CSI Repository

CSI Country Catalog

Ethiopia

Flag_of_Ethiopia
Country
Country Name: Ethiopia
Official Country Name: Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Country Code 2-Letters: ET
Country Code 3-Letters: ETH
Street: Entoto Street PO Box 1014 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Fact sheet: https://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2859.htm
  • International Travel
  • Child Abductions
  • Intercountry Adoptions
  • Consular Notification
  • U.S. Visas
  • Contact
  • Quick Facts
  • Embassies and Consulates
  • Destination Description
  • Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws & Special Circumstances
  • Health
  • Travel & Transportation
Contact
Embassy Name: U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa
Street Address: Entoto Street
PO Box 1014
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Phone: +251-11-130-6000
Emergency Phone: 011-130-6000
Fax: +251-11-124-2435 and +251-11-124-2419
Email: AddisACS@state.gov
Web: https://et.usembassy.gov/

Embassy Messages

Map

Country Map

Quick Facts
Passport Validity:


6 months


Blank Passport Pages:


1 page


Tourist Visa Required:


Yes


Vaccinations:


Yellow fever


Currency Restrictions for Entry:


1,000 ETB and $3,000


Currency Restrictions for Exit:


1,000 ETB (4,000 ETB if travelling to Djibouti) and $3,000

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa

Entoto Street
PO Box 1014
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Telephone:
+251-11-130-6000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: 011-130-6000
Fax: +251-11-124-2435 and +251-11-124-2419
Email: AddisACS@state.gov

Destination Description

See our Fact Sheet on Ethiopia for information on U.S.-Ethiopian relations.

Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements

Requirements for Entry:

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • World Health Organization (WHO) card with yellow fever vaccination.

Visas:

Travelers can apply for an eVisa on the website for the Main Department for Immigration and Nationality Affairs. While tourist visas are also available upon arrival at Bole International Airport, some travelers have experienced significant delays obtaining their visa upon arrival. Contact the Embassy of Ethiopia for the most current visa information. Overseas inquiries about visas should be made at the nearest Ethiopian Embassy or consulate.

Foreign Currency Restrictions:

  • Visitors to Ethiopia may hold up to a maximum of 1,000 ETB per trip to and from Ethiopia and must declare all foreign currency exceeding the equivalent of $3,000 when entering the country. 
  • Residents of Ethiopia may not hold foreign currency for more than 30 days after declaring it.  Nonresidents may hold foreign currency for the duration of their visa.
  • When departing Ethiopia, nonresidents carrying more than the equivalent of $3,000 in foreign currency and residents carrying any amount of foreign currency must produce a valid bank document or foreign currency customs declaration that is less than 30 days old.

Ivory, Animal Skins, Souvenirs, Precious Stones and Minerals, Antiques/Artifacts:

  • Travelers transporting ivory may be detained, imprisoned, or fined and the ivory may be confiscated.
  • Souvenirs that are copies of antiques or religious artifacts require a proper receipt and may still be confiscated.
  • Export permits processed by the Export Section of the airport customs office are required for antiques, including religious artifacts, Ethiopian crosses, and animal skins and other wildlife parts. Contact the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority for a permit.
  • There are limits on the amount of precious stones and minerals that can be exported for personal use. Check with local authorities.
  • Contact the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority if you have any questions about exports.
  • See our Customs and Import Restrictions information sheet.

Electronics:

  • Laptop computers and video equipment intended for anything other than personal use must be declared upon arrival and departure.
  • Some recording devices may require special customs permits. If these items are being used for work, you should contact the Ethiopian Embassy or the Ethiopian Ministry of Communications before you travel.
  • The Embassy cannot assist with obtaining permits or the return of confiscated equipment.

HIV/AIDS:

  • The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Ethiopia. Please verify this with the Ethiopian Embassy before you travel.

Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction, and customs information on our websites.

Safety and Security

See the Department of State Travel Advisory for Ethiopia. Ethiopia has experienced sporadic and spontaneous civil unrest throughout the country, some of which has ended in violence. During such episodes, the government often curtails or limits mobile telecommunications, internet access, and social media. If this happens, you may be unable to contact family and friends or emergency services.

Safety Precautions:

  • Avoid demonstrations and public gatherings, as they have the potential to turn violent.
  • Quickly leave the area if a demonstration is forming.
  • Review your personal safety and security posture, remain vigilant, and exercise caution when visiting prominent public places and landmarks where westerners gather on a routine or predictable basis.
  • Avoid unattended baggage or packages left in any location, including in taxis.
  • Monitor consular messages.
  • Avoid travel outside of major towns, particularly along border areas (Kenya, Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan, and South Sudan).
  • Avoid walking alone.
  • Do not display cash and valuable personal property.
  • Secure your valuables and travel documents.
  • Drive with doors locked and windows closed or rolled up enough at all times to prevent theft while stopped in traffic.

Terrorism: Al-Qa’ida and its regional affiliate, Somalia-based al-Shabaab, maintain a presence throughout East Africa. Current information indicates that terrorist organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. citizens and Western targets and interests in East Africa, as well as against high-profile targets within those countries that contribute troops to the African Union Mission in Somalia, including Ethiopia.

U.S. government personnel must request permission for personal and official travel outside of Addis Ababa and are required to carry personnel tracking devices and, in some cases, satellite phones.

U.S. government personnel may not take personal trips to:

  • The border areas with Eritrea in the Tigray and Afar regions.
  • The border with Kenya in the Oromia region.
  • Gambella (except Gambella City).
  • Benishangul Gumuz (except Asosa) adjacent to the Sudan border.

U.S. government personnel must travel to Gambella City and Asosa by plane only. 

The East Hararge Region and Guji Zone of Oromia State: Civil unrest has resulted in injuries and deaths in parts of Oromia State. Government security forces have used lethal force in response.

The Danakil Depression in Afar: Violent crime, including the armed assault of foreigners, has occurred in the Danakil Depression. Embassy personnel are prohibited from travelling to Danakil Depression.

Border with Kenya: There have been numerous incidents of inter-ethnic conflict reported near the border areas with Kenya, as well as attacks attributed to the Oromia Liberation Front. Criminal activity in this border area also remains a concern.

Border with Eritrea: Though currently off-limits to U.S. Embassy personnel, the formerly disputed and heavily militarized border with Eritrea was re-opened in September 2018 following a peace agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea. Ethiopian immigration authorities have reported that Ethiopian and Eritrean citizens are able to use the multiple border crossings with Eritrea. Non-Ethiopian and non-Eritrean foreign nationals should use the Humera border crossing with Eritrea, which has an immigration post. Conditions at the border may change with no warning.

Border with South Sudan (Gambella Region): The security situation in the region is volatile. Sporadic inter-ethnic clashes are common along the western border area with South Sudan. Tensions remain high with the possibility of incursions from South Sudan and ensuing clashes. Past tribal conflict between Anyuak, Nuer and Highlanders also resulted in numerous casualties. The number of refugees has significantly increased as conflict within the Republic of South Sudan has intensified. As with other border areas, landmines and criminal activity remain a concern.

Border with Sudan: There have been numerous incidents of armed clashes reported near the border area between Sudan and Ethiopia over disputed land.

Somali Region (eastern Ethiopia): Al-Shabaab maintains a presence in Somali towns near the Ethiopian border, presenting risk of cross-border attacks and kidnapping. As with other border areas, landmines and criminal activity remain a concern. U.S. government personnel may not take personal trips to the Somali region.

Crime: Pick-pocketing, purse snatching, theft from vehicles, and other petty crimes are common in Addis Ababa. Thieves are active throughout the city at all times, particularly on Bole Road, in the Piazza, the Merkato, and other areas frequented by tourists and foreigners. Violent robberies have also occurred in this area, with victims stabbed or beaten.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of crime in Addis Ababa should contact the Addis Ababa Police at 011-111-0111 and the U.S. Embassy at 011-130-6000/6911.

Crimes occurring outside of Addis Ababa should be reported to the Ethiopian Federal Police at 011-551-8000.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

The U.S. Embassy can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police and contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms and provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide information on victim compensation programs in the United States
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

For further information:

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Convictions for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs result in long jail sentences and heavy fines. Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Photography: It is illegal to take pictures of government buildings, military installations, police/military personnel and key infrastructure such as roads, bridges, dams, and airfields. If you are caught photographing prohibited sites, you could be fined, your photographic equipment could be confiscated, and you could be detained and/or arrested. As a general practice, it is always advisable to avoid taking pictures of individuals without their clear consent.

U.S.-Somali Dual Nationals: U.S.-Somali dual citizens have been detained by Ethiopian security services in Addis Ababa without charges. You should prepare for this contingency by carrying copies of all important documents and contact information for the U.S. Embassy.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Phone Service: Cellular phones are the main method of communication in Ethiopia; other telephone service is unreliable and landlines are nearly non-existent. Cell phones brought into Ethiopia must be registered with the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority. Phones can be registered either at Bole International Airport or at any Ethio Telecom shop. SIM cards are available for local purchase from Ethio Telecom, but will only work with phones that have been registered. As noted, cell phone access may be cut off without warning.

Currency: The Ethiopian Birr (ETB) is the currency of Ethiopia and, with the exception of international hotel bills, payment for commercial transactions in any other currency is illegal. Credit cards are accepted at only a few outlets in Addis Ababa. Foreign currency may only be exchanged legally at banks.

Ethiopian Refugee Camps: All access to refugee camps must be preapproved by the UNHCR and Ethiopian government. You may be detained and deported if you attempt to gain access without proper permissions.

Calendar: The Julian calendar is used in Orthodox Christian areas in the highlands, and some Ethiopians set their clocks differently to standard practice elsewhere, resulting in significant time differences. Double check bookings and appointments to avoid confusion.

Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: Consensual same-sex sexual activity between adults is illegal and punishable by imprisonment under the law. There have been periodic detentions and interrogations of some LGBTI persons, and alleged physical abuse. Ethiopians do not generally identify themselves as LGBTI due to severe societal stigma. There are some reports of violence against LGBTI individuals; reporting is limited due to fear of retribution, discrimination, or stigmatization. There is no law prohibiting discrimination against LGBTI persons and some LGBTI activists have reported being followed and at times fearing for their safety.

Outside the major international hotels, same-sex couples may be unable to share a room. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights Report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: See The Ethiopian Center for Disability and Development guidebook with information on accessible hotel accommodations and transportation (including the new Addis Ababa metro). Persons with disabilities have limited access to transportation, communication, accommodations, and public buildings. There are few sidewalks and no curb-cuts, and most buildings lack functioning elevators. Landlords are required to give persons with disabilities preference for ground floor apartments.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips

Women Travelers: Domestic violence, including spousal abuse, is pervasive. Domestic violence and rape cases often are delayed significantly and given low priority. Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is illegal, but the prohibition is not actively enforced. Many women and girls have undergone FGM/C. It is much less common in urban areas.

See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Earthquakes: Ethiopia is located in an active seismic zone.

Health

Consult the CDC website for Ethiopia prior to travel.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.

Medical care is extremely limited and health care facilities are only adequate for stabilization and emergency care. There is a shortage of physicians and other qualified medical personnel. Emergency, ambulance services, and psychiatric services are also limited. Medications are in short supply. All care providers, both public and private, require payment or a cash deposit in Ethiopian birr before treatment is performed.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Medication: Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. If the quantity of drugs exceeds that which would be expected for personal use, a permit from the Ministry of Health is required.

Altitude: Addis Ababa is located more than 7,000 feet above sea level and many tourist areas are considerably higher. The altitude may cause problems for travelers in/transiting Ethiopia, particularly those who suffer from respiratory or heart conditions. Travelers may experience shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, headaches, and sleep problems.

The following diseases are prevalent:

Vaccinations: All travelers should be up-to-date on vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Further health information:

Travel & Transportation

U.S. government officials and their families are advised/required to travel between major cities by air. They are prohibited from using inter- or intra-city bus transportation and travelling by road outside urban areas at night.

Road Conditions and Safety: Traffic accidents occur regularly in Addis Ababa and throughout the country. Roads are ill maintained, inadequately marked, and poorly lit. Excessive speed, erratic driving habits, pedestrians, stray animals, and lack of vehicle maintenance pose other hazards. Travel with other vehicles outside of cities during daylight hours only, due to the threat of roadside bandits and be sure to carry additional fuel, a spare tire, and provisions. Professional roadside assistance service is not available. 

Traffic Laws: You will need an Ethiopian driver’s license to drive in Ethiopia. In order to obtain an Ethiopian’s driver’s license you will need an authenticated copy of your U.S. driver’s license. For more information on authentication, visit the Department of State’s Office of Authentications. Use of cell phones while driving is prohibited. Use of seat belts is required. It is illegal to give money to beggars who approach vehicles stopped in traffic.

Accidents: In the event of an automobile accident, remain inside the vehicle and wait for police. It is illegal to move your vehicle before a police officer arrives. If a hostile mob forms or you feel your safety is in danger, however, leave the scene and proceed directly to the nearest police station to report the incident.

Public Transportation: Avoid all travel by public transportation, and hire private transport from a reliable source. Any form of public transportation, except for the light rail system in Addis Ababa, is unregulated, unreliable, and unsafe. Buses are in poor mechanical condition and are often filled well beyond capacity.

While taxis are available in Ethiopia, most do not meet U.S. safety standards. In Addis Ababa, green and yellow metered taxis are generally newer and in better condition than other taxis.

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. Also, we suggest that you visit the website of Ethiopia’s national tourist office.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Ethiopia’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Ethiopia’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information
Use Style in the Text Component to tag city names and to tag phone numbers, fax numbers, and emails with the respective Style icon.

Washington, DC (202) 364-1200

Los Angeles, CA (213) 365-6651 ext. 100

  • General Information
  • Hague Abduction Convention
  • Return
  • Visitation/Access
  • Retaining an Attorney
  • Mediation
Hague Questions | Learn More Links
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention? No
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention? No
Learn why the Hague Abduction Convention Matters: /content/travel/en/International-Parental-Child-Abduction/for-providers/laws/important-feat-hague-abdtn-conv.html

General Information

For information concerning travel to Ethiopia, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Ethiopia.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

Hague Abduction Convention

Ethiopia is not a signatory to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention), nor are there any bilateral agreements in force between Ethiopia and the United States concerning international parental child abduction.

Return

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country.  Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Ethiopia and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances. 

The Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children's Issues provides assistance in cases of international parental child abduction.  For U.S. citizen parents whose children have been wrongfully removed to or retained in countries that are not U.S. partners under the Hague Abduction Convention, the Office of Children's Issues can provide information and resources about country-specific options for pursuing the return of or access to an abducted child.  The Office of Children's Issues may also coordinate with appropriate foreign and U.S. government authorities about the welfare of abducted U.S. citizen children.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance.

Contact information:

U.S. Department of State 
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's Issues
CA/OCS/CI 
SA-17, 9th Floor 
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Website:  childabduction.state.gov
Email: AfricaIPCA@state.gov

Parental child abduction is a criminal offense in Ethiopia under Article 589 (3) of the Criminal Code of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

Parents may wish to consult with an attorney in the United States and in the country to which the child has been removed or retained to learn more about how filing criminal charges may impact a custody case in the foreign court.  Please see Possible Solutions - Pressing Criminal Charges for more information. 

Visitation/Access

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country.  Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Ethiopia and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.

The Office of Children's Issues may be able to assist parents seeking access to children who have been wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States.  Parents who are seeking access to children who were not wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States should contact the appropriate U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia for information and possible assistance.

Retaining an Attorney

Neither the Office of Children's Issues nor consular officials at the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia are authorized to provide legal advice.

The U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, posts a list of attorneys, including those who specialize in family law

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the following persons or firms. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

Mediation

Under the Ethiopian Family Code, courts may direct parties to a divorce action to attempt to mediate their dispute.

  • Hague
  • Hague Convention Information
  • U.S. Immigration Requirements
  • Who Can Adopt
  • Who Can Be Adopted
  • How To Adopt
  • Traveling Abroad
  • After Adoption
  • Contact Information
Hague Questions
Hague Adoption Convention Country? No
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible? No
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
Hague Convention Information

Intercountry adoptions are not currently possible between Ethiopia and the United States.

On January 9, 2018, the Ethiopian Parliament passed an amendment to the Revised Family Code law that removes all references to adoption of Ethiopian children by foreigners; effective February 14, 2018. As a result of this change to Ethiopian law, we strongly recommend against initiating an adoption in Ethiopia at this time.

Ethiopian officials informed the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa that only intercountry adoption cases filed with the Federal First Instance Court of Ethiopia prior to February 14, 2018 will be considered by the court. The Ethiopian government stated it will allow certain adoption cases that were in process prior to the enactment of the new legislation to proceed under the old law. If you have a question about whether your adoption case is considered by the Ethiopian government to be “in process,” please contact the Office of Children’s Issues at EthiopiaAdoption@state.gov or the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa at ConsAdoptionAddis@state.gov. For information about how to proceed if your case is in process, please contact the Office of Children’s Issues or your adoption service provider.

U.S. Immigration Requirements For Intercountry Adoptions

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Ethiopia, you must meet certain suitability and eligibility requirements. USCIS determines who is suitable and eligible to adopt a child from another country and bring that child to live in the United States under U.S. immigration law.

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States with an IR-3 or IR-4 immigrant visa.

Who Can Adopt

Who Can Be Adopted

How To Adopt

Traveling Abroad

After Adoption

Contact Information

Ethiopian Adoption Authority 
Ministry of Women's, Children’s Affairs (MOWCA)
Children and Youth Affairs Office (CYAO)
P.O. Box 1293
Addis Ababa
Ethiopia
Tel: +251 12552 1657
Fax: +251 11552 7524

Embassy of the United States of America – Addis Ababa
Entoto Street
P.O. Box 1014
Addis Ababa
Tel: (251-11) 130-6000
Fax: (251-11) 124-24-35
Email: ConsAdoptionAddis@state.gov

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State  
CA/OCS/CI  
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Tel: 1-888-407-4747
Email: AskCI@state.gov
Internet: adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about filing a Form I-800A application or a Form I-800 petition:
USCIS National Benefits Center (NBC):
Tel:  1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-913-275-5480 (local); Fax: 1- 913-214-5808
Email: NBC.Adoptions@uscis.dhs.gov

For general questions about immigration procedures:
USCIS Contact Center
Tel:  1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
Internet:  uscis.gov

  • Visa Classifications
  • General Documents | Birth, Death, Burial Certificates | Marriage, Divorce Certificates
  • Adoption Certificates | Identity Card | Police, Court, Prison Records | Military Records
  • Passports & Other Travel Documents | Other Records | Visa Issuing Posts | Visa Services
Classifications
Visa Classifications

Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 24 Months
A-2 None Multiple 24 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 24 Months
B-1 A None Multiple 24 Months
B-2 A None Multiple 24 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 24 Months
C-1 None Multiple 3 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 24 Months
C-2 None One 6 Months
C-3 None Multiple 6 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 24 Months
E-1 2 None Multiple 6 Months
E-2 2 None Multiple 6 Months
E-2C 12 None Multiple 6 Months
F-1 None Multiple 12 Months
F-2 None Multiple 12 Months
G-1 None Multiple 12 Months
G-2 None Multiple 12 Months
G-3 None Multiple 12 Months
G-4 None Multiple 12 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 12 Months
H-1B None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-2A None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-2B None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-2R None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 36 Months 3
I None Multiple 6 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 12 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 12 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 None Multiple 36 Months
L-2 None Multiple 36 Months
M-1 None Multiple 12 Months
M-2 None Multiple 12 Months
N-8 None Multiple 12 Months
N-9 None Multiple 12 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None Multiple 36 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 36 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 36 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 36 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 36 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 36 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 36 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 36 Months
R-2 None Multiple 36 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8

Country Specific Footnotes

Note: Bearers of diplomatic or official passports are entitled to visas valid for

Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Applications
Validity
Period
B-1 None Multiple 12 Months
B-2 None Multiple 12 Months

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

Visa Category Footnotes

  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

General Documents | Birth, Death, Burial Certificates | Marriage, Divorce Certificates
General Documents

Civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths is not automatic in Ethiopia. The documentation of these events is relatively new and largely confined to urban areas, and even genuinely-issued documents can be obtained with false information due to the lack of a centralized database. A church-issued document, an acknowledgment from one's district, and affidavits from three witnesses, all of which can be obtained for a price, are sufficient evidence for issuance of certificates. Relationships are rarely investigated for veracity. With the exception of divorce decrees, all certificates are available in the local language, English, or English-local language combinations.

 

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates

Availability: Available only to those born in Ethiopia.

Fees: 20 Birr

Document Name: Birth Certificate

Issuing Authority: Vital Events Statics Registration Agency

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Wet seal , circle stamp, and blue color

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Vital Events Registration Certification Service Officer

Registration Criteria: Birth records are maintained at the District level. Requests for copies of previously issued birth certificates should be addressed to the issuing District in which the birth was registered.  For children up to 18 years old, parents can register their children’s birth in the District by presenting a hospital birth certificate, baptismal certificate, or school document to obtain a birth certificate. Any of the above documents and an identity card are required for issuance of birth certificates for persons over the age of eighteen.      

Procedure for Obtaining: The above documents and an identity card are satisfactory for issuance of birth certificates from districts.

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available.

Alternate Documents: There are no Alternate Documents.

Exceptions: If a person resides abroad and has not changed his citizenship, he can delegate a member of his family to get a birth certificate from his family District. The person requesting the certificate must have a Power of Attorney in addition to the required documents mentioned above.  Former Ethiopians who have changed their citizenship are required to submit a passport, visa or residence permit copy in addition to the required documents mentioned above for issuance or replacement of a birth certificate from a District.

Comments:  For citizens of other countries, new or replacement birth certificates are available only to those physically present in Ethiopia.

 

Death Certificates

Available: Available.  

Fees: 20 Birr for Ethiopians and 300 Birr for foreigners

Document Name: Death Certificate

Issuing Authority: Vital Events Statics Registration Agency (EX, in Addis Ababa  117 Districts)

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Wet seal ,circle stamp, and blue color

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Vital Events Registration Certification Service Officer

Registration Criteria: If the death occurred at home, acknowledgement of dwellers association (Eder) or three witnesses, and a certificate from the church indicating where the body is buried, are required for issuance of a death certificate from the District. If the death occurred in a hospital, a death certificate issued by the hospital and a church or burial site certificate is required for the issuance of a death certificate from the District.

Procedure for Obtaining:  Submit the necessary documents to the District.

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available.

Alternate Documents: There are no Alternate Documents.

Exceptions:  Foreigners are required to submit passport and visa or residence permit copy in addition to hospital death certificate for issuance of death certificate from the District.  

Comments: None

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates

Available: Only available to those physically present in Ethiopia. Requests should be addressed to the District where the marriage was originally registered.

Fees: 50 Birr for Ethiopians and 300 Birr for foreigners

Document Name: Marriage Certificate

Issuing Authority: Vital Events Statics Registration Agency

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Wet seal , circle stamp, and blue color

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Vital Events Registration Certification Service Officer

Registration Criteria: Physical presence of the bride and groom at the District with their IDs and two witnesses for each is required and will be registered in the log book. If the couple was married in a traditional or religious ceremony, the bride and groom may register and get Civil Marriage Certificates at the District.     

Procedure for Obtaining: Requests should be addressed to the District where the marriage was originally registered.

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available.

Alternate Documents: There are no Alternate Documents

Exceptions: Foreigners are required to submit passport and visa/residence permit copy, and a free-to-marry certificate authenticated by the State Secretary and U.S. Department of State for the issuance of a marriage certificate from a District.

Comments: Available only to those physically present in Ethiopia.

 

Divorce Certificates

Available: Available only to those residing in Ethiopia.

Fees: 50 Birr

Document Name: Divorce Certificate

Issuing Authority: Vital Events Statics Registration Agency

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Wet seal ,circle stamp, and blue color

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Vital Events Registration Certification Service Officer

Registration Criteria: Need to present court decree to the District to issue a Divorce Certificate.

Procedure for Obtaining: Presentation of court decree

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available.

Alternate Documents: There are no Alternate Documents.

Exceptions: None

Comments: Available only to those residing in Ethiopia. Most marriages in Ethiopia are religious in nature and sometimes customary. Nevertheless, a civil divorce procedure is mandatory for all divorces to be effective.

Obtaining a divorce is a lengthy process in Ethiopia. Each party must have two appointed family arbiters, acceptable to the court. The first priority of the family arbiters is to attempt to reunite the husband and wife. If this is not possible, they will then negotiate agreements for property settlement and child custody. The arbiters must present the agreement to the court for a final decision. Upon presentation of the court's ruling and a copy of the judgments signed by all parties involved, the municipality will issue a Divorce Certificate in the Amharic language only.

Adoption Certificates | Identity Card | Police, Court, Prison Records | Military Records
Adoption Certificates

Available: Available only to those present in Ethiopia.

Fees: 20 Birr for Ethiopian and 300 Birr for foreigners

Document Name:  Adoption Certificate

Issuing Authority: Vital Events Statics Registration Agency

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Wet seal, circle stamp, and blue color

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Vital Events Statics Registration Agency

Registration Criteria: Authenticated Adoption Contract signed between the adoption agency and orphanage naming the adoptive parents, or in cases of intra-family adoption an Adoption Contract between the adoptive parents and relinquishing birth relative. The court decree, plus a form letter from the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs acknowledging the adoption and requesting that anyone receiving the letter assist the adoptive parents as appropriate, must be affixed to the Adoption Contract in order to issue the Adoption Certificate. The Federal First Instance Court is the approving authority for all intercountry adoptions.

Procedure for Obtaining: Presentation of court decree and Ministry of Women and Children Affairs document to the District will issue Adoption Certificate.

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available.

Alternate Documents: There are no Alternate Documents.

Exceptions:  For foreigners, the adoptive parents must be present at the District in person with the court decree and women’s affairs documents to obtain the Adoption Certificate.

Comments: None.

Identity Card

National ID Cards

Available: Identity cards are issued by Districts to those eighteen and older. There is no uniform identification document.

Fees: 10 Birr

Document Name: District (Woreda) ID card

Issuing Authority: Vital Events Statics Registration Agency

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Wet seal, circle stamp, and blue color

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Vital Events Statics Registration Agency

Registration Criteria: For children 18 years and older who reside in the District, parents or any household member can register.

Procedure for Obtaining: Presentation of parents’ ID card and registration.

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are not available.

Alternate Documents: There are no Alternate Documents.

Exceptions: None.

Comments: There is no uniform identification document.

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Certificates

Available: Certificates of Good Conduct from the federal police are available to anyone who is 18 years or older who is/was in Ethiopia for more than 6 months.

Fees: 10 Birr

Document Name: Certificate of Good Conduct

Issuing Authority: Ethiopian Federal Police Commission Forensic Investigation Department

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Wet seal, circle stamp, and blue color

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Ethiopian Federal Police Commission Forensic Investigation Department

Registration Criteria: Applicants must submit one passport-size photos, a valid ID card, and a letter requesting the investigation for a police certificate.

Procedure for Obtaining: Applicants should contact the Forensic Investigation Department with the above listed documents to acquire a Certificate of Good Conduct.

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are not available.

Alternate Documents: There are no Alternate Documents.

Exceptions:  Foreigners requesting Certificates of Good Conduct must bring a supporting document from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia.

Comments: Available to anyone who is 18 years or older and is/was in Ethiopia for more than six months. Individuals who were in Ethiopia for more than six months, but are no longer in Ethiopia may send their fingerprints (taken by an authorized entity such as a police department) in addition to the above documents, plus one photo to the Ethiopian Federal Police Commission Forensic Investigation Department in a sealed envelope to request a Certificate of Good Conduct.   

 

Court Records

Unavailable.

 

Prison Records

Available: To persons released from prison.

Fees: No Fee.

Document Name: Official Release Record

Issuing Authority: Prison Administration of the prison at which the person was detained.

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Wet seal and blue color

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Prison Administrator

Registration Criteria: Persons released from prison are normally given an Official Release Record.

Procedure for Obtaining: Persons released from prison are normally given an Official Release Record.

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available.

Alternate Documents: There are no Alternate Documents.

Exceptions: If the person is released by pardon, the issuing authority is the Office of the President.

Comments: None.

Military Records

Available: In principle, any person who has served in the military is given a letter of discharge. Military records are generally are available.

Fees: No fee.

Document Name: Letter of Discharge

Issuing Authority: Military Personnel Department

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: No special seal/color/format.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Military Personnel Department officer

Registration Criteria: Any person who has served in the military is given a letter of discharge, which indicates his/her reason for discharge (retired, disciplinary discharge, or medically unfit)

Procedure for Obtaining: Depends on the above reason.

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are not available.

Alternate Documents: There are no Alternate Documents.

Exceptions: None.

Comments: In principle, any person who has served in the military is given a letter of discharge upon completion of his/her service.

Passports & Other Travel Documents | Other Records | Visa Issuing Posts | Visa Services
Passports & Other Travel Documents

Travel Documents

Available: Passports are issued by the Main Department for Immigration and Nationality Affairs (MDINA) for a five-year period.

Types Available: Regular, Diplomatic, Official

Fees: 600 Birr

Document Name: Passport

Issuing Government Authority: Main Department for Immigration and Nationality Affairs

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Dry seal

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Main Department for Immigration and Nationality Affairs

Registration Criteria: Submit  ID card and Birth Certificate

Procedure for Obtaining: Submit  ID card and Birth Certificate

Alternate Documents: There are no Alternate Documents.

Exceptions: None.

Comments: An Ethiopian Embassy or Consulate may replace passports multiple times for the same validity period.

Other Documents Available: In emergency cases and for one-way travel only, Ethiopian Embassies or Consulates may issue a “laissez passer” valid for six months.

Other Records

Not applicable.

Visa Issuing Posts

Post Contact Information

Post Title: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (Embassy)

Address: Entoto Avenue
                 P.O. Box 1014
                 Addis Ababa

Phone Number: Tel: 251-11-130 6000, Fax: 251-11-124 2435

Visa Services: All visa categories for Ethiopia. US Embassy Addis Ababa also conducts Immigrant Visa issuances for Eritreans.

Comments / Additional Information: None

Visa Services

All visa categories for all of Ethiopia.