The information on this page covers the rules currently in place regarding the Ethiopia visa for US citizens. This information is for travelers using an American passport.
All American visitors traveling to Ethiopia are required to obtain a visa in order to gain the right to enter. Instead of having to wait in long queues at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport to get a visa on arrival, from June 1 2018, US citizens have been able to apply for and obtain an Ethiopia eVisa or electronic visa online.
*Note: An eVisa is an electronic travel authorization allowing visitors to enter a specific country for a certain amount of time. This type of visa eliminates the need to physically go to a consulate or embassy or even wait in line at the airport or border for a visa. What is even more convenient is the fact that you can apply for and obtain an Ethiopian eVisa while still in your home country.
Do US Citizens Need a Visa for Ethiopia?
Yes, US citizens must have a valid visa in order to enter Ethiopia. Except for citizens of Kenya and Djibouti, all other international visitors must first obtain a visa in order to enter Ethiopia, including US citizens.
Furthermore, applying for an Ethiopian visa as a US citizen is not difficult. Nevertheless, prior to your visa application, you must first hold a valid passport of at least 6 months, counting from the day of your planned arrival in Ethiopia.
Your single-entry visa will expire once you leave Ethiopia, regardless of the number of days you did use out of the 30 or 90 days granted. In the case of re-entry, tourists should apply for a new Ethiopia eVisa.
Should you wish to extend your visa, you should be able to do so while still in Ethiopia by physically going to the Main Immigration and Nationality Affairs Office in Addis Ababa at least a week prior to your current visa expiry date. Or you can apply online for a new eVisa while still in Ethiopia. In case you overstay, you will have to pay a fine in full before leaving Ethiopia or may even risk imprisonment.
If you are looking for a multiple-entry visa, then you have to go through the conventional method by going directly to the Ethiopian Embassy or Consulate near you after having set up an appointment first.
For US citizens transiting through Ethiopia without leaving the airport between flights, no transit visa is required.
Whereas, holders of service or diplomatic passports of any country, except for Somalia and Pakistan, can enter Ethiopia visa-free for a period of up to 3 months.
Ethiopia visa requirements for American citizens are listed below.
Documents Required to Obtain the Ethiopian Visa for US Citizens
To successfully apply for an Ethiopian eVisa, you must meet all visa requirements. The complete list of documents for an Ethiopian tourist visa for US citizens includes:
- Passport with at least 6 months validity from the date you intend to enter the country
- A recent passport size digital photo in colour. Dimensions: 51mm x 51mm (front view with clear, full face from top of hairline to chin, eyes open)
- A scanned copy of your passport biographical page
- Accurate completion of the required personal information on the online
- Ethiopia visa application form
- Credit Card or Debit Card for visa fee payment
*Note: Residents of the US must also provide a valid residence permit in the US.
Additional documents that may be required:
- Vaccination Certificate against Yellow Fever
- Recent bank statement of sufficient funds
- Travel insurance
*Note: US Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are also accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Ethiopia.
At least 8 weeks prior to your intended trip, consult with your country’s latest health advice for Ethiopian specific information on vaccine recommendations, outbreaks or health risks. Plus, visiting Ethiopia from a few specific countries may require additional vaccinations.
Important things to keep in mind
- It’s illegal to carry over 1000 Ethiopian birr, both when entering and/or leaving Ethiopia
- You must declare any cash in excess of $3,000 or the equivalent in local currency to the customs officials.
When visiting Ethiopia on a tourist visa:
- You cannot take up any kind of employment, voluntary employment included
- You cannot change your immigration status
*Note: If you need emergency help from the US government when abroad, please contact the nearest American Embassy or consulate.
Information regarding minors
Whether you are planning on traveling to Ethiopia with children or your children will be traveling alone, you should start the preparations well beforehand.
Minors, aged 14 or under, are allowed to be included on the parent’s eVisa application. A separate application for minors may have to be completed if they are in possession of their own passport. As a general rule, persons under 18-19 years of age need appropriate documents in order to be able to travel abroad on their own.
This following is a list of additional documents that may be required for minors traveling to Ethiopia:
- A consent letter confirming the permission for the child to travel alone or accompanied by one parent or legal guardian
- Other supporting documents: citizenship card or birth certificate
- Other supporting legal documents: custody court orders, divorce papers, death certificate in case of a deceased parent – if applicable
How Long Does it Take to Get a Visa for Ethiopia from the US?
After you have submitted all the required documents and information, the Ethiopian authorities will go through the application, documents, and verify the fee payment. Usually, an eVisa will be approved within 1 to 3 business days (24-72 hours). You can also keep track of your application by checking the status of your eVisa processing online.
The process may take longer on rare occasions of application errors or inaccuracies.
It is advisable to apply at least 7 days prior to your trip in order to allow plenty of time for processing and/or required improvements.
When applying for an Ethiopian visa from US, you will get a response/approval for your eVisa application via email. You will also get a description of conditions that apply to the eVisa. It is required to take a printed copy of your approved visa with you to the airport in order to gain entry.
Ethiopian Visa Application for US Citizens
The Ethiopian visa application for American citizens only takes a few minutes to complete as the online form is very simple. You must answer questions covering personal information, passport information, travel plans, vaccination and health history as well as security information eliminating the possibility of public risks to Ethiopia.
The following are the types of information required:
- Personal information, such as full name, address, date of birth among others
- Passport details, such as passport number, expiry date, nationality, among others
- Your detailed travel plans, such as dates, hotel address
- Health information such as your medical history and vaccinations, among others
It’s essential to double-check all information provided on your application form, as any inaccuracies or errors can result in a delay or rejection of your electronic tourist visa to Ethiopia.
Travelers must take a printed version of the PDF format of the Ethiopian e-visa which is sent to their email address in order to present it at the port of entry. At this time, Addis Ababa Bole International Airport is the only point of entry allowing eVisas. It is recommended to keep a copy of your Ethiopian eVisa with you at all times during your stay.
Applicants holding dual citizenship must use the same passport to enter Ethiopia as the one used when completing the application form for the electronic visa.
*Note: Your eVisa validity starts from the day you enter Ethiopia, not the date of issue. You must provide your passport to Ethiopian Customs for the purpose of validating your eVisa.