• Longer Process for Obtaining Exit Visa Re-Introduced
  • March 29, 2018
  • At a glance

    Effective immediately, the Ministry of Interior has again suspended the process enabling foreign nationals to obtain exit visas at immigration counters at international airports in Federal Iraq.
    Instead, 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 for foreign nationals to obtain exit visas as compared to the previous process.
    The situation

    A longer process again applies to foreign nationals who require an exit visa.

    A closer look

    Effective immediately, all foreign nationals with multiple entry visas (MEV) and multiple entry exit visas (MEEV) which expired after November 27, 2017, are required to obtain an exit visa from the Ministry of Interior (MOI) to exit the country.

    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.
    Outstanding fines. Any outstanding fines, including overstay fines, must be settled before the application is submitted. Fines are set as follows:
    IQD 100,000 (approximately 82 USD) on the first day after a delay of 15 days in activating their MEEV or after the first day of overstaying their visa expiration date.
    IQD 10,000 (approximately 8 USD) for each subsequent day of overstay or delay, capped at IQD 500,000 (approximately 4,350 USD).
    Exclusions. Foreign nationals with MEVS and MEEVs which expired prior to November 27, 2017 or with no Iraq entry visa (in cases where foreign nationals flew into Iraq on military aircrafts but need to depart on commercial aircrafts), may continue to obtain exit visas at the airport by presenting exit request letters and paying IQD 500,000 (approximately USD 417) exit visa fine at the airport.

    Impact for foreign nationals

    Affected foreign nationals should allow extra time to obtain exit visas.

    Background

    The government has changed processes for obtaining exit visas between the one described above and being able to obtain entry visas at immigration counters multiple times in the past few months.