The Orange Carpet programme in Ethiopia

If you are a business traveller who travels to the Netherlands frequently from Ethiopia and you need a short-stay Schengen visa each time, find out if you or your employees are eligible for the Orange Carpet programme.

You cannot travel to the Netherlands due to the coronavirus, unless you are exempt from the EU entry ban. Read the list of exemptions on

Orange Carpet conditions

Whether or not you can use the Orange Carpet programme depends on which country your business is based in. The Dutch embassy can tell you more about this.

The conditions for an Orange Carpet procedure also vary from country to country. You will need to show why you travel frequently for your work. The embassy decides whether you meet the local conditions.

Orange Carpet benefits

The benefits of the Orange Carpet programme vary from country to country. Here are some examples of the possible benefits:

  • You will not need to show as many documents to get a visa.
  • Your visa will be valid for several trips (multiple entry visa).
  • Your visa will be ready for collection sooner.
  • Your visa will be valid for longer.
  • You only have to apply for a visa in person once every five years.
  • You will not have to make an appointment to hand in your application, or there could be special opening times.
  • You can go to a VIP counter.

Who can use the Orange Carpet Visa Facility?

The Orange Carpet programme is mainly for staff of companies with current or future economic interests in the Netherlands. But the same conditions and benefits can also apply to other types of organisations (cultural, scientific, government) and individual travellers.

Collect first visa in person

The first time you apply for a visa you must go to the embassy or, if relevant, the visa application office in person, so your fingerprints and photo can be taken.

Visa through another embassy

You may need to go to the embassy of another Schengen country for a visa, for example because there is no Dutch embassy in your country. You might still be eligible for an Orange Carpet visa. But there could be fewer services available.

Orange Carpet programme in this country or region

The embassy of the Netherlands in Addis Ababa can facilitate companies whose employees require business visas to travel to the Netherlands: the Orange Carpet programme.


Employees of registered companies can apply in an easier way:

  • The applicant does not have to apply for a visa in person
  • Exemption from carrying a confirmed flight reservation, insurance, hotel reservation or proof of financial means
  • The applicant will be granted a visa with a validity ranging between 6 months to 3 years.
  • No prior appointment is desired.


The following are eligible for participation:

  • Dutch companies that have a subsidiary in Ethiopia or vice versa and whose employees travel frequently to The Netherlands for business purposes
  • An Ethiopian company having a long term business relationship with a company in The Netherlands.

Registration procedure

  • By filling in the preliminary form and sending it to the consular department by e-mail to: The request should contain information about the company in Ethiopia, the partner company in the Netherlands and the branch of activity.
  • If the company qualifies, the management of the company will receive a letter in which the company is requested to designate one to three persons of the company who have the authorization to sign recommendation letters. All visa applications which contain a letter signed by one of these designated signatories will get the Orange Carpet programme treatment.

How to apply for a visa under Orange Carpet

Visa applications are handled by VFS Global. Please visit the Visa Application Centre website to make an appointment for a visa application.

Orange Carpet does not cover:

  • If a person desires to stay longer than 90 days (long-stay visa) within the Schengen area or the Netherlands for business purposes, the short-stay visa is not valid. For this purpose one has to apply for a 'permit for provisional sojourn' (MVV, informally known as long-stay visa), which will be processed through the embassy, but decided upon by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) of the Netherlands. For more details pertaining to the MVV procedure please visit the website of IND
  • The Orange Carpet programme does not cover family members or travellers accompanying the employee for tourism or other purposes. However the application with all the required documents for regular travellers  can be submitted at the same time.