Ethiopia visa policy is a set of regulations specifying the conditions for international travelers to visit the country. Every nationality has special visa requirements for entry into Ethiopia, so it is essential to check the travel rules for your country.
Under the visa policy of Ethiopia, Kenyan and Djibouti nationals can travel to the country visa-free, while citizens of other countries need to get an Ethiopia visa: an online visa, a visa on arrival, or a regular visa.
Ethiopia electronic visa is the easiest to obtain. Not only can it be completed from the comfort of your home, but it also has the speediest processing. Ethiopia e-Visa allows eligible visitors to stay in the country for tourism for up to 30 or 90 days, depending on the chosen type.
Holders of Taiwan and Hong Kong passports can get a tourist visa on arrival, which is also a good option as it does not require applying in advance. However, it is not very convenient: it requires waiting in queues and there is always a risk of being entry-denied at the last moment.
Citizens of all other countries need to get a regular visa. It can be obtained only by visiting an embassy or a consulate in person. An application process for a regular visa involves a visa interview with consular officers.
Besides Ethiopia visa policy, it is also important to know additional entry requirements of Ethiopia: which other documents you may need, required vaccinations, and restrictions on the goods you travel with.
All foreign citizens can go to Ethiopia provided they meet all the Ethiopia entry requirements. A visitor without a valid travel document and Ethiopian visa may be detained or fined.
Holders of Djibouti and Kenyan passports, as well as holders of valid Ethiopian Diplomatic ID Cards, Ethiopian Temporary Residents Permits or Ethiopian Origin ID (Yellow Cards) can enter without a visa.
Note that when you enter Ethiopia and stay there under a short-term tourist visa or visa-free access, you cannot get employed. Also, once you’re in Ethiopia, you cannot change your immigration status.
Every person visiting Ethiopia must hold a passport that does not expire within 6 months from arrival in the country and has at least two blank pages. Apart from Djibouti and Kenyan citizens, all others require an Ethiopia visa.
As for COVID-19 vaccination restrictions, on 28 October 2022, the Ethiopian government removed all of them. A yellow fever certificate is demanded from persons traveling from a country with a risk of yellow fever transmission. It is necessary for all areas in Ethiopia except Afar and Somali regions.
There are also restrictions regarding currency and items you can bring to Ethiopia. All visitors can import a maximum of 1,000 ETB, and excess currency will be confiscated.
Travelers transporting ivory may be detained, imprisoned, or fined. Copies of antiques or religious artifacts require a proper receipt, while nonpersonal-use laptop computers and video equipment must be declared.
If you try to cross the Ethiopian borders by a vehicle at certain land crossings, immigration officers may ask for additional documentation.
Also, because of the ongoing Ebola virus outbreak in other African countries, you may be subject to a temperature check or need a health questionnaire upon arrival.
You must prepare these documents to show immigration officers at the entry point:
Note: Ethiopia entry requirements may be subject to changes at any time, so make sure to contact the Ethiopian diplomatic mission for updates before your trip.
Currently, Ethiopia has three methods of applying for visas: an e-Visa, a visa on arrival, and a regular visa.
Implemented in 2017, the Ethiopian e-Visa became a great facilitation for eligible travelers. It has a really straightforward and quick application process.
An applicant is asked to provide some basic travel and personal information, attach necessary documents, and confirm payment. The approved Ethiopia e-Visa is sent to the email address. Therefore, the whole application procedure takes place online.
The electronic visa for Ethiopia is a single-entry visa available in two options: for 30 days and 90 days. It allows travel for tourist purposes like sightseeing, recreation, visiting friends and relatives, etc.
People who did not have time to apply in advance can get a tourist visa upon arrival in Ethiopia. However, it is not as hassle-free as an Ethiopia e-Visa: there are often long, tiresome queues for visas, and sometimes it can be complicated even to find the line you need.
Also, there is always some risk: if you do not satisfy some requirements for an Ethiopia visa on arrival, you will be entry-denied when you have already arrived at the airport. It means a waste of time, and money, and ruined travel plans.
Citizens who are eligible neither for an Ethiopia e-Visa nor for a visa on arrival, are able to get a regular visa only. It can be obtained at Ethiopia’s foreign mission.
It is needed to make an appointment at the nearest embassy or consulate and come at the scheduled time with collected documentation. An applicant also has a visa interview with a consular officer.
Check the visa policy of Ethiopia to know whether you need a visa and, if yes, what application method you are eligible for:
Visa on arrival
Underage travelers must satisfy the same entry requirements for Ethiopia as adults. Minors must have a separate Ethiopian visa application form which is submitted by their parents or legal guardians.
It is also recommended to bring a child’s valid birth certificate and/or adoption certificate just in case it is requested at the entry port.
You can avoid applying for a transit visa if you plan to stay within the airport transit zone and leave Ethiopia no longer than after 24 hours from arrival. Otherwise, you must obtain an Ethiopian transit visa at the airport, as it is not available online.
An Ethiopian visa is obligatory for entering Ethiopia for all nationalities except Djibouti and Kenya. However, you must check which exact visa you are eligible for.
There are three methods of applying for Ethiopia visa: an electronic visa, a visa on arrival, and a regular visa. See the lists of eligible countries for each application method to know which one you should use.
Yes, if you are from Hong Kong or Taiwan. If you are a citizen of any other country, you should apply for a Ethiopian visa in advance.
All foreigners coming to Ethiopia must have an effective passport and an Ethiopian visa (excluding Djibouti and Kenya citizens who are visa-exempt). People traveling from countries with a risk of yellow fever transmission must also have a WHO card.
You need to apply for an Ethiopian transit visa if you plan to leave the airport transit zone or if your stay in Ethiopia exceeds 24 hours.
Children must have the same documentation as adult travelers. Additionally, it is necessary to hold a valid birth certificate and/or adoption certificate.
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