Ethiopia cancels Visa on Arrival with immediate effect

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Ethiopia has cancelled its Visa on Arrival programme effective Sunday 1 April 2012.

The British Foreign Office posted the following on their travel advice page:

British nationals require a visa to enter Ethiopia. From Sunday 1 April 2012, it will no longer be possible to obtain a visa on arrival at Addis Ababa (Bole) and Dire Dawa International airports. You must obtain a visa prior to arrival at any port of entry, even when travelling from countries without an Ethiopian Embassy or Mission. Visa applicants in the United Kingdom should contact the Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in London.

However, the Ethiopian embassy website does not yet (28 March) state that the VoA scheme has been terminated.

According to one source, visas on arrival will be available until 8 April under emergency transitional arrangements, but travellers who are planning to visit Addis Ababa Bole airport as their first port of call are strongly advised to obtain a visa from their nearest Ethiopian mission (who are able to provide a quick turnaround for visa applications).

dar's picture

The UK Foreign Office http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-count... has now changed the advice, playing down the 1 April 2012 change mentioned in their earlier travel advice:

The Ethiopian authorities are currently considering a change in visa policy and it may soon no longer be possible to obtain a visa on arrival at any port of entry, including Addis Ababa (Bole) international airport. We strongly recommend obtaining a visa prior to arrival, even when travelling from countries without an Ethiopian Embassy or Mission. We will update this travel advice as soon as we receive further information.

dar's picture

We are now informed that the status quo regarding visas on arrival is maintained until further notice.

Apparently, the instruction to revoke the visa on arrival was never given, contrary to earlier FCO reports.

dar's picture

From http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-count...

In contrast to recent reports, the Government of Ethiopia have advised that no decision has been made to withdraw the visa on arrival process. Toursts can still obtain a visa on arrival at Addis Ababa (Bole) and Dire Dawa International airports.