business visa in ethiopia

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As a result of increasing globalization and business activities and exchange, business visas have become popular these days. Holders of business visas have the permission of the country’s government to enter the country with the intention of carrying out business activities and transactions that too without joining the labor market. For example, for attending a business conference or to have a deal with another company, an individual may require a business visa. Generally, the visitor must show that they are not receiving income from the country.

Ethiopian Business Visa

Business Visa allows visitors to travel to Ethiopia for purposes of business and economic investment. There is a variety of business visas available in Ethiopia, which are applicable to different business-related purposes of visiting the country. Business Visas cannot be obtained at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport on arrival. The online application for Ethiopian Business Visa is easy to fill. Applicants are requested to give various details required for the process, such as- their passport details, name, address, and reason for visiting. 

Types of Ethiopian Business Visas

Numerous types of Business Visas are available for Ethiopia which gives the visitors an opportunity to enter the country for various reasons. The visas give entry to the visitors through Addis Ababa Bole International Airport of the Republic of Ethiopia.

  • Conference Visa

Visitors who have an invitation to a conference, seminar, or workshop are applicable for the Conference Visa if the event has been organized by: -

    • The Ethiopian Ministry. 

    • Any Department of the Government.

    • The Regional State Governments.

    • Educational Institutions. 

    • Universities or Organizations.

    • The African Union.

    • The United Nations.

    • Any other reputable NGOs.

  • Investment Visa

Citizens who want to invest in the Ethiopian economy can easily apply for an investment visa to visit Ethiopia. This includes potential investors who have been invited by a native organization/company. There is a range of necessary documentation applicants are required to submit, with a support letter from the Investment Commission of Ethiopia.

  • Foreign Business Firm Employment Visa

Another type of short-term work visa for Ethiopia is the Foreign Business Firm Employment Visa. It is for non-national workers who are employed by any business with non-national owners. The visas are usually valid for up to a month and allow workers to enter Ethiopia. It is necessary to provide a copy of the business license and the TIN certificate of the employer, to be included in the application.

  • Ethiopian Government Employment Visa

Another type of Ethiopian Work Visa is the Ethiopian Government Employment Visa which is issued to the employees of the Government of Ethiopia. It is for non-nationals who are employed by the institutions and ministries that come under the jurisdiction of the Government of Ethiopia. It is necessary to provide a written application letter from the relevant government body, as part of the application.

  • Journalist Visa

Journalists, professional photographers, and filmmakers who wish to visit Ethiopia to cover stories or news need to obtain a journalist visa. A support letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Government Communication of Ethiopia is necessary to be included in the application.

  • Ethiopian Private Firm Visa

Another type of Work Visa for non-nationals, who want to come to Ethiopia for projects, assignments, or jobs in Ethiopian companies is the Ethiopian Private Firm Visa. Although there are some constraints that the visa issuing company must be owned by an Ethiopian National and there must be an agreement between the two parties.

  • International Organizations/Embassies Work Visa

Foreign citizens who are invited by international organizations or embassies for work purposes can obtain International Organizations/Embassies Work Visas are open for non-nationals who are invited by these organizations for work. A written application letter of the concerned authority is usually required.

  • Government Institutions Short Task Visa

Government Institutions Short Task Visas are also available for non-nationals who wish to visit Ethiopia for short periods to work for government institutions. To apply, it is compulsory to get a written application letter by the concerned government authority.

  • NGO Work Visa

Non-nationals who are invited by Non-Governmental Organizations, to work in Ethiopia can obtain NGO work visas. They are available for short visits, for people working on any projects. It is important to have a letter of invitation from the concerned NGO, included in the application.

Documents Required for Ethiopian Business Visa

  • Original Passport (with validity up to 06 months from the date of journey), with an old passport(s), if any.

  • Visa Form.

  • One Colored Picture of the applicant.

  • A Cover letter from the Home country’s relevant authority.

  • Return Ticket.

  • Certificate of Vaccination against Yellow Fever (Compulsory).

  • Polio vaccine from a government hospital, effective from March 2014.

Ethiopian Business Opportunities

Due to the country's expanding economic scene and the fact that the country has many sectors that are largely undeveloped Ethiopian business opportunities can seem vast. Ethiopia's growing economy opens up an opportunity for individuals that are actively taking part in overseas business or have a great enthusiasm for Entrepreneurship. Especially, when the latest reforms by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed are put into effect, the country is trying to tackle large corporations and open new opportunities for different kinds of traders, producers, and service sector players.

Business Opportunities in Ethiopia

  • Building Management

Like other African developing countries, Ethiopia is also under a great deal of development which requires a lot of construction work for making buildings and other structures.

There is an increasing need for building management services in Ethiopia which is an excellent choice for investment.

  • Child Care Service/School

Child Care Service or as it is also known as daycare service is a service that takes care of many children at a time. The age of the children varies, from a baby of 6 weeks up to children that are 13 years of age. Early child care is an important and often underrated aspect of a child’s overall development in Ethiopia.

  • Brick Making

Construction of various types of buildings such as offices, government buildings, malls, houses, and other sectors has seen a huge increase in Ethiopia. But this boon in the construction sector is not limited to conglomerates, small to medium businesses also take part in this developing sector and profit from this flourishing sector in Ethiopia.

  • Solar Panel Sales and Service

Solar Panel prices are stooping at record levels, this drop in prices combined with the fast advancement in battery storage technology makes solar power a very profitable business model for Ethiopia. Any ingenious individual or company can dominate the market in this situation.

  • Consultancy Services

Another broad Industry of Ethiopia is The Consultancy Services industry that covers an array of solutions, such as: 

    • Strategy consulting, 
    • Management consulting, 
    • Technology consulting, 
    • Human resource consulting,
    • Marketing consulting, 
    • Tax consulting, 
    • Training consulting, 
    • Agriculture consulting, 
    • Finance consulting. 


  • Advertising Agency

Advertising Agencies in Ethiopia also belong to a sector that is rapidly growing and demands further growth. Advertising agencies in Ethiopia is expected to offer more services such as:

    • Market research. 

    • Developing strategies.

    • Undertaking public relations.

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