Do I Need a Visa for Iraq?
All US citizens must have a visa for travel to Iraq. Individuals, primarily contractors traveling in support of a US government contract, who are traveling on an ordinary, blue passport (in other words, not a diplomatic or official passport) will not be issued a traditional visa by the Embassy of Iraq in Washington, DC. Instead, contractors are issued what is known as an Entry Visa Authorization Memorandum (EVAM). In contrast to the visa process followed by most other countries, the EVAM is not stamped into/affixed to the traveler’s passport prior to departure for Iraq. Please refer to the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics for further information.
|Is A …||An Iraq Entry Requirement?|
|Passport Validity||At least 6 months remaining|
|Blank Passport Pages||One page for entry stamp|
|Other Visa Types||See below|
How Does the Iraq Visa Process Work?
In order to obtain an EVAM for travel to Iraq, two steps must occur. First, the contract the traveler is traveling in support of must be registered with the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior. This process takes approximately two weeks, and it occurs in Baghdad. Once the contract is successfully registered, the application for the EVAM can then begin. The EVAM is the document that provides confirmation that a particular individual is authorized to be present in Iraq, and this document is issued by the Residency Office of the Ministry of the Interior in Iraq. It takes approximately 10 Iraqi business days to issue an EVAM, and holidays, strikes, and crisis situations can delay issuance. There are three types of EVAMs available: 30 day, single entry; 90 day, single entry; and 180 day, multiple entry.
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Upon arrival in Iraq, the traveler’s EVAM and passport are cross-referenced against a database of all the approved contracts. Once everything matches up, an immigration official will place an entry stamp in the passport, and the traveler will be required to purchase a “visa”. However, this “visa” does not authorize employment in Iraq like the EVAM does; it simply permits passage through the port of entry. If any contractor traveling to Iraq does not have an EVAM in advance of arrival, entrance into Iraq will be denied. Note that the immigration process does not change based on whether a contractor enters Iraq on a commercial or military flight. Since there is no Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq, all visitors are required to obtain a visa for Iraq regardless of how they fly in.
What Types of Materials Support My Iraq Visa Application?
Given the sensitivity of most travel to Iraq, the materials to support the EVAM application are minimal and include little more than a redacted copy of the contract and a color scan of the information page of the traveler’s passport. Please note that individuals who have prior travel to Israel documented in their passport could have difficulty obtaining a visa to Iraq and should consider applying for a second passport to be used for travel to Iraq instead.
Confused by the process of obtaining an EVAM for Iraq? Let the experts help! Call 480-646-9066 for expert advice.
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What Else Do I Need to Do Before Traveling to Iraq?
Make sure your current US passport is valid for at least six months after your planned date of exit from Iraq. It is also advisable that travelers to hostile countries have a second, limited validity US passport. Passport Health Passports and Visas can obtain both a renewed primary passport and a new or renewed second passport in as little as 1-3 days.
Contractors traveling in support of Department of Defense contracts are required to meet stringent MOD 12 medical and vaccination requirements. Passport Health travel medicine clinics can administer the required MOD 12 vaccines and medical tests. Schedule your pre-travel appointment at the Passport Health travel clinic nearest to you.
Passport Health – Visa for Iraq
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