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Iraq Travel Information

Iraq Travel InformationThe security situation in Iraq is unstable. The Norwegian authorities' ability to provide consular assistance to Norwegian nationals is extremely limited. As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, all international and national air traffic has been temporarily canceled. For more information about coronavirus, see the section "Health".

Safety

Norway does not have an embassy in Iraq. Responsible Embassy is the Norwegian Embassy in Amman, Jordan. The Norwegian authorities' ability to provide consular assistance to Norwegian nationals in Iraq is extremely limited.

Security situation : Following the US drone attack in Baghdad on January 3, when Iranian general Qassem Soleimani was killed, the security situation in Iraq has deteriorated further. Rockets have been fired at the so-called "green zone" in Baghdad and against Iraqi military bases. The Civil Aviation Authority recommends that airlines not fly over Iraqi airspace. Read more about this here. Norwegian citizens staying in Iraq, despite current travel advice, are advised to register on Reiseregistrering.no, so that it will be easier for the Norwegian authorities to contact them if needed.

The threat of terror: There is still a high level of threat in Iraq, especially in the provinces of Anbar, Nineveh, Salah al-Din, Kirkuk (Ta'mim) and Diyala. The terrorist group The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil) no longer control territories in Iraq, but Isil-affiliated groups still maintain a high level of activity in several places, and there are features that indicate that they can maintain a long-standing existence as a underground movement. Terrorist attacks in the form of bomb attacks and armed attacks occur relatively often.

Crime: There is a significant kidnapping danger for Western visitors. In addition, there is a lot of violent profit crime. The level of punishment in Iraq is high, the death penalty is frequently used, and foreign nationals are also executed.

  • Countryaah: Baghdad is the capital of Iraq. Check to find information of population, geography, history, and economy about the capital city.

Natural disasters: Earthquakes occur. In November 2017, an earthquake of magnitude 7.3 hit the Richter scale in the Iraq-Iran border, killing at least 630 people.

Traffic safety: The traffic picture is unclear and accidents are a frequent cause of death in Iraq. Therefore, be careful about traffic. In case of accidents, the following emergency numbers are available:

Police: 104
Ambulances: 122

Travel insurance: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs encourages Norwegian citizens planning to travel to Iraq - despite the official travel council - to take out extended travel insurance. Before the trip, it is important to make sure that the insurance is valid, that it is valid for the entire stay, as well as what the travel insurance may cover.

Contact information: The Norwegian Embassy in Amman has a telephone number +962 65 902 450. The telephone is answered during office hours, Sunday to Thursday from 09:00 to 15:00.

Outside office hours, weekends and holidays, the same telephone number is answered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' operational center (UDops) in Oslo. The center is staffed around the clock. Direct number for UDops is +47 23 95 00 00.

Norwegian citizens who, despite the Travel Council, plan to travel to Iraq are encouraged to register on the Foreign Travel Registration .

Entry

Please note that entry regulations may change. The Foreign Service is not responsible if the following information on entry regulations or visa requirements is changed at short notice. It is the responsibility of the traveler to ensure that travel documents are valid for entry and to familiarize themselves with the current entry rules for each country.

Norwegians must have a visa to stay in Iraq. A visa is applied for in advance from the Iraqi embassy in Oslo. More information can be found on the embassy's website.

Contact information for the Iraqi Embassy in Oslo:
Embassy of the Republic of Iraq in Oslo
Address: Tidemands gate 9, 0244 Oslo
Phone: +47 22 44 97 24

Iraqi authorities regard Norwegian nationals of Iraqi origin as Iraqi citizens.

Health

Coronavirus (covid-19): The curfew introduced in the Kurdish provinces and federal Iraq on March 17 is likely to be extended until April 1. All international and national air traffic in Iraq has been canceled, initially until March 28, but probably longer. Norwegian travelers in Iraq are encouraged to register at Reiseregistrering.no, and are asked to listen to advice from local authorities and follow the development through local and international media.

The World Health Organization (WHO) also has its own pages of information about the coronavirus.

You can find more information and guidance from the Norwegian health authorities on the website of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. See also UD's answers to frequently asked questions about travel and coronavirus.

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General: Please refer to the National Institute of Public Health for official health advice when traveling abroad. Contact your doctor well in advance of departure for any vaccines. There are very limited health facilities in Iraq. Be prepared for a very hot climate. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Tap water cannot be drunk. Check the seal on bottles.

Practical information

Travelers in Iraq are always advised to carry their passports.

It is forbidden to photograph embassies and military facilities in Iraq, as well as their surroundings.

Possession of any kind of drug is strictly prohibited and will be punished. It is warned against bringing snuff to Iraq. This can be taken to be a drug and you risk prolonged custody while awaiting clarification.

Phone and power: Country code is +964. There are several GSM networks: Zain, Iraqna, Al Atheer, Korek (Iraqi Kurdistan) and Asiacell. Not everyone is nationwide. Iraq has deficient power and telephone networks as a result of worn-out infrastructure. Like Norway, the standard for voltage in the mains is 230 volts (50 hertz AC). Several different types of plugs are used, so you may want to bring an adapter.

Banks: Visa and MasterCard are accepted to a small extent, but are accepted for example at newer hotels in Iraqi Kurdistan. There are a very limited number of ATMs. Cash withdrawals in US dollars (USD) are recommended. Banks are usually open from 8am to 3pm, but is closed Friday and Saturday. Shops are open most of the day until approx. 22:00. Most are closed on Fridays.

Languages: Arabic and Kurdish are the official languages ​​of Iraq, and there is generally limited English proficiency in the country.

Clothing: On the street and other public places it is recommended to dress in a way that covers shoulders, knees and navel. This is especially true during Ramadan.

National Holidays: 1 January, 6 January, 21 March (Newroz - Persian and Kurdish New Year), 17 April, 1 May, 14 July, 3 October and 25 December. In addition, Muslim holidays that follow the lunar calendar come and each year approx. eleven days. This includes Muslim New Year, Ashura, Maulid al-Nabi, Eid al-Adha, Eid al-Fitr and al-Isra wa al-Mi'raj. Please note that there are limited opening hours during Ramadan.

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