It is obviously that the Corporate Immigration has become extremely an important topic over the last several years, particularly now with the growth of the foreign investments in Egypt.  Corporate immigration, as the name implies, is the process through which a foreign company/ or individuals relocate or create a part of its business in Egypt. 

Under this topic “corporate immigration”, we will reveal to you how expats be eligible to work and reside in Egypt? How to apply for a residence and work permit from the Egyptian Immigration Authorities? Various special schemes have been designed in order to make it easier for highly qualified and/or skilled employees to obtain a residence and work permit in Egypt, in compliance with Egyptian Labor Law and Immigration Rules and Regulations in this respect with reasonable costs and fees.

Business or corporate immigrants create employment opportunities and make a significant investment in Egypt.  With any corporate immigration, it is critically important that the formation of any new Egyptian entity with foreign investors be done properly to ensure that the new entity will comply with the applicable Egyptian business codes as well as the Labor Law to ensure a seamless corporate immigration process.

Increasingly, EGYPT has become an attractive destination for foreign and nationals looking to expand their operations or even to start up new businesses.  A relatively favorable corporate, tax structure, a solid base of potential employees, “pro-business” new investment legislations, and reasonable property values are all reasons that many businesses have been cited for starting operations in Egypt. 

Any new venture is beginning in Egypt must have to navigate a host of the Egyptian Laws and Regulations.  However, with the assistance of a knowledgeable corporate attorney, these obstacles are manageable.  With proper legal guidance and structuring from the onset, a foreign company desiring to set up operations in Egypt can find the endeavor to be successful and rewarding.

As you may be aware, the most common occupation for expats working in Egypt is teaching in private schools while volunteers and NGO employees constitute another substantial section of the expat community. Other industries that attract foreign workers are oil & gas, media, as well as an emerging IT industry. As Egypt’s largest city, Cairo offers expats the most employment opportunities to foreigners.

The type of employment visas available for working in EGYPT

The work permit is the standard corporate immigration process for high-level managers and highly skilled staff. Noting that Work permits are limited under a quota scheme whereby the appointment of one foreign employee requires the appointment of nine Egyptian employees at the same time, said ratio (1:9) in application of the Egyptian Labor Law.

The process for getting a Work Permit (“WP”) OR Residence Permit (“RP”)

Applications should be pursued, and certain steps need to be taken, prior and post arrival, according to Law No.12 of 2003, the Ministerial Decrees No. 136 of 2003 and No.485 of 2010

The general process will include: applying for work approval from the Egyptian Ministry of Manpower then applying for an entry visa at the Egyptian diplomatic post overseas. On arrival in Egypt, an HIV blood test will need to be completed and a temporary work permit applied for. Once the applicant has received the temporary work permit, they can proceed to apply for a temporary residence permit. An extensive security clearance process must then be undergone before the final work permit is issued. Then, a residence permit must be applied for.

Noting that work permits are subject to a labor market test to show that no local residents are suitable for the position and work permits are granted on the understanding that the foreign national is training two named Egyptian national “assistants” to fill the same position and various company documents and declarations will be required to this end.

Finally if the expat is accompanied by family members; i.e. wife and children (Dependents), then RP's are stamped on their passports too, for the same period of residence as for the Principal.

The work authorization (WP) is usually issued for one year, but granted on two periods of six-month each, Renewal is possible up to a maximum duration of stay of five years, for work purposes only.

How long the will the Corporate Immigration Process take

It typically takes 1 to 3 months until the whole process is completed.

Important notes: Employees who change jobs while staying in Egypt must apply for a new residence and work permit, which must be handed in to the Egyptian Immigration Authorities prior to the new work commences.

Consequences of violation of the Egyptian Immigration Rules and Regulations:

Any non-compliance with the Egyptian Rules’ and requirements to obtain and hold a valid residence and work permit may have significant consequences for both the employer and the employee, according to Article (245) of Labor Law No.12/2003.=

The employer and employee may face fines ranging from EGP 20,000 to EGP 50,000 in case of an invalid residence and work permit. In the most severe cases, the fines can be even higher and multiplied by the number of employees for whom the offense was occurred and the fine shall be doubled in case of recurrence.

It is important to know that processes, rules and requirements will vary according to the labor market at the time of application, the type of work permit being applied for, the nationality of the applicant, the country of application and personal circumstances of the assignee and any family dependents. Moreover, many documents will also need to be legalized and/or translated prior to submission. We, therefore, recommend that you contact us for up-to-date information and to assist you with this process.