Ethiopian Airlines and the Ethiopian Immigration and Nationality Affairs main department Tuesday launched an Online Entry Visa Application and Issuance (E-Visa) for citizens of 39 countries, the airline said.
Of the total, only the citizens of the South Africa are eligible from the African continent, while Kenya and Djibouti are exempted because their citizens do not need a visa to enter Ethiopia.
The majority of those eligible for the E-Visa are European countries.
China, North Korea, South Korea, India, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Israel, Kuwait, Mexico and the US are also on the list of eligible countries for the initial phase of the E-Visa service.
The service is provided only to those seeking a tourist visa.
It was not yet clear whether the E-Visa was applicable to those who use the Ethiopian Airlines only or not.
The press statement from Ethiopian Airlines stated that the E-Visa would be processed and issued on a single Web page where applicants apply and pay online.
The Director Main Department for Immigration and Nationality Affairs, Mr Gebreyohannes Teklu, was quoted as saying: “Now international visitors to Ethiopia, from countries provisioned for visa upon arrival, will make use of this service. Moreover, we have set up separate counters to process the visas of travellers under electronic travel authorisation.”
Once the online application is approved, applicants will receive an email authorising them to travel to Ethiopia and they will get their passport stamped with the visa upon arrival.
The press statement also explained that the E-Visa project was part of a new national initiative to transform the Ethiopian tourism sector.
“The full commencement of the Online Visa application and issuance system will promote tourism, trade and investment to the country. It will save time, energy and cost for travellers to Ethiopia in addition to the simplicity and convenience that it facilitates.
“With direct flights to/from more than 95 destinations from all corners of the world operated by the most modern airplanes, we will continue to make travel to Ethiopia, dependable, easy, convenient and affordable,” the statement said.