Lengthier exit procedures in place for certain foreigners with expired entry visas

22 Feb 18

IRAQ

IMPACT – HIGH

What is the change? Expatriate workers whose Multi-Entry Visas (MEVs) or Multi Entry and Exit Visas (MMEVs) expire on or after Nov. 27, 2017 must go through new exit procedures.

What does the change mean? Affected expatriates must obtain an exit visa from the Ministry of Interior giving them permission to depart Iraq. They will no longer be able to go to the airport with only the employer’s exit visa request and obtain the exit visa there. Additionally, effective immediately, exit visa fines are 100,000 dinars (about US$84) on the first day after the 15 days for MEEV activation delay or after the first day of overstaying the visa expiration date, and 10,000 dinars for every day thereafter (not to exceed 5 million dinars).

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Exit visas.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals whose MEV or MEEV expires after Nov. 27, 2017.
  • Impact on processing times: Foreign workers affected by the new requirements should factor in at least several days for completion of exit procedures before departing Iraq.
  • Business impact: The procedures require additional steps, and foreign nationals with expired MEVs or MEEVs after Nov. 27 should plan accordingly.

Background: The Ministry of Interior announced the changes Tuesday by issuing instructions to airports. Expatriates with MEVs and MEEVs that expire after Nov. 27, 2017 must present their exit visa request letter and passport to the Ministry of Interior and pay any relevant exit fines. The ministry will then issue a visa sticker giving them 10 days to exit Iraq. If they do not exit within 10 days, they must bring their passport back to the ministry to pay additional fines and obtain another exit sticker.

BAL Analysis: The changes create additional steps for certain personnel, and companies should identify employers with MEVs or MEEVs that expire after Nov. 27, 2017. The changes do not affect individuals whose MEVs or MEEVs expired before Nov. 27 or those without an entry visa (such as those who entered Iraq on military aircraft but who are departing on a commercial flight)—they may continue to complete exit procedures at the airport before departure by showing their employer’s exit visa request letter, paying a flat fine of 500,000 dinars and obtaining an exit visa at the airport.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Iraq. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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