The Government of Iraq strictly enforces regulations regarding visas and entry, authorizations for weapons, and movements through checkpoints. U.S. citizens traveling to Iraq without the proper authorization or whose purpose of travel is not readily apparent have been detained without warning.
Required Travel Documents:
Passport: Valid for at least six months after dates of travel.
Visa: Apply with the Embassy of Iraq in Washington, D.C.
Within seven days of the date of entry into Iraq, most travelers must:
Obtain an arrival sticker
Submit a blood test (does not apply to tourist visa holders)
Obtain a residency stamp
Arrival Sticker: The arrival sticker is available at the immigration desk at the port-of-entry into Iraq. Visitors who exceed the seven-day period can face a large fine.
Blood Test: All visitors and new residents to Iraq, with the exception of those traveling on a tourist visa, must have a blood test for HIV and hepatitis within seven days of arrival or face a fine. The test must then be revalidated every 90 days while in Iraq. Guidance on where to go for the blood test is available at the airport upon arrival. In the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, travelers need to have this blood test only if staying for more than 15 days.
Residency Stamp: There is a high-cost penalty for visitors who do not obtain the required residency stamp within their first seven days in country. Visitors staying less than seven days do not require this stamp. A U.S. citizen who plans to stay longer than two months must apply at the Residency Office for an extension.
Exit Stamp: Before departing the country, U.S. citizens must obtain an exit stamp at a residency office. Contractors in the International Zone (IZ) may also obtain exit stamps at the Karadah Mariam Police Station (available Sunday and Wednesday, 10:00-14:00). Exit stamp fees vary, 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 and pay a fine. The requirement and cost of an exit stamp may differ if the U.S. citizen passport holder has Iraqi ancestry. Visitors who intend to return to Iraq will require a re-entry visa, also available through a local residency office.
U.S. Government Contractors: The Government of Iraq’s requirements for entry and residency for U.S. government contractors vary based on many factors. 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. 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. The process for obtaining these visas can be lengthy, so contractors should apply early and remain in close contact with their contracting company during the visa process.
Private U.S. Citizens Traveling for Work: U.S. citizens traveling to Iraq for the purpose of employment should check with their employers and with the Embassy of Iraq in Washington, D.C. for any special entry or exit requirements related to employment.
Residency Offices: Each province has a Residency Office in the provincial capital.
Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR) Entry/Exit Requirements: U.S. citizens who plan to stay for longer than 30 days in the IKR, including those with valid Iraqi visas, must visit the local residency office within seven days. U.S. citizens who allow their residency within the IKR to lapse may face difficulties getting the exit stamp needed to leave the IKR either by land or by air.
Embassy of Iraq, Washington, D.C.: 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.
HIV/AIDS: Iraq has imposed HIV/AIDS travel restrictions on all visitors and new residents must have an HIV blood test during their first seven days in country or face a fine. There is no waiver available for this ineligibility. Please verify this information with the Embassy of Iraq before you travel.
International Parental Child Abduction: International parental child abduction is the removal or retention of a child outside his/her country of habitual residence in breach of another parent or guardian’s custody rights. The Office of Children’s Issues within the U.S. Department of State is a leader in U.S. government efforts to prevent international parental child abduction (both from the United States and to the United States), help children and families involved in abduction cases, and promote the objectives of the Hague Abduction Convention.