How to get Ethiopian visa

How to get an Ethiopian visa has to be your number one priority if you want to travel to the East African country in the coming months. Ethiopia is always open and accepting of visitors as long as they enter the country legally. In this article, we will address who needs a visa and the visa process so you are confident when applying for a visa.


Ethiopia is a country with a rich ancestry located in a special zone on the continent called the Horn of Africa. The country is divided by the Rift Valley, and it is one of the oldest civilizations and countries in the world, dating back thousands of years to the beginning of humankind. There are sites to prove that human life of some form existed in the area three million years ago. Ethiopia has a vibrant culture and breathtaking natural landscapes like rivers, deserts, national parks, mountain ranges, and waterfalls. When it comes to the food, you will love it as there are different menus, some of which are unique to the country.

Ethiopia also has a close connection to Israel through the union between Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Every year, millions visit the country to enjoy the sights and sounds it has to offer.

Who Needs A Visa To Travel To Ethiopia?

Almost every traveler needs a visa to enter Ethiopia, except nationals from Kenya, Djibouti, and diplomatic passport holders from Somalia and Pakistan. You will need a visa if you are from somewhere other than these countries.

Furthermore, transit travelers who will switch flights at the Bole Airport in Addis Ababa don’t need a transit visa unless they plan to leave the airport and move into the city rather than wait at the transit area for their next flight.

How To Get Ethiopia Visa?

There are three ways to get an Ethiopian visa, and we explain the methods below.

Through The Embassy: Ethiopia has embassies and foreign missions in different parts of the world, and one of their major tasks is to issue visas to applicants. Interested persons may apply for a visa in their home country by visiting the embassy or consulate. After submitting their application, they will need to schedule a visa interview with the consular officer. Embassy application is the major method for long-stay visas.

Online: There is an electronic visa version for tourists coming for short-term visits. The online visa is only available to applicants from selected countries.

At The Airport: they can also apply for a visa on arrival at the airport, but this visa is only available to eligible persons.

The application method you choose should depend on the type of visa you are applying for.

Types of Ethiopia Visa

In this section, we want to review the types of Ethiopian visa applicants can apply for.

Visa On Arrival: The VOA is issued to eligible visitors are the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport. Once they arrive at the airport, they will be ushered to the immigration counter, where they will be issued the application form to fill out. They must also pay the application fee before they submit the form, and the process takes only a few minutes.

Tourist Visa: The tourist visa is for foreign nationals coming in as tourists. This single entry visa is a short-term document and can be obtained online, at the airport, or through the consulate or embassy abroad.

Business Visa: Investors, professionals, employees of foreign organizations, and consultants may apply for a business visa if they have a workshop, meeting, seminar, or any business engagements in Ethiopia. There are different versions of this visa.

Study Visa: Ethiopia has some of Africa’s reputable schools, and if any foreigner wishes to study a course with credits at any of them, they must apply for a study visa.

Work Visa: Persons who have secured employment with a company in Ethiopia can get a work visa that allows him or them to work in the country legally.

Ethiopia Visa Requirements

What do you need to avail of a visa?

The documents will depend on the visa you want, but here are the basic ones

  • Passport valid for six months minimum with at least two empty pages

  • Scanned picture of personal page

  • Passport-sized picture with 35 x 45 mm uploaded in the required format

  • Cover letter

  • Visa fee receipt

  • Proof of funds

  • Proof of accommodation like hotel reservation

  • Return flight ticket reservation and travel itinerary

These are a few documents the embassy will mostly request additional documents may be required. Since you know how to get an Ethiopian visa, do well to decide on the type of visa you want and start the process by submitting your application to the embassy in your country.

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    This article was published by VisaHQ, a world leader in visa processing. Since 2003, VisaHQ has 20 offices in 6 countries and has helped countless tourist, business travellers, diplomats, workers, and students obtain their visa. With a 4.41 star rating on, VisaHQ is committed to innovation, service, security, and simplicity in the visa application process.