People, Travel

Special Iraq Visa

Special Iraq VisaSpecial Iraq Visa

For Iranians who plan to attend the ceremony of Arba’een (a Shia religious observance that occurs 40 days after the Day of Ashura) in Karbala, Iraq, the Iraqi government has said they need not visit the embassy or consulates of Iraq for visa, IRNA quoted an official from Iraq’s ministry of interior as saying. The visa will be issued at customs points at the Iran-Iraq border.

For Iranians, the fee for an Iraqi visa is just a dollar.  This applies to all incoming Iranian visitors traveling by air or by land, the official said.

There were reports of overcrowding by the people seeking Iraqi visas at the Iraqi embassy in Tehran, and consulates in Mashhad, Ahvaz, and Kermanshah.

According to Iraqi estimates, 22 million pilgrims visit the city of Karbala during the 12 pilgrimage days of Arba’een. The pilgrims have been warned by Iranian and Iraqi officials that there are not enough transport facilities, accommodations, and catering services in Iraq to meet the requirements of the massive crowd; this is in spite of efforts made by both sides.

Arba’een falls on December 13, and pilgrims should bear in mind the falling temperatures in Iraq, especially if they find no lodging.

All visitors should carry valid passports. Those who enter Iraq illegally are liable for imprisonment from between three to ten years.