Egyptian Parliamentarians vote in favor of a proposal – Press photo
CAIRO – 18 July 2018: Egypt’s Parliament approved Sunday a law that allows foreigners residing in Egypt to obtain the Egyptian nationality for a bank deposit of LE 7 million ($391,400).
According to the law, a foreigner who has resided in Egypt for 5 years with a deposit of not less than LE 7 million will have the right to obtain the Egyptian nationality following legal and security procedures.
Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal said that many foreigners have lived in Egypt for as many as 30 or 40 years. However, they and their grand children have not obtained the Egyptian nationality yet. He added that naturalization is carried out in many countries.
The Egyptian authority says that the law aims to encourage Arabic and foreign investments in the national economic projects, adding that it would help provide investors with more confidence and stability.
MP Kamal Amer, chairman of the Parliament’s National Defense and Security Committee, said that the law does not affect the national security; the law supports the economic section. He added that the law aims to introduce a new system for the foreigners residing in Egypt amid increasing requests to obtain the Egyptian nationality.
On the other hand, a number of parliamentarians and politicians rejected the law, calling on the Parliament to prioritize national security.
Independent MP and journalist Mostafa Bakri said that although he believed that the authorities will check the foreigners' files before they are granted the nationality. However, he rejected the idea of obtaining the nationality for “a 5-year bank deposit.”
Bakri expressed concerns about the law, claiming that 7,000 terrorists were granted the nationality during former Muslim Brotherhood affiliated President Mohamed Morsi.
MP Haitham al-Hariri also expressed his rejection to the law, saying that foreign investors call for the facilitation of visa and accommodation procedures and not the nationality.
In a sharp tone, Mohamed al-Ezaby, political analyst warned that the law would allow the hostile countries to order their agents to obtain the nationality to be able to control the Egyptian economy.
Threatening the Parliament, Ezaby said that if the Parliament passes the law, a signature campaign will be launched and submitted to the Supreme Constitutional Court with the aim of declaring the current Parliament illegitimate.