Applying for an E Visa is normally not something I worry about too much when I travel especially when I know getting a visa on arrival is simple. However, these are no longer normal times. Since global travel has started to open up, there are more regulations and requirements to be aware of before you can even leave. Thus, I’ve adopted a new strategy of trying to make sure everything I CAN get done is done BEFORE I leave.
Here are things to know while applying for your E Visa:
- You have to create your E Visa application at least 7 days prior to departure.
- You’ll have to upload a picture of your passport UNDER 500KB
- Cost Is $25 for a single entry per person
E Visa application
**Remember: According to the website, you must have your application created (and I’m assuming submitted) at least 7 days prior to departure. I don’t know how strict that rule is but you’ll definitely want to keep that in mind because you’ll have to print out the E Visa before you arrive.**
Start by going to https://visa2egypt.gov.eg/eVisa/Home and make sure your country of origin is listed as a country that is allowed to apply for an E Visa. The list is relatively short and mainly consists of European countries so if your country isn’t on the list, it may mean you’ll have to get a visa on arrival or go through the embassy.
Once your login is created, they’ll send you an email to confirm the email address you provided. From there, the info requested is simple stuff that we’ve all seen before (type of visa, reason for visit, date of arrival/departure, etc).
Next, you’ll have to input all your personal info (name, date of birth, passport #, etc). All simple and standard info that you have to fill out whenever you visit any country. However, as you scroll down, they’ll ask you to upload a picture/document of your passport. It calls it a document but the system only allows you to upload a JPEG or PNG file so it’ll have to be a photo of your passport.
What’s annoying here is that the attachment can’t be larger than 500KBs. Considering the average photo from a smart phone is probably around 5MBs, your photo is going to be significantly larger than the allowed space. Here, you’ll have to use a simple web-based image compressor to shrink your image. I used https://imagecompressor.com/ but you can use whichever one you like. What I like about this website is that you can use the scroll bar to the right (once you drop your photo in) to see exactly where the quality needs to be for the photo to be accepted by the website.
The next step will ask about your accommodations during your visit. Under Host Type, you’ll have an option of choosing: family, tour company, self, or other. I chose “other” since I was staying in a hotel and none of the other options seemed to fit. However, I’m not sure if all the options make sense either since I can’t image anyone applying for a tourist visa if they’re staying at their place of residence (which I’m assuming “self” means).
Next, it’ll ask for your host’s name, phone, email, and address. I just left the customer service email address I found for the hotel website which should suffice. All the pertinent info should be available via the web regardless of where you’re staying.
Finally, you’ll be directed to the payment page where you’ll have to pay either $25 or $60 per person depending on whether you’re applying for a single or multiple entry visa. The system only accepts payments of Visa or Mastercard.
After payment, you can save (download) the receipt and you should get a response within a few days. For me, it took about 24 hours for the payment to be acknowledged and about another 12 hours for my E Visa to come to me via email. To be fair, I was battling time zones and wasn’t constantly check my email to see if I received my E Visa. But I think 24-48 hours is a fair bet on when you’ll receive it.
On arrival, you’ll want to present a physical copy of the E Visa along with your passport and you should be good to go!
**Side note to all this. You CAN get a visa on arrival in Cairo. Depending on the time your flight lands, it may be a very quick process. When my flight landed, it was so delayed that there was only 1 other flight that had arrived. If you’re getting a visa on arrival, you’ll want to go to the extreme RIGHT as you get off the escalator as you head toward immigration. Don’t forget to get your visa BEFORE getting in line because if you do, you’ll be forced to exit the line, get your visa, and then wait in line again.**
The E Visa process is fairly pain free and easy to use but it is a bit annoying. The JPEG size limitation definitely can slow you down and if you’re doing this a week before departure from another country with spotty internet connection, I can see it getting frustrating. Also, since the process isn’t instantaneous, it could be a bit of problem if you’re used to doing things like this at the last second (like I am). However, the time it’ll save on arrival will definitely make it worth your while.