COVID-19 Travel
May 28, 2021

COVID-19 Travel Guidance for U.S. Citizens

COVID-19 Alert
June 15, 2021

Update on U.S. Passport Operations

Intercountry Adoption

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Country Information

Ethiopia

Ethiopia
Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Do not travel to Ethiopia due to COVID-19. Exercise increased caution in Ethiopia due to civil unrest and communication disruptions. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do not travel to Ethiopia due to COVID-19.  Exercise increased caution in Ethiopia due to civil unrest and communication disruptions.  Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory. 

Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.    

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Ethiopia due to COVID-19, indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine. Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC's specific recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.

Visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Ethiopia. 

Ethiopia’s National Electoral Board has announced staggered national elections beginning June 21, 2021. The pre- and post-election period may include increased political activity, demonstrations, and intercommunal tension. Election-related activities could escalate into violence. 

 Do Not Travel To: 

  • Tigray Region and border with Eritrea due to armed conflict, civil unrest, and crime.  
  • Border area with Somalia due to potential for terrorism, kidnapping, and landmines.  
  • Border areas with Sudan, and South Sudan due to crime, kidnapping, armed conflict, and civil unrest.
  • Border areas with Kenya due to potential for terrorism and ethnic conflict.  
  • Amhara Region districts (woredas) that border Tigray Region due to armed conflict and civil unrest. 

Reconsider Travel To: 

  • Somali Region due to potential for terrorism and internal border unrest with Afar Region.  
  • Ethiopia’s Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region (SNNPR) due to armed conflict and civil unrest.  
  • The East Hararge zone area and the Guji zone of Oromia Region due to armed conflict andcivil unrest.  
  • Benishangul Gumuz and the western part of Oromia Region due to armed conflict and civil unrest.

 Incidents of civil unrest and ethnic violence may occur without warning. 

The Government of Ethiopia has previously restricted or shut down internet, cellular data, and phone services during and after civil unrest. These restrictions impede the U.S. Embassy’s ability to communicate with, and provide consular services to, U.S. citizens in Ethiopia. 

The U.S. Embassy has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens outside of Addis Ababa. As a precaution, U.S. government personnel must request permission for any travel outside of Addis Ababa (personal and official), and are required to carry personnel tracking devices and, in some cases, satellite phones.

 Read the country information page. 

If you decide to travel to Ethiopia: 

  • See the U.S. Embassy's web page regarding COVID-19.    
  • Visit the CDC’s webpage on Travel and COVID-19.    
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and be prepared to adjust your plans.  
  • Be aware of your surroundings.  
  • Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners. 
  • Carry a copy of your passport and visa and leave originals in your hotel safe.  
  • Have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.  
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.  
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.  
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Ethiopia. 
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist. 

Tigray Region and Border with Eritrea—Do Not Travel

 Due to armed conflict, the Tigray Region and the border with Eritrea are currently off-limits for U.S. government personnel, with limited exceptions to support humanitarian capacity efforts.  Due to the current situation in Tigray, the border roads with Eritrea are closed.  Conditions at the border may change with no warning.  

Border Area with Somalia—Do Not Travel

Terrorists maintain a presence in Somali towns near the Ethiopian border, presenting a risk of cross-border attacks and kidnappings. 

Landmines are present in this region. 

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas. 

Border Areas with Sudan and South Sudan—Do Not Travel

Crime, kidnapping, armed conflict, and the potential for ethnic conflict exist near the Ethiopian borders with Sudan and South Sudan. 

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas. 

Border Areas with Kenya – Do Not Travel

Terrorists, particularly Al-Shabaab, maintain a presence in this area, and ethnic conflict has been reported. 

Amhara Region Districts (Woredas) that Border Tigray Region – Do Not Travel

Armed incursions from the Tigray Region into Amhara Region have resulted in injuries and deaths in some municipalities along the shared border. Government security forces have used lethal force in some areas. The involvement of Amhara Special Forces and militia in the Tigray conflict is another risk factor.  

Somali Region—Reconsider Travel

Somali Region is close in proximity to terrorist organizations in Somalia, which have aspirations to conduct terrorist attacks in Ethiopia. 

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas. 

Ethiopia’s Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region (SNNPR)—Reconsider Travel

Civil unrest in the region, particularly in Bench Sheko Zone and Konso Special Woreda, has resulted in deaths, looting, and the burning of buildings. 

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas. 

The East Hararge zone and Guji Zone of Oromia Region— Reconsider Travel

Civil unrest and armed conflict have resulted in injuries and deaths in parts of Oromia Region. Government security forces have used lethal force in some areas. 

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas. 

Benishangul Gumuz Region— Reconsider Travel 

Civil unrest and armed conflict have resulted in injuries and deaths in the Kamashi Zone, the Metekel Zone, and the border between Benishangul Gumuz and the western part of Oromia Region. Government security forces have used lethal force in some areas. 

Afar Region – Reconsider Travel

Civil unrest and armed conflict have occurred along the Afar and Somali Region border areas, including Siti Zone, Somali and Zones 1,3, and 5 in Afar.   

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas. 

Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information.

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Hague Convention Participation

Hague Adoption Convention Country?
No
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
No

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 Adoption@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.

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

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa
Entoto Street
PO Box 1014
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Telephone
+251-11-130-6000
Emergency
011-130-6000
Fax
+251-11-124-2435 and +251-11-124-2419

Ethiopia Map