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Work Permit in Ethiopia

Why is Work Permit Needed?

A work permit is a crucial document that enables you to work abroad. It offers legal permission to reside and work in another country for the period of employment. A valid work visa is necessary to work without any immigration troubles.

About The Ethiopia Job Market

Ethiopia is among the fastest-growing economies in Africa. The country is seeing steady infrastructure developments and increase in investment. Its industrial, transport, mining, and agriculture sectors are seeing a rise in overall exports. Here’s an overview of the Ethiopian job market.

Work Permit in Ethiopia

Number of Expats:

< 1,000,000

Popular Industries for Expats:

Resources and Energy, Construction, Food processing, Exports, Textiles

Types of Ethiopia Work Visa

An employer has to apply for an appropriate business visa on behalf of their non-citizen workers. Work permit in Ethiopia for foreigners is divided into different categories of business visas depending on nature of work and duration as under:

Conference e-Visa

‍This visa is issued to foreign travelers visiting Ethiopia for international conferences, seminars, workshops organized explicitly by a governmental authority, private organization, or reputed NGOs.

Investment Visa

‍This visa is applicable for those intending to invest or already engaged with investments within the country.

International Organizations Work Visa

‍This Ethiopia work visa is issued for non-nationals working in international embassies or similar organizations.

Foreign Business Firm Employment Visa

‍This is a short-term visa issued to those employed by a foreign company based in Ethiopia.

Ethiopian Government Employment Visa

‍This visa is issued to foreign nationals employed by Ethiopian government institutions or ministries.

Ethiopian Private Business Firm Work Visa

‍This visa is issued to foreign nationals seeking employment or short-term assignments with Ethiopia’ private business firms.

Non-Governmental Organizations Work Visa

‍This NGO visa is issued to foreign nationals invited by Ethiopian NGOs for official employment.

Government Institutions Short Task Visa

‍This visa is issued to foreign nationals who will work for a short period of time in government institutions.

‍Journalist Visa

‍This visa is issued to professional journalists, filmmakers, and photographers coming to the country for work.

Ethiopian Work Permit Requirements for Employers

The Ethiopian government has a policy in place to promote local employees over hiring foreigners. So to employ a non-national person, employers have to meet a few requirements.

However, employers must prove to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs that the foreign employee has the necessary skill set for the specific role. In the application process, you will have to provide certain documents like your business or trading licenses. Moreover, you have to prove that you will assign Ethiopian workers to take on these roles after the three-year work permit of non-national individuals expires.

Ethiopian Work Permit Requirements for Employees

Before starting the Ethiopian work visa process, carefully read through the list of documents required. Of course, with so many types of business visas, the requirement for each of them differs slightly. Nevertheless, here’s a general list of documents required for a work permit in Ethiopia for foreigners:

  • Current business visa
  • Four copies of the employer’s application form
  • Support letter from Ministry under which the applicant will be working (For Government Visas)
  • Business license of the employer issued by Ministry of Trade (For Private Organization Visas)
  • Registration certificate of charities and related societies (For NGO visas)
  • Business letter from employer
  • Five passport size photos
  • Proof of previous work experience
  • A completed form of the employee’s personal history
  • Educational certificates
  • Copy of travel documents
  • Payment receipt of the work permit fee

Ethiopia Work Visa Application Process

An employer has to initiate the Ethiopian work visa process. So it is crucial to determine under which category of Ethiopian work visa your employee falls.

  • Get in touch with your nearest Ethiopian embassy to understand Ethiopian work permit requirements for a specific type of work visa.
  • Collect the necessary documents from your employee.
  • Submit the Ethiopian work permit application form.
  • Pay the applicable fees.
  • Wait till you receive approval for the work visa application.

Timeframe for Work Permit Ethiopia

Ethiopia provides a visa on arrival, which is processed in 48 to 72 hours. However, those applying for a work permit cannot get it. So your required documentation for the Ethiopia work permit has to start in advance.
The employee’s Ethiopian work permit application form will be duly screened by the authorities. It takes about three days to process a visa under normal circumstances. But depending upon the type of visa, the processing can take up to 7 to 21 days.

Ethiopia Work Permit Cost

Here’s an outline of the cost of different work visas in Ethiopia:

Visa TypeFee
Conference Visa$32
Investment Visa$32
Foreign Business Firm Employment Visa$42
Government Employment Visa$32
Journalist Visa$42
Private Business Firm Work Visa$32
Government Institutions Short Task Visa$22
NGO Work Visa$62
International Organization Work Visa$52

How Does Multiplier Help With Work Permit?

Multiplier is a global EOR solution with local entities in over 150+ countries. We can help you manage a team of employees from around the world with our network of local HR and compliance experts. Our experienced SaaS-based global HR suite guarantees end-to-end solutions to all users.

Partnering with Multiplier can ease the process of acquiring an Ethiopian work permit. Our qualified in-house team will handle all the documentation processes and costs till the end.We will keep you updated at each step.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Ethiopia does have a provision of a visa on arrival for most nationalities. For example, citizens of Kenya and Djibouti can enter the country visa-free. But for work, you need a proper business visa before you arrive in the country.

This is an alternative to the visa on arrival process. To avoid the queues at the airport, you can apply for the Ethiopian eVisa to gain entry into the country.

A short-stay visa is issued for 90 days or less. An employment visa is usually given for a period of the employment contract, with a maximum validity of up to 5 years.

Except for Student Visa, NGO Visa, Conference Visa, and Journalist Visa, all other valid Ethiopian visas can be extended. A foreign national can visit the Immigration office or apply online for a visa extension on the official Ethiopian Immigration Nationality and Vital Events Agency website.

You can apply for a Resident Permit after your work permit is approved by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. After that, you will have to submit a request to Ethiopian Immigration.

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