How to Get a Visa on Arrival for Ethiopia
Getting a visa on arrival for Ethiopia is very easy and quite painless. I recently went through this, and I would like to assist you to avoid the stress and anxiety of the visa procedure by sharing my experience. During the course of my research online, I found that there was some conflicting and confusing information, so hopefully this helps clear up some online confusion. The information that I give here is accurate as of late December 2018, and it is based on my personal experience getting a visa on arrival at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa.
Here is a list of items that you will need to receive a visa on arrival for Ethiopia:
2) Yellow Fever Vaccination
3) $50 USD
4) Hotel Reservation
For those who are interested in visiting Ethiopia, it is possible to get a visa on arrival for citizens of 39 countries. The most up-to-date list can be found here on the Ethiopian eVISA website. This website also gives information on how to apply for a tourist eVisa.
For a US citizen who wishes to visit Ethiopia, it is possible to acquire an eVisa in advance or a visa on arrival at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa. While government agencies recommend having a visa in hand before arrival, I did not have time to apply for a visa and decided to do the visa upon arrival route. Here is my experience.
Upon arrival at Bole International Airport, you just follow the signs to immigration. You walk down the steps into a large area with immigration desks for Ethiopian citizens and those who already have visas. Don’t go to that line. To the left of the main immigration desks are a group of desks clearly labeled with “Visa on Arrival.” It is impossible to miss.
Before you get into that line, an employee in the arrival hall will check your passport and ask if you’ve been to the Congo. Once you answer (depending on your answer), he will let you get into the visa-on- arrival line. When I arrived, there were several people working the visa desks, and there was a very short line (only 2 people).
If you should need it, there is also a currency exchange in the same room along with an ATM. This is not the only currency exchange. There are a few others after the immigration area, so it is not imperative to use this exchange office.
When it was my turn, I went up to the window, and I handed my passport to the agent along with the Yellow Fever Vaccination form. However, he did not look at the vaccination form. Instead, he just asked me how many days I was staying and what the purpose of my stay was. He then handed the passport off to a girl in the back who put a visa in the passport. She then handed it to another immigration officer.
I then moved to the next window where another immigration officer asked me where I was staying. I gave him a copy of my hotel reservation, and he input the information into his computer. He then told me to walk past the visa-on-arrival desk in order to pay. At this time, he handed off the passport to another person.
Upon turning the corner behind the visa-on-arrival desks, there is a payment desk, and the immigration officer sitting behind that desk had my passport. He charged me a fee of $50.
This is changed from what I had seen online. Many posts say the cost is $52 for a 30-day entry and $72 for a 90-day entry. I cannot verify the 90-day entry fee, but I can say with certainty that as of December 27, 2018, the fee was $50 USD for a visa on arrival.
IMPORTANT: The $52 fee for a 30-day entry and $72 fee for a 90-day entry seems to still apply if you chose the eVisa option.
Once I paid, I got my passport and handed it to another agent. He looked at the visa then waved me through to baggage claim. I was officially permitted into Ethiopia!
Some sources online said that two passport-sized photos were required for the visa on arrival along with $52. However, I was never asked for the photos (I didn’t have any), and the fee was $50. It is possible though that the passport photos are needed if you choose the eVisa route.
Ultimately, in order to get a visa on arrival for Ethiopia is quite easy and painless. You will need your passport with a blank page for the visa, $50 USD, a copy of your hotel reservation, and it is recommended to have a Carte Jaune (Yellow Fever Vaccination) in the event you come from a country with Yellow Fever.