Visas for Ethiopia - Not in Kenya

My Overland Adventure

Around the World in a Land Cruiser
Staff member
May 29, 2014
On The road
Ethiopia stopped issuing visas to foreigners in Kenya about a year ago.

This represents issue for those who are travelling North as you can not obtain a visa on arrival at the border.

If you are travelling south you are able to obtain your visa easily in Egypt.

Therefore people looking to obtain a visa heading north have either had to obtain the visa in South Africa or send their passport back to their home country.

For us we sent our back to the UK.

The requirements stated on their website are as follows:
  • a passport. This must be valid for a minimum of 6 months. A visa cannot be issued unless you submit your passport.
  • one recent, passport-sized (45mm x 35mm) colour photograph. This should be attached to the form by paper-clip or another non-permanent means; DO NOT STAPLE THE PHOTOGRAPH TO THE APPLICATION FORM. Please write your name on the back of the photograph in BLOCK CAPITALS. The photograph should be full face without sunglasses, hat or other head covering unless for ethnic or religious reasons. Please note that we may not accept photographs which do not meet these specifications.
  • the visa fee - a list of the fees can be found in the Fees & Payment section.
  • a copy of your return ticket if you are travelling on a tourist or business visa, or a confirmed flight ticket for the onward destinations from Ethiopia, if you are travelling on a transit visit. Please do not include the original ticket. The Embassy cannot take responsibility for any items lost in the post.
  • Evidence of sufficient funds to cover the cost of your intended stay - eg a copy of a bank statement.
  • NOTE: All Travel Document Passport Holders are required to submit their applications in person AT LEAST 15 DAYS prior to travelling for their visa application.
We had family members prepare and send the documents and fees on behalf, we provided:
  • Hotel Booking for two - Book on Expedia and can can be cancelled
  • Proof sufficient funds, recent bank statement
  • Passport photos
  • Fees paid for by postal order
Since we are travelling Overland we did not provide copies of any flight tickets, but we did provide a cover letter explaining where we were entering, exiting and where we were going.

The Visas were sent via DHL on the 28th October and returned on the 13 of November - Total 17 days

We choose a multiple entry three month visa, as noted below the visa start once they were issued, so a 30day visa may not have provided us enough time. End the end they issued us a 3 month single entry visa.

Types of Visa
This form may be used when applying for the following types of visa:
  • Tourist
  • Business - for individuals undertaking business or any work (including voluntary work)
  • Transit - for individuals who are passing through Ethiopia on to another destination.*
*If you arrive at Addis Ababa Bole International airport and have to wait a few hours for a connecting flight, providing you do not leave the airport or pass the Immigration Desk you will not require this visa. If you leave the airport for any length of time between flights you will require a transit visa.

Length of Visa
For tourist purposes the following are available:

  • Single entry visa valid for up to 30 days stay
  • Single entry visa valid for 3 months
  • Multiple entry visa valid for 3 months
  • multiple entry visa valid for 6 months
For business purposes the following are available:
  • single entry visas valid for up to 30 days stay
  • multiple entry visas valid for 3 months
For transit purposes the following are available:
  • single transit visas
  • double transit visas
When choosing the length of the visa you require, please be aware that the visa is valid from the date of issue and not the date of entry into Ethiopia. It is no longer possible to post-date visas, so please give careful consideration as to which length of visa will be suitable for your stay. You must take into account the time taken to process your visa application as well allow for postage times and the number of days in advance of your travel you have applied, as your visa will have be valid from the date it has been processed at the Embassy.

For example, if you are visiting Ethiopia for 20 days, and you are applying for a single tourist or business visa more than a week in advance of your departure, you must take into account the length of time it takes for post to reach the Embassy, the time it takes to process the visa, the length of time it takes for post to reach you from the Embassy and consider exactly how many days in advance of your journey you have applied. If the total exceeds the 30 day limit, you must apply for a multiple entry 3 month visa.

If you wish to stay in Ethiopia for a longer period you will have to apply to the Ethiopian Main Department for Immigration Office in Addis Ababa for an extension.
Visa fees.jpg

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