How to Enter Iraq

Do I need a passport or visa to enter?

Entry and exit requirements for foreign citizens in Iraq, as stipulated by the Iraqi Ministry of Interior (MOI) require all U.S. citizens to hold passports valid for at least six months after dates of travel. Visas are required for all U.S. citizens. An Iraqi visa may be obtained through the Iraqi Embassy in Washington, D.C. Visas are available upon arrival at the port of entry only if the traveler receives prior visa approval in the form of an Entry Visa Approval Memorandum from the Ministry of Interior Residency Office. Travelers who obtain this approval must enter Iraq within 90 days of the issuance of the memorandum for a single entry visa or within 6 months of the issuance of the memorandum for a multi entry visa. Once admitted into the country, visitors must obtain an arrival sticker and submit a blood sample taken by the Iraq Ministry of Health within 10 days of entry. Arriving passengers are reminded of this requirement upon admission.

The Government of Iraq’s requirements for entry and residency for U.S. government contractors differ. Persons traveling to Iraq to work on U.S. government contracts should check with their contracting company and contracting officer’s representative to determine entry and residency procedures and requirements.

Visitors who plan to stay for more than 10 days must also obtain a residency stamp. Visitors who exceed the 10-day period will be fined USD $125(subject to change).Diplomatic and official passport holders have up to 30 days to obtain a residency stamp. In Baghdad, the arrival stickers and residency stamps are available for all visitors at the main Residency Office near the National Theater.

There is a USD $40 penalty (subject to change) for visitors who do not obtain the required residency stamp. A U.S. citizen who plans to stay longer than two months must apply at the Residency Office for an extension. U.S. citizens traveling to Iraq for the purpose of employment should check with their employers and with the Iraqi Embassy in Washington, D.C. for any special entry or exit requirements related to employment. Contractors receive an Iraqi visa tied specifically to the contract and will be in violation of Iraqi immigration law if found to be violating the terms of the visa, including by overstaying.

U.S. citizens must also obtain an exit stamp at a Residency Office before departing the country. In Baghdad, they are available for all visitors at the main Residency Office near the National Theater. Contractors in the IZ may also obtain exit stamps at the Karadah Mariam Police Station (available Sunday and Wednesday, 10:00-14:00). In Basrah, the Residency Office is located on Kuwait Street in Ashar. Exit stamp fees vary from USD $20 to USD $500, depending on length of stay, type of entry visa, and other factors. Travelers who hold a tourist passport with no visa or an expired visa are required to purchase an exit visa for USD $80 and pay a fine of USD $45 for a total of USD $125(subject to change).Visitors who arrive via official aircraft but depart on commercial airlines must pay USD $82(subject to change)single entry visa departure fee at the airport. Visitors who intend to return to Iraq will require a re-entry visa, also available through a local residency office.

As of the date of this report, immigration officials in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR) were routinely allowing U.S. citizens to enter Iraq without a valid Iraqi visa; however, the airport-issued IKR visa is not valid outside the IKR, and U.S. citizens are not permitted to travel within the rest of Iraq with only the IKR-issued visa. This visa is valid only in the IKR for a period of 10 days. U.S. citizens who plan to stay for longer than 10 days require an extension to their visa; this can be obtained by visiting the local residency office. In addition, it is difficult for U.S. citizens to obtain residency authorization outside the IKR without first obtaining a valid Iraqi visa.

Visit the Embassy of Iraq for the most current visa information. The Embassy of Iraq is located at 3421 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20007; phone number is 202-742-1600; fax number is 202-333-1129.

Iraq has imposed HIV/AIDS travel restrictions on all visitors. At this time, there is no waiver available for this ineligibility.

Special Travel Circumstances in Iraq

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.


You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.

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