Summary

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The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all travel to all provinces of Iraq except the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and against all but essential travel to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

Iraq remains subject to regional tensions. Militia groups opposed to western presence in Iraq continue to pose a threat to UK and other interests in Iraq – including through attacks on Global Coalition military bases, diplomatic premises, and foreign nationals. Tensions are escalating due to protracted negotiations on government formation following elections held in October 2021. Protests have been taking place in and around the International Zone in Baghdad and the security situation is at risk of deteriorating. The situation remains uncertain and could further worsen at short notice. You should avoid any rallies, marches or processions, and follow the instructions of local authorities. Further protests are likely with potential violence. A number of areas of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq remain subject to sporadic attack by artillery, drones and rockets. See Political and security situation

There is a possibility of an increased threat against Western interests, including against UK citizens. You should remain vigilant, have robust security arrangements and contingency plans in place, keeping these under review, and keep up to date with the latest developments, including via the media and this travel advice.

In the context of current tensions over government formation, British nationals are reminded that consular support in Iraq is severely limited.  You should not assume that, in the event of a further deterioration in the security situation, assistance to leave Iraq will be available.

You may be eligible to obtain a visit visa on arrival in federal Iraq. Check visa requirements with the Iraqi Embassy in London, or the Iraqi Consulate in Manchester before you travel. In the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) you can obtain a 30 day visa on arrival at Erbil and Sulaimaniah International Airports. This is valid for travel in the KRI only. See Visas

The Iraqi Prime Minister announced the territorial defeat of Daesh in Iraq on 9 December 2017. However, terrorists are still very likely to try to carry out attacks in Iraq. You should remain vigilant and monitor media reports. See Terrorism

There’s also a high threat of kidnapping throughout the country, including from both Daesh and other terrorist and militant groups, which can be motivated by criminality or terrorism. You should review your security arrangements regularly and consider carefully any travel plans around the country. See Kidnap

Turkey conducts regular military action in the north of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) and, occasionally, further south. There is particular risk in mountainous areas, especially around Qandil, Makhmur, and near the border with Turkey. Iran has claimed responsibility for several recent attacks by ballistic rockets and drones, including in Erbil, Koya and surrounding areas. Crossing points along the Iraq-Turkey border may also be affected. See Kurdistan Region

The government of Iraq is taking measures to improve the structural integrity of the Mosul Dam as there is a risk the dam could fail. It’s currently impossible to accurately predict if or when this might occur. See Local travel

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. Consular support is severely limited in Iraq. The British Embassy in Baghdad and the British Consulate-General in Erbil operate a limited consular service by appointment only. The Embassy and Consulate-General’s ability to visit locations across Iraq is limited and travel to unsecure areas to deliver consular services may not be possible.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

Before you travel, check the ‘Entry requirements’ section for Iraq’s current entry restrictions and requirements. These may change with little warning. Monitor this advice for the latest updates and stay in contact with your travel provider.

If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting.

It is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides appropriate cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.