US citizens who plan on travelling to Ethiopia must have a passport valid for at least six months and have an Ethiopian visa obtained from the Embassy of Ethiopia in the USA before they embark on their trip. They can also get a visa upon arrival at the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, although the US government highly recommends for US citizens to get a visa before going to Ethiopia since there have been reports of inconsistencies in the issuance of visas to visitors at the Bole International Airport. This also prevents the chances of encountering problems, deportation or getting arrested. People who wish to extend their stay can apply for an extension at the Ethiopian Main Immigration Office in Addis Ababa. There is a US$20.00 monthly extension fee. If an individual stays in Ethiopia past the allowed visa duration, they may be arrested and asked to pay the extension fee at the Addis Ababa Immigration Office. They will also be asked to pay a US$300.00 court fine, and could be jailed for a certain amount of time. They might be also asked to present themselves before an immigration court, and will have to pay another US$20.00 for an exit visa before being allowed to leave Ethiopia.
General Visa Application Requirements:
- Completed Ethiopian visa application form
- Passport sized photograph (recent, 1 copy, applicant’s name written at the back)
- Travel itinerary (copy of airline tickets)
- For business visa: Official letter from sponsoring company or organization (addressed to Ethiopian Embassy with details about business travel)
- For official/diplomatic visa: Official letter from US State Department
- Paid visa application fee: (cashier’s check, certified check or money order only)
- Tourist visa: (single or multiple entry, valid for 2 years) – US$70.00
- Business visa: (single or multiple entry, valid for 2 years) – US$70.00
- Official/Diplomatic visa: gratis
- Prepaid self-addressed return envelope (for applicant’s who wish to have their passport and visa returned by mail)
- Personal appearances for visa application can be done at the Consular Office of the Embassy of Ethiopia. Applicants can also send applications to the address below. They can also get in touch with the Embassy if they have any inquiries about travelling to Ethiopia.
Embassy of Ethiopia
3506 International Drive, NW
Washington, D.C. 20008
Telephone: (202) 364-1200
Fax: (202) 587-0195
- Visa processing time usually takes two to three business days as long as all requirements are complete.
- Validity of visa is from date of issue and not based on the arrival date in Ethiopia.
- Travelers who are non-residents of Ethiopia are required to declare if they are carrying with them any foreign currency exceeding US$3000.00 (or equivalent) upon arrival. They are only allowed to carry up to US$3000.00 (or equivalent) when they are leaving Ethiopia.
- A person is only allowed to carry a maximum of 200 Ethiopian Birr when going into or leaving Ethiopia.
- Travelers who are on business matters or those who work for non-governmental organizations are required to obtain a residence card and work permit if they need to stay in Ethiopia for 90 days or longer. The permit must be applied for within the first 30 days of their stay in the country.