|Egyptian Citizenship Act|
|Parliament of Egypt|
|Enacted by||Government of Egypt|
|Status: Current legislation|
The Egyptian nationality law is based on a mixture the principles of Jus sanguinis and Jus soli with some alterations. In other words, both place of birth and Egyptian parentage are relevant for determining whether a person is an Egyptian citizen. As of 2019, anyone born to an Egyptian mother or father is considered ethnically Egyptian under the law, and eligible for Egyptian citizenship upon request.
At the time of codification, the law's provision on ethnically mixed marriages excluded the children of Egyptian mothers and foreign fathers from being considered Egyptians or citizens, while providing an automatic right of citizenship to the children of Egyptian fathers and foreign mothers. In 2004, the law was amended, giving mothers the right to pass down their citizenship to children they had with foreign men.
The following are deemed Egyptian nationals:
Children born in Egypt are deemed Egyptian nationals:
The following are deemed Egyptian nationals:
Wives of Egyptian citizens (but not husbands of Egyptian citizens) can apply for citizenship (with the consent of the Egyptian husband) and acquire citizenship after two years provided that the marriage is not terminated, except in case of the husband’s death.
However, the Ministry of Interior may issue a decree depriving the wife from acquiring Egyptian nationality within the two-year period, but such rejection can be disputed in court.
A person may be naturalised as an Egyptian citizen after at least 10 consecutive years of residence in Egypt.
Normally a person must be aged 21 or over in order to become a naturalized Egyptian citizen. Children aged under 21 normally obtain Egyptian citizenship automatically at the same time a responsible parent is naturalised.
All applicants must also meet the following criteria:
A non-Egyptian who has acquired Egyptian nationality can exercise political rights after 5 years, and may be elected or appointed a member of any parliamentary body after 10 years.
However, by Presidential decree, he may be exempted from the first restriction, or both restrictions combined. The Minister of Interior may exempt, by decree, those who have joined the Egyptian Armed Forces and fought in their ranks, from the first restriction or both restrictions combined. Egyptian nationality may be granted by Presidential decree. without being bound by the restrictions set out under the law, to any foreigner who renders honorable services to Egypt, as well as to the heads of the Egyptian religious sects.
An Egyptian national may voluntarily forfeit his/her citizenship by acquiring a foreign nationality except after obtaining a permission therefore, to be issued by decree of the Minister of Interior. In this case, the Egyptian shall forfeit Egyptian nationality, if he/she has been permitted to obtain the foreign nationality.
Egyptian nationality may be restituted, by a decree of the Minister of Interior, to a person from whom it has been withdrawn or who has forfeited it, after the lapse of 5 years from withdrawing or forfeiting it. Restoring Egyptian nationality may also take place by a Presidential decree. The decree withdrawing or forfeiting Egyptian nationality may also be waived by a decree of the Minister of Interior, if such a withdrawal or forfeiture decree has been based on fraud or mistake.
Egyptian nationality may also be restituted by decree of the Minister of Interior to a person having forfeited it by obtaining a foreign nationality, after granting him permission to that effect.
Under Egyptian law, acquiring another citizenship is acceptable, but requires that those who apply for another nationality inform appropriate Egyptian officials. Egyptians who have acquired a foreign citizenship may keep their Egyptian nationality if the other country permits it and if within a period not exceeding 1 year from the date he/she acquires the foreign nationality, declares his wish to retain his Egyptian citizenship. Persons who become naturalized Egyptian citizens may keep their original nationality if the other country permits it. This contrasts with some Asian countries such as India, China, and Japan, whose nationals lose the original nationality when they voluntarily assume another. Egyptian nationals with at least one parent born in Japan will have to choose, by the age of 22, whether to keep their Japanese or Egyptian nationality.
However, holders of a dual-citizenship are exempt from military service and prohibited from enrolling in military and police academies or being elected to Parliament.
As Egypt is primarily a jus sanguinis jurisdiction, the status of persons born to Egyptian parents in countries operating under jus soli rules is somewhat complex. A prime example is the child of Egyptians born in the United States, where any person born subject to its jurisdiction is automatically a citizen: assuming that both parents are Egyptian but not American citizens, the child is without question automatically an American citizen under American law and an Egyptian citizen under Egyptian law. While the position of the American government regarding the child's Egyptian citizenship is clear (the United States would recognize it without question), Egypt cannot be informed of the acquisition of American citizenship within the allotted one-year timeframe, as the citizen in question is an infant and likely unable to speak. Therefore, even if the child is registered with the Egyptian authorities and given an Egyptian birth certificate (proof of Egyptian citizenship), it is unclear whether Egypt would recognize the foreign citizenship at all in official contexts.
In 2004, the nationality law was amended to include the right of citizenship to those born to either an Egyptian father or mother, in adoption of the principle of gender equality. The amendment codifies the status of children of an Egyptian mother and a non-Egyptian father, with no regard to the nationality of the non-Egyptian father, to be similar to children of an Egyptian father and a non-Egyptian mother.. On July 16, 2018 the Egyptian House of Representatives approved a bill submitted by the government to amend citizenship laws and on August 15, 2018 President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ratified it. According to the new law, foreign nationals who deposit seven million Egyptian pounds, or the equivalent in other currencies, get a five-year residency after which they apply for citizenship.