Naturalisation and citizenship in Ethiopia

Hello everyone,

What are the requirements for acquiring citizenship in Ethiopia? For example, length of residence, language requirements, employment etc..

What formalities are involved in the process?

What is the policy on dual-citizenship in Ethiopia? Do you have to give up your former nationality?

What are the advantages and benefits of acquiring Ethiopian citizenship, in your opinion?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


Hello Bhavna:

I have never considered this. So don't know much about this matter, either.

What I know it is not very easy to acquire it.

Could be easier if you are married to an Ethiopian citizen.

good luck:


I  have just spent 7 month in Ethiopia and realize that low is not favorable for foreigners to do business or even for citizenship.

HY Bhavna,

Getting citizenship in Ethiopia (acquiring Ethiopian Passport) is not that easy,very lengthy and hectic process.

But you can get Residence permit based on your situation.

If you are married to Ethiopian National for minimum of 2 years then you can apply for residence permit ,  to be renewed every year.

If you are working in Ethiopian company with valid work permit , you can apply for residence permit , to be renewed every year.

If your parents are Ethiopian and naturalized to other country still you can apply for residence permit,In this case I am not sure but don't think you have to renew it every year.

If one of your parents are Ethiopian, then again you can apply for residence permit.

If you are investor in Ethiopia , you can apply for residence permit ,to be renewed every year.

There is no provision of dual citizen ship in Ethiopia.if you want Ethiopian Citizenship (provided they give you) you need to surrender existing passport.

As far as advantages are concerned , that is up to you to decide.

If you are considering acquiring citizenship of Ethiopia I am sure you have pretty good reason to do so.

Wow. We (wife & I) will build a house and retire there but am not sure about citizenship. My wife (Ethiopian citizen) talks about a yellow card for work and benefits but I'm still not sure what it all means.

Its a very much historical question. The time Ethiopia was under pressure of European force in Africa (England, Italy, France etc) the Ethiopian proclamation was drafted, which is still in power today, meaning we have to take the feeling and political situation of that time into consideration. In the today Ethiopia this basic understanding or feeling / non citizenship for non Ethiopia still exist!

Time has changed but the Ethiopian proclamation not, which is very clear if you where not born in Ethiopia you can not apply!

Of course we find still today quite a few people in Ethiopia, which were born in the country mostly  through a relation ship of a non Ethiopian and a Ethiopian, as well we have still some families in the country going back 3 or 4 generation, such as Armeniens, Italiens, Greek etc......Some of these people have a Ethiopian citizenship. But in practice I do not know of people having dual citizenship, beside some pure Ethiopia Diasporas living in US or Canada.


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