There is an abundance of things to see and do in Ethiopia and many visitors want to stay for longer than their visa allows. However, there are consequences of overstaying beyond the validity period of a visa.
Visitors who overstay in Ethiopia are subject to fines and legal penalties. It may also be impossible to reenter the country in the future.
However, visitors can apply for a visa extension legally. It is possible to extend a tourist visa by going, in person, to the Head Office of The Main Department for Immigration and Nationality Affairs, in Addis Ababa.
It is also possible to apply for a Ethiopian eVisa renewal, but visitors need to leave the country to be able to apply. The application form only takes a matter of minutes to fill out and applications are processed very quickly.
This article will explain, in more depth, the consequences of overstaying a visa in Ethiopia and how visitors can avoid them by extending their visas.
Consequences of Overstaying a Visa in Ethiopia
For overstaying a visa for up to 15 days, each traveler has to pay a fine of roughly USD 50 and an additional fine of USD 5 per day. For example, if someone overstayed by 2 days they would have to pay USD 60.
Visitors who have overstayed can’t leave the country until they have paid the fine. Those who overstay for a long duration also face the risk of facing criminal charges and being deported. They may also be denied entry into the country in the future.
How to Extend an Ethiopia Visa in Addis Ababa
Travelers can extend their visas by up to 30 days by going, in person, to the office of Main Department for Immigration and Nationality Affairs in Addis Ababa (Arada sub-city, Arat Kilo).
Applicants should arrive at the office as early as possible as the process of getting an Ethiopia visa extension can take a few hours. It is normally possible to get the visa extension on the day.
It is essential to bring the required documentation: a valid passport and the current Ethiopia tourist visa. If you have an expired visa it is still possible to get an extension though it takes longer and you have to pay a fine in addition to the visa extension fee.
How to Renew an Expired Ethiopia eVisa
Applying for an Ethiopia eVisa extension is quick and straightforward. However, to be able to apply it’s necessary to leave the country to apply. Travelers can go to a neighbouring country, obtain an Ethiopia eVisa, and then reenter the country.
The application form for the Ethiopia eVisa renewal is exactly the same as the original application. Applicants just need to enter a range of basic information including their name, address, date of birth, passport details, and travel plans. There are also some questions related to the applicant’s backgrounds regarding health and security.
To be able to apply for an eVisa renewal it’s necessary to have a valid passport issued by one of the eligible countries and to pay a fee using a credit or debit card.
Applications are normally processed within 24 hours but on rare occasions it can take up to 3 days. To avoid complications and delays, applicants should ensure that all the sections of the form are completed accurately.
Reentering Ethiopia with the eVisa
After visa applications have been processed successfully, approved eVisas are sent to the email address provided on the application form. Travelers need to print a copy of the eVisa to present at the Ethiopian border, along with their passport, to gain entry into the country.
It’s essential that the copy of the eVisa is clear and legible. Visitors should keep a copy of the eVisa with them at all times during their stay.