Unfortunately, the application process itself is anything but simple. Obtaining an Egyptian work permit is an arduous descent into the bowels of Egyptian government bureaucracy – the author has met more than one expat whose application has been in processing for close to a year (or longer!). The general outline for the process is described below (know in advance that you will not be able to complete the process without a dedicated effort from your employer).
You will begin by obtaining the application form from the nearest Ministry of Manpower and Training Office (in Cairo this is located within the Mugamma in Tahrir Square).
You will then need to assemble the following:
- A valid passport (with valid Egyptian residence status)
- 7 passport-size photos
- Two copies of your employer’s incorporation contract
- Two copies of your Tax ID card (which you will likely need to obtain from another office – officials at the Ministry of Manpower should be able to direct you to the correct location if this is the case)
- Two copies of your academic qualifications (such as university degrees and professional certifications; this can also include letters of reference from past employers)
- A copy of the commercial register (from your employer)
- Any licenses required for practicing your profession (have both the original and copies, just in case)
- A memorandum from your employer explaining why it is necessary to hire a foreigner rather than a qualified Egyptian citizen
- Approval from the Authority related to your profession (e.g. Investment, Petroleum – you and your employer will have to obtain this through the office of that Authority)
- A representative from your employer who will “sponsor” your work permit
- Proof of test showing you are free of HIV/AIDs
- Approval from Egypt’s State Security Service showing that you are not a threat to national security or public safety (this can be obtained through a division at the Ministry of Manpower and Training office)
Finally, you will need to pay a registration fee of LE1,000 to complete the process.