The U.S. State Department has suspended normal visa services at the U.S. embassy and consulates in Iraq after ordering nonemergency government personnel to leave the country. The move comes just days after the State Department cited “heightened tensions” in urging Americans not to travel to Iraq.

Key points: 

  • Normal visa services have been suspended at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and the U.S. Consulate in Erbil.
  • Operations at the U.S. Consulate General in Basrah were suspended in October and services remain unavailable.
  • The State Department has 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.”
  • The full State Department travel alert is available here.

BAL Analysis: BAL urges companies with personnel in Iraq to account for all of their employees and closely monitor events. The State Department has urged nonemergency personnel to depart Iraq as soon as possible, avoid U.S. facilities in Iraq, monitor local media and review personal security plans. Normal U.S. visa services have been suspended. Those in urgent need of immigration services are encouraged to contact BAL immediately.

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

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