Do you want to work in Egypt? Do you know how to obtain a work permit in Egypt? In this article, we will mention in detail how to get a work permit in Egypt.

Law 12 of 2003 promulgating Labor Law stipulates several procedures and controls that determine the status of foreigners working in Egypt, and how they obtain the necessary licenses to practice work, based on the provisions of the law.

Egyptian companies owned by Egyptian or foreign shareholders sometimes require foreign experts for a specific job, to get benefit from their expertise in this field, and to provide benefit to the Egyptian market by appointing Egyptian assistants to the foreign expert. To this end, there are certain controls on the work of foreigners in Egypt to obtain a work permit and then obtain a work residence.

The controls on foreigners to obtain a work permit if he/she is an owner of an establishment or an expert, are as follows:

  • If the foreigner is the employer, an application for obtaining a work permit shall be submitted after the security query is issued at the Labor Office of the General Investment Authority. The approval shall be received from the Ministry of Manpower. Then, the work permit shall be obtained from the Authority's Labour Office. Thereafter, an application shall be submitted to obtain a work permit for one year, at the Passport Office of the Investment Authority. This process continues for 3 weeks before the issuance of the certificate.
  • If the foreigner is the owner of a sole proprietorship, a residency permit shall be granted to him after obtaining a work permit from the Ministry of Manpower.
  • To obtain a work permit, the applicant shall submit all the documents related to the company, namely, the application for obtaining a work permit - commercial register, tax card, Memorandum of Association (MoA), and insurance certificate for the establishment. If a year has passed since the establishment of the company, an application shall be submitted to the GAFI to delegate the committee to evaluate the economic performance of the company.  Purchase and sale invoices issued by the company may be requested.  The work permit shall be granted for one year and then renewed. It may also be granted to his relatives up to the first degree

For workers in companies and factories licensed in Egypt (recruitment):

  • The residence to such a worker is issued from the Labor Office of the General Directorate of Passports, Immigration and Nationality, located in the governorate in which the worker resides. It is also granted to his relatives up to the first degree, after obtaining a work permit receipt or work permit.
  • To obtain a work permit, the following documents shall be submitted after completing the recruitment process or obtaining approval for exemption from recruitment:


  • Application for obtaining a work permit;
  • Employment agreement for some nationalities;
  • Qualifications and experience of the foreigner ratified by the Egyptian Embassy abroad or from the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
  • Insurance form (2) stating the number of Egyptian workers;
  • Certificate issued by a social insurance facility;
  • Experience certificate with no less than three years proofing the experience of the foreigner in the field in which he/she shall work inside Egypt;
  • An application stating the number of Egyptian workers;
  • An application stating the number of foreign workers; and
  • An application with the Egyptian assistants to the foreigner and graduation certificates.
  • The foreigner shall be outside Egypt.
  • The foreigner shall obtain a work permit receipt, upon which, he/she obtains a work permit for 6 months until the security inquiry has been completed. When the security certificate is issued, the foreigner shall have a work residence permit that expires following the expiry of the work permit. After the expiry of the work and residence permit, they may be renewed. A grace period of 14 days is granted after the expiry of the work permit and 15 days after the expiry of the residence. Within this grace period, the work and residence permit shall be renewed to avoid fines.
  • If three years have passed without the foreigner being issued a security report, then, the foreigner will obtain a work permit receipt, but with a tourist residence for 3 months or 6 months, and this residence falls upon exit from the country.

- According to Resolution No. (700) of 2006 and Resolution No. (485) of 2010 on the Executive Rules and Procedures for Licensing Foreigners to Work:

“An establishment wishing to recruit foreigners shall submit an application to the Central Administration of Employment, at the General Office of the Ministry of Manpower and Immigration, to approve the recruitment of these foreigners wishing to work for the establishment and authorize them to enter the country and reside for work, subject to the condition of reciprocity.

The number of foreigners in any establishment may not exceed 10% of its total employees.

The percentage of foreign labor employment mentioned in Article 19 shall not be subject to the following categories:

  1. Representative offices and the like;
  2. Managers of branches of foreign companies;
  3. The employer and his children; and
  4. Small establishments in which the number of employees does not exceed five Egyptian workers.

An establishment wishing to obtain work permits for foreigners who shall work for it shall submit to the Directorate of Manpower and Immigration under which jurisdiction the main office of the establishment is located, or to any of the offices of the General Administration of Foreigners Work Permits,  respectively. The following documents shall be submitted:

  1. For foreigners working at establishments with activities related to insurance, The following documents shall be submitted:
  • A permit to practice the activity is issued from the Egyptian Insurance Supervisory Authority.
  1. Workers at facilities subject to the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC)  shall submit the following:
  • Recommendation by the EGPC.
  • Security clearance for the first time and upon renewal.
  1. Foreigners working for trust companies shall provide the following documents:
  • Recommendation by the trust companies sector, including the security clearance for the first time and upon renewal.
  1. Foreign workers in tourist agencies:
  • For hotels established under the investment law, (where foreigners are appointed in positions of general manager and resident manager, an Egyptian assistant shall be appointed for each of them.
  • For tourism private sector establishments, a recommendation by the Ministry of Tourism shall be submitted.
  • For hotels in the public sector and the business sector, they shall provide:
  • Approval of the Ministry of Tourism.
  • Approval of the owner company, provided that one of the two positions (the general manager of the hotel or the resident manager) shall be held by an Egyptian national.
  1.  For diving agencies, the following shall be submitted:
  • Approval of the Ministry of Tourism and the approval of the Egyptian Diving and Rescue Sports Federation for the establishment or center.
  1.  Foreign workers in institutes or schools under the supervision of the Ministry of Education or the Ministry of Higher Education shall provide:
  • Recommendation by the competent ministry for approval, specifying the beginning and end of the academic year, including approval for the first time and upon renewal
  1. Foreign workers in religious organizations, provided they work for wages

A letter from the religious authority for which the foreigner works.

  1. The foreigner who works for a scientific, technical, advisory or representative office of foreign companies whose activity is limited to studying the markets only shall submit the following:
  • A letter of representation or agency, or appointment decision from the foreign company that they represent (or act as an agent thereof) is notarized and approved by the Egyptian consulate abroad or by the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • A certificate from a bank stating that it has an account that is being funded from abroad.
  • A certificate stating that the office is registered with the capital companies sector register and that these offices shall not practice any agency or commercial brokerage work except through an Egyptian commercial agent or broker provided that they are registered in the register of scientific, technical or advisory services offices for foreign companies and establishments at the General Organization for Import and Export Control (GOEIC) and that the commercial agent is registered in the register of commercial agents and intermediaries in the above-mentioned authority

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.