Ethiopia as a Place to Live and Work

visaVisa and Immigration Requirements

Visas are required for all foreign visitors to Ethiopia, with the exception of nationals of Kenya and Djibouti. Visas may be obtained at Ethiopia’s diplomatic missions overseas. However, nationals of 37 countries are now allowed to receive their tourist visas on arrival in Ethiopia. The nationals of these countries can also apply for a tourist visa on line at The list includes Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, the New Zealand, North Korea, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom and United States.

Health Requirements

A yellow fever certificate is required for some African destinations. Vaccination against cholera is also required for any person who has visited or transited a cholera infected area within six days prior to arrival in Ethiopia.

Public Holidays

Public holidays are celebrated according to the Ethiopian (Julian) Calendar which consists of the following:

September 2018– September 2019 Year

Date Public holidays Remarks
September 11 Ethiopian New Year National holiday
September 27 The Finding of the True Cross (Meskel) Christian holiday
October 26 Id Al Adaha (Arafa) Muslim holiday
January 7 Ethiopian Christmas Christian holiday
January 19 Ethiopian Epiphany Christian holiday
January 24 Prophet Mohamed’s Birthday(Maulid) Muslim holiday
March 2 Victory of Adwa National holiday
May 1 International Labor Day National holiday
May 3 Ethiopian Good Friday Christian holiday

May 5

May 5

Ethiopian Patriots day


National holiday

Christian holiday

May 28 Downfall of the Derg National holiday
August 8 Id Al Fater (Ramadan) Muslim holiday

The maximum number of office closure days in a year is 12.

Business Hours



Government offices work 39 hours in a week. Office hours extend from 8.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. (lunch break from 12.30 p.m. to 1.30 p.m.) Monday through Thursday, and from 11.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. on Fridays.

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Most banks are open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., including lunch hours, Monday through Friday. Most banks are also open on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 noon.

Ethiopia has 3 public banks and 16 private banks, as well as numerous insurance companies (one public and 15 private) and 31 micro-finance institutions. Internationally recognized credit cards such as Visa and Mastercard are available in Ethiopia through two leading Ethiopian banks, the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia and Dashen Bank. Until recently, Dashen Bank was the only Ethiopian bank to distribute Mastercard, but in March 2014 Awash International Bank (AIB) announced a partnership with Mastercard International.


List of Banks in Ethiopia:

  1. Awash International Bank
  2. Commercial Bank of Ethiopia
  3. Development Bank of Ethiopia
  4. Construction and Business Bank
  5. Dashen Bank
  6. Wegagen Bank
  7. Bank of Abyssinia
  8. United Bank
  9. Nib International Bank
  10. Cooperative Bank of Oromia
  11. Lion International Bank
  12. Zemen Bank
  13. Oromia International Bank
  14. Bunna International Bank
  15. Berhan International Bank
  16. Abay Bank S.C
  17. Addis International Bank S.C
  18. Debub Global Bank S.C
  19. Enat Bank S.C

List of Insurance Companies in Ethiopia:

  1. Africa Insurance Company S.C
  2. Awash Insurance Company S.C
  3. Global Insurance Company S.C.
  4. Lion Insurance Company S.C
  5. NIB Insurance Company
  6. Nile Insurance Company S.C
  7. Nyala Insurance Company S.C
  8. The United Insurance S.C
  9. Ethiopian Insurance Corporation
  10. Abay Insurance Company
  11. Berhan Insurance S.C.
  12. National Insurance Company of Ethiopia S.C.
  13. Oromia Insurance Company S.C.
  14. Ethio-Life and General Insurance S.C.
  15. Tsehay Insurance S.C.

Click here for all the banks and insurance contact information.


Most shops are open up to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Some shops, particularly supermarkets, are open on Sundays and public holidays.