If Your Ethiopian Visa Expires While You are in Ethiopia
July 28, 2010
U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents have been detained by Ethiopian customs and immigration officials while attempting to enter or leave Ethiopia with an expired tourist visa.
Visas obtained at Bole Airport upon arrival are normally valid from thirty (30) to ninety (90) days. Visas obtained at Ethiopian embassies and consulates abroad can be valid for as long as two (2) years. Work visas must be obtained before entry to Ethiopia at an Ethiopian embassy or consulate abroad. Visitors who arrive in Ethiopia on a tourist visa may not change from a tourist visa to a work visa. To convert the visa type, visitors who are already in Ethiopia must exit the country and reenter with a new business visa.
You must have a business visa in order to work in Ethiopia. Oftentimes pro bono or volunteer work, including University research, is considered work by the Ethiopian government. Please check with your employer or sponsoring organization to insure that you have the correct type of visa.
These requirements are strictly enforced by Ethiopian Customs. Penalties for overstaying any type of visa to Ethiopia are broken down into three categories; 1) violators must appear in court and will be expected to pay court fees between 2,000 ETB and 10,000 ETB, 2) Immigration charges a fee of 20 USD for every month of unauthorized presence in Ethiopia (this fee must be paid in U.S. dollars) and 3) violators will be held in government custody until fees are paid and a court decision has been handed down. Violators are routinely and promptly deported from Ethiopia at their own expense. In recent months, Americans and legal permanent residents have been held several months pending immigration proceedings.
For the latest security information, U.S. citizens living and traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs internet website at http://travel.state.gov/, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Alerts, and Travel Warnings can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. and Canada, or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8 AM to 8 PM Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. Federal Holidays.)
U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa
Located at: Entoto Road, P.O. Box 1014, in Addis Ababa.
Emergency After-hours Telephone: 251-11-124-2400