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Embassy of SwedenNairobi, Kenya

Local time 5:37 PM

The Council of the European Union restricts visa provision for Ethiopian nationals

On 29th April 2024 the Council of the European Union decided to temporarily suspend certain elements of the EU visa code that regulates the issuing of visas to Ethiopian nationals. The decision was made due to insufficient cooperation by Ethiopia on readmission under Article 25a of the Visa Code. The suspension decision applies to all applications lodged from 1st June 2024 by Ethiopian nationals falling within the scope of the measures. The suspension decision is temporary but does not come with a specific end date. The Commission will continue to assess any progress made on readmission cooperation.

The measures and their implementation

The decision applies to nationals of Ethiopia who are subject to the visa requirement regardless of place of residence.  According to the Council's decision, the following temporary visa restrictions are introduced: 

  • The possibility to waive requirements regarding the documents that visa applicants must submit is removed. This means that applicants must submit a complete set of supporting documents proving that the entry conditions are met with each application. Missing documents can result in a refusal.
  • The processing time of 15 calendar days is no longer applied. The normal processing time is set to 45 days for all cases subject to the visa restrictions. 
  • only single-entry visas can be granted. 
  • Holders of diplomatic and service passport are no longer exempt from the visa fee.


This Decision does not apply to nationals of Ethiopia applying for a visa who are family members of a Union citizen to whom Directive 2004/38/EC applies or family members of a national of a third country enjoying a right of free movement equivalent to that of Union citizens under an agreement between the Union and a third country. It also does not apply to family members of British citizens covered by the withdrawal agreement between the EU and the UK. 

  • Please note that EU citizens residing in the Member State of their own nationality do not normally benefit from the rights granted by the Directive (as there is no element of free movement). For example, a Swedish citizen living in Sweden do not hold a right of residence based on Directive 2004/38/EC in his/her home country, unless he or she returned to Sweden after having utilised the right of free movement in another Member State for a certain period. 

The decision also does not apply to citizens of Ethiopia who apply for Schengen visa to participate in meetings with international intergovernmental organizations or at international conferences organized by a Member State.


Last updated 31 May 2024, 9.43 AM