Visas are required for all foreign visitors to Ethiopia, with the exception of nationals of Kenya and the Sudan. Visa applications may be obtained at Ethiopia's diplomatic missions overseas. However, nationals of 33 countries are now allowed to receive their tourist visas on arrival in Ethiopia at the regular charge. The list includes Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom and United States. However visas are readily available at Ethiopian's diplomatic missions abroad.
The Main Department for Immigration and Nationality Affairs issues a residence permit to a foreign investor, upon submission of an Investment Permit issued in his/her name. A foreign investor, who is a share holder of a company or branch company and an expatriate staff who has a work permit, is also entitled to a residence permit.
The currency of Ethiopia is based on the decimal system. The units of currency are the Birr and cents. The Birr is divided into 100 cents. The average exchange rate at the time of publication is: $1= 13.47 Birr
It follows the Julian calendar, which consists of twelve months of 30 days each, and a thirteenth month of five or six days (on a leap year).
Ethiopia is in the GMT +3 time zone.
The government offices have 39 working hours a week. The office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.to 5:30pm. from Monday through Thursday. Working hours on Friday are 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Private and public businesses are often open on Saturdays, too.
Personal effects, unexposed film, cameras and accessories may be imported free of duty. Duty free items include 250 grams of tobacco or 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars, two litters of alcohol and half a litter of perfume. Visitors may export souvenirs with a value not exceeding Birr 500.
Airport Service Charge
An embarkation fee of US$20 per person is payable when leaving Ethiopia. The embarkation fee can be paid either at the Exit Airport or any Airline Ticket Office.