HOW TO RENEW YOUR TOURIST VISA AT THE MOGAMMA–Updated December 2016!

Years after leaving Egypt and largely ceasing to blog, I’m still getting a fair amount of traffic on my post about the visa renewal process–as well as questions about how the process may have changed in the last  few years.

One reader who used my original post as a guide very kindly offered to update my post to reflect her experience, and she writes that “I believe the steps I had to take are part of the general procedure now, as I have heard from other people that they had the same experiences.” Many thanks to her for this update!

What to Bring:
1. Yourself.
2. Your Passport.
3. A photocopy of your passport photo page.
4. A photocopy of your passport visa page–if it’s not your first renewal, bring copies of your initial visa page and your most recent renewal.
5. A passport-sized photo of yourself.
6. A pen.
7. Lots of patience.

I usually get the photocopies and passport photo done ahead of time at a local place, but if you forget, you can get them done when you get to the Mogamma. Photo and copy center is to the right, past the ridiculously crowded staircase. The passport-sized photo is 30 EGP and the photocopies are cheaper (can’t remember the exact price). You will probably need to use your elbows to maintain your place in line.

 
What to Do:
1. Arrive at Mogamma, the earlier the better. The building opens at 8AM. I highly recommend making sure there’s nothing major happening in Tahrir before you go.
2. Go through security. If you’re carrying a camera, they’ll ask you to check it at the entrance.
3. If you didn’t get your photocopies and passport photo in advance, do so now.
4. Go up the massive, crowded staircase on your right.
5. Go down the linoleum lined hallway to the right at the top of the stairs.
6. Look for the window for visa renewals (window 12)–it’s near the end of the hallway. They will ask you to fill in the paperwork first and point you to one of the tables in the hallway.
7. Find the table and get your paperwork. It’s an A3-sized paper to fill in.
8. Go back to window 12 and hand everything in. They will write some things on the paperwork and in your passport. You will get a paper that states how many stamps you need to buy. You can buy these at window 6.
9. Find the window (6) that sells stamps. It is not the one across window 12, but go back into the hallway and take the first hallway to the left. The first window 6 that you will encounter is not the right one, you need to be at the second one (blue number 6).
10. Hand in the paper you received at window 12 and the guy will ask you to pay LE 20. He will give you a stamp on the paper you gave him, but note: these are not the stamps you need! Go to the next window on the right and collect your physical stamps.
11. Give your completed paperwork, stamps, passport photo and visa photocopies to the first window(12) where you got your paperwork (you will keep your passport). They will ask you to come back the next day at 9AM (or any other day that you wish to collect your visa, as long as it’s at 9AM).
12. Get the hell out of the building. (For the sake of brevity, I’ve omitted all of the wait-in-line-in-an-overcrowded-unairconditioned-hallway steps, but you should be aware that they’re a big part of the endeavor).
13. Return to the Mogamma the next day, go back through security, back up the stairs and down the hall. Look for window 38, hand in your passport and they will tell you to come back the same day at 1PM.
14. Get out of the building again 😉
15. Return to the Mogamma at 1PM and join the massive throng of people waiting for their visas at window 38.
16. When the people behind the counter hold up your paperwork with your photo attached, your visa is ready. Elbow your way to the window to pick up your passport. Note: this can take up to 2 hours!
17. Make your escape.

Congratulations! You’ve just renewed your visa for another 3 months!

57 thoughts on “HOW TO RENEW YOUR TOURIST VISA AT THE MOGAMMA–Updated December 2016!”

    1. Hi Maya,

      All info here is for US citizens, since that’s my nationality. If you have updates as to which nationalities should go to which windows, please add this information in the comments!

      Best,

      Laura

  1. Hi, I went to the Mugamma on 15/03/2017. The female employee behind the counter told me I needed a stamped tenancy agreement to prove where I was residing. I was told to come back when I have this in my possession. I was a bit confused and went back on 19/03/2017. On this occasion a male employee took my application and went through the usual procedure and told me to come back the next day to hand in my passport and collect my visa. No questions asked. The fee is now 575 EGP per visa. It all depends on the mood of the employee. If your staying in a hotel get proof and if your staying in a rented accommodation you may or may not need a tenancy agreement to obtain a visa extension

  2. Hi everyone,

    Thanks for the info. Does anyone know where to go in Nasr City? I went to Tahir and was told I needed to go to Nasr City.

  3. Today a friend, who is living in Egypt, told me it’s possible to get a 1 year visa with proof of rental lease. Any proof to confirm this.

    1. Hi Dawud,

      I’m really not sure about this–let me know if you find out any more details!

      Best,

      Laura

  4. Hi, can we ( my husband and i ) renew our visas before the 15 days grace is over or after the 15 days and will it affect our visa renewal?
    Thanks

    1. Hi Anna,
      In my experience you can renew more easily before the 15 days grace period ends. Afterwards I think you’ll need to pay an extra fee. Let me know how it turns out!

  5. my girlfriend is american and we are planning to extend in the next few days so we are going to mogamaa, i wanna ask do we need a paper or a document saying she is renting a house or just what you said above. im getting really confused. hope anyone can help

    1. Hi Baher,
      Thanks for your comment! I’m afraid that I’m not sure what the regulations are with regards to bringing the house rental document. Best of luck and let me know what you find out!

  6. Hello, thank you for posting the useful information above, what are the opening days and times for mogamma please?

    Thanks
    K

    1. Hi Ummi,

      I’m afraid I don’t have that information–I remember the hours being 8am-2pm, but it’s been long enough since I lived in Cairo that things may have changed.

      If you find out any updated information, please share!

    1. Hi Joe,

      I think so, but you might have to pay a little bit extra or do a little bit of extra paperwork. Let me know how it goes!

      Laura

  7. Hi so apparently I need a stamped rental agreement – I can’t get one so does anyone have experience with renewing a visa with a hotel stamp?
    Best wishes,
    Sasha

      1. Hi Laura,
        this is really important – there is a new regulation that they enforce most of the time that you need a proof of address. I went with my tenancy agreement but it was not official – it had to be stamped at a registration office. My landlady didnt want to do this because as soon as the flat becomes more official they have to pay more taxes. What I did was book a hostel online which require payment on arrival and free cancellation, printed my booking and used this, and after they successfully accepted that I cancelled the booking the next day. This worked perfectly and allowed me to get around the issues.

        1. Hello:
          Did you get your visa at Mugamma or somewhere else?I was told to provide proof of rent too but I am staying with a friend,I may go your route
          I just need an extension for two or three months as I am leaving latest December 2017

    1. Hi Dania,
      I think that you’ll just have to pay a fine–I haven’t heard of anyone being arrested for overstaying their visa. Best of luck!

  8. Hi Laura,
    I am living in Cairo since March. I got a visa extension on June cause I had a tourist visa that expired. I had to pay a fine plus the visa valid for 3 months. It was easy (just the nice …procedure you described before, exactly like that, jajaja). I traveled out of the country before this extension expired on September. When I came back, I payed the visa in the airport (valid for one month) again, so no major problem. I will stay till December 2017 and this visa expires in end October. Can I ask fro the extension again, considering I have a new visa stamp from the airport? I dont want to have any problems or pay a huge fine when I have to leave on December.

    1. Hi Olivia,

      I’m so glad that it was easy to extend your tourist visa even after it expired!

      I don’t think that there should be a problem getting an extension for the new visa–it’s definitely worth a try!

      Best,

      Laura

  9. I haven’t been able to renew because of the contract requirement. I am leaving soon so I will just pay an overstay fine. But does anyone know if I can travel by flight domestically without problems?

    1. Hi Lia,

      I didn’t have a problem taking a domestic flight with an expired visa in 2012, but I’m not sure if they’re stricter about that now.

      Please let me know if you find out more info on this!

  10. Hi. Does the hotel booking confirmation still work.I am staying in an apartment but my landlady also refuses to stamp the rent agreement letter.I have an entry visa which expires next week can i book into a hostel anyone who has tried that recently???.

  11. Hello, I am currently in Alexandria and was told the delays are now of at least 15 days to get a stamp for a rent plus the processing fee. Nobody at the office spoke English though some locals stepped in to translate, eventually sending us to some kind of attorney who could officialize our rental contract. Price quoted was over 5000EGP. We walked out without taking it, feeling it wasn’t fair but also that the 15+ days delay wasn’t reasonable. Aside from Cairo and mugamma, does anyone have experience with other passport offices in the country ?

    1. Hi Erik,

      I’ve never been to any of the other offices outside the Mogamma. Hopefully someone else will know something about them and be able to help!

      Best,

      Laura

    2. We are also in Alexandria and are required to have the stamped rental contract. Our landlady was able to obtain this stamp in one day. This is our second extension and neither time have I heard about a 15+ day waiting period to get the rental contract stamped.
      I have never gone with her personally so maybe this is something they tell foreigners?

  12. Hi, my 30 days tourist visa will expire 01 November 2017, but I was registered in 18 October 2017. Is my visa expired date will be one month after registration OR to ask visa extension before 1 Nov 2017.
    Tekle

    1. Hi Tekle,

      This is a strange situation! The expiration date on your visa should be 30 days from when you entered the country. But if it’s marked as ending sooner, it probably makes sense to renew it early. Good luck!

  13. Today I have been to tahrir square to renew my tourist visa for 3 montjhs, but the lady simply stamped on my passport and told me that the new stamp is valid for one month and to comrback after a month for another renewal. Infact there was a problem of language commumication with me. So how do you see it your comments please.

  14. Today I have been to tahrir square to renew my tourist visa for 3 montjhs, but the lady simply stamped on my passport and told me that the new stamp is valid for one month and to comeback after a month for another renewal. Infact there was a problem of language commumication with me. So how do you see it your comments please.

    1. Hi Delam,

      This seems unusual, but if they gave you another 1 month stamp, then going back in a month and trying to renew again then seems like the best option.

      Good luck and let us know how it goes!

  15. Dear Delam,

    How much did you pay for your 1 month renewal? I am going there this week and don’t know how much I should withdraw.

    Nico

  16. ..yes..there is a another place for you to get your visa now the police station dept 1 in nasr city if you have not previously had your visa from tahrir mogamma, and you are in the vicinity of madinat nasr they will send you to the police station. Yes it’s a new rule you have to show tenancy agreement stamped and you should really try to get that done when you newly come especially if you are staying for 6-12 months.

    Also I heard the fine has gone up to 100 guinea per month if you have overstayed your visa.

    And the visa price varies everyone you will visit for some strange reason.

    I have to go soon with my young children so nervous !

  17. Hi Laura know how I can renew Visa for Rehab City, I was told they don’t do this at Mogamma? Is this correct?

    Also would I need lease stamped?

    1. Hi Ifran,

      I’m really not sure about Rehab City–sorry not to be more helpful! Please post here with anything you find out!

      Laura

  18. Laura, I just got back from Day 1 in Mogamma. I went there at 7.30am and just got back to my hotel at 2.30pm. The visa fee is through the roof! It is now EGP 570. A person in front of me had no problem (she had overstayed by a day and did not have housing proof, but still had no issue). When I went to the window, the lady (plump, wearing hideous clothes) was already barking at me and others. She asked me for my residency and also asked me to go register at Window 55 (took 2 hrs 30 mins for my turn there). I had to return to my hotel to get a stamped copy of my stay (so, housing agreement should be with you, just in case). I had to then seek out a policeman to sign off on my application after looking through my stamped hotel reservation. So, all in all 7 hours of madness made me EGP 570 poorer and curse the window 12 lady countless times (in my mind, of course.) You know I first felt bad for the workers there, doing the same thing, again and again, for years. Now, I say, they deserve it. Totally pissed.

    Laura, thank you for all the info because it really helped position me everywhere. Thanks!

  19. Laura,
    I think one of the best things a foreigner who does not speak Arabic can do is to hire a reliable local to go with them to the visa office. This person can translate, help hold places in line, etc.
    An officially stamped renter’s contract is now required. The person they rent from should be able to obtain this in just a few hours at the local office. Unfortunately, due to dishonesty with tax information, many landlords are unwilling to make an official contract.
    We use a man here in Alexandria to help us at the visa office who is honest, knowledgeable, and speaks very good English. (I believe he travels between Alexandria and Cairo). If anyone wants his contact info, just comment here and, if I get notified, I’ll pass it along.

  20. Hi I have 2 days left in my visa to complete 30 days. Can I apply tomorrow for extension. Because today I gone through the process and from last days i was going to Mogamma but didn’t get any response due to language.

    1. Hi Pruthvi,
      If you only have 2 days left on your visa, now is a very good time to get it renewed. If you’re having trouble because of language, maybe find a friend to go with you? Best of luck!
      Laura

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