From routine citizenship and documentation questions to all manner of emergencies, U.S. Embassy Cairo is pleased to provide information and assistance for U.S. citizens in Egypt.
To get started, please use the U.S. Citizen Services Navigator. The navigator will ask a series of simple questions to direct you to online information on the most common topics OR provide instructions on how to contact us by email for less common questions and direct assistance.
Information On Notarial Services
When a U.S. citizen wishes to enroll themselves or their child(ren) in school in Egypt, the educational institution may ask the U.S. citizen to provide a document from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo stating that the U.S. Embassy has no objection to the enrollment. Please note that the U.S. Embassy plays no role in determining or regulating the education of private U.S. citizens in Egypt. In this situation, please print the U.S. Embassy in Cairo’s “no objection school enrollment letter” found here and present it to the relevant authorities. This is the only documentation that the U.S. Embassy in Cairo will provide in this regard.
When a U.S. citizen wishes to apply for an Egyptian driver’s license, the Government of Egypt may ask the U.S. citizen to provide a document from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo stating that the U.S. Embassy has no objection to the driver’s license application. Please note that the U.S. Embassy plays no role in determining or regulating if U.S. citizens are allowed to drive while in Egypt. In this situation, please print the U.S. Embassy in Cairo’s “no objection driver’s license letter” found here and present it to the relevant authorities. This is the only documentation that the U.S. Embassy in Cairo will provide in this regard.
The American Citizen Services Unit of the Consular Section performs notarial services by appointment only. Services include taking of oaths, acknowledgment of signatures on documents for use in the United States, certification of true copies for Social Security and Internal Revenue Services purposes, and authentication of Government of Egypt officials’ signatures. Notarial services are performed for any person regardless of nationality if the document will be used in the United States.
The cost of a notarial is $50 for each notary signature, or the equivalent in Egyptian pounds. The fee is payable at the time of your appointment by cash or credit card.
In most cases the document will be ready the same day. Please be aware that the consular officer may refuse any notarial service when:
(1) the host country does not authorize the performance of the service,
(2) the document will be used in transactions that may be prohibited by U.S. law,
(3) the officer believes that the document will be used for a purpose that is unlawful, improper, or inimical to the best interests of the United States, or
(4) the officer does not understand the document, due to language or any other reason.
Consular officers are prohibited from giving legal advice or acting as witnesses. If you have any questions about the contents of the documents and the implications of your signing them, the American Citizens Unit can provide a list of Egyptian attorneys for you to consult, or you may wish to consult an attorney in the United States. A short list of Egyptian attorneys who are members of The American Bar Association is also available.
Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is an acknowledgment made by a grantor to a consular officer. The named individual appears before the consul and acknowledges that the signature on the document is his/her own signature.
A notarizing officer may not act as an attesting witness to the execution of an instrument in connection with any private party matter, such as powers of attorney, wills, or contracts. If a document needs witnessing, the person requesting the notarial service must provide the witness(es).
A written certificate attesting to the performance of a notarial act is attached to the notarized documents. Eyelet grommets are inserted in the upper left corner, perforating the document pages. This prevents anyone from separating the original document and the notarization. Should they be separated, the notarization will be invalid.
Translations (Foreign Language Documents)
A consular officer may provide notarial services to non-English speaking applicants. However, the officer must be able to understand the document in question. Translations of a foreign language text should be provided by the applicant. If the consul is not comfortable providing the service, s/he will decline and direct the person to a local notary or foreign consul who can communicate in the same language.
For the consular officer to notarize an affidavit of a translation, the translator must appear with photo identification.
Please note: The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the entities or individuals whose names appear on the lists above. Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department or the U.S. government. Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance. The information on the list is provided directly by the local service providers; the Department is not in a position to vouch for such information.
Foreign Academic Credentials for Use in the United States:
(1) U.S. consular officers generally are prohibited from authenticating or providing certified true copies of foreign academic credentials, transcripts, or degrees for use in the United States.
(2) The U.S. Departments of State and Education determined in 1983 that there is no statutory requirement for U.S. consuls to authenticate translations of foreign academic credentials. The U.S. Department of Education and the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers agree that authentication in no way alleviates the problem of fraud as the information contained in the document is not confirmed, only the seal and signature are authenticated.
U.S. Credentials for Use Abroad: Some foreign countries continue to require authentication of academic credentials. See Authentication of American Academic Credentials for Use Abroad on the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet page for guidance about how to obtain such records.
Authenticating Documents Originating in the U.S.
The U.S. Embassy in Cairo does not authenticate documents originating in the United States.
United States originated documents and/or certificates, such as divorce, death and birth certificates are often required for use in Egypt. The Egyptian government offices require that the documents be authenticated as genuine. Here in Cairo, the U.S. Embassy authenticates the signature and official positions of Egyptian officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Egyptian documents.
Authentication is a certification of the genuineness of the signature and seal or the position of a foreign official who has previously executed, issued, or certified a document. This allows a document executed or issued in one jurisdiction to be recognized in another jurisdiction. U.S. embassies and consulates maintain exemplars of the seals and signatures of host government officials only.
The Egyptian consulates and embassy in the United States authenticate the signatures of officials, such as the US notary public and the Department of State’s great seal, on U.S. documents issued within their jurisdiction of work. Likewise, here in Egypt, the U.S. Embassy authenticates the signature and official positions of Egyptian officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Egyptian documents.
To authenticate U.S. originated documents/certificates for use in Egypt:
The document should be submitted to an Egyptian Consulate or Embassy in the U.S. for authentication. These consulates or embassies are required to keep on file official signatures of individuals authorized to execute official documents in their consular districts in the United States. Upon returning the authenticated document to Egypt, it should be submitted to any of the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs authenticating offices, available all over Egypt.
The document is considered authenticated after the above is utilized.
A common misconception, even with local Egyptian officials here, is that the U. S. Embassy directly authenticates the seals and signatures of notary public or other officials in the United States. The U.S. Embassy can only certify the seals and signatures of the officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Egypt.