• Longer Process for Obtaining Exit Visa
  • January 16, 2018
  • Executive Summary

    Effective immediately, exit visa requests must be submitted with the respective Ministry of Interior’s Directorate of Residence before the foreign national’s departure from Iraq. As a result, it will take longer to obtain the exit visa as compared to the previous process, which allowed applications to be submitted directly at the airport the same day as the departure.


    The situation

    A longer process now applies for foreign nationals who require an exit visa.

    A closer look

    How to submit exit visa request. The foreign national’s sponsoring employer must file the exit visa request letter with the respective Directorate of Residence with their original passport for visa endorsement. Any outstanding fines, including overstay fines, must be settled before the application is submitted.

    Timing. Once the exit visa is issued, which can take three or more days depending on the foreign national’s location in Iraq, the foreign national will have 10 days to leave Iraq.

    Exclusions. The new requirement does not apply to foreign nationals who hold valid multi-entry-exit visas or to those in Iraqi Kurdistan, where immigration regulations are different from the rest of the country.

    Impact. Foreign nationals should allow for extra time to obtain an exit visa.


    The following groups of foreign nationals require an exit visa, and could previously obtain it at the airport before departing Iraq:

    • Those who overstayed their entry visa expiration date; and

    • Those who did not obtain their multi-entry-exit visa within the prescribed deadline of 15 days of entry because they planned to exit Iraq before the deadline (this applies in the case of those who use a multi-entry-exit visa as a short-term work visa).