• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Egypt demands $1,000 residency fee from unlawful migrants as dollar shortage bites

Egypt demands $1,000 residency fee from unlawful migrants as dollar shortage bites

The Egyptian government is asking unlawful foreigners residing in the country including Nigerians to pay a $1,000 residency fee – in hard currency – to legalise their stay in Egypt and avoid detention or deportation.

In addition to the $1,000 reconciliation fee, the residency permit is dependent on the provision of an Egyptian host, within three months from the effective date of the decision in August 2023.

Following the decree made by Mostafa Madbouly, the Egyptian prime minister, foreigners applying for residency whether for tourism or other purposes are required to pay the fees in US dollars or other hard currency through a local bank or a registered foreign exchange house, and are required to submit an invoice for that transaction.

The decision is the latest in a series of moves by the Egyptian government aimed at retrieving more foreign currency as the country suffers from a shortage of US dollars amid rising debt and inflationary pressures.

Last year, BusinessDay reported that Egypt faced an economic crisis with inflation hitting record numbers and a chronic foreign currency shortage after the borrowing spree over the last eight years made external debt repayments increasingly difficult.

In November, The government extended the deadline for the payments, giving unlawful residents another 3 months to complete the legalization process and adjust their status. The deadline, which was originally set to expire on 15 December 2023, is extended till 15 March 2024.

Last year, the Egyptian cabinet made claims of rumours being spread on websites and social media about a decision to charge tourists arriving in the country from several destinations, debunking it as false and stating that the only fees payable were for entry visas required from a number of countries.

The Ministry of Interior in May decided to allow foreigners to be licensed for temporary residence which included granting five-year renewable residency to foreigners who owned one or more homes in Egypt worth a minimum of $200,000, or a three-year renewable residency to those who owned real estate worth $100,000.