Ethiopia visa for US citizens

Do Americans require an Ethiopia visa for US citizens to enter the country? The simple answer is that they do. Ethiopia is not visa-free for US citizens, so they require legal clearance to enter the country in the form of a visa. This page covers the Ethiopian visa application process and how to apply for it.

Traveling To Ethiopia

With the exception of US diplomats, all visitors from the US require a visa to enter Ethiopia for any legal reason, and there are different types of Ethiopian visas they can apply for. However, there are two modes of applications available to Americans, and they are as follows.

Embassy Applications

Americans who intend to visit and stay in Ethiopia for a significant period of time require a conventional visa that can only be obtained from the embassy in Washington, DC. The applicant must fill and submit the visa form with all relevant documents in physical form. An interview will be scheduled on a set date, and on that day, the applicant must come with the original and photocopies of their documents for review.

After the interview with immigration officers, the application will take about 15 working days to be approved.

This approach is the route taken by those who wish to obtain a work visa or any other visa for long term stays

Online Applications

The online application method was introduced to make it easier for short stay visitors to enter Ethiopia at short notice. Also called an E-visa, this document is only allowed if the visitor enters the country through the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport. Rather than wait in long queues for a visa upon arrival or visit the embassy and face a stressful process, applicants can just visit an online portal to fill out the application form with their mobile phones or laptops.

The e visa was open to the US in 2018, and the form takes only less than 20 minutes to complete. There are key questions you must answer, such as your health history, travel plans, and security questions. Let us address some of the key questions in detail.

Personal Information: You will be asked to provide your personal information, such as your full name, home address, and date of birth.

Passport Data: Your passport number, issue date, and expiry date. Your nationality.

Travel Plans: Your travel plans once you arrive in Ethiopia. Your hotel address, arrival, departure dates, and locations you plan to visit.

Health Information:  Your medical history, including vaccinations and tests

US applicants must double-check their entries carefully before submitting the application form. Once it is submitted, changes cannot be made, and your request will be denied if the information you provide is wrong or doesn’t correspond with what is on your documents.

Duration of E Visa

The Ethiopian e-visa allows the US passport holder to stay in the country for up to 1-3 months maximum. It becomes active from the day the visitor enters Ethiopia, not the day it is approved.

Holders who wish to extend the e-visa while they are in Ethiopia can do so if they visit the office of the Main Immigration & Nationality Affairs Office at least one week before their visa expires.

Those who cannot visit the main immigration office because they are not in the capital city of Addis Ababa may apply for an extension online while they may still be in Ethiopia. For those who overstay beyond the 30 or 90 days approved in their form, they are liable to pay a fine before they can be allowed to leave the country. Failure to pay the fine will lead to imprisonment.

Also, note that the e-visa is a single-entry visa, so it can’t be used to enter Ethiopia more than once. For a multiple entry visa, visit the embassy or consulate office of the Ethiopian government. US passport holders using the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport ASA transit point to connect to other countries don’t require an e-visa. The same is the case for holders of US diplomatic passports except for Pakistan and Somalia. US diplomats not serving in any of these countries may visit and stay in Ethiopia for up to 3 months

Ethiopia Visa Requirements

Valid Passport: A valid US passport with at least six months of validity. Scan and upload a scanned copy of the bio page

Photo: A recent photograph of you with a 51mm x 51mm dimension. The photo must be clear with your face showing.

Form: Completed visa application form

Card: A credit or debit card to pay the online Ethiopia tourist visa fee or Ethiopia business visa.

Resident permit: Visitors who are not US citizens but permanent residents must provide their resident permits.

Proof of funds: A bank statement showing the proof of funds to cover travel and living expenses.

Vaccination certificate: A copy of your Yellow Fever vaccination certificate

Travel Insurance: A scanned copy of a travel insurance policy for the tourist visa.


If you want to apply for an online Ethiopia visa for US citizens, visit VisaHQ to complete the application form quickly.

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