Ethiopia Visa on Arrival vs eVisa: Pros and Cons

ethiopia evisa visa arrival

There are 2 types of Ethiopian visas, the visa on arrival and the eVisa, and the vast majority of visitors need one or the other to enter. Only citizens of Kenya or Djibouti can enter visa-free. Before traveling to Ethiopia it is important to understand the pros and cons of each visa so you can choose which is best for you.

In most cases, it is more convenient and practical to obtain the Ethiopia eVisa. However, there are cases when the visa on arrival is the only available option.

The first consideration is eligibility. All nationalities can apply for the eVisa

  • Afghanistan
  • Aland Islands
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • American
  • Samoa
  • Andorra
  • Angola
  • Anguilla
  • Antarctica
  • Antigua and B.
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bermuda
  • Bhutan
  • Bolivia
  • Bonaire
  • Bosnia and H.
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • British Indian O. T.
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Bulgaria
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Canada
  • Cape Verde
  • Cayman Islands
  • Central African R.
  • Chad
  • Chile
  • China
  • Christmas Island
  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands
  • Colombia
  • Comoros
  • Congo
  • Cook Islands
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Curacao
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Djibouti
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Malvinas
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • French Polynesia
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guadeloupe
  • Guam
  • Guatemala
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Jersey
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Korea North
  • Korea South
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Lao
  • Latvia
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau
  • Macedonia
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Martinique
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Montserrat
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • Nepal
  • Netherlands
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Niue
  • Norfolk Island
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palau
  • Palestinian Territory
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Pitcairn Islands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Reunion
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Barthelemy
  • Saint Helena
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • Sint Maarten (Dutch part)
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • South Sudan
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Svalbard and Jan Mayen
  • Swaziland
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Tokelau
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Vatican City
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam
  • Virgin Islands, British
  • Virgin Islands, U.S.
  • Wallis and Futuna
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

But only the following 40 nationalities are eligible for the Ethiopia visa on arrival:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kuwait
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • North Korea
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Russia
  • Slovakia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Pros and cons of the Ethiopia eVisa

The Ethiopia eVisa was launched in 2017 to simplify and quicken the process of obtaining a visa for Ethiopia. The online visa application has been designed to eliminate the need to go to an embassy or to queue at the border for a visa.

Advantages of the eVisa

  • Quick online application: the simple form only takes several minutes to fill out.
  • No need to queue: after you land in Ethiopia you do not need to queue for a visa on arrival.
  • Option of 30-day or 90-day visa: offering choice and flexibility.
  • Quick processing: most applications are processed within 24 hours though it can take up to 3 days
  • Available to all nationalities: in 2018 the government made the decision to make the eVisa available to everyone.

Disadvantages of the eVisa

  • Single-entry visa (same as the visa on arrival): the visa expires if you leave the country.
  • Only permits entry at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (same as the visa on arrival): entering from other ports is not allowed.

Pros and cons of the visa on arrival

The visa on arrival for Ethiopia is still available though the Ethiopia eVisa has largely removed the need to queue at the border for a visa. The main difference between the visas is the application process.

Advantages of the visa on arrival

  • No need to apply in advance: this is useful if you are traveling last-minute.

Disadvantages of the visa on arrival

  • Queueing at the border to apply: this can be tiresome after a long journey.
  • Not available to all nationalities: see the list of eligible countries above.
  • Only available as a 90-day visa: the 30-day option is not available.
  • Single-entry visa (same as the eVisa): the visa expires if you leave the country.
  • Only permits entry at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (same as the eVisa): entering from other ports is not allowed.