What is the change? Iraq (including the autonomous Kurdish region) has banned entry to travelers coming from Bahrain, China, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand. The Kurdistan Region Government has suspended government services until March 14.

What does the change mean? Foreign nationals traveling from the above countries may not enter Iraq, and nationals of these countries will be denied visas and entry to the region. KRG Ministry of the Interior services such as residence card processing and e-Visa issuance will be unavailable or delayed.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: All entry visas for Iraq; residence cards and e-Visas for the Kurdish region.
  • Who is affected: Nationals of Bahrain, China, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand as well as foreign nationals traveling to Iraq from these countries.
  • Business impact: Employers of foreign nationals with recent travel history in the above countries may experience significant delays affecting employee mobility.

Analysis & Comments: The extension of the entry ban indicates that Iraq is prepared to implement strict measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Further, Iraqi citizens returning from any of the above countries will be subject to medical testing and possible quarantine. Employers must be prepared to be flexible with employee schedules and start dates for employees who are affected by entry restrictions and suspension of government services. The response to the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve, and Deloitte will alert clients to additional changes or restrictions as information becomes available.

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