People, Travel

Visa Needed for Iraq

Visa Needed for IraqVisa Needed for Iraq

Iranian pilgrims must acquire a passport and visa before traveling to Iraq for Arbaeen, a major Shia event marking the 40th day anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS), which coincides this year on Nov. 9.

Rajeh Saber Abboud al-Mousavi, Iraq's ambassador to Iran, urged travelers to not approach Iraq's borders without these documents, ANA reported.

Based on a memorandum of understanding between the two countries, 12 offices have been established nationwide to issue Arbaeen visas through the Iraqi Embassy in Tehran and its three consulates in Mashhad, Ahvaz and Kermanshah.

"Pilgrims can apply for visas by paying $40 and the offices will begin issuing visas on Sept. 22," the envoy said, without mentioning the location of the offices.  According to Al-Mousavi, as in previous years, legal Afghan immigrants can also apply for visas at the centers, though Syrian and Bangladeshi citizens cannot do likewise.  

"The increasing number of Iranian pilgrims entering Iraq for Arbaeen illustrates the expansion of bilateral relations," he said.

Official statistics showed some 200,000 Iranians travelled to Iraq in 2014. The number rose to 1.5 million in 2015 and over 2 million in 2016. The figure is expected to reach 3 million this year.

The official thanked Iranian authorities for easing Iraqis' travel to Iran by issuing "visa on arrival" since 2015. Earlier, Iraq was among countries whose citizens were required to obtain a visa prior to traveling to Iran along with the United States, Britain, Canada, Colombia, Somalia, Bangladesh, Jordan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.


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