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General Information

Important Notice: Starting on September 1, 2013, all applicants applying for immigrant visas must use the DS-260 online immigrant visa application; the old DS-230 paper form will no longer be accepted for cases filed after September 1, 2013. Please see the following link for instructions on how to fill out the DS-260.


The U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia will be transitioning to a new and improved visa appointment system on 31 July 2013. The U.S. Embassy strongly advises all visa applicants who have paid the U.S. non-immigrant visa application fee at the Bank of Abyssinia, but have not scheduled an appointment, to schedule their application submission appointment before 29 July 2013. 
Please note the visa application fee will not increase with the coming changes. 
Visa applicants who plan to apply close to or after 31 July 2013 should wait to pay the visa application fee and schedule that appointment after this date.
Specific details on this new and more convenient way for applicants to pay and schedule a visa submission appointment will be announced closer to the launch of the new services.
The implementation of this new system is part of our efforts to continually improve our services for our visa applicants.

If you have a scheduled non-immigrant visa appointment between August 1 and August 31, 2013 and have not paid the 160 USD visa application fee, you will be allowed to pay the fee here at the U.S. Embassy on the day of your appointment.

(Please note that this service is not applicable to adoption cases, which are processed through a different system.)

What is a visa?

A citizen of a foreign country, wishing to enter the U.S., generally must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence.  The type of visa you must have is defined by immigration law, and relates to the purpose of your travel.

A visa is issued by a U.S. Embassy or Consulate and entitles the holder to travel to the United States and apply for admission.  It does not guarantee entry.  An immigration inspector at the port of entry determines the visa holder's eligibility for admission and duration of stay in the United States.

Who needs a visa?

Generally, foreign nationals entering the United States must have valid visas unless they qualify for travel under the Visa Waiver Program or is exempt from the visa requirement. 
Please note: Travelers born in the United States and those who hold dual citizenship with the United States must enter and depart the United States on U.S. passports.

What type of visas are available?

** Applicants are encouraged to apply well in advance of their anticipated travel. **

For additional information on the visa process, please visit:

Important Security Information

To facilitate your entrance into the Embassy and avoid delays at the security checkpoints:

  • Please do not bring mobile phones or any electronic devices as they are not allowed within the Embassy.
  • We also strongly advise that you do not bring large bags, such as backpacks, suitcases or packages to the interview appointment.

Suggestions for keeping your personal information safe when filling out your DS-160 electronic visa application.

  • Do not accept offers of assistance from strangers who approach you on the street.
  • If you do not have access to a computer at your home, school or office, ask a trusted friend or colleague to help you fill out the application.  Most university students have access to computers –maybe a neighbor’s son or daughter who is a student could help you.
  • If you choose to use an Internet café to fill out your application, ask trusted friends or colleagues for recommendations.  Do not choose an Internet café whose employees stop you in the street and try to pressure you into using their service.
  • If you do not know how to use a computer and want an Internet café employee to fill out the application for you, be sure that you are sitting right beside the employee as he/she types into the computer.  The employee should never write down any of your information on paper.  The employee should not print out the entire application.
  • If you fill out the application yourself using a computer at an Internet café, be sure that employees are not watching over your shoulder and copying your personal data
  • Do not give photocopies of any of your documents to employees of an Internet café. 
  • Avoid using Internet cafes whose employees offer to sell you any kind of document.  The documents are false and could lead to you becoming ineligible for a U.S. visa permanently.  Don’t waste your money buying false documents.

Consular Notice

    • We have made significant progress and issued most of the delayed visas worldwide.  We are working to bring our systems back to full operational capacity.

      We continue to prioritize immigrant visas, adoption cases, and emergency nonimmigrant visa cases.  We are printing visas for these cases with very few delays.

      We are aware of a small number of visa cases still in process because of system performance issues.  We are working diligently to clear those cases. 

      Visa applicants are advised to expect delays of up to one week in addition to normal processing times.  Please take this into consideration when making travel plans. 

      Please check with the embassy or consulate where you will apply for additional information.  

      Please see our FAQs for further information.

  • The U.S. Department of State is currently experiencing technical problems with its visa system, which are affecting global operations.  This issue is worldwide and is not specific to any particular country or visa category.  We recognize and deeply regret the inconvenience to travelers.  We are doing everything possible to return passports with visas as soon as we are able to complete processing.  We regret that we are currently unable to predict how long the delay will be.

    Applicants who are concerned about the status of their passports should check with the document return delivery address selected upon initial application, if the passport has already been received for delivery.  For contact information, please click here  The telephone numbers for delivery venues are as follows:

    Phone Number + 251 11 6621600

    Phone Number + 251 11 5526220

    In case the two landlines above (specific to each location) fail, the following seven consecutive cell numbers can be used +251 939 665023-29.  

    Applicants who interviewed with the U.S. Embassy after July 20 and who would like their passports returned to them without the U.S. visa may appear at the U.S. Embassy consular section from Monday to Thursday at 11:00 am.

    Applicants who have an urgent need to travel to the United States may contact The U.S. Embassy consular section via e-mail address with their name, passport number, and nature of the emergency.  Please understand that only true emergencies of an extraordinary humanitarian nature can be considered for exceptional handling. 

    We appreciate your patience as we work to resolve this matter and apologize for the inconvenience.

Travel & Tourism in the U.S.

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Very Important

  • Note: It is very important that you fill out the DS-160 electronic questionnaire correctly and completely. Not doing so may result in the delay of your visa processing or cancellation of your appointment.

Visa News

  • United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Implements New Pre-Travel Authorization for U.S.-Bound Travelers from Visa Waiver Countries (more)

    New Visa Waiver Program Requirements and New Countries Added to VWP (more)

Contact Information

  • Address:

    Entoto Street
    P.O. Box 1014
    Addis Ababa

    Consular Service Email Contacts:

    For American Citizen Services, please e-mail:

    For inquiries about Immigrant Visas, please e-mail:

    For inquiries about Non-Immigrant Visas, please e-mail:

    For inquiries about Fiancé Visas, please e-mail:

    For inquiries about DNA testing, please e-mail:

    For specific inquiries regarding adoptions please e-mail:

    To report fraud, please e-mail:    

    For all other inquiries, please e-mail:    

    To request an expedited visa appointment, please visit:

    If you are calling about an emergency involving a U.S. citizen please call:
                011-130-6000 (This number is NOT for visa inquiries)
                Hours of Operation:
                Mon - Thu 7:30am - 5:00pm