Please sign in to post.

Visa for Egypt: Prepay or get at the Airport

I am taking a cruise of Egypt in February. Everything I read on the net (and in my tourbook) indicate you can get your visa at Cairo Airport when you land (or other places.) The tourbook does state that on occasion an official can be "obstructive." The tour company wants me to pay $51 (in addition to the visa fee of $15). That seems like overkill and my inclination is to get my visa at the airport. Does anyone have any experience with this? Are many tourists turned away at the airport or have problems there? TIA

Posted by
1994 posts

Depends on your tolerance for adventure. I always obtained my own visa at the local consulate, rather than trusting airport officials. You could see whether that would be cheaper than the cruise line.
I wouldn't want to use Egyptian public transport to catch up with a boat because of a visa delay at the airport.

Posted by
507 posts

Ray,

I would get my visa stateside so there are no questions when you arrive in Egypt.

Posted by
8293 posts

Getting a visa at the Cairo airport is a simple process. You line up, pay some money ($20 ?) and Bob's your uncle. Of course the tour company would be very pleased to relieve you of an extra $51 by scaring you.

Posted by
714 posts

The two times I went to Egypt I bought the visa at the airport - very quick and easy. This was before the Arab Spring but as Egypt is desperate for tourists I really doubt anyone would be obstructive. As an added note, a friend visited Egypt in October and had a wonderful time. He commented on the fact that when his group visited they sites (Valley of the Kings) the were often the only people there, unlike previous times when they were jam-packed. He noted that many of the hotels in Luxor were closed down because of the lack of tourists and most of the Nile cruise boats had been moored by Luxor. I hear they hope to get moving again within the next few months.

Posted by
1068 posts

Thanks for the replies. I am leaning toward getting the visa at the airport. Am looking forward to the trip (in Feb.) It is shorter than I would like, but I will get to many of the more famous sites.

Posted by
1955 posts

Ray,
Safe travels, and please (pretty please) post a trip report when you get home. I've been eyeing some of the really good deals for tours in Egypt thru the first half of 2015, but I need more encouragement from those who have been in very recent months. Destination is on my husband's bucket list.....he really wants to see the Valley of the Kings.

As far as your VISA goes, our experience may or may not be of help, since we were in different countries, but we did a very last-minute cruise around NZ and Australia in January. Typical procedure was to follow a process to get VISA thru the cruise company, but New Zealand Air took care of the process for us at the LA airport (and kindly even waived the fee). When we got on the ship, evidently the ship had not received the electronic transmittal (confirming our VISAs) to match up with its manifest (the ship HAD to have confirmation of the VISA before arriving in Australia). Since we had already embarked, I figured we'd see if it ultimately got transmitted (before we purchased another thru the cruise company). Ours got confirmed, but I think another passenger's never was.

Again, the process might be entirely different for Egypt, but you might want to also check with the cruise company to see specifically what they might need (if not just a paper VISA that you get at the airport....if they issue paper) in order for you to board and go on the cruise. I think the other passenger who had the problem might not have given his ship name, vessel registration, etc. to his airline rep. I didn't know to do that, I just handed her a piece of paper with all our ship information, and she knew to enter it all.

If you can still buy a visa when you board the ship (?), that would provide extra back-up ..... but I'd guess in your circumstance, you might need to to finish clearing immigration just to arrive in Egypt. (Please include how it works out in your trip report, so we can learn that from your experience too).

Enjoy the deep long history in Egypt, and SAFE travels!!!!!

Posted by
1068 posts

The process if you are getting it in Egypt is to buy a visa for $15 (paper, at the airport) then stand in the next line to get into the country. I take it that it is a little like getting a visa to get into Turkey. Here are 3 comments from various websites and one website:
1) Note: Most travelers obtain their Visa upon entry to Egypt, and need not use the forms below to obtain a visa. Visa applications are normally passed out by airlines prior to landing at an Egyptian airport.........2) A: Yes, you will need a visa. Depending on your nationality, costs and procedures can differ. If youre an American citizen, you can purchase your visa at the airport upon arrival at a cost of $15 (US) per person........3) The visa is simply a stamp (like a mail or postage stamp ) that you buy from the visa office, at the port of entry just before the immigration booth; you can't really miss it! The visa will cost you around $15 and after buying it; you just stick in any empty page on your passport. Don't worry; it's so easy! Once you have bought your visa you then stand in line to get your passport stamped by the immigration officer........And a website: Apply fr Egyptian Visa

My tour book and a travel agent I know also recommended getting it at the airport. So far, only the cruise company suggested I get it in advance (using their visa application service.) I've gotten a few tough visas in my day (Russia and India) but this one seems it would be easier at the airport. I just wanted to check in case anyone had any experience.

Posted by
1068 posts

Okay, I am back from my trip and had a wonderful time. Will respond to pm if anyone wants details. As far as a VISA: for Egypt it would NOT pay to get one before your go. There is a very obvious visa booth right next to the line to get through passport control. If you miss it, passport control will point it out to you. You stand in the visa line very briefly (they move really fast) and give them $20 and they hand you a visa. They don't ask to see your passport or any questions. You can peel the sticky paper off and put it in your passport or hand the passport control person both and s/he will do it for you. Then they stamp your passport and you are through. Getting an Egyptian Visa beforehand would seem like extra time and money for nothing.

Posted by
3336 posts

This is great info to know...thanks for posting!!