How to Get a Tourist Visa for Iraq

Iraq Tourist Visa

Iraq Tourist Visa

Did you know that it is possible to travel to Iraq as a tourist even if you are a citizen of the United States, European Union, Canada, Japan, or Australia?  Yes you can.  The process is a breeze.  You can actually get a tourist visa on arrival.  The catch is that you have to fly to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (northern part of the country about 250 miles north of Baghdad, Iraq).

Is it safe?  This is the question I get a lot when people ask me about my trip.  Yes, this part of Iraq is safe…use common sense and as long as you don’t venture out of this region you should be fine.

I’ll explain the fool-proof steps on how you go to Iraq below.

1
Book a flight to Erbil, Iraq (a.k.a. Arbil, Iraq)
  • Go to any flight booking website and book a roundtrip ticket to Erbil, Iraq (a lot of people also spell it as Arbil).  The airport code is EBL.
  • There is no need to get a visa in advance.
  • There are a number of airlines that fly into Erbil, Iraq including Qantas Airways (4 times per week from Doha), Lufthansa (4 times per week from Frankfurt), MEA (6 times per week from Beirut)
  • I flew into Beirut, Lebanon on Emirates Airlines and then transferred to the MEA flight to Erbil.
2
Get the free visa stamp on arrival
  • When you land at the airport, you will be given a free stamp (good for a stay of 10 days).
  • You will have to pass through a bunch of security checkpoints to get outside the airport (4 or so if I remember correctly)….no big deal here really….the big guys with even bigger guns will just smile and wave you and your taxi through.
3
Congratulations!
  • That’s it!  Welcome to Iraq!
4
Visa Hunter's Notes
  • Need a hotel?  I must mention that if you are going to Erbil, Iraq, I highly recommend staying at Erbil International Hotel (formerly known as the Sheraton Hotel) in Erbil if you have the funds.  The hotel is very nice and has the BEST barbecued chicken I’ve EVER tasted!  I’m serious. I would go back to Erbil, Iraq just for the barbecued chicken.
  • On another note, if you want to go to regions of Iraq outside of Kurdistan and are a U.S. citizen, that will be a whole other animal and will be an incredibly tedious (if not impossible) process.  I highly recommend you contact your consulate for details.  You will need to get approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs first.  You will then need to go to your consulate or embassy to apply for the visa.
  • Click here to learn about the different types of Iraq visas.

Where to find the Iraq Embassy or Consulate closest to your place of residence:

If you’re inside the U.S.:

Embassy of Iraq

If you’re outside of the U.S., click here.

Further Reading

About Addison Sears-Collins

Hey! I'm Addison Sears-Collins, the founder of Visa Hunter. You can learn more about me here. Connect with me by liking my fan page on Facebook, connecting with me on Twitter, or check out my website Automatic Addison where I build robots and embedded systems.

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