Key changes to migration rules have been announced by the Iraq Ministry of Interior on February 8, 2018. It has outlined diverse changes to migration rules through a notification. Below is a brief of the important changes:
With immediate effect conversion of One Entry Visas to Multiple Entry, visas are no longer accepted by MOI within Iraq. One entry visa holders must now first exit Iraq. They can re-enter Iraq only once they obtain approval letter for multiple entry visas. This is a quite crucial change for the immigrant workers who have arrived in Iraq with 30 days one entry visa.
Travel restrictions within Iraq for workers with expired SEVs and MEVs
All workers who have expired MEV and SEV are prevented from getting transferred from one Iraqi job site to another. This is applicable to commercial airports even if they possess a valid letter of approval.
They are now required to get a visa for the exit, pay penalty if they overstay exit and enter again with a fresh valid letter of approval.
MOI activation in Iraq no longer permitted
LOAs for immigrants will no longer be activated by the Airport Offices of the MOI. This is for immigrants who have an LOA obtained at Erbil or any other Iraqi destination. They will be required to arrive at Iraq from offshore with a legal LOA for activation.
Reversion to earlier visa exit visa process at airports
The exit visa process for immigrants who have stayed beyond the validity of the visa has been changed to the old process. They will now be required to pay a flat penalty fee of 500, 000 IQD. A stamped and signed employer request letter for exit will have to be presented at the airport, as quoted by the Guardian.
Also, it is no longer needed to send their passports to the MOI many days prior to the travel for obtaining a sticker for an exit visa.
Monthly demobilized workers report
All firms are required to send a report for all workers who have been demobilized and possessed Iraqi visas from March 2018. They will have to send this to the MOI that will notify this to the immigration officers at the airport.
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