Essential Documentation

There are 2 types of documents which will be required for you to be cleared for arrival at Bingham Academy. Internal documentation allows us to prepare for your arrival and to comply with our employment policies and procedures. Governmental documentation is required for securing the necessary visa invitations, visas, work permits and residents' ID card, as well as for procuring an Ethiopian Driver's Licence. We would like to receive these documents as soon as you have completed the authentication process and no later than 1 month before you plan to arrive. Please contact us if it looks like timing will be a problem. Please send them by DHL - and do NOT use an alternative courier or postal service as they will not get to us!

We have staff who are very experienced in all of these processes, which can sometimes get a little tricky over here. Please don't hesitate to ask questions if you need confirmation or help with anything at all. We know it can be daunting!

Documents to prepare

Documents for Bingham Academy

All incoming staff need to provide Bingham with some basic information before they arrive. Some of this is to comply with our own internal policies, others are external requirements. Scans of the following documents need to be with Bingham a minimum of a month before you arrive. You don't need to send them all in one batch. Email scanned documents to  

  • signed statement of faith

  • baseline medical form including a list of all vaccinations for each family member

  • preparing for Bingham form

  • proof of health insurance

  • completed police checks for each family member over the age of 18 (please bring the original certificate(s) with you when you come as well as sending a scanned copy in advance)


Government documentation requirements

What ethiopian government documents do I need to apply for and why?

A Work Permit and Residence ID are the official documents which allow you to live and work in Ethiopia legally.

  • Members of staff at Bingham need both a Work Permit and a Residence ID.

  • Non-working spouses are included in the working partner's Work Permit process. You will receive a Residence ID but no Work Permit. You will not officially be allowed to work at Bingham without a Work Permit.

  • Children will be included through the working spouse's process or through the mother's if both parents are working at Bingham. Children are issued with Residence ID.

If you're not sure you understand please ask our Government Relations Officer:


What is the process?

Step 1 - Bingham Academy applies for a Business Visa on your behalf in Ethiopia. We will email this approval to you when we have it. This is one of the reasons why we need all of your documentation with us before you are here! 

Step 2 - Preparing your visa application. In addition to the formal approval that we will email to you, there will be other information that the Ethiopian Embassy in your country needs in order to process your visa. Please make sure that you check their website in plenty of time to gather it all together.

Step 3 - Apply for a visa in your home country. Working staff will need a business visa. Non-working spouses and children will apply for a Tourist Visa. Please make family applications all at the same time. Business visas are only valid for 1 month. (The only exception to this is US citizens.)

Please gather all of the documentation needed for your business visa so you are ready to apply, but do not apply for it until you are given permission by Bingham. You will be emailed a visa approval from Bingham Academy. At that time you need to add it to your other documents and mail the visa application.

It can take 3 weeks to convert your business visa to a work permit here in Addis. If you apply for your business visa too early in your home country there won’t be enough time left on your visa once you get to Ethiopia for us to convert it. We know that it feels hard to wait until you are so close to travelling to apply for a visa but please resist the urge to apply early and wait for Bingham approval!

Citizens of the USA should apply for a Two Year Multiple Entry Business Visa - this still needs to be converted to a Work Permit, but it gives us plenty of time to do that.

We would advise everyone to follow up with the Ethiopian Embassy in your own country after a few days of sending your application.

Step 4 - Arrive in country and convert your visa to a work permit and a Residence ID. After you arrive in country we will assist you in the processes. We will take you to the relevant offices and assist you in everything you need to do. This stage will be fairly straightforward so long as you have provided us with all the information that we've asked for in advance.


What do I need to do?

 In order to make this process as efficient as possible we need original, authenticated documents (more information below) to be with us a minimum of 1 month before you arrive in Addis. These must be sent by DHL. Please do not not use FedEx or an alternative courier - there is no formalised postal service in Ethiopia and so the couriers won't know where to deliver your precious and expensive documents! DHL know us and have a working relationship with the school and will send a man on a motorbike right to our school office!

Read the information very carefully and always ask questions if you're not sure you understand. These can be emailed to our Government Relations Officer:  



For documents to be accepted by the Ethiopian officials, they must have been authenticated in your home country. The procedures for doing this vary from country to country and also change from time to time. Please contact the Ethiopian Embassy in your home country to check on the most current advice. The authentication process typically involves showing your original document to a government authorised official and having a copy made and stamped before sending it to the Ethiopian Embassy for their own stamp to be added. You can find a printable document here which outlines the process for your country, but please check that it hasn't changed before you commit your documents to the process.

Driving licences and driving records also need to go through this process.


What documents do I need to provide?

Please read all of the information above very carefully. Our Government Relations Officer will verify this process with you and confirm the necessary documents which you need to provide. This can be an expensive mistake if you don’t get it right!

Once you're sure, click on the link below to get a printable list of everything you need.

* For the purposes of Work Permit applications, a "dependent" is someone who will not have a Work Permit of their own, but will hold a Residence ID permitting them to live in Ethiopia. It is not possible to work or volunteer in Ethiopia with only a Residence ID. If, in the future, it is likely that a dependent will want to work or volunteer in Ethiopia, they will need a Work Permit. It is difficult to get documents authenticated in your home country while you are living overseas. We advise that all authentication processes are completed in advance for those who have the potential to work or serve while they are in Addis.


Whom can I contact for help?

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HR and Recruitment Manager: Jemma Fifield

For issues relating to Bingham including accommodation, our documentation process, medical and vaccination questions, health insurance or police checks, or for general information about Bingham or Addis life please email our HR Manager

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government relations officer: gail gorfe

For all information about authenticating personal documents, questions about government paperwork, visa invitations, visas, work permits, residence status or drivers' licences, please email our Government Relations Officer.