IRAQ – Stricter Penalties for Late Visa Activation
Effective 28 November 2017, the Iraqi federal government has imposed a stricter regime of fines for late in-country visa activation.
What is the Change?
Previously, the fine for failing to activate a visa within seven days of entry was a flat IQD 500,000 (approximately USD 417) per individual.
For foreign nationals who enter Iraq from 28 November 2017:
- The grace period for visa activation is increased to 15 working days after entry.
- Late visa activation on the day after the 15-days deadline has expired is IQD 100,000 (approximately USD 82).
- For each subsequent day before the visa is activated, the fine is an additional IQD 10,000 (approximately USD 8) capped at IQD 5,000,000 (approximately USD 4350).
Within fifteen days of entry, multiple-entry visa holders must present their passport with verified blood-work results (hepatitis B and C and HIV) to the Ministry of Interior to obtain the Multi Exit-Entry Visa (“MEEV”) sticker.
Once they have the MEEV sticker in their passport, the employee may exit and re-enter as many times as necessary within the visa validity period, and the employer can initiate the work permit application process.
- Employers sending foreign national employees to Iraq should ensure the employee activates their visa within the new grace period of 15 days after entry, to avoid a fine and to allow the work permit application process to begin.