MENAPolicy Updates

Egypt’s New Residence by Investment Program Starts at US$50,000

Egypt has approved the launch of a new residence by investment program, which provides renewable residence permits with validities varying from one to five years at investments starting from US$50,000.

The new program is the final result of a series of legal amendments completed in May, explains Cairo-based investment migration specialist Hany Mostafa Moawad of Prime Properties.

“In May,” says Moawad, “the Egyptian government approved amendments to the law on residency and property ownership for foreigners in Egypt,” which, he explains, has enabled the opening of the program.

Specifically, the laws reviewed for this purpose included

  • Law No. 89 of 1960 regarding the entry and residency of foreigners in the Arab Republic of Egypt;
  • Law No. 230 of 1996 regulating non-Egyptians’ ownership of built properties and vacant lands;
  • Law No. 14 of 2012 regarding integrated development in the Sinai Peninsula;
  • Law No. 72 of 2017 on investment; and
  • Law No. 194 of 2020 issuing the Central Bank Law

As a result, foreign citizens can now qualify for residence permits in Egypt at the following terms:

Real estate investment

  • Acquire one or more properties in Egypt with a total value of at least US$200,000 (5-year permit);
  • Acquire one or more properties in Egypt with a total value of at least US$100,000 (3-year permit);
  • Acquire one or more properties in Egypt with a total value of at least US$50,000 (1-year permit).

Bank Deposit

  • Deposit US$100,000 in an Egyptian state-owned bank (3-year permit);
  • Deposit US$50,000 in an Egyptian state-owned bank (1-year permit).
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In each case, the residence permits are renewable indefinitely, as long as the investment is maintained. The program, like its cousin, the Egypt Citizenship by Investment Program, imposes no physical presence requirements whatsoever.

“The Director-General of Passports, Immigration, and Nationality will determine the precise regulations and necessary documents for residency permits, in accordance with the legal provisions,” Moawad points out.

The same official has already specified that only properties registered in the country’s real estate registry will qualify, and that deposits must be made in one of Egypt’s state-owned banks. The deposit need not necessarily be in USD but could take the form of other, recognized foreign currencies.

Real estate developers, remarks Moawad, have been encouraging the government to also include unregistered properties as a qualifying investment. The purpose of this would be to allow investors to qualify for the residence permit by acquiring units in off-plan projects still under construction. Only about 8% of Egyptian properties are registered in the national cadastral registry.

“Cabinet has also approved a legislative amendment to the second article of Law No. 230 of 1996, which regulates non-Egyptians’ ownership of built properties and vacant lands, allowing non-Egyptians to own properties, whether built or vacant, for residential purposes,” he adds.

One of the program’s drawbacks is that Egypt – not only in the context of residence by investment but generally – does not have the status of permanent residency. The investor visas, therefore, do not offer a path to PR, nor to citizenship.

The government is, however, working on legislative amendments that would open a path to citizenship and PR for long-time residents.

“Clarifications on this will be published soon,” says Moawad.

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