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Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Foreigners can now buy citizenship for USD 250k

CABINET WATCH- Foreigners can now acquire Egyptian citizenship for as little as USD 250k: The Madbouly Cabinet approved in its weekly meeting yesterday legislative amendments that will allow foreigners who hold assets in Egypt to buy citizenship, according to a statement. The cost of citizenship ranges between USD 250k-USD 1 mn depending how much money is invested and where. Under the new rules, foreigners can now officially become Egyptian by choosing one of the following options:

  • Depositing a non-refundable USD 250k into a local account which goes directly to the government;
  • Depositing USD 750k into a zero-interest bank account refundable after 5 years;
  • Depositing USD 1 mn into a zero-interest bank account refundable after 3 years;
  • Investing more than USD 400k in a minimum 40% stake in an investment project; or
  • Purchasing a state-owned or private property for at least USD 500k.

The conditions: New Egyptians risk losing their passports if they sell their property or stake in a business within five years of acquiring them. If they choose to do so, they will only be allowed to retain their citizenship if they deposit the required amount of money into a local account. Bloomberg also had the story.

Background: The House of Representatives passed the amendments back in July. They gave the prime minister the legislative right to grant passports to asset-holding foreigners, and set up a cross-ministerial body to assess applications. The applications themselves cost around USD 10,000 or its EGP equivalent.

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