Living in Iraq

Information for British nationals living in Iraq, with information on residency requirements, finance, education and driving licences.


This guide sets out essential information for British national residing in Iraq, including advice on health, education, benefits, residence requirements and more. We are unable to provide any guidance on general lifestyle enquiries apart from the information and links listed below. See our information on what consulates can and cannot do for British nationals. This information supplements the travel advice for Iraq.


Before coming to Iraq, visit the heath section of our Health Travel Advice.

Medical treatment in Iraq is not free. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.


For information about education in Iraq, visit the Ministry of Higher Education website and Ministry of Education website.

Entry and residence requirements

For information on visas and entry requirements, visit Iraq Entry requirements or the Iraqi Embassy in London.

The British Embassy cannot issue exit permits for British Passport holders under any circumstances. You must apply through the Ministry of Interior.


The Iraqi government does not provide social welfare benefits to Non-Iraqi nationals. Find out what UK benefits you might be able to get while abroad. Check the information on moving or retiring abroad.


Financial crimes, including fraud, bouncing cheques (including post-dated and ‘security cheques’) and the non-payment of bills (including hotel bills) can often result in imprisonment and/or a fine in Iraq. Bank accounts and other assets may also be frozen. You may also be liable for cheques that have been signed by you on behalf of a company.

Residents of Iraq are able to open a local bank account.

The UK does not have a Double Taxation Agreement with Iraq.

For more information visit the Ministry of Finance website.

For other investment opportunities in the Iraq, visit the UKTI website and the Iraqi Ministry of Trade website.

Guidance on bringing medication into Iraq

Check with the Iraqi Embassy in London.

Sponsoring family members

If you are a British National resident in Iraq and you wish to sponsor a family member to live in Iraq, contact the Iraqi Embassy in London for further guidance.

Property and property disputes

British nationals cannot buy properties in Iraq. Check the the video guide to Buying Property Abroad.

Social ethics and traditions

If you are planning to visit Iraq, please check our Travel Advice.

Keep in mind that you are no longer in the UK. Respect the laws and values of the country.


Iraq is built on generations of Islamic traditions. These traditions have been passed down from generation to generation and form the very cornerstone of everyday life for an Iraqi family. Their culture and values should always be respected.

Respect for religion

Islamic religious values are greatly respected in Iraq. Showing any disrespect towards religious beliefs or practices is considered deeply offensive.

Learn a few simple facts:

  • Muslims pray five times a day. You will notice that the Mosques call people to pray through a speaker system, at this time Muslims perform their daily prayers
  • during the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. Throughout this month eating, drinking and smoking during daylight hours are strictly forbidden and punishable by law, including for non-Muslims
  • every evening during Ramadan, Muslims celebrate the breaking of their fast with an evening meal called Iftar
  • you will notice many Islamic events around the year with huge numbers of pilgrimages especially in the middle and south of Iraq. Avoid any disrespect during these events and to the Islamic symbols

Leaving Iraq

Please make sure you update your residency permit with the Residence Office, in order to avoid any fine and any other problems should you wish to visit Iraq in future.


This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the Embassy by the relevant local authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. The FCO and the British embassy will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information. British nationals wishing to obtain any further information must contact the relevant local authority.

Published 4 February 2014