Iraq Visa – Iraq travel advice

338 Tuesday, Nov 23, 2021

There are some differences between the Iraqi Visa and the Iraqi Kurdistan Visa.
First, I’ll explain about the Iraqi visa. Second, you’ll learn about the Iraqi Kurdistan visa. Finally, you’ll read about whether the Iraqi visa is valid for traveling to Iraqi Kurdistan and whether the Iraqi Kurdistan visa is valid for traveling to the rest of Iraq.
 
VISA FOR TRAVELING TO IRAQ
One of the most important entry requirements to Iraq is a valid visa for most nationalities.
Since 15th March 2021, thanks to the new visa program introduced by the Iraqi government, citizens of 38 countries are eligible to obtain a visa on arrival to Iraq.
The Iraq visa on arrival is valid for 60 days.
 
IRAQ VISA ON ARRIVAL FREE OF CHARGE
Nationals of the following countries may obtain a visa on arrival free of charge at Al Najaf International Airport in Baghdad and Basra International Airport:
Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates
 
IRAQ VISA ON ARRIVAL WITH PAYMENT
Citizens of the following countries can get a visa on arrival with a visa fee at Al Najaf International Airport in Baghdad, Najaf and Basra International Airport:
European Union citizens: (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden), Switzerland, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zeeland, Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and Russia.
 
If your country is not listed above, you will need to apply for an Iraq visa in advance.
 
VISA FOR TRAVELING TO IRAQI KURDISTAN
IRAQI KURDISTAN VISA ON ARRIVAL
Citizens of the European Union, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zeeland, UK, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Kuwait, Qatar, South Korea, Iran, Turkey and Brazil can get a visa on arrival upon entering Iraqi Kurdistan both by land and air.
The price of the visa on arrival is generally  75 USD and it is valid for 30 days.
This Iraqi Kurdistan visa on arrival can be obtained at international airports, at the Turkish-Iraqi Kurdistan land border and at the Iran-Iraqi Kurdistan land borders.
 
COUNTRIES REQUIRED PRIOR VISA ARRANGEMENTS
If your country is not on the above list, contact the Kurdistan Regional Government and ask them how you should apply for a visa. I hope they will answer you and you can travel to Iraqi Kurdistan.
If they answer you, most probably you will have to get a letter of invitation from a tour guide or tour company.
 
IRAQI KURDISTAN VISA FOR THE REST OF IRAQ
Your Iraqi Kurdistan visa is only valid within the borders of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
Legally, you cannot enter the rest of Iraq with your Iraqi Kurdistan visa, literally nowhere in the Arabic part of Iraq (Southern Iraq).
Nevertheless, there are travelers who still travel to other parts of Iraq without a visa for Iraq with the help of local tour guides. I could have done that too because I had friends who could have taken me to Mosul. But I chose not to do it.
 
IRAQI VISA FOR IRAQI KURDISTAN
According to present-day visa regulations, with an actual Iraqi visa, you can travel to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
I actually tried that. I traveled from Baghdad to Erbil through Kirkuk. Then, I traveled to Mosul from Erbil and then back to Erbil. So, once you have your Iraqi visa, you can keep coming and going between Kurdistan and the rest of Iraq.