Invest $US250,000 and you, too, can be an Egyptian

Egypt’s cabinet signed off on granting citizenship to foreigners who either buy property or invest in the country, making good on a promise floated last year as the Arab world’s most populous nation looked to bring in hard currency.

Under the law, foreigners could become citizens either by purchasing state-owned property worth at least $US500,000 ($733,846), investing at least $US400,000 with an ownership stake of no less than 40 per cent of the project capital, or depositing cash ranging from $US250,000 to $US1 million into a local account.

Kissing the Sphinx: If you invest enough, you can become an Egyptian citizen.
Kissing the Sphinx: If you invest enough, you can become an Egyptian citizen.Credit:Alex Bramwell

Those ponying up $US750,000 could withdraw the funds in local currency after five years, without interest, while parking $US1 million allows for a withdrawal after three years, also interest-free.

A $US250,000 deposit, however, is non-refundable and goes directly into state coffers. The statement said there are conditions tied to the real-estate option, which relate to a 1975 law governing citizenship.


Legislators had earlier said the changes were aimed at offering additional incentives to investors at a time when the country was pushing ahead with a sweeping economic program to boost growth. Officials had chafed at the suggestion that they were selling citizenship.

Prior to the latest rules, foreigners had to live in Egypt for a decade before applying for naturalisation and citizenship, in general, was transferable through a father or mother.


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