Foreign travel advice

Iraq

Summary

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to:

  • Anbar province
  • Ninewah province
  • Salah-Al-Din province
  • Diyala province
  • Tam’mim (Kirkuk) province
  • in Erbil province, south of Road 80, and within 10km of the border with Ninewah province between Road 80 and Road 2

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the rest of Iraq, including the remainder of the Kurdistan region.

You should avoid political gatherings and large crowds, and minimise your movement around banks, restaurants and shopping malls. Observe instructions given by the local security authorities.

On 30 April 2016 protestors gained access to the international zone in Baghdad and demonstrations occurred at the parliament and cabinet office. The protestors left the zone on 1 May but regular demonstrations take place on Fridays in and around Tahrir Square. These can move across the city at short notice. You should monitor local media.

Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL) and other armed groups control parts of Iraq, particularly in Anbar, Ninewah, Salah-Al-Din and Diyala provinces. The front line between Daesh and Iraqi and Kurdish Security Forces is changeable. There’s an increased risk within 10km of the front line.

Coalition forces, including the UK, continue to carry out targeted airstrikes against Daesh in northern and western Iraq. Areas recently liberated from Daesh are likely to contain remnants of war and improvised explosive devices.

The security situation throughout Iraq remains uncertain, and could deteriorate quickly. You should monitor media reporting and make sure you have robust contingency plans in place.

In October 2016 the US Embassy issued a security message about reported attempts to kidnap staff working for non-governmental organisations on vehicle convoys to provide aid to Mosul.

There is a high threat of terrorism including kidnapping across Iraq. See Terrorism.

If you travel to Iraq to fight, and your activities amount to offences against UK terrorism legislation, you could be prosecuted on return to the UK.

Iraqi Airways’ permission to operate to and from points in the EU has been suspended. See Air travel

Disruption to flights may occur. Contact your airline or travel company for the latest information before travelling.

The government of Iraq has begun to take measures to improve the structural integrity of the Mosul Dam as there is a risk the dam could fail. It is currently impossible to accurately predict if or when this might occur. As there’s likely to be little warning of a failure, it will be logistically impossible for the British Government to evacuate you. Make sure you have contingency plans in place and monitor media reporting and this travel advice. See Local travel

British Embassy in Baghdad and the British Consulate-General in Erbil are able to offer limited consular assistance only.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

According to Iraqi law you must get a visa before you travel. You can apply for a visa at Iraqi missions overseas. See Entry requirements.