This story was posted Sept. 6, 2023. For the latest updated story, posted Sept. 12, 2023, click here.
TORONTO — Starting Oct. 1 the Egyptian government will no longer allow Canadians to obtain visas through the online eVisa process. Instead, Canadians planning trips to Egypt will be required to obtain a visa from an Egyptian embassy or consulate. And as of Oct. 1, eVisas for the country will no longer be valid.
A recent CBC story said the change to the visa process was announced to Egyptian-Canadians via an email from the Egyptian embassy in Ottawa. According to CBC, the email noted the “principle of reciprocity”, citing policies from the Canadian government about visas for Egyptian citizens.
Global Affairs Canada’s Egypt page confirming the Oct. 1 change can be found here.
Blowes & Stewart Travel Group travel advisor Marsha Ramage first emailed Travelweek after getting radio silence in response to her inquiries to the Egyptian embassy in Ottawa and Egyptian consulate in Montreal.
Ramage got back in touch with Travelweek yesterday afternoon with some new details that should help other travel advisors secure visas for their Egypt-bound clients.
She got the pointers from The Travel Corporation (TTC).
First off, here are the mailing addresses and jurisdictions for the Egyptian Embassy in Ottawa, and the Egyptian Consulate in Montreal. With the loss of the eVisa option as of Oct. 1, that means snail mail for applications (unless applicants can make the trip in person).
The Egyptian Embassy in Ottawa is located at 454 Laurier Avenue East, Ottawa, ON. The jurisdiction for the embassy is: Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ottawa only.
The Egyptian Consulate in Montreal is located at 1800 McGill College Avenue, Suite 900, Montreal, QC. The jurisdiction for the consulate is: Ontario except Ottawa, Quebec, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, PEI, New Brunswick.
Visa requests must include one application form per applicant. Also required: original passport per applicant, plus two Canadian passport-size photos for each applicant.
Although a fee of Cdn$50 was first reported, later reports surfaced of a Cdn$150 fee. Visa requests by mail must include money order(s) payable to Egyptian Consulate / Egyptian Embassy. There were also reports that travellers may pay in cash if in person with confirmed hotel reservations.
Visa requests by mail must also include one prepaid registered envelope for return mailing. Processing time is reportedly up to six business days plus mailing time if received by mail.
“WE HOPE COMMON SENSE WILL PREVAIL”
G Adventures’ Managing Director, David Green, told Travelweek that G Adventures is in the process of seeking official confirmation from Egyptian authorities in Canada about the new Oct. 1 change, and has also notified G Adventures travellers departing in September that they will require an e-visa for entry.
Green told Travelweek it’s disappointing to have received little warning of the new visa changes. As he points out, the changes do little to support Canadian travellers.
“This is a blow to both Canadian travel agents trying to support their clients and operators like G Adventures that send thousands of travellers to Egypt each year. Other than the announcement that was made, there have been no details provided around the process to obtain visas. It has also proven impossible to reach the embassy for clarification on the new process,” said Green.
“An online application form should be the minimum expectation, which doesn’t appear to be available beyond September. We hope common sense will prevail and at the very least the visa changes are delayed until a later date, allowing more notice for travellers and for efficient processes to be established. Failure to do so will lead to thousands of Canadian travellers cancelling their travel plans to Egypt.”
Green added: “We call on all members of CATO and ACTA to raise this issue with the government, as this new visa rule needs to be reversed or, at the very least, delayed.”