Ethiopia is to start issuing visa online as of June 4, 2018, The Reporter has learnt.
The online visa system was first launched a year ago by Ethiopian Immigration and Nationality Affairs Main Department as a pilot project. It was only restricted for selected countries but now it will be open for all visitors across the world.
This was only accessible for visitors from only 37 countries, Gebreyohannes Teklu, Director of the Main Department for Immigration and Nationality Affairs, told The Reporter. “These courtiers were selected because they were main sources of visitors to Ethiopia,” he said.
For the past one year, the Department has been implementing the pilot project and was successful in easing the process of getting a visa.
In the coming weeks, in addition to accepting tourist entry visas from all countries, the department will also start to accept conference, business as well as other kinds of entry visa applications online.
In relation to this, Fitsum Arega, Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister, twitted that “a relaxed visa regime will enhance both Ethiopia’s openness and will allow the country to harness the significant stopover transit traffic of Ethiopian Airlines.
The new system will also bring trade and investment to the country.
It is to be recalled that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD), a few weeks ago has said that Ethiopia will allow all Africans to travel to Ethiopia without a visa. He made the statement during the official visit of President Paul Kagame of Rwanda.
He said, Ethiopia will very soon follow Rwanda’s example of allowing all Africans to travel with no visa.
This policy, if extended to other African countries; is said to open up the east African country to African visitors. It will also ease free movement and boost tourism across the region.
The Ethiopian Immigration Affairs Office, to simplify the process of getting a passport for Ethiopian Nationals, has announced this month that it is working with Commercial Bank of Ethiopia where passport applicants can settle payments via the Bank.