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EtEthiopia Visas
& Permits.










Country Capital

Addis Ababa


Birr (ETB)

Building a talented, dedicated team can mean hiring employees from several countries. If you’re not familiar with how to obtain a work visa for international employees in Ethiopia, we’ve put together a few helpful guidelines.

Types of work visas in Ethiopia

When hiring in Ethiopia, companies need to apply for the appropriate business visa on behalf of employees. The country has several types of visas:

  • Foreign business firm employment visa: For non-nationals employed by a foreign owned company. The validity of this visa is of 30 days.
  • NGO work visa: For international employees invited by a non-governmental organization (NGO)
  • Conference visa: To attend a conference, seminar, or workshop in the country
  • International organizations/embassies work visa: For international employees working for embassies or international organizations
  • Government employment visa: For international workers employed by the government
  • Journalist visa: For professional journalists, filmmakers, and photographers
  • Investment visa: For potential investors upon invitation from a company
  • Private work visa: For short-term employment with a company based in Ethiopia
  • Government institutions short task visa: For international employees entering the country on behalf of another government

Requirements to obtain a work visa in Ethiopia

Visa requirements vary based on the unique circumstances of each employee. Consider the worker’s nationality and status to ascertain the required documentation for their entry and work in Ethiopia. Contacting the national embassy will provide the latest information on immigration policies and other crucial considerations.

The processing period may take a considerable amount of time, so it’s advisable to initiate the application process early. Although each employee’s visa processing will vary slightly, companies can adhere to these fundamental steps to secure an Ethiopia work visa for international hires:

  1. Consult with the appropriate embassy about each employee’s requirements to apply for a visa.
  2. Obtain all the necessary documentation from employees and ensure everything is accurate and up to date.
  3. Submit the visa application and documents through the embassy.
  4. Wait for approval and confirm any next steps.

Application process

Once employees have entered the country, they’ll need to obtain work and residence permits. Applications are usually filed and processed in Ethiopia, and employers are responsible for filling out the relevant application form and submitting it to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

Companies will need to submit the following documents with the application:

  • A current business visa
  • A completed work permit request form
  • 4 passport photos
  • Documentation of the employee’s education and work experience
  • A completed employee personal history form
  • Copies of travel documents
  • Support letters from the appropriate Ministry (depending on the industry sector)
  • Payment of the work permit service fee

Other considerations

You can apply for a business visa online or in person at the embassy or consulate. Employees cannot obtain a visa upon arrival in the country, so ensure they have the required documentation before they depart.

Since the government has a policy of nationals-first employment, you’ll need to meet specific criteria to hire international employees. You must provide proof to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs that the international employee has the requisite skills for the job and is crucial to your operations. During the application process, you may also need to prove that you have assigned workers from Ethiopia to take on these roles after the work permit period.

Discover how G-P can help you manage your global teams.

At G-P, we’re committed to breaking down barriers to global business, enabling opportunity for everyone, everywhere, and helping companies tap into the fullest potential of their workforce. We help you maintain full compliance with local laws and ensure everything from hiring and onboarding to paying employees is quick and easy, regardless of where they are in the world.

Find out more about how our Global Growth Platform™ can help you grow your team across the globe.

At this moment, G-P does not offer support in the processing of work visas or permits in this particular location. For any other inquiries, contact us today.


THIS CONTENT IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL OR TAX ADVICE. You should always consult with and rely on your own legal and/or tax advisor(s). G-P does not provide legal or tax advice. The information is general and not tailored to a specific company or workforce and does not reflect G-P’s product delivery in any given jurisdiction. G-P makes no representations or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of this information and shall have no liability arising out of or in connection with it, including any loss caused by use of, or reliance on, the information.

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