IRAQ: Visa Letters of Approval Limited to Three Months Validity

Effective 19th December 2017, the Iraqi Ministry of Interior has begun limiting the validity of Letters of Approval (LOAs) for all visas to three months.

Previously, LOAs were issued with varying validity periods depending on visa type, giving LOA holders up to one year in which to enter Iraq and activate or renew their visas.

With this change, foreign nationals who receive LOAs for visas to Iraq will have to ensure that they plan their travel to arrive in Iraq within 90 days of the date of issue of their LOAs. Failure to arrive in Iraq within the 90 days will result in their LOA being cancelled, requiring a new LOA to be issued.

LOAs issued prior to 19th December will continue to have their own timeframes for activation under the previous practice.

Our Advice

Companies and their foreign employees should closely track the dates of any LOAs issued after 19th December and ensure that travel is planned to arrive in Iraq before 90 days from the date of issuance.

For questions on this new procedure and its impact on scheduled assignments in Iraq, companies are encouraged to contact their Newland Chase immigration specialist.

For advice and information on immigration to Iraq in general, please email us at

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