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Obtaining an Al-Azhar Student Visa

The following steps are required to obtain a student residency (visa) from Al-Azhar.  They apply to those studying at the Ma3had Al-Bu3ooth or at the university.

The residency is usually given for a full year from the date the student's current visa expires  It is multiple entry and can be used as proof of residency when opening a bank account.


Preliminary Steps

  1. The student obtains a tasdeeq either from the ma3had or from the university.
  2. From the passport office in Madeenat Al-Bu3ooth (located here) across from the Ma3had Al-Bu3ooth Al-Islaamiyyah, the student obtains a residency application form.  This can be done while waiting for the tasdeeq, and should be done before coming to submit the paperwork.
    • The application can be obtained from window 7 (the cashier's window).  The cost is 8 LE and it includes 8 LE worth of stamps affixed to it.  It can be picked up any time the office is open.
  3. The form should be filled out completely in English, with the purpose of residency stated as study.


Submitting the Paperwork

When the paperwork is ready, the student can submit it at the passport office by waiting in lines 4 or 5 for men, or line 6 for women.  Sometimes there are no women waiting to submit paperwork, so all three lines are opened to men.

Each nationality is given specific days to come in for submitting or picking up paperwork.  The days assigned for westerners are Saturday and Thursday.

It is advisable to arrive early in the morning for men to submit paperwork, as the lines tend to be very long.  It typically takes two hours waiting in line before a person's turn comes up.  The office opens at 8 AM.  If a student arrives at 7 AM or before, he will have to wait for the office to open but will end up waiting in line for a shorter period of time.  Typically one or two of the students takes down names of other students as they show up before 8 AM, so that each person will wait in line in the order he came.  If a student arrives before 8 AM, he should look around and ask for the person who is writing names down.

For women, submitting paperwork is much easier and faster as there are few women waiting to do so.  There is no need to arrive early, and even if all three lines are serving men the woman goes to the front of the third line (number 6) and can submit her paperwork without waiting long.

For married couples and families, it is possible to have the wife submit the paperwork even if the husband is the one who is studying at Al-Azhar.  The wife and husband can go together, and the wife can submit the paperwork by waiting in the line for women.

The following is required when submitting the paperwork:

  1. Passport (this will be given back, they do not keep it)
  2. Completed visa application form
  3. Copy of passport (picture page)
  4. A copy of all Egyptian visa pages in the passport
  5. A passport size picture
  6. Tasdeeq
  7. 2 LE for stamps

For married couples, if one spouse is studying then the other can get the residency using the tasdeeq of the one studying.  The paperwork for the spouses should be submitten together, as well for the children for families.  Otherwise a new tasdeeq is required for each visit.  The office requires a translated and authenticated copy of a marriage certificate when submitting paperwork for a non-student spouse to get a residency based on the student spouse's tasdeeq.

A student must submit another copy of all his/her passport pages listed above for each extra person (spouse or children) who is receiving a visa on the student's tasdeeq.

When submitting the paperwork, the student should ask the worker at the window when the visa will be ready.  It usually takes about a week for the paperwork to be processed.


Obtaining the Residency

Once the visa is ready, the student comes back to the passport office to receive it.  The student needs to bring the passport as well as 3.5 LE.

A student needs to arrive early in the same manner as when submitting the paperwork.  Usually there is one student taking down names for those who are submitting paperwork, and another for those picking up visas.

The lines for picking up the residency are numbers 1-2 for men, and number 3 for women.  Students submit their passports as well as the fees, and then wait for them to be processed.

For women, it is advisable to arrive before 8 AM.  Although the line is short for women, the paperwork is handled in a different way.  When submitting paperwork, it is dealt with immediately and the student can leave.  When picking up the visa, the workers collect the passports  from the front of the lines and place them in a single stack.  Then they process each passport in the stack.  Therefore, if a female student arrives late her paperwork will be at the bottom of the stack.  The wait when picking up the visa is due to the length of time it takes to process the stack, so when a student submits the passport he/she can wait for his/her name to be called.

For couples and families, the wife can submit the passports for the entire family.  The husband should wait in the office even if the wife is submitting the passports, as the husband's name will be called out from the lines for men and he will have to go to the front of the line to pick up the processed passport.

A student should expect to wait one hour after the office opens for the passport to be ready if it is on the top of the stack, as the workers don't start processing the stack immediately.  If it is at the bottom of the stack it can take two hours or more.

Created by: admin. Last Modification: Thursday 23 of April, 2009 18:53:35 IST by admin.