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Visa and Bank Question

 
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Nargile57



Joined: 05 Nov 2006
Posts: 42
Location: Istanbul

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 2:50 pm    Post subject: Visa and Bank Question Reply with quote

After a bad marriage I'm looking to get back into the EFL scene.
I have an ageing TEFL diploma and five years EFL experience in Istanbul from back in the 1980s.
Cairo looks to be my likely destination next January.

Two questions.

One. Are visa extensions for one year easy to obtain? Is it possible to keep on extending them year after year?

Two. What is the banking situation in Egypt? Is it easy for foreigners to open accounts?

Thanks to anybody that can help with these questions
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15867
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not try Turkey again? Been there, done that?

I know people that have lived for more than 20/30 years in Cairo on a tourist visa. It requires some aggravation and time at the Mugamma on Tahrir Square, but it just takes patience. They do want to see that you have been changing money though...

I lived for three years without a bank account at all... using my AMEX card at the American Express office. This was before the spread of ATM machines and internet banking. I expect that you need a legit employer to open a local account, but not sure why you would want or need one.

VS
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Nargile57



Joined: 05 Nov 2006
Posts: 42
Location: Istanbul

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I intend to move to Cairo for a long time so need somewhere to put my savings.
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stoth1972



Joined: 16 May 2003
Posts: 674
Location: Seattle, Washington

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I could be wrong, but I've never heard of 1 year visa extensions on tourist visas in Egypt. I believe it's 2 or 3 months at the most. Likst VS mentioned, a trying experience.

What country are you from? I would open an account w/ HSBC or the like from abroad so that you could easily access the funds in Egypt.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15867
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got a one year extension; I didn't ask for it, he just gave it to me. I suspect that the Mugamma makes the rules as they go along.

VS
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Nargile57



Joined: 05 Nov 2006
Posts: 42
Location: Istanbul

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The latest edition of Lonley Planet Egypt mentions the cost of a tourist visa extension of less than six months duration as costing EŁ11, EŁ16 for less than one year and EŁ46 for one year. I'm just looking for confirmation of this from people who have such visas.

The banking question is of more importance to me as I need somehere in Egypt to put my money as I will be leaving the UK full stop.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15867
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The cost is minimal whatever it is. LP is normally way out of date, of course. But 46EP is less that US$12. Laughing

And every person will probably have a different Mugamma experience. When I was living there, Cairo Today magazine put out a Mugamma board game in one issue. I really think that this is the least of your problems. Cheap and merely a minor, regular aggravation.

I would NOT put all of my money into an Egyptian bank. Try to find an offshore or international bank that has branch access in Egypt. Remember what happened with BCCI when it collapsed in '91. I had friends in Egypt who lost their life's savings when it went.

VS
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lemonsong



Joined: 06 Jan 2007
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi - been a bit busy lately so haven't been here for a while - sorry if this is late......

Opening a bank account is easy nowadays but you will need a letter from an employer as well as the usual documentation. All the big players are here, Barclays, HSBC and so forth, and the spread of ATMs has been phenomenal in the last year.

Regarding the tourist visa extension, my son has been here since July last year and just went to get a second annual extension - there was no problem at all (except the computers were down at the Murgamma......a slight delay is all that that meant.) As to a work visa extension - well, I'm on my third and it's never been a problem. We're currently trying to persuade the powers that be to allow us to have 3 or 5 year visas to avoid the irritating trips into town each year. If we are succesful I'll post the news here.

One point to remember is that it is very worthwhile obtaining a multiple entry visa so that you can get in and out of Egypt (holidays etc.) with the minimum hassle.

I think you'll love it here - we do! Write if you need any more info.
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mishmumkin



Joined: 01 Sep 2007
Posts: 896

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lemonsong, how long have you been working on a tourist visa?
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lemonsong



Joined: 06 Jan 2007
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not - as I said: "as to a work visa extension......." - I have had no problems. My son is staying for his gap year (which he's turning into a year and a half since he loves it here!!) and so is on a tourist visa.
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mishmumkin



Joined: 01 Sep 2007
Posts: 896

PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So you actually have to make the trips to extend your work visa rather than a representative from your school?
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15867
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do they offer a multiple-entry tourist visa?

VS
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teacherincairo



Joined: 16 Nov 2005
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you can easily stay and work in cairo on a tourist visa. Getting it renewed for up to a year is fairly straight forward, but time consuming. (It's a crap shoot. Sometimes the visa will be for a year, sometimes 6 months, depends on the mood of those issuing the visas.) Be sure to also apply for a multiple entry visa, which is seperate from the tourist visa. If you leave the country your tourist visa, no matter how long the allowed stay, is no longer valid if you do not have the additional multiple entry visa.

Getting a bank account in Cairo can be a bit of a strain. You will need a letter from your employer and must deposit a certain amount of money into the account. If you know someone who has an account at say HSBC, they can sign a form that will get you around the need for a letter from your employer.
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