Working In Egypt As An Expat part 2 – Part one is here.
Requirements to Work in Egypt as a Foreigner
Are you thinking about working in Egypt? I bet you are! With over 100 million people, the country is full of opportunities. You just have to work out what they are. Egypt is a welcoming place for foreigners, and it’s actually pretty easy to find a job here. It can be a bit hectic with all the red tape involved in the process, but once you get through it, you’re in for a good time.
In this section, I’m going to be giving you the five most important requirements that you must-have for your application to succeed. If any of these are missing, your application goes straight into the trash bin. So if you want to work in Egypt as a foreigner, here’s what you need:
A Valid, Signed Work Contract
This is pretty standard across the board. You could be working in any country, and you would always need a signed work contract to present to your potential employer. It’s no different here. If you’re not applying to an international company, it might be difficult to find someone who speaks English, but just make sure they know exactly what they’re signing, and you’ll be fine.
A Legal Residency Permit
This is one of the most difficult requirements to receive, but it’s possible if you know where to look. You need to find an Egyptian person willing to hire a foreigner as an “assistant.” They then need to give you a letter on official letterhead stating that you are their assistant.
They need to state your duties, the length of time you’ve worked for them, and whether or not you get paid. This needs to be signed by two people – one person who knows you well (like a family member) and someone at either the police station or courthouse.
Once all these papers are ready, your potential employer needs to take you to the Egyptian district court and pay 50 pounds for a residency permit. It can also be very difficult if you’re trying to get this done on your own, but it’s possible.
A Valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Card
This is perhaps the most annoying requirement, but it’s also essential if you don’t want to get thrown into an Egyptian jail. You need a valid yellow fever vaccination card, or you will not be allowed into the country. Luckily, major international airports in Egypt offer free vaccinations before you board your plane.
A Clean Criminal Record
This might seem unfair, but the Egyptian government is very strict about this. They will not allow any criminal activity, no matter how small, to be committed by anyone on their soil – even visitors. Several different companies run background checks on foreigners looking for jobs in Egypt.
Therefore, it’s best to check first to see if they’re going to turn you down because of something trivial like getting a speeding ticket.
At Least 2 Years’ Worth of Work Experience
This might seem like the most difficult requirement, but you need at least two years of experience working in your industry. This varies depending on what kind of job you’re applying for, so if you want to be a doctor, then it would need to be two years’ worth of work as a doctor.
Make sure you have documentation and certificates that prove the length of time, or else your application is going straight into the trash can.
A Valid Passport, With At Least Six Months until Expiry
This is just your standard requirement for all countries you might be applying to work in. If your passport doesn’t have enough pages or it’s damaged or torn, then this could cause problems for you. Make sure you get a new passport before you arrive in Egypt, and this shouldn’t be an issue.
A Clean Bill Of Health from Your Doctor
In order to prove that you are healthy, many people try to get official medical certificates from their general practitioner or the hospital. The better option is just to do it yourself and take a standard five-panel drug test. This can be completed at any laboratory, hospital, or clinic, and it only costs around 40 pounds.
Jobs Available For Foreigners in Egypt
There are several jobs available for foreigners in Egypt that can be a great addition to any resume. If you’re already living in the country, it’s important to have a job lined up before moving here because Egypt is a place where people rely on family and friends.
So, there aren’t as many opportunities to find employment from strangers. Having a job is also important because it allows you to learn about Egyptian culture and the working environment. All of the following jobs are fairly easy to get, as long as you have a university degree.
Underwater Welding Engineer
Yes, this is really a job! Egyptians are constantly building new bridges and roads around the country because of all the construction to develop it. They need engineers who can weld things underwater, which requires experience. This is another great opportunity to learn more about Egyptian culture first-hand.
The Egyptian government has lots of work to do when building information highways and modernizing things like transportation systems, which means lots of graphic design needs doing. There are great opportunities for foreigners with an eye for art who want to learn about the Egyptian’s way of life.
Of course, this is a good choice for many foreigners already living in Egypt. Many people want to learn English and cannot afford expensive lessons, so they often ask other expats who know how to speak it fluently if they can teach them. You’ll be helping out your Egyptian friends and saving some money on the side, which is always a good idea.
International Public Relations
The Egyptian government is very interested in learning about other countries and cultures beyond their own, so it’s no surprise that this job exists! If you know how to speak Arabic and are familiar with the different cultures in the Middle East, this would be an interesting opportunity for you.
This is a super difficult job to get in Egypt, but it’s totally possible. The great thing about being an archaeologist here is that you have the opportunity to work at so many amazing locations, including Abu Simbel and Giza. You’ll need to be well-versed in Egyptian history and culture, though, so if you think you’re the right fit, get out there and start applying.
There are lots of English-speaking tour guides here in Egypt who work with both Egyptians and foreigners, so this is another job that’s perfect for making new friends while learning about their culture. You’ll be expected to know all kinds of information about the different sites here.
This job might not exist in your home country, but it’s actually very common here in Egypt! Since Egyptians are usually searching for jobs within their family or social circles, they need professional help when it comes to marketing themselves. You can also use the money you make from this position to start saving up for a trip worldwide.
Depending on your degree, you may be able to get a job as an athletic coach at some of the local schools and universities. This is another job that can really help you meet new friends and experience Egyptian culture first-hand. If you want to live in Egypt for any length of time, it’s important to meet people everywhere you go.
This is another job that’s pretty easy to find, especially if you have experience planning events in your home country. Weddings are a really big deal here in Egypt, so everyone wants their special day perfect. If you’re good at organizing events, this could be a great job for you. However, you need to be fluent in Arabic and know about Egyptian culture.
This one’s pretty easy to come by since Egyptians love to drink! If you’re good at making drinks and interacting with lots of people at the same time, becoming a bartender is definitely an option here in Egypt. Another plus side is that your salary usually depends on how much you drink with each customer, so that means more cash for you.
Working in Egypt isn’t just a time to take advantage of the great weather; check out the pyramids and network with other business professionals. In order to have a successful experience, it’s important to understand some key cultural differences you might encounter.
There are lots of cultural differences between working in America and working in a country belonging to the Arab world. When you are considering working in Egypt, UAE, KSA, or any other Arab nation, it is important to be aware of certain cultural differences.
The same rules do not apply when you are living here. So before you head to Egypt, make sure to check out these three things you should know about the culture.
1) Business Cards Are Very Important
It is a good idea to have a business card printed up in Egyptian Arabic before you come here. Egyptians emphasize the quality of your business card and do not usually accept a simple Google-translated version.
The best way to get a business card printed up or translated is to find an Egyptian who will do it for you. If you are getting an Arabic card printed up, make sure that your name is on the front of the card in both English and Arabic. This way, people know how to pronounce it, but it also makes it easier for them to remember your name.
2) Your Business Decorum Is Different
When doing business in the Arab world, you need to understand that it is very different from the American or European business style. The Western idea of being polite and following strict rules of etiquette are not important here. Egyptians are very relational people who will expect you to have a strong connection with them before you start talking business.
If you are trying to network with an Egyptian, they will expect you to talk about family and common interests before business. If you try to jump right into the business part, it might be considered offensive.
3) The Idea of Time Is Different Here
When doing business in the Middle East, it is important to understand that the idea of time is not concrete. This means it is good to show up 15 minutes late or an entire day late. It isn’t considered rude or inconsiderate, but rather a common thing here, especially if you are doing business in rural areas.
If you plan to work with Egyptians, it can be a good idea to show up early or right on time. If you make them wait for you, it could cause the relationship to be strained.
Working in Egypt can be quite enjoyable. The working environment is friendly, the people are kind, and the pay is high. Of course, all of this comes with a few major caveats that might put some off. For example, you’ll need to supplement your income with an additional source of revenue if you want to live comfortably. For more information, follow our updates to know better.