Ethiopia Entry Requirements
Ethiopia Entry Requirements specify all the rules that travelers planning to visit Ethiopia must follow for smooth entry to the country. These requirements also determine what documents every traveler needs to prepare prior to planned travel, including a passport and visa.
The traveler's passport cannot expire for at least 6 months from the intended arrival date in Ethiopia, and it has to have two blank pages. Whether you need a visa or not depends on a few factors, like your nationality, travel purpose, and planned duration of stay in Ethiopia.
According to the Ethiopian visa policy, nationals of over 230 different countries can apply for an Ethiopian visa online to travel to Ethiopia by air. The electronic visa is issued only for tourism and leisure activities.
Currently, there are only two countries whose citizens can travel to Ethiopia visa-free. Namely, Kenya and Djibouti. Travelers from any other country will need to obtain a visa either in a traditional way, on arrival, or online (if eligible).
If you plan to visit Ethiopia for long-term stays or for purposes other than leisure or tourism, you will need to obtain a regular visa, even if you are a national of a visa-exempt country.
Since Covid-19 remains a risk in the country, the Ethiopian authorities are still keeping some restrictions in place. Fully vaccinated travelers must present a valid vaccination certificate when arriving at Bole International Airport. Non-vaccinated travelers must submit a negative PCR test report issued within 72 hours before the trip or a negative certified antigen test result issued within 24 hours prior to departure.
Please note that Covid-19 entry and exit requirements are subject to constant change. Do remember to check the latest update before your planned trip to Ethiopia.
Important: Due to the ongoing civil unrest in Ethiopia and armed conflicts in the northern part of the country, and the risk of spreading the conflict to other areas, all travelers are recommended to reconsider their travel plans to Ethiopia.
Who can enter Ethiopia?
Ethiopia allows all travelers regardless of their Covid-19 vaccination status.
Documents check-list for entering Ethiopia
- valid passport
- Ethiopian visa
- Covid-19 vaccination certificate
- PCR/RAT negative test result
- travel insurance
Testing, vaccination, and quarantine requirements
Non-vaccinated travelers will need to show a negative RT PCR test report performed within 72 hours prior to departure or a RAT taken up to 24 hours before the planned arrival in Ethiopia. Please note that self-administered rapid lateral flow tests are not accepted.
You need to arrange a private test instead of using the NHS testing service.
Passengers aged 12 and older who have received the full regimen of Covid-19 vaccination more than 14 days before the planned entry date into Ethiopia need to provide vaccination proof. Ethiopia accepts the following vaccine manufacturers:
- single-dose vaccine: Johnson and Johnson
- two-dose vaccine: Astra-Zeneca/Sinopharm/Sinovac/Moderna/Pfizer.
Currently, there is no quarantine in Ethiopia, no matter the status of your vaccination against Covid-19.
Traveling from Ethiopia
There are no specific rules to exit Ethiopia. You should, however, check with your airline whether they require passengers to submit a valid negative Covid-19 test to board the flight. They may have also implemented their own covid-related rules. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the travel advice to avoid unnecessary issues when on a trip.
Traveling to Ethiopia
Ethiopia remains open to international travelers who are advised to reconsider their travel plans, especially to particular parts of Ethiopia, due to the unstable situation in the country. If you decide to travel to Ethiopia anyway, make sure to follow all the entry requirements, including the Covid-19 entry protocol, which may change at short notice.
Entry Rules for Children
Children younger than 12 do not need to provide evidence of a negative Covid-19 test, vaccination, or recent recovery.
Transit through Ethiopia – rules during the Covid-19 pandemic
No Covid-19 test or vaccination certificate is mandatory to transit through Bole International Airport. However, you should check if your final destination requires providing a valid negative test. Transiting passengers are also subject to Covid-19 screening measures during transit.
Passengers in transit for 24 hours or less are permitted to remain in the airport's departure lounge. If your transit stop exceeds 24 hours, you will need to book a transit accommodation and confirm the hotel details on arrival at the airport. You will not be permitted to leave the hotel during your transit.
Your maximum transit time through Ethiopia cannot exceed 72 hours.
For more details on specific transit rules, contact your airline directly.
Ethiopia visa requirements
Visa on Arrival
There are only two countries whose nationals must obtain a visa on arrival to enter Ethiopia, i.e., Hong Kong and Taiwan. Travelers of those two nationalities must go to an immigration checkpoint upon arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport. The VoA is issued either for a 30-day or 90-day stay in Ethiopia and covers only tourism-related purposes.
Travelers of any other country than Taiwan and Hong Kong are not recommended to apply for a visa on arrival. It is a time-consuming process involving a lot of paperwork, and there is always the risk of having a visa denied at the border.
If you are eligible for an e-Visa, you should rather choose the online alternative or obtain a visa in a traditional way before the planned trip. In both situations, you will have your visa approval prior to departure so that you can avoid being refused entry to Ethiopia.
Since 2017, Ethiopia enables online visa applications which significantly facilitates and speeds up the entire procedure of obtaining a visa. Travelers from eligible countries can obtain a visa for tourism purposes without visiting the Ethiopian Embassy.
Ethiopia e-Visa remains valid for 30 or 90 days, and its validity starts on the date of entry to the country.
Application for e-Visa should be completed at least 3 business days before the intended trip. Check if you are eligible for Ethiopia e-Visa, and obtain yours entirely online.
Embassy or Consular Visa Required
The Ethiopian visa policy states that there are eight countries and territories in the world whose citizens must apply for an embassy visa before traveling to Ethiopia, no matter their travel purpose or planned duration of stay in Ethiopia.
Nationals of the following countries must obtain an embassy visa:
- Isle of Man
- Ivory Coast
- Saint Martin
- Syrian Arab Republic
To obtain an embassy or consular visa, one needs to make an appointment at the nearest Ethiopian diplomatic mission. It is recommended to start the application process well in advance since it may take several weeks to receive the visa approval.
Depending on the type of visa you will be applying for, you may need to submit some supporting documents.
An embassy visa is also necessary to enter Ethiopia by land borders (even if you are a national of a visa-exempt or e-Visa-eligible country).
Certain foreign nationals may enter Ethiopia without a visa, no matter how long they wish to stay there and the purpose of their travel. Currently, visa exemption applies only to 2 neighboring African countries - Djibouti and Kenya.
Kenyan nationals can visit Ethiopia visa-free and stay there for up to 365 days. They need to present a valid passport of residence proof to access the country. In turn, Djibouti citizens can maximally stay in Ethiopia for 3 months without needing to obtain a visa.
Moreover, transit passengers of all nationalities who will be transiting Ethiopia by air do not need to obtain a transit visa if they remain in the airport transit zone, and their tranist stop will not exceed 12 hours.
Additionally, holders of diplomatic or service passports (except for Somalia and Pakistan) are permitted visa-free entry to Ethiopia for visits of up to 3 months.
Travel insurance for Ethiopia is not mandatory. Nevertheless, as medical facilities may be very limited, all travelers are highly advised to purchase insurance covering medical evacuation.
Check the terms of your insurance policy carefully before traveling to Ethiopia. It may be invalid for certain areas of the country where travelers are advised not to travel.