Marriage to an Egyptian Citizen
Every country has its own laws that apply to its citizens marrying a person from a different country. Getting married to an Egyptian citizen with the goal of eventually bringing them to Canada to live is a process with many steps. The Egyptian government imposes strict requirements on foreigners who marry Egyptians as an indirect way of discouraging Egyptian citizens from moving to other countries.
You must demonstrate to Egyptian officials that they are not currently married to anyone else – either you have never been married or all divorces are finalized – that your identity is proven, and that you have never committed any crimes in Egypt. This is done by providing various documents including an Affidavit of Single Status to the Egyptian government either in Egypt or via a Egyptian embassy.
If you want to bring your Egyptian spouse or partner to live in Canada, you must then file a sponsorship application for them to become a permanent resident. If they would like to visit you in Canada while their application is in process, they must also apply for a visitor visa. For more information, please see our family sponsorship page and our visitor visa page.
Egyptian Marriage Basic Requirements
A Canadian cannot marry an Egyptian woman in a civil marriage in Egypt. A civil marriage between a Canadian woman and non-Canadian man or two Canadian citizens or Canadian and non-Egyptian woman is possible.
There are conditions that must be met, namely:
- The Canadian must declare in writing in both Arabic and English that he or she is not legally still married to another person.
- Affidavit legalized by the Egyptian ministry of foreign affairs
- Original passport submitted
- $50 or 310 Egyptian pounds
When all these requirements are met, you can apply for a marriage certificate and have the cvil ceremony performed by the appropriate authority.
For the marriage to be recognized by Canadian government the following should be done;
- The marriage certificate should be taken for translation to the Egyptian ministry of justice
- The translated document should then be taken the ministry of foreign affairs for legalization
- The legalized translated document is presented to the consular section of the Canadian Embassy for authentication at a cost of CAD 50 or 310 Egyptian pounds
Additional Family Members in an Egyptian Marriage
If your Egyptian spouse has dependent children, this does not affect the Egyptian Marriage document application.
If you have dependent children, they have no effect on the application to marry a Egyptian citizen.
List of Egyptian Consulates in Canada
Calling Egypt from Canada
- The exit code for Canada is 011
- The country for Egypt is 20
- Dial 011 – 20 – area code – local number
Area Codes for Major Centres in Egypt (landlines only)
|10th of Ramadan||15||Damietta||57||Mersa Matruh||46|
|6th of October||2||El Mahalla el Kubra||40||Mit Ghamr||50|
|Alexandria||3||El Minya||86||Port Said||66|
Calling Canada from Egypt
- The international calling code is 00
- The country code for Canada is 1
- Dial 00 – 1 – area code – local numbers
List of Area Codes in Canada
403 / 587 (southern Alberta)
587 / 780 (central and northern Alberta)
236 / 250 / 778 (majority of BC)
236 / 604 / 778 (Metro Vancouver)
226 / 519 (southwestern Ontario)
249 / 705 (northeastern Ontario)
289 / 365 / 905 (Greater Toronto Area)
343 / 613 (eastern Ontario)
416 / 647 (Toronto)
807 (northwestern Ontario)
|Manitoba||204 / 431||PEI||782 / 902|
418 / 581 (eastern Quebec)
438 / 514 (Montreal)
450 / 579 (Greater Montreal)
819 / 873 (remainder of Quebec)
|Newfoundland and Labrador||709||Saskatchewan||306 / 639|
|Nova Scotia||782 / 902|
Time Difference Between Canada and Egypt
Egypt is on Eastern European time (GMT+2). They do not participate in Daylight Saving Time.
|Canadian Time Zone||# of Hours Egypt is Ahead||# of Hours during DST|
|Pacific (BC, Yukon)||10 hours||9 hours|
|Mountain (Alberta, western Nunvaut, Lloydminster, Saskatchewan)||9 hours||8 hours|
|Saskatchewan||8 hours||8 hours|
|Central (Manitoba, Northwest Territories, central Nunavut, northwestern Ontario)||8 hours||7 hours|
|Eastern (most of Ontario, most of Quebec)||7 hours||6 hours|
|Atlantic (Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, eastern Quebec)||6 hours||5 hours|
|Newfoundland||5.5 hours||4.5 hours|
The official currency of Egypt is the Egyptian Pound and has the same abbreviation sign as the British Pound and has the code EGP. It is divided into 100 piastres.
Coins used are £1, Pt1, Pt5, Pt10, Pt20, Pt25 and Pt50 while bank notes used are £1, £5, £10, £20, £50, £100, £200, Pt5, Pt10, Pt25 and Pt50.
The current central bank in Egypt has rated it at 9.25% which was the same rate in 2011. Gold is also used as legal tender in internal transactions.
ATM’s are widely available in many parts of Cairo and major credit cards such as MasterCard Visa and American express are accepted. Currency can be exchanged in most banks and major hotels.
Emergency Information for Canadians in Egypt
Canadian Missions in Egypt
From the Government of Canada:
"For security reasons, the Embassy of Canada in Cairo is subject to sporadic closures on short notice. The ability to provide consular services may be limited due to unpredictable security and the curfew imposed by Egyptian authorities."
Embassy of Canada in Cairo
26 Kamel El Shenawy Street
View Larger Map
Canadian Government's Travel Alerts for Egypt
Egyptian Wedding Customs
Marriage is regarded highly in Egyptian society and is respected as an important event in the lifetime of a person.
Egyptians were the first civilization to state and put down marriage laws in the world. In the ancient times, marriage was a religious imposition.
The ancient Egyptian laws organized marriage relationships and all the rights and duties for each of the couple were clearly stated.
Marriage contracts in ancient Egypt were registered and signed by three officers and some of these contracts have been conserved till today.
These laws gave women the right of divorce as well as men. The wife was respected greatly, and she had high prestige in society, the couple had enough time to get to know each other before the engagement.
An engagement starts with the man’s parents visiting the fiancée’s home to seek her family’s approval for marriage, there are two main issues to be discussed mainly the bride price called Mahr, paid by the man to the lady’s family and a valuable gift of jewellery called Shabka, also presented by the man to the woman.
The value of this gift depends on the financial ability and social status of the suitor’s family.
When the two parties are in agreement, the next step is setting up a date for the engagement party. The party is held in a common banquet hall, decorated with flowers and lights.
After the man has proposed and put the ring on the woman’s finger, he also presents his fiancée with valuable jewellery. Food and drinks are served at the engagement party and guest party and have fun.
Eve of the Wedding Night in Egypt
After negotiations on the bride price go well and there is an agreement, the two families fix the day of the wedding. The night before the wedding day, relatives, friends and neighbours get together at the bride’s house for henna night. This is when the bride is beautified with henna on her hands and feet, while the men go to the groom's house.
At the henna night the women sing all night, the bride wears a pink silk or cotton dress while her hands and feet are bleached with henna.
At the groom’s house the men also dance all night, the groom is dressed in a suit.
On the specified day of the marriage, the marriage contract is signed and registered by a priest in the temple in the attendance of the couple, both the couple’s families and friends
Egyptian Wedding Receptions
After the marriage has been officiated the wedding party starts in the evening and the couple is dressed in their best attire and jewellery. The bride rides on a camel or horseback to her new house accompanied by a musical band.
The Day After the Wedding in Egypt
In the morning after the wedding, the wife's mother and her sisters visit her with food, fruits and sweets.
Egyptian Marriage Taboos
Egyptian marriage customs whether in the past or the present are a symbol of the people’s togetherness and harmony, however some customs are considered taboo and wrong like marriage between relatives especially cousins, they cause a lot of serious problems for society.
Marriage between first cousins is an age old custom in Egypt and there are many reasons why it is still practiced. Increasing the size, power and social status of the family is the most important reason. The second reason is keeping the family's wealth within.
One negative aspect about inter-marriage between relatives is diseases and conditions like diabetes in the resulting offspring.
Another bad custom is the high cost of weddings when not everyone can afford it, income levels of most Egyptian families is in the range of $44 a month while the average cost of a wedding in Egyptian is about $ 30,000.
Egyptian Wedding Food
This is a popular Egyptian vegetarian chilli dish served in many restaurants and can also be served in special occasions. It is made from lentils, pasta, basmati rice and seasoning.
Spicy King Prawns
This is spiced shrimp mixed with a variety of other ingredients like cloves and sweet paprika. They are the perfect starter menu for any occasion including a wedding reception.
Egyptian Yoghurt Cucumber Salad
This salad is very delicious and refreshing, can be served with a barbecue, fish or any meat entrée. It is made from thick yoghurt, finely grated cucumber and garlic.
Egyptian Palace Bread
This is bread with a lot of flavour because it is simple white bread made with honey and cream. It is served as dessert, it can be served at any occasion including weddings, parties or at home.
The crust is cut off and the bread is soaked in honey for about an hour then baked. After baking, the cream is spread on top.
Egyptian Sweet Couscous
This is also a dessert that can be served with Arabica coffee, milk or other beverages. It is made from couscous, fruit juice, rose water, butter and almonds.
The couscous is boiled in the rose water and juice and the butter is added. The fruits are topped and lastly almonds are used to garnish.
This dish is made of Egyptian rice and lentils with a sauce on the side. The rice is cooked in the normal way but stock can be added for flavour. The sauce is made from tomatoes, pepper and spices.
Onions are sautéed and served separately.
This is a very simple but nutritious dessert made from dates mixed with walnuts, cinnamon and water then rolled into balls and spread with honey.
Ground beef is placed between layers of macaroni and then béchamel sauce is added. Cheese can be added and this is served as an entrée in any occasion.
These are Egyptian style cookies that literally melt in your mouth because they are soft and made with butter and powdered sugar. They are served with coffee or tea for dessert, breakfast or tea party.
This soup is a Middle Eastern classic made from whole roasted chicken, carrots, onions, tomatoes, spices and garlic.
The whole chicken is served separately with steamed rice, and the soup can be served with pita, brown or plain bread.
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are dipped in egg yolk then breadcrumbs then deep fried.
Chicken strips are cut into thin pieces and put in a bowl to marinate with lemon juice, rind, olive oil, crushed and diced garlic, yoghurt, tomato paste, salt, pepper and spices.
They are left overnight and then sautéed.
Cucumber with Feta Cheese Salad
This is a perfect vegetarian dish made from cucumber slices arranged together with cut onions and sprinkles of feta cheese.
Lentils and Rice with Onions
Onions are fried with brown lentils, while still cooking rice and water are added. This dish can be served with yoghurt or other foods.
Nutty Egyptian-Style Rice
This is nutty aromatic rice that is a great accompaniment to lamb, chicken or fish. This can be served at wedding receptions.
This is a mixture of nuts and spices that can be used as a sprinkle for any dish from rice to meat. It is made up of pistachio nuts, almonds, thyme among other ingredients.
Cucumber Chickpea Salad
This is a colorful mixture of different ingredients like vegetables, chopped tomatoes, chick peas and celery.
A simple egg omelet made with cheese, fried with butter and garnished with tomatoes.
Egyptian Cabbage Rolls
This another vegetarian dish but meat can be included. Cabbage is steamed until soft and stuffed with rice or other ingredients and boiled until well cooked.
This is Middle Eastern lemonade garnished with mint and sugar syrup and blossom water. It is a perfect for quenching thirst at a party or wedding reception after meals.
This is a mixture of different types of nuts like hazel, pistachios, sesame and ground coriander mixed together with salt to taste. It is usually eaten as an appetizer.
This dish is made with fish fillet being marinated with spices and vegetables like green peppers, garlic and spices.
Gibna with Tamatum
Pita bread is cut into two, feta cheese, tomatoes and cucumber slices are placed on the bread to make a sandwich.
This sandwich can be served as a starter or an entrée.
Lemon Carrot Dip
The main ingredient in this dish is carrots. Carrots are boiled and mashed, then seasoned with cumin seeds, lemon juice and salt. It is mainly served as a dip for other dishes.
The kebabs are made with boneless skinless chicken breasts marinated with a combination of yoghurt and different flavouring ingredients, then put in skewers and grilled.
Kebabs are perfect starter snacks for any occasion because they are easy to make and very healthy.
Religion in Egypt
Egypt is predominantly Muslim because 90% of the population is Muslim mainly the Sunni branch of Islam.
Egypt is among the 12 worst countries in the world in relation to religious violence and freedom of worship.
Islam in Egypt is partly to blame for religious tension because Egypt is one of the strong roots of the origin of Islam, extreme views of other faiths and the Western world are common among a substantial part of the population.
Islam was declared the state religion in 1980.
Christianity in Egypt
Christianity is a minority religion in Egypt with only 10% of the population practising it, however it is the second most popular religion.
The biggest Christian Church in Egypt is the Coptic Church which is the native Church to Egypt, it has a sister Church which is the Coptic Catholic.
Other Christian Churches are mainly located in the Northern part. Some of the other Churches are Greek Orthodoxy, Melkites, and Armenian Orthodox.
Judaism in Egypt
The Jewish community in Egypt is less than 0.1% of the population with about 3 synagogues two in Cairo and the other one in Alexandria.
Romantic, Scenic and Historic Places in Egypt
This is an ancient city south of Luxor overlooking the Nile River. The city has a vibrant culture that is a mixture of trade and tourism, the culture of Nubians is well preserved here and there are many museums too.
The capital city Egypt is a major tourist attraction with many sites and places to visit. The best time to visit is from November to March when it is much cooler.
Masr al-Qadima also known as Coptic Cairo is the most ancient part of Cairo which was the original Babylon. It is the Christian community centre where most churches were founded.
The Sphinx – Cairo
The Sphinx is a mythological animal in Egypt that shaped figure which looks like a lion with a human head.
The head of the Sphinx is an image of the greatest ruler Hatshepsut. These ancient sculptures remain one of the most culturally important sites in Egypt attracting millions of visitors each year.
Giza is one of Egypt’s most attractive tourist destination and one of the world’s oldest destinations. Giza is the third biggest city in Egypt containing plateaus, sphinxes and pyramids.
The great pyramids of Giza are the most famous dating back 4,500 years.
Temple of Sobek and Horus – Kom Obo
This temple was built to serve 4 gods, the south part of the temple was for gods Sobek or crocodile god of fertility and creation, Hathor or goddess of love, joy and motherhood and Knhonsu or moon god.
The north part was dedicated to Panebtawy or lord of 2 lands, Tasenetnofret or good sister, and Horus the elder falcon god.
Luxor is a city located in the southern Egypt and is called the capital of Luxor governorate. The temple is a major centre of attraction in Egypt and many festivals are celebrated in this temple the most common one being the Opet.
The temple was built by Amenhotep III and Ramesse II during the 18th dynasty. Honeymooning couples can learn the history of Egypt by visiting the temple.
Colossi of Memnon – Luxor
This site holds a colossi of Pharaoh Amenhotep III and the statue was put up in 1350 BC. The statue is carved out of quartzite sandstone and is one of the many tourist attractions in the Theban Necropolis along River Nile.
Hatshepsut Temple – New Valley
The Hatshepsut temple was built just next to the Mortuary Temple but with time got damaged due to rock sliding as a result of the forces of nature. It was renovated in 1998.
Hatshepsut in English means the most noble of ladies, Hatshepsut was an ancient Egyptian ruler in the 18th century dynasty.
Valley of the Kings – New Valley
This valley contains many tombs of the new kingdom and it is divided into two parts namely the west and the east valley.
It is a major tourist attraction where visitors can learn about ancient Egyptian history.
Valley of the Queens – New Valley
The valley of queens is the special place in Egypt where wives of the Egyptian rulers were buried in the ancient times. The Valley of Queens in Arabic is known as Wadi el melikat.
Hurghada – Red Sea
This is a tiny fishing village with a beautiful beach along the Red Sea Coast. The city is also the center for water sports, swimming, sailing and windsurfing.
Philae – Red Sea
Philae is an island in the Nile River endowed with rich vegetation, flowers and beautiful temples. It was once named the ‘pearl of Egypt’.
Sahara desert is the largest and hottest desert in the world. A significant portion of it is in Egypt ending at the Red Sea.
Sand dunes and desert trekking are some of the activities tourists can enjoy.
The Sinai Peninsula is located on the easternmost part of Egypt between the Gulfs of Suez and Aqaba. Western and northern shores are practically isolated, but the eastern coasts are bustling with several tourist attractions as well as Bedouin settlements.
The Sinai Peninsula is home to Mt. Sinai, a famous location that has Biblical significance.
Sharm el Sheikh – South Sinai
This city is also known as the city of peace because it hosts many peace conferences. There are numerous beaches and diving resorts.
Ras Mohammad National Park – Sharm el Sheikh, South Sinai
This national park is Located 30 kilometres south of Sharm El Sheikh, and it is Egypt’s first and best-kept national park.
It was given this name because the cliff is said to resemble the features of the great Prophet Mohammed, who according to rumours is said to have visited the peninsula in the 7th century.
St. Chaterine's Monastery – South Sinai
St. Catherine’s Monastery is located roughly 230 kilometres from Sharm el Sheikh, lying at the foot of Mount Sinai.
The monastery is now a UNESCO world heritage site and also the oldest functioning Christian monastery in the world.
The monastery was named in honour of St. Catherine, who was one of the earliest Christian martyrs.
Suez canal is the most important waterway in Egypt and it was opened in 1869. It provides an important link between Europe and Asia.
Ships and boats also have access to the Mediterranean Sea through it.
Ibn Tulun Mosque – Tolon
This is the oldest and largest mosque in Cairo and is built on a hill called Gebel Yashkur which means hill of thanksgiving.
There are claims that Noah’s ark in the bible rested there after the great floods. The mosque was destroyed in 986 AD but was later on restored.
Makadi Bay – Red Sea
This location is located in the desert portion of Egypt and one of the most attractive features is the marine life.
An excursion in the desert is another activity for any visitors touring Egypt.
Dahab – South Sinai
Dahab is a popular destination because of windsurfing, scuba diving and snorkelling. Other water sports also make it fantastic honeymoon destination to visit in Egypt.
Taba – South Sinai
Taba is referred to as Sinai’s Gateway because of the view of mountains and the backdrop of beaches. The coastline and bays also make it one of the top tourist destinations in Egypt.
Bringing Items to Egypt
Duty Free Imports to Egypt
- 200 cigarettes
- 25 cigars
- 200 grams of tobacco
- 2 Litres of alcohol
- Perfume for personal use
Restricted Items for Egypt
Egypt has strict rules on importation of electronics including video and photography equipment, computer hardware, software and peripherals. Such items should be for personal use and they should always be accompanied by relevant documentation.
Cash, cheques, credit cards and gold exceeding EGP500 must be declared upon arrival
Prohibited Items for Egypt
- Fire arms
Wages in Egypt
Unemployment in Egypt is high standing at 10.3% but majority of the population is employed in the service sector.
Agriculture and industrial production are also important sectors. In general, the average weekly wage in the private sector is higher than that of the public sector.
In some other instances, e.g. whole sale and retail trades, the weekly wage is lower by half of that in the public sector.
Despite being an affluent country, the youth in Egypt suffer from unemployment and poverty. The unemployment rate is at 9.7% and more than 15 million Egyptians live under $1 a day.
The labor force stands at 26 million, 32% of that population work in agriculture, 17% in industry, and 51% in the service sector.
Examples of Typical Wages in Egypt
|Graphic Designer||EGP 39.31|
|Software Engineer||EGP 140|
|Physical Therapist||EGP 50|
|Civil Engineer||EGP 70|
|Customer Service Rep||EGP 40.69|
How to Sponsor Your Egyptian Spouse to Canada
The sponsorship process can be complicated and lengthy. To learn more:
Immigroup will review your completed spousal sponsorship application for $550+HST. Immigroup will make sure you have not made any mistakes on your application or in gathering the documentation of your relationship. We will assess your sponsorship letter and give you peace of mind that you are submitting an application with a very good chance of success. Don't lose sleep at night worrying about whether you've done enough. Call us at 1-866-760-2623 for a review.