Ethiopia is the second most populated country and the fastest-growing economy in Africa. Typically, only somebody with at least one Ethiopian parent can become an Ethiopian citizen. But there are other ways to obtain Ethiopian citizenship through naturalization.
How to Become an Ethiopian Citizen by Naturalization
Here’s how one can become an Ethiopian citizen by naturalization:
- As a child with at least one parent who is an Ethiopian citizen: If at least one of your parents is Ethiopian, you are eligible for Ethiopian citizenship. Your place of birth (in Ethiopia or abroad) won’t make a difference.
- As a spouse of an Ethiopian citizen: If a foreign woman gets married to an Ethiopian citizen, the foreign woman becomes eligible for Ethiopian citizenship.
Re-application for Ethiopian citizenship
If you were originally an Ethiopian but for some reason ended up giving up your Ethiopian citizenship, you may be allowed to obtain Ethiopian citizenship by residing in the country and submitting an application to the Imperial Government. An Ethiopian woman who had lost her Ethiopian nationality by marrying a foreigner can also be allowed to apply for Ethiopian citizenship after the marriage ends by divorce, separation, or husband’s death. She must return to reside in Ethiopia and submit an application to the Ethiopian government.
Eligibility to apply for Ethiopian citizenship
You must fulfill the following conditions to be eligible to apply for Ethiopian citizenship:
- Have attained the age of majority and shall be considered legally capable under Ethiopian Law.
- Have lived in Ethiopia for at least four years before applying for Ethiopian citizenship.
- Be able to communicate proficiently in at least one of the languages of Ethiopia.
- Earn adequate income by legitimate means to support and maintain your family.
- Be of good character.
- Have a clean criminal record.
- Produce proof that you have relinquished your previous nationality, or you must be able to relinquish your previous citizenship once you acquire Ethiopian citizenship. You will be eligible in case you don’t hold any citizenship.
- Take the oath of allegiance to the state of Ethiopia.
How to obtain an Ethiopian Origin ID Card
Since being associated with Ethiopia is crucial to regaining Ethiopian citizenship, obtaining an Ethiopian Origin ID card makes life easy. This card is proof that you are of Ethiopian descent. This makes the procedure to obtain Ethiopian citizenship more convenient. To get an Ethiopian Origin ID Card, one must:
- Fill out and submit two copies of the application form.
- Submit two copies of the valid passport of the country of current citizenship
- Submit two copies of the supporting documents that show your Ethiopian origins
Along with the three documents mentioned above, you must also submit any one of the following documents:
- Two copies of your old Ethiopian passport
- Two copies of your birth certificate authenticated through the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Two copies of the Ethiopian passport or Ethiopian Kebele ID Card of your parent(s)
- Two copies of the document(s) that show that you are the legal inheritor. These should be authenticated by the concerned authority.
- Two copies of your brother’s or sister’s Ethiopian passport or Ethiopian Kebele ID Card
- A testimony document is given by three people who are Ethiopian citizens or Ethiopian by birth.
- Your fingerprints, along with a copy of the same
- Two colored passport-size photographs recently clicked. The background in the photo should be white, and the name of the applicant should be written at the back of the photograph.
- A payment of $100 via money order, cashier’s check, or certified bank check is payable to the Embassy of Ethiopia.
- A self-addressed return envelope.
These documents are needed to submit your application to the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, DC. If you wish to submit the application at another embassy, the list of the required documents may vary.
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