Egypt Approves New Residence by Investment Program
Egypt has given the green light to a new residence by investment program, introducing renewable residence permits ranging from one to five years for investments starting at $50,000.
The implementation of this program is the outcome of a series of legal revisions completed in May, according to Hany Mostafa Moawad, an investment migration specialist at Prime Properties in Cairo.
Moawad explains that in May, the Egyptian government approved amendments to the law governing residency and property ownership for foreigners in Egypt. These amendments paved the way for the launch of the new program.
The reviewed laws that played a crucial role in this process included:
- Law No. 89 of 1960, which pertains to the entry and residency of foreigners in the Arab Republic of Egypt.
- Law No. 230 of 1996, which regulates the ownership of built properties and vacant lands by non-Egyptians.
- Law No. 14 of 2012, which concerns integrated development in the Sinai Peninsula.
- Law No. 72 of 2017, which focuses on investment.
- Law No. 194 of 2020, which is the Central Bank Law.
As a result, foreign citizens can now be eligible for residence permits in Egypt under the following conditions:
Real Estate Investment:
- Acquiring one or more properties in Egypt with a total value of at least $200,000 grants a 5-year permit.
- Acquiring one or more properties in Egypt with a total value of at least $100,000 grants a 3-year permit.
- Acquiring one or more properties in Egypt with a total value of at least $50,000 grants a 1-year permit.
- Depositing $100,000 in an Egyptian state-owned bank grants a 3-year permit.
- Depositing $50,000 in an Egyptian state-owned bank grants a 1-year permit.
These residence permits can be renewed indefinitely as long as the investment is maintained. Similar to the Egypt Citizenship by Investment Program, this new program does not impose any physical presence requirements.
Moawad highlights that the precise regulations and required documents for residency permits will be determined by the Director-General of Passports, Immigration, and Nationality in accordance with the legal provisions.
The same official has already clarified that only properties registered in Egypt’s real estate registry will qualify, and the deposits must be made in one of the state-owned banks in Egypt. The deposits can be in currencies other than USD as long as they are recognized foreign currencies.
Moawad mentions that real estate developers have been urging the government to include unregistered properties as a qualifying investment. This would allow investors to acquire units in off-plan projects that are still under construction to qualify for the residence permit. Currently, only about 8% of Egyptian properties are registered in the national cadastral registry.
“In addition, the cabinet has approved a legislative amendment to the second article of Law No. 230 of 1996, which regulates the ownership of built properties and vacant lands by non-Egyptians. This amendment permits non-Egyptians to own properties, whether built or vacant, for residential purposes,” he adds.
One limitation of the program is that Egypt does not offer permanent residency status, not only within the context of residence by investment but in general. Therefore, the investor visas do not provide a path to permanent residency or citizenship.
Nevertheless, the government is actively working on legislative amendments that would create a pathway to citizenship and permanent residency for long-term residents.
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