Egypt’s Parliament Passes Residence-to-Citizenship by Investment Bill

The Egyptian parliament has passed a law that will grant residency – and, after a five-year period of continuedresidence, citizenship – to foreigners who deposit seven million Egyptian pounds (about US$ 390,000) in one of the country’s state-owned banks.

  • Those approved under the deposit option will be allowed to apply for citizenship after five years of residence, rather than the ten years required for other types of applicants.
  • Family members of the main applicant must reside in the country to qualify for citizenship alongside the main applicant.
  • Upon approval of the citizenship application – in year-five – the bank deposit is transferred to the Treasury, thus becoming a donation rather than an investment.
  • Those naturalized through the scheme will only be eligible to “exercise their political rights” (presumably meaning the right to vote), five years after obtaining citizenship.

Less original was the phraseology employed by the political opposition in its criticism of the new law. Mada Masr reports:

The legislation sparked backlash in Parliament from lawmakers who used nationalist arguments to criticize it, noting that the amendments essentially put Egyptian citizenship up for sale.

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