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Ethiopia - Apply for Resident permit

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A Residence Permit is a document allowing its holder to stay in a country of which he or she is not a citizen. Most residence permits are renewable.

The Immigration Act provides that any Commonwealth citizen or citizen of Ethiopia , may enter into Ethiopia for the purpose of residence on the production of a Residence Permit, with his other travel documents, signed by or on behalf of the Director of Immigration, subject to such conditions as may be endorsed on the permit. The Minister of Interior is authorized to prescribe the conditions for entry into Ethiopia and the fees payable in respect of such authorized entry, that is, Visa, Permit or any such travel document.

Whenever the requirements for the issuance and the conditions of a Residence Permit are breached, the Minister of Interior is at liberty to require the infringing individual to leave Ethiopia and to forfeit the Bond provided in the contingent event of the breach of the residence permit condition(s).


Foreign nationals wishing to reside in Ethiopia.

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It is the mandate of the Ministry of Interior and ministry of Labour to promote gender equality, provide labour, occupational health and safety, civil registration, migration, citizenship and coordinate graduate internship and vocational training. They are in charge of issuing work and resident permits.

Required Information

  • Full name of applicant
  • Sex, Age and marital status
  • Nationality
  • National identification number (Id. Nat.)
  • Period you have stayed in Nigeria
  • Particulars of employment in Nigeria.
  • Place of residence (physical and contact address);
  • Particulars of spouse (name, address, occupation, nationality and age)
  • Particulars of dependants (Number, name, address, occupation, nationality, age and details of relationship between you and each dependant


  • Any foreigner coming to Ethiopia, except those foreigners coming from tourist-generating countries, is required to obtain visa either at the arrival gate or prior to ones arrival from Ethiopian Embassies, Permanent Missions & Consulate Generals, Besides, Ethiopian Honorary Consulates authorized to issue visas by the government can provide the same service.
  • A Work Residence Permit cannot be obtained unless there is a job offer or contract from an employer. Once a job offer is accepted, the employer begins the application process, and informs the employee of what documentation is required.

Certificates such as degree and marriage documents need to be attested by both the country of issue’s foreign office, plus the Ethiopian embassy.

Obtain all necessary document in applying for a residence permit. Persons who are aged above 18 are required to apply separately if they wish to stay in Ethiopia and their applications should be supported by the person(s) whom they will depend on while in Ethiopia.

The following procedures are obligatory, and the sponsoring company is likely to assist with the arrangements and cover the cost:

  • A medical test (compulsory for all forms of residency permit). This must be done during the first week of being in Ethiopia. Before attending the medical test, a certificate showing blood type must be obtained. This can be done at any medical clinic. The medical test consists of blood screening for HIV and hepatitis B and C.
  • Permit applications are rejected if HIV test results are positive. There are also chest X-rays to test for tuberculosis. The main centre for taking the test is the government-run Medical Commission office.
  • The employer within Ethiopia needs to understand the full extent of their involvement within the process and therefore it is highly recommend that you go through a trusted service provider.

Once a foreigner acquires a work permit from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs Office it is possible to request for a residence permit from Ethiopian Immigration authority. The requirements to obtain a residence permit are:

  • An application letter requesting the permit,
  • The appropriate and valid travel documents, Visa, Health certificate and other required documents.

When the above procedures are complete, the Work Residence Permit and compulsory Ethiopian ID card are issued.

  • It should be noted that regardless of whether the company is registered within Ethiopia or not it will still need to comply with the process that is set out below in order to obtain a long term resident permit in Ethiopia:

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Required Documents

For Students, Inclusions and Dependents
  • Two identical passport size photos of each person (taken at the time of application.
  • Birth and Marriage Certificates or a certified copy thereof in respect of each applicant, if the applicant is unable to provide such proof of birth, a statement setting out the reasons must be attached.
  • A copy of the court order in question certified as being correct by an official of the court which made it, is required (if legaally seperated).
  • A medical report attached to the application.
  • In the case of an employee, certified copies of the applicant’s certificates and references or testimonials.
  • Business documents shall also be provided in cases of investors and the self employed.
  • A proof of admission letter in case of students.

  • Note: Make sure that you have all necessary documents before applying.


From time to time, fees payable for services rendered are subject to review.


Resident permit is Valid for one year and a renewal is required.

Documents to Use

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Sample Documents

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Processing Time

It takes 90 days for an applicant to get a response in writing.

Office Locations & Contacts

1.Go to any embassy, consulate office or high commission of Ethiopia in your country of origin.
2.Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MoLSA),

Kazanchis, Kirkos Kifle Ketema, Kebele 18

Tel: +251 115 537971

Fax: +251-11-551-8396

3.Ethiopian Investment Agency

P.O. Box 2313 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Telephone: 251 - 1 - 539474

Fax: 251 - 1 – 514396


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Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. 
Attach videos using the following tag <&video type="website">video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites.
Please remove the "&" inside the tags during implementation.
Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, 
sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube
width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed.
e.g In the following url "" Video ID is "Y0US7oR_t3M". 

Information which might help

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Other uses of the Document/Certificate

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e.g. Birth Certificate can be used as proof of identity.

External Links


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