The U.S. State Department has suspended public consular operations at the U.S. Embassy in Bagdad following militia attacks earlier this week. All scheduled appointments have been canceled.

Key points: 

  • Consular services in Bagdad will remain suspended until further notice.
  • The U.S. Consulate in Erbil remains open for visa and American Citizen Services appointments.
  • The State Department urged Americans not to travel to Iraq due to “terrorism, kidnapping, and armed conflict.” The department warned that “anti-U.S. sectarian militias” may “threaten U.S. citizens and Western companies throughout Iraq.”

Background: Protestors swarmed the embassy earlier this week, prompting the State Department to shut down consular services and issue an updated travel advisory for Iraq. The protestors have since dispersed, but services remain suspended at this time.

BAL Analysis: BAL urges companies with personnel in Iraq to account for all of their employees and closely monitor events. Officials have urged nonemergency personnel not to travel to Iraq, to avoid the embassy and other demonstration areas and monitor local and international media for information. Those in urgent need of immigration services are encouraged to contact BAL immediately. The BAL U.S. consular team is available to facilitate US visa application filing at alternative locations in the region.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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