US and Schengen state officials seeking to visit Egypt will be required to obtain biometric visas, according to Amr Roshdy, a spokesperson for the Foreign Affairs Ministry. The biometric visa requirement means that the officials, in order to obtain their visas, will be required to submit their fingerprints and allow digital photos to be taken of them.
The decision comes in response to a decision to require Egyptian nationals to apply for biometric visas before entering the US and Schengen states. The Schengen states comprise 26 European countries that are party to a border control agreement easing travel between the countries. Egyptian embassies in 29 countries on Sunday began applying the new visa requirements.
“The Foreign Minister instructed Egyptian embassies in those countries to apply the principle of reciprocity on all travelers carrying official passports, whether diplomatic or personal, without exception, including foreign nationals working at embassies of those countries in Egypt who carry ordinary passports,” Roshdy said.
“Given the pivotal role of tourism in supporting Egyptian economy, the Foreign Affairs Minister has decided to exempt nationals of those countries coming to Egypt for tourism from the biometric visa, in order to encourage tourism.”
He explained that Assistant Foreign Minister Ashraf al-Khouly informed foreign embassies in Cairo of the new regulations before the new procedures were applied.
Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm