Egypt says it has sent a draft law regulating the residency of foreigners upon which investors can obtain temporary residence permits for legal review, in preparation for referring the amended legislation to parliament for final approval.
Under the new amendments, investors would be required to make a deposit in foreign currency into Egyptian banks in order to receive five-year residence permits, the cabinet said in a statement late on Tuesday.
“It is a new type of residency that aims to make it easier for investors,” cabinet spokesman Hossam Gawish said.
After five years of their stay in the country, investors can also apply for the Egyptian nationality, Gawish added.
Several MPs and other critics have objected to the nationality article, with some arguing that the “Egyptian citizenship is not up for sale” while others demanded tougher preconditions be imposed on foreigners to obtain it.
The certain amount of deposit required to be placed by investors has not been set yet.
The draft law has been referred to the State Council, a judicial advisory body, for legal review. It will then be sent to the parliament for final ratification.
Egypt’s economy has been hard hit since the 2011 revolution and the ensuing political turmoil has scared off tourists and investors, two key sources of hard currency.
In January, Egypt’s parliament approved a long-awaited law on investment aimed at making deals less vulnerable to legal challenges and cutting out stifling bureaucracy.
The law has caused major controversy since it was passed by the cabinet, with critics alleging that it would open the door to corruption by restricting appeals to only the parties involved: the government and investors.
source: Ahram Online