CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt is offering citizenship to foreigners who deposit at least 7 million Egyptian pounds (£ 295,576) and hand them over to the Treasury Department after five years, according to an amendment passed by parliament on Monday.
Egypt has sought to boost its finances and withdraw foreign investment that fled the country after the 2011 uprising, notably through a series of tough reforms that ended with a $ 12 billion IMF loan program launched in late 2016 . GBP).
Under the new law, foreigners who make a deposit of 7 million Egyptian pounds or equivalent in foreign currency will be able to acquire citizenship if they make the deposit after five years.
It was not immediately clear what economic benefit a foreigner would get by acquiring citizenship, as Egypt has little restrictions on foreign investment projects, despite prohibiting foreign ownership of agricultural land and land in the Sinai Peninsula, where it is exposed to an Islamist uprising is.
“The Minister of the Interior can grant Egyptian citizenship to all foreigners who have lived in Egypt for at least five consecutive years before applying for naturalization,” the amendment said.
“After acceptance of the naturalization application, the value of the deposit will be transferred to the state treasury,” it said.
The chairman of Parliament’s Defense and National Security Committee, General Kamal Amer, said the new law complements recent changes to an investment law that encourages foreigners to invest in the country.
He said foreigners who acquire citizenship would only enjoy political rights after five years of citizenship and it would take 10 years to be eligible for election or appointment to representation.
Spouses and children can only get citizenship if they reside in Egypt, he added.
Writing by Eric Knecht; Arrangement by Sami Aboudi and Alison Williams