Legal Update: Iraq issues Instructions on Multiple-Entry Visas

Pursuant to the Iraqi Residence of Aliens Law No. 76 of 2017 (the "Residence Law"), those who are not Iraqi nationals are generally required to apply for a visa to enter Iraq. This client alert provides an update on the recently issued instructions regarding Multiple-Entry Visas.

Background

The Residence Law authorizes the Director General of the Iraqi Residence Department (the "Director General") (or his/her authorized representative) to grant multiple-entry visas for three (3) months up to one (1) year. Holders of this visa are permitted to enter Iraq within three (3) months from the date the visa is issued. The Residence Law goes on to state that further instructions are to be issued by the Ministry of Interior (the "Ministry").

Instructions

Instructions No. 2 of 2021 (the "Instructions") that came into force on 8 March 2021 regulates the rules surrounding multiple-entry visas in Iraq. Pursuant to the instructions the following categories of people are eligible to apply for a multiple-entry visa:

  • Employees of companies that are contractors of the Iraqi government;
  • Investors working on investment projects;
  • Advisors, experts, and technicians employed by the above-mentioned investors;
  • Employees at international organizations and humanitarian organizations duly registered in Iraq;
  • Employees at international agencies and non-governmental organizations duly registered in Iraq;
  • Company managers and/or founders of Companies that are duly registered in Iraq;
  • Employees at security companies duly registered in Iraq;
  • Truck (lorry) drivers that transport goods, supplies, or petroleum products to and from Iraq;
  • Non-Iraqi nationals that are employed by diplomatic missions in Iraq, but hold regular passports;
  • Contractors in accordance with Section (13) of the (dissolved) CPA Authority Order No. 17 of 2004.

The Instructions also stipulate that the issuance of multiple-entry visas shall be based on the principal of reciprocity.

Conclusion

Prior to the issuance of the Instructions, the eligibility requirements for multiple-entry visas were not clear. However, with Iraq's easing of restrictions on entry-visa requirements (explained in our previous client alert), these Instructions will further facilitate the entry of investors and workers into Iraq and ultimately boost foreign investment in Iraq.

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