Iraq Visas

Kurdistan Regional Government Tourist Visa

The KRG issues ten day tourist visas upon arrival at border crossings and international airports. Note that federally issued visas are valid in all of Iraq, but KRG visas are valid only in the KRG.

To extend our visa beyond ten days, visit any residency office and spend 3,000 IQD plus a few hours of your time. Contact the KRG about its policies, as Iraq's consulates know little about the KRG and may unintentionally (?) mislead you.

Kurdistan Regional Government KRG Iraq tourist visa
Tourist visa issued upon arrival at the airport in Sulaymaniyah.

Kurdistan Regional Government KRG Iraq tourist visa extension residency office hawler
Tourist visa extension issued at the residency office in Hawler.

The KRG residency office in Hawler requires a sense of humor.

Upon arriving, my companion and I goodheartedly laughed at a department called Number Two: In Coming Out Going. Later, our laughter was tinged with horror when a bureaucrat shyly poked his arm out from behind a door and tossed a clump of passports into a waiting crowd. Men kept trying to offer me an American passport that they incorrectly assumed was mine.

Fortunately, an English-speaking bureaucrat helped me and I attained my visa an hour earlier than my companion. He was given back his passport soon enough, but had to repeat the process because his visa had the wrong date. Of note, if you plan to stay for more than a few weeks in the Kurdistan Regional Government, you may need to get your blood screened. My companion and I were mercifully spared the extra step.

Kurdistan Regional Government Work Visa

Landing a job as an English teacher in the KRG is relatively easy; also, there is a plethora of other work opportunities.

Overground to Iraqi Kurdistan

TurkeyIbrahim Khalil / Habur

Ibrahim Khalil/Habur is the only border crossing point into Iraqi Kurdistan from Turkey. I have always flown since the cost is about the same after taxis, hotels and personal exasperation. However, many people online have reported positive experiences crossing between Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan. The downside is that Turkey thoroughly inspects cars for smuggled cheap Iraqi gasoline and cigarettes, leading to very long waits on the Iraqi side.

Driving from Diyarbakir to the border takes about 4 hours and a taxi will cost about $150 USD. Ensure that the driver has the necessary papers for border crossings. From the border, it takes about 1.5 hours to Dohuk; 4 hours to Erbil; and 6 hours to Sulaymaniyah.

IranHaji Omarani

Some internet research has identified this as a border crossing, though I have never tried it since it works out to be cheaper and easier to simply fly.


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