Submitted by ksm7yty in lobby (edited )

(edited to put the most important info first)

Next year I'll be banned from exiting egypt and will be wanted for service.
When I renew my passport, it will be renewed for a maximum of 3 years, but likely just 1 or 2 years. I can exit the borders in the next few months only as a tourist. When I exit, it will be with the intention of staying out for at least 4 years.

I'm sharing with you my thought process, because perhaps I'm missing something important. I'm looking for advice on how to ensure I stay out, or if you know of any legal pathways from a visitor to a taxpayer. Put yourselves in my shoes if you will, hold my passport in your hands and share with me your thought process, questions that come up to your minds, factors and risks you'll consider, steps you might take...

Edit after a conversation: I've done a lot of research on what to do next, things that might immediately come to mind like work visas, study programs, asking for asylum, attempting to get an exemption and such. What best fits my local time-constraints/circumstances (and therefore what I'm pursuing) is arriving as a tourist, and figuring things out from there in a way that ensures I don't return for those 4 years. There are a few candidate countries where this plan makes sense.
For reference, I'm in relatively good health and fit for service. Being able to exit the country and finishing my higher education are mutually exclusive. I have work experience as a programmer. I have some money I saved up that will cover my travel expenses and allow me to remain on my own in an average city for a year or so. My country is a bit of a police-state and police conduct is in many cases arbitrary. Trying to remain a fugitive locally until I'm unfit for service is very risky.


In 2 years I'll be drafted in the egyptian armed forces. It is compulsory and is essentially a glorified free-labor force for military private business, or a police force which cooperates with civilian cops, or a force of easy-to-sacrifice barely-trained pawns on the borders and in displacing natives in sinai and matrouh, all depending on which division I land in. That's not to go over more abstract reasons for objecting.

I don't want to be part of that fucked establishment one way or another. It has killed way too many innocent egyptians in literal massacres and mass death rows, then imprisoned, forcibly-disappeared, or exploited the rest. It has then taken the green and the dry and returned to be a puppet of empire after a brief liberation via revolution. Not only old empires but young ones like those of arabia.
The straw for me was it essentially taking part in the gaza blockade, and sending home or putting to jail anyone who dares approach the crossing, because they'd investigate war-profiteering shit like the USD 5-12K informal fees placed on every individual (and sometimes on aid trucks!) to cross to safety1.
I refuse to be part of the egy military on principle, not because it might be hard or unfair.

I've got a few things on my mind that I'm researching… Which countries would let me visit visa-free in case I had no time to go through the visa process and had to exit asap? Could I just jump around those? How would I act if my passport expires but I must still remain out for a little bit more? Which countries are the least likely to deport me in case I'm forced to overstay, vs countries that rarely deport? Which countries offer a legal pathway from visitor to resident without having to exit their borders? Which countries have strongly-knit communities I can be part of and contribute to so that I'm not stranded wherever I end up (legally or illegally) staying? If I have to overstay, where is safest and where would I be most cooperative with, useful to, and protected by the people around me? Where would I least likely have to interact with the state in a way that requires me to be legit (home address, bank account, ...), perhaps laboring in a rural town for my food and shelter? ...

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kano wrote (edited )

Here's a list of countries where people with Egyptian passports can travel visa free, although this info is probably on some Egyptian govt website as well? and worth double checking there.

which countries are the least likely to deport me in case I'm forced to overstay?

I don't know the answer to this, but trying to claim asylum somewhere is a potential way around this.
Here are the lists of countries who signed up for the UN stuff regarding asylum:

Signatories to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees

Signatories to the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees

Which countries offer a legal pathway from visitor to resident without having to exit their borders?

I'm pretty sure if you arrive anywhere as a tourist and don't apply for asylum, it will not be possible to do this. I think if you arrive with the right type of working visa its possible but depends on the visa and the country in quesiton.

Which countries have strongly-knit communities I can be part of and contribute to so that I'm not stranded wherever I end up (legally or illegally) staying?

I'm not really sure exactly what it means strongly-knit communities for you. I guess maybe I'd consider where other Egyptians go? Maybe it helps you to go somewhere where there is already a lot of Egyptians? or to go somewhere where you already know the main languages being spoken? or is there somewhere abroad where you already have friends or family?

Do you know what the legal situation is in Egypt if you leave for the next several years to avoid conscription and then come back? Will they just conscript you at that point? or put you in jail? Its possible that by avoiding conscription you will face consequences when/if you return regardless of if you are still conscription age or not, but I don't know the legal situation there and can't speak to it.

I don't know what your educational level is or if you have any 'useful skills' but some countries in the Global North are very interested in hiring 'skilled workers' from abroad which might be an option for you depending.

def respect you not wanting to be conscripted and good luck.

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ksm7yty OP wrote (edited )

Thanks for responding! I appreciate the links you added and the directions you pointed me to.
I'm already doing research on these questions you quoted, and planning around them:

I'm sharing with you my thought process with those questions, because perhaps they're not the right questions to ask or I'm missing something important.

That said, I'll still point out that some countries do offer a pathway from visitor to a longer-stay legal status (worker, student, resident, ...), and later to a permanent resident, via the "Expression of Interest" system.

What I'm trying to find now is a compilation of all (or many significant) countries' overstay laws (do they deport, lock up, or do they impose fines? are the fines flat or are they dependent on the length of overstay? etc..), sort of worst-case-scenario planning.
I'm also trying to find outlier countries (or disputed areas) which offer interesting programmes for staying within their borders that one could apply to after arriving.

Asylum is an option of course, and I have a valid case if I pursue it, but I do not wish to pursue it, for difficult familial circumstances. There will be a lot to sacrifice, going that route, and I'd rather exhaust my other options before taking it.

As for "strongly-knit communities", there are no similarity implications. They don't have to be egyptian or even arab. What it means to me is a culture of mutualism and solidarity, a culture where suffering—as much as possible—doesn't go unnoticed and people prioritize each other over material. I think this goes hand in hand with being relatively more on the collectivist side.

The legal situation upon return is the easiest part, as I have local resources on the process and I've already researched it extensively, speaking to lawyers and such. All I need to do, really, is hold my ground outside of egyptian borders for a minimum time period that I've already mentioned.
If or when I return home, I will be subject to a military trial and possibly a short jail period, worst case. I have faith I'll be able to get out of it with the much more common fine, and make a good legal case.
In all cases, I will be "unfit to serve" by then.

I'm in the middle of a bachelor's that I'll pause (being in higher education is what allows me limited movement as a tourist until I graduate, but I'm too old to be allowed travel on the basis of pursuing further education, unfortunately). I also have work experience as a programmer.

def respect you not wanting to be conscripted and good luck.

<3

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kano wrote

That said, I'll still point out that some countries do offer a pathway from visitor to a longer-stay legal status (worker, student, resident, ...), and later to a permanent resident, via the "Expression of Interest" system.

cool idk so much about this. I know in Germany they just created a job-seekers visa thing. such schemes might be worthwhile for you if you have professional experience programming. tbh, if you can program and have experience that's probably a ticket to being able to remain outside of Egypt legally for a couple years?

As for "strongly-knit communities", there are no similarity implications. They don't have to be egyptian or even arab. What it means to me is a culture of mutualism and solidarity, a culture where suffering—as much as possible—doesn't go unnoticed and people prioritize each other over material. I think this goes hand in hand with being relatively more on the collectivist side.

I would probably not recommend North America or Europe in that case. Especially if avoiding complicity in the killing in Gaza is important for you.

Did I understand you correctly in that you are not allowed to try to study at university abroad? cos that would also be a way of getting you out of the country for a few years, and possibly with better chances of remaining afterwards?

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ksm7yty OP wrote (edited )

I know in Germany they just created a job-seekers visa thing. such schemes might be worthwhile for you if you have professional experience programming.

Anything that requires me to have at least higher education under my belt is ruled out. It's impossible for me to both bypass conscription and fulfill this requirement. This likely means all work-visa schemes which I'll be applying for in my home country are a dead end.

Did I understand you correctly in that you are not allowed to try to study at university abroad?

I'm not allowed to leave on that basis, yes. I could get a study visa and leave the country as a tourist then switch destinations, but time is of the essence here and I should be out of the borders before the summer vacation is over.

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Lettuce wrote

I apologize that I don't have much knowlege to be helpful. But migrants can last a very long time just getting a informal job and then renting in an area where landlords are inviduals who will work with you. Then its as simple as just following the law and avoiding getting arrested. Then it would be as simple as getting a travel visa then just staying.

Its pretty easy especially if you go to a global south country. Though in like rural US people do that all the time informal job and informal housing and are just kinda invisible to the authorities. More stressful than going legal. but worst comes to worst you wouldn't be that bad off.

Sorry I can't be of more help. I wish you the best.

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ksm7yty OP wrote

Thank you for the reassurance, you've given plenty of help <3

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__algernon wrote

I know some guy did this in Serbia for a year, because they didn't do any research. They got caught and apparently befriended and recommended a good sandwich place to the judge before the trial, the judge let them stay on the grounds that the guy "was clearly a good guy".

Salaries are low in Serbia but there is a really interesting mix of people escaping places like cuba, and russia and everyone's really friendly.

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EAN_BAW wrote

Another thing to consider is just generally countries where it is easy to get work visas: https://visaguide.world/tips/easiest-countries-work-visa/

I know that Estonia is considered a pretty okay country, albeit you will likely feel like an outsider. They have a lot of work programs, but unless you speak the language, it can feel like living in a bubble.

I might consider Germany, and then going from there.

Good luck with dodging the conscription!

(Also, just if you can swing it, I did read that there ARE medical exceptions, so if you can get a doctor to fake something for you, that might buy time)

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ksm7yty OP wrote

Work visas are a no-go in my circumstances unfortunately (see this)

Good luck with dodging the conscription!

<3

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EAN_BAW wrote

Ah, fair. I read that, but it slipped my mind.

Any non-higher education work visas? It might not be glamorous or "good" work, but it will still be better than being a soldier. If not, then I'd keep looking into what other people have said.

Again, best of luck, and keep up the good fight!

(And if you get conscripted, see what you can break or steal from the inside. Nothing like some domestic monkeywrenching!)

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itsalways1312somewhere wrote

Can you fake mental illness or drug abuse to become inelligble for service?

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ksm7yty OP wrote

It's a possible (but not guaranteed) way out. Bit arbitrary. They could still dismiss the medical reports
I have a couple of fallback plans but I'm looking for advice on this one

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