Getting a Business VISA to come to Ethiopia

You might have heard about Ethiopia. The country’s diverse culture, the people, and the different investment opportunities. Or you may have heard that it’s one of the fastest-growing countries in Africa from different sources. And now you are thinking about coming over and finding out for yourself. But you might be wondering how you can get a business VISA to come to Ethiopia.

Here’s how you can get a business VISA to come to Ethiopia:

Once you have decided to look through the different business ventures and opportunities found in the country or to make Ethiopia your preferred Investment destination, then you can start by getting the appropriate VISA necessary for this purpose of your travel.

If you are visiting with the intention of looking around and testing the waters, or even just to have some fun then a tourist VISA will do. However, if you’re coming over with your business suit on and possible plans of investing then you will have to consider getting an investment or business VISA.

An investment or more generally known as a business VISA is a type of VISA given to individuals involved (or are planning to involve) in different investment activities in the country.

The most convenient way to get a business visa to come to Ethiopia is to apply online through

Here is what’s required of you to obtain the VISA:

If you are visiting for the first time with the intent of investing or exploring your opportunities without a pre-existing project in Ethiopia:

  • A recent passport-sized photo and a copy of your passport which should at least have 6 months of validity upon your application.
  • A supporting letter from an Ethiopian Embassy in your country or a country nearest to you. This will serve as proof of your intentions for traveling to Ethiopia.
  • But in case you have already contacted the Ethiopian Investment Commission. You could request for a similar supporting letter.

If you are an investor that has been invited by a company already established in Ethiopia:

  • A recent passport-sized photo and a scanned copy of your passport which at least has 6 months of validity upon the date of your application.
  • Scanned copy of the investment permit or business license of the company which is inviting you.
  • And moreover, you will need a supporting letter from the Ethiopian Investment Commission.

Once you submit the required documents and pay the fee, your VISA will be issued within 3 working days.

But what if you arrive in the country with other types of VISAs due to various reasons?

Conversion of many of the VISA types listed under into investment VISA is generally impossible with one exception.  

The Foreign Business Firm Employment VISA or Work Visa is the only type of visa that can be converted into an investment VISA through a support letter from the Ethiopian Investment Commission. But if you have arrived in the country with a tourist VISA then you will need to leave the country before you apply for a business visa and come back with the appropriate VISA.

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