A noncommercial collection of information about citizenship, dual citizenship and multiple citizenship

[Please refer to How to Read a Country Entry for help interpreting this material. It was produced prior to March 2001 as part of a US government report entitled Citizenship Laws of the World. The accuracy and depth of these country listings varies significantly, and some information may be incorrect. At best, this page presents only part of the story for a particular country. Additional information for this country may be available in Country Information]


CITIZENSHIP: Egyptian citizenship laws are based on Law #17, promulgated on June 22, 1958. The law is based on the concept of legitimate descent.

BY BIRTH: Birth within the country of Egypt does not automatically confer citizenship. Citizenship by birth is only granted under the following conditions: Child born in Egypt, out of wedlock, to an Egyptian mother, when the father is unknown or stateless, is considered a citizen of Egypt. Child born in Egypt of unknown parents is automatically granted Egyptian citizenship.

BY DESCENT: Child, born in wedlock, whose father is an Egyptian citizen, is automatically a citizen of Egypt, regardless of the child's country of birth.

BY NATURALIZATION: There is no standard law for naturalization. Different categories of people face varying requirements. Some groups include: Persons born in Egypt, of a father who was born in Egypt, and who is a member of a racial minority, faces no residency requirements if their language is Arabic or religion is Islam. Person, who was born in and has resided most of their life in Egypt, may opt for Egyptian nationality upon reaching the age of majority. However, a presidential decree is required.

Woman who marries an Egyptian national becomes a citizen of Egypt, providing that she declares her desire to acquire her husband's nationality to the Minister of the Interior. Upon making the declaration, two years of marriage must follow before citizenship is granted.

Most other persons face a residency requirement of 10 years, as well as the necessity of obtaining a presidential decree, for citizenship to be granted.

DUAL CITIZENSHIP: NOT RECOGNIZED. Exceptions: Voluntary renunciation of Egyptian citizenship is only valid when the person has obtained prior official authorization. Person must obtain presidential authorization to abandon their Egyptian nationality. In such cases where authorization is not obtained, dual citizenship can exist by default.

However, a woman who marries a foreign national and declares her intention to acquire her husband's nationality can lose her Egyptian citizenship without prior authorization and thus would not acquire this form of dual citizenship.

LOSS OF CITIZENSHIP: (See "Exceptions" to "Dual Citizenship" above for explanation of need for prior authorization in renunciation of citizenship.) In all cases of loss of citizenship, a presidential decree is required. Due to the uncertainty created by the emphasis on prior authorization, questions pertaining to loss of citizenship should be directed to the Egyptian embassy.

VOLUNTARY: Voluntary renunciation of Egyptian citizenship is allowed, provided the person obtains prior authorization through a presidential decree. For aid in the process of properly renouncing Egyptian citizenship, contact the nearest Egyptian Embassy.

INVOLUNTARY: The following are grounds for involuntary loss of Egyptian citizenship: Person voluntarily obtains foreign citizenship. Person commits certain offenses. Person who takes permanent residency abroad will lose citizenship after six months.

QUESTIONS concerning citizenship should be directed to the address below:

Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt Consular Section 3521 International Court, NW Washington, DC 20009

Embassy Telephone: 202-895-5400 Consular Telephone: 202-966-6342 Fax: 202-244-4319/5131



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