The newest programme on the citizenship by investment block, unveiled just as the pandemic kicked off, Egypt joins Jordan and Turkey in providing an attractive economic immigration option especially to HNWIs in the Middle East.
Having been in the pipeline for a while, and finally approved by Egypt’s government in March 2020, just as the COVID-19 pandemic was kicking off, Egypt’s programme is the latest one on the CBI block offering an alternative economic immigration option to HNWIs.
Considering the location and culture of Egypt, straddling the Middle East and Africa with Arabic as its first language, Muslim as its main religion, and yet a liberal and hospitable culture, Egypt is an attractive and appealing citizenship option for HNWIs in both the Middle East and Africa, in particular.
And while there are a number of negatives when it comes to this new CBI programme, namely that the Egyptian passport isn’t particularly powerful ranking lower than most other CBI countries with visa-free access to just 51 countries and the fact spouses will not obtain citizenship until two years after the main applicant becomes a citizen, gaining citizenship of Egypt offers numerous benefits.
Here, we highlight the eight main benefits of securing second citizenship of Egypt.
- Super-safe destination According to the latest CBI Index 2021, where Egypt’s CBI Programme made its debut, Egypt achieved a perfect score for safety giving those from less-than-safe countries a second plan option for themselves and their families. And this is backed up by the latest annual Gallup Global Law and Order poll ranking Egypt as the safest country in Africa, and higher than both the UK and US, while the capital Cairo has the lowest crime rate in the world for such a large city.
- Family is a focus The family unit is incredibly important here like that of most Middle Eastern and African countries with Egyptians having large families and many lifestyle activities in the country including children and families eating out together regularly. And this focus on family is part of the CBI programme with children of the main applicant up to age 20 and unmarried able to obtain citizenship, though the applicant’s spouse can only obtain two years’ later.
- Growing GDP Egypt is the only CBI industry country that witnessed positive GDP growth during the pandemic with 3.6% growth despite the adverse impact of the COVID–19 pandemic. In fact, Egypt’s economic growth has been strong and resilient since the economic reforms initiated in 2016.
- Low minimum investment While not the lowest in the CBI Industry, the minimum investment outlay for Egypt’s CBI is one of the lowest outside of the Caribbean countries with a minimum non-refundable contribution of US$250,000 to the CIU account at the Central Bank of Egypt. While the real estate investment option is US$500,000.
- Ease of application Egypt offers one of the most straightforward application processes with no mandatory interviews or tests to be undertaken and residency requirements low. There is however a requirement to make just one trip to Egypt in order to complete the procedures to obtain a National ID Card prior to citizenship.
- Good second passport for Lebanese and Libyan While Egypt’s passport power isn’t especially strong ranking 96th out of 109 in Henley’s Passport Index Q3 2021, it does still offer visa-free travel to 51 countries, the same as Jordan’s passport, and therefore if you’re coming from a country with less visa-free access like Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Libya or Lebanon, then securing an Egyptian passport gives you greater freedom of movement.
- Four investment options The CBI programme offers options for all kinds of investors. The two most main options include a one-off non-refundable donation of US$250,000 and a minimum investment of US$500,00 in a government-approved real estate project for up to five years. A third option is making a minimum investment of US$400,000 in a company in Egypt or in establishing a company in Egypt, while the final option is to make one of two refundable bank deposits to the Central Bank of Egypt – US$750 or US$1m to be refunded after five and three years, respectively.
- Access to the US As one of only three CBI countries (Grenada, Turkey) to hold the coveted E-2 visa treatywith the US, Egyptian citizens can apply for a non-immigrant visa to the US meaning they can then both operate a substantial business in the US and reside there. This valuable E-2 visa treaty with the US means that as Egyptian citizen, you can apply to reside in the US and obtain permission to do so within 6-8 weeks. Additionally, as a non-immigrant resident, if the main resident stays in the US not more than 122 days per year, no tax on worldwide income is levied. If you decide to migrate to the US through the E-2 visa, you will be allowed to establish, advance and operate a business within the United States. Also, your spouse will have work authorisation and your children will be able to attend the school of their choice, with many US states offering in-state tuition at State Universities up to age 21.
To find out more, visit the Egypt Citizenship by Investment programme page here
Or to apply, visit the Egypt General Authority for Investment and Free Zones by clicking here