify as Zionists. 

Failure to fulfill military duties; acting in a way that suggests one is a citizen of a different state; committing major offenses, betrayals, or crimes against the state or its security or concealment in a naturalization application.

Specific laws for denaturalization are contingent on the duration of one’s naturalization. In contrast, others do not impose a time restriction or differentiate between native-born or those who have gained naturalization in terms of losing their nationality.

How To Give Up Egyptian Citizenship?

Renunciation of Egyptian citizenship voluntarily is permitted if the individual receives previous authorization from a presidential decree. You need to contact the closest Egyptian Embassy for assistance in giving up Egyptian citizenship.

An involuntary loss of Egyptian citizenship is when a person freely becomes a citizen of another country. People commit specific transgressions. A person who obtains permanent residency overseas will, within six months, forfeit their citizenship.

How To Regain Egyptian Citizenship?

An individual who has lost their Egyptian nationality has one year from the date of loss to apply to regain it. The children who lost it before becoming adults may opt to become Egyptian citizens when they reach that age. 

Within a month of the application’s submission date, the response will be sent. The minor children will likewise be subject to the decision’s effects.

Conclusion

As we conclude this expat guide on Egyptian citizenship, envision yourself equipped with the knowledge to navigate this significant step confidently.

Ready to embrace Egyptian citizenship? Explore more insights and resources to ensure a seamless transition into your new identity.

Empowered & Farewell!

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