IRAQ: New Immigration Entry Procedure and Blood Tests

Effective Immediately, the Prime Minister’s office in Baghdad has declared a new immigration entry procedure for obtaining a MEEV (Multi-Entry/Exit visa) and blood tests.

New arrivals must have a legalized blood test authenticated by the Iraq Embassy in the country of residence before the issuance of the MEEV at the airport.

Background

A multi-entry visa (MEV) is issued at the airport on arrival, on presentation of a letter of approval (LOA). Previously, this would allow the holder to undergo a blood test and to apply for a MEEV at the Ministry of Interior (MOI) in Baghdad.

What is the change?

Foreign nationals entering Iraq with a new LOA must undergo a blood test in their country of residence and have this authenticated at the Iraqi Embassy in the country of residence prior to traveling.

Upon arrival at the airport, the applicant must fill out the MOI application and pay the required fees in order to obtain a MEEV sticker for the period reflected on the LOA.

Foreign nationals entering Iraq without a legalized blood test face deportation.

In-Country Renewals

The normal process still applies for in-country MEEV renewals. Applicants seeking to renew their MEEV must undergo a blood test at the Iraq Ministry of Health (MOH) and obtain a blood test results card (tests for HIV, Hepatitis B and C are required for certain nationalities).

Note that all regulations are subject to amendment by the MOI and MOH in Iraq.

Our Advice

Employers sending foreign national employees to Iraq must arrange the blood test for these applicants prior to travel and have this legalized at the appropriate Iraqi Embassy.

All necessary documentation should be prepared and carried by the applicant for processing of the entry visa at the airport.

Employers and assignees who may be affected by these changes are advised to contact their Newland Chase immigration specialist for advice.

For general advice and information on immigration and business travel to Iraq, please email us at enquiries@newlandchase.com.