The ability of the U.S. Embassy to provide consular services to U.S. citizens outside Baghdad is particularly limited given the security environment. Host government emergency services and support are limited.
Iraq continues to suffer from serious problems in all public services. Many areas have only a few hours of electricity per day; many families supplement their state-provided electricity through local cooperatives that share generators.
Travelers should be aware that Iraqi fire and rescue services are still developing, and hotels may not be fully equipped with fire safety equipment. When staying in a hotel, you should request a room on a lower floor and make sure you have identified the exits nearest your room.
Telephone (landline) service is very limited; however, calls may be made from hotels, restaurants, and shops. While cellular service (mobile wireless) has expanded rapidly into urban areas, reliability can vary by region. Even in urban areas, users may frequently experience dropped calls. Internet service is available through Internet cafes, but broadband Internet service to homes is currently limited.
Please be aware that large wire transfers may require Central Bank of Iraq approval due to measures in place to combat money laundering. Such approvals can be obtained by the sending bank if a customer provides information on the origin of the funds and the reason for their transfer. Additional information on banking in Iraq is available on the Central Bank of Iraq’s website.
Customs officers have the broad authority to search persons or vehicles at Iraqi ports of entry. Officers may confiscate any goods they deem may pose a threat to the peace, security, health, environment, or social order of Iraq. Antiquities or cultural items suspected of being illegally exported may also be confiscated, as with goods that are not declared. Visitors may also be ordered to return such goods, at their expense, to the jurisdiction from which they came. Please see our Customs Information. The banking and financial infrastructure is in the process of rebuilding. Hotels usually require payment in foreign currency. Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are extremely rare in most of Iraq, but the Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) provides ATM services in dinars and USD at its main branch in central Baghdad.
The work week in Iraq is Sunday through Thursday.