Routine processing of nonimmigrant visas has been suspended.  Currently, the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia is only processing emergency nonimmigrant visas on a very limited basis.  If you have an urgent need to travel because of an emergency, please visit Global Support Services and apply for an “Expedited Appointment.”  We continue to process immigrant visas on a limited basis and by appointment only.

IMPORTANT– Starting on November 8, 2021, nonimmigrant visa holders must be vaccinated to enter the United States.  Nonimmigrants must demonstrate proof of vaccination defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) prior to boarding a U.S. bound aircraft.  More details regarding what constitutes full vaccination are available is available on the CDC’s website.  There are very limited exceptions to this rule, which does not apply to U.S. citizens or immigrant visa holders.  Furthermore, all unvaccinated travelers (including U.S. citizens and foreign nationals who qualify for an exception to the vaccination requirement) must submit a negative COVID-19 test taken within one calendar day.  For vaccinated travelers, regardless of nationality, the current requirement of proof of a negative test taken in the previous three calendar days will remain.  For further details on these new requirements, including exceptions to the new vaccination requirement, please look here.

The purpose of your intended travel and other facts will determine what type of visa is required under U.S. immigration law. As a visa applicant, you will need to establish that you meet all requirements to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.

See our Directory of Visa Categories on to determine which visa category might be appropriate for your purpose of travel to the United States.

A citizen of a foreign country who seeks to enter the United States generally must first obtain a U.S. visa, which is placed in the traveler’s passport, a travel document issued by the traveler’s country of citizenship.

Certain international travelers may be eligible to travel to the United States without a visa if they meet the requirements for visa-free travel. The Visa section of this website is all about U.S. visas for foreign citizens to travel to the United States.

(Note: U.S. citizens don’t need a U.S. visa for travel, but when planning travel abroad may need a visa issued by the embassy of the country they wish to visit.).

To contact a customer service representative, please visit the GSS Contact Us page for full information or use contact information below:

Entoto Street
P.O. Box 1014
Addis Ababa

For inquiries about Immigrant Visas, please e-mail:

For inquiries about Non-Immigrant Visas, please e-mail:

The Department of State manages the visa process strictly but fairly in order to best protect the United States.  We are committed to the essential openness for which the United States has always been known.  Travel to the United States is welcomed and encouraged.

We promise to you, the visa applicant, that:

  • We will treat you with dignity and respect, even if we are unable to grant you a visa.
  • We will treat you as an individual and your case as unique.
  • We will remember that, to you, a visa interview may be a new or intimidating experience and that you may be nervous.
  • We will use the limited time available for the interview to get as full a picture as possible of your travel plans and intentions.
  • We will use our available resources to fairly assist all applicants to get appointments to allow travel in time for business, study, and other important obligations.
  • We will post detailed and accurate information on visa requirements and application procedures on every Embassy and Consulate website.
  • We will provide information on non-immigrant appointment waiting times at every Embassy and Consulate posted on
  • We will explain the reason for any visa denial to you.

Furthermore, if you are a:

  • Student, we will make every effort to ensure that you get an appointment and, if qualified, a visa in time to start classes.
  • Medical and humanitarian emergency traveler, we will expedite processing for those dealing with life threatening emergencies.
  • Business traveler, we will establish appropriate mechanisms to facilitate business travel and expedite cases of particular concern to American business.

At the same time, we expect you, the visa applicant, to:

  • Plan your travel and visa application as far in advance as possible.
  • Complete your application fully and accurately.
  • Be forthcoming about your purpose and plans.
  • Prepare for your interview by being able to clearly and concisely describe your intentions.