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KRG visas allowing foreigners to travel outside Region still under discussion: airport

A general view of Erbil International Airport (File)
2019-12-09

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SULAIMANI — It remains unclear when the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) might be able to issue visas to foreigners that would allow them to travel to other governorates in Iraq without first going through the government in Baghdad.

The government recently published a report on the progress that it has made since taking office in July, many of which related to negotiations between Baghdad and Erbil to address ongoing disagreements between the two governments.

Listed among its achievements was that the KRG’s Ministry of Interior had been granted the authority to issue visas that applied to areas outside of the Kurdistan Region. Currently, foreign nationals hoping to travel to governorates in central and southern Iraq must receive approval from the government in Baghdad, which can be tricky.

It was unclear, however, when and how the change might take place.

On Monday (December 9), the KRG's Department of Media and Information told NRT Digital Media on background that sources at Erbil International Airport relayed to them that discussions about the visa issue were ongoing between federal and KRG authorities.

For the time being, foreigners wishing to travel to areas outside the Kurdistan Region must first receive permission from the authorities in Baghdad.

The KRG gives citizens of many countries a 30-day visa on arrival in the Region, which lets them travel to areas governed by Erbil.

(NRT Digital Media)