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Egypt tightening visa rule for individual visitors

Effective as of 15 May, the move will not affect tourist groups who can still get visas at the airport.
18.03.15 | Source: Business Insider

Egypt is tightening rules for visas by requiring individual visitors to obtain them at embassies instead of on arrival at Egyptian airports, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday, a move that may make it harder to revive the tourism industry. Security sources, however, said the decision arose from a need to give intelligence services more time to assess individuals who want to visit Egypt, where security has suffered from an Islamist insurgency centered in the Sinai region. "The system remains unchanged for tourist groups which can obtain visas at airports, but individuals have to get a prior visa from embassies," Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty said. The changes will take effect on May 15, said Rasha Azaizi, the tourism minister's media adviser. "The decision will have a small effect... The industry depends on the large groups brought in by tour operators," she told Reuters.