Unemployment rates are very high in Egypt which makes finding jobs for expatriates fairly difficult. Additionally, employers are required to first give jobs to locals and grant them all social security and related benefits, before offering them to foreigners who do not have same rights. This factor does not affect the highly skilled professionals, only seasonal and temporary workforce.

The types of jobs in Egypt vary a great deal, but unlike other countries most people do not go to Egypt for business or financial opportunities. The most common employment option for foreigners is teaching with both private and English language schools hiring. Employees of NGOs also make up a large portion of the expat population in the country. Petroleum export sector and media related businesses are the other major industries drawing foreign workers. The IT industry is just taking root in Egypt so some options are available in this sector as well.

Workers hired from outside of Egypt get better pay packages for the same job, than foreigners who are already in the country. Foreigners hired from abroad get paid in euros, dollars or pounds while expatriates hired form within the country get paid in local currency.  Also it is more difficult to land a job once you are in the country. Having good personal contacts and recommendations  is vital aspect of the Egyptian business culture, so if you are already in the country and looking for a job, cultivating contacts can promote your cause.

For individuals interested in short term work diving resorts offer a good opportunity. Diving instructors are always in short supply due to the high turnover. Other casual employment in Egypt includes bartending or working in one of the numerous hotels in in resort towns like Sharm el-Sheikh and Dahab. Enterprising travellers have been known to finance their stays by offering services as masseurs, acupuncturists and herbalists.

To legally work in Egypt, it is necessary to get a work visa. This can be obtained with a formal job offer and if hired from abroad, the employed helps with the paperwork. This makes it easier as navigating the bureaucracy is rather tedious. Work permits are valid for ten to twelve months and have to be renewed thereafter. Expatriates who wish to remain in the country more than three months should start the visa process a few months before the planned arrival date, as costs and processing lengths vary according to each visa type.


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