Source: Al Arabiya (Dubai)
By Sonia Farid
By On July 16, the Egyptian House of Representatives approved a bill submitted by the government to amend citizenship laws and on August 15, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ratified it.
According to the new law, foreign nationals who deposit seven million Egyptian pounds, or the equivalent in other currencies, get a five-year residency after which they apply for citizenship.
When the naturalization process is completed and citizenship is approved by the Ministry of Interior, the deposit is to be transferred to state treasury.
Law 26/1975, which was amended, stipulated a residency of 10 years before applying for citizenship and did not link granting citizenship to money. These two particular amendments are what rendered the new law quite controversial and raised a lot of questions about the purpose and the timing.
The controversy started within the House of Representatives as several MPs objected to the amendments. The most vocal was MP Haitham al-Hariri who said that the law basically offers Egyptian citizenship “for sale,” a term that was met with resentment on the part of several MPs as well as the parliament speaker.