Family Reunification

The protection of family unity is an important human right. Family reunification is when dependent family members such as children, spouses, parents, etc. are brought together after a period of separation. In general, family reunification is possible for child/parent and husband/wife relationships, if the family member is residing legally in a country in Europe, North America, or Australia. But there are exceptions to this, and every country has different requirements.

Who is eligible for family reunification?

Please note that there are no specific family reunification procedures for refugees/asylum seekers who would like to bring their families to join them in Egypt. In general, there is an entry-visa to Egypt for relatives of foreigners who possess a one-year valid residence. This is applicable for certain nationalities and upon the provision of a supporting letter from their embassy. Individuals abroad can approach the Embassy of Arab Republic of Egypt in their respective countries of residence to obtain further information.

Please be informed that UNHCR in Egypt does not offer individual counselling on family reunification to Egypt.

Reuniting with a family member who is residing in a third country (for example in Europe, North America, Australia) is subject to the laws of that country and depends on the type of legal status that your relative has been granted and the nature of your relationship. Your relative should be able to advise on your eligibility after speaking with a lawyer or social worker in the country where they live.

Who can help you in the family reunification process?

If you are a refugee or asylum-seeker in Egypt, aiming to reunite with family member(s) residing legally in a third country in (Europe, North America, Australia), UNHCR may be able to help connect you to a lawyer through our network of offices abroad, or an ongoing project UNHCR is running with a legal partner. This is dependent on the country of intended destination.

For assistance, you may reach out to the UNHCR family reunification focal point in Egypt through [email protected]

If you do not know where your family is, or you cannot contact them, you can contact the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for assistance: Sundays to Wednesdays from 9:00 to 15:00. Located at No. 84, 104 road, Hadayek El Maadi Cairo, Egypt (Phone number: +20225281540/+20225281541/+20225281548).

Once you and your relative apply for family reunification to a third country, there is no guarantee that your case will be approved. The process can be long and there are usually a lot of documents to provide and interviews to attend. UNHCR cannot advise on timelines for individual family reunification programs.

If you have a family reunification application under  process, please bring it to UNHCR’s attention; UNHCR may be able to provide assistance, including helping successful applicants who received visas obtain exit permits to depart Egypt.