Middle East Immigration updates - Iraq and Jordan

Iraq developments 

Delays are expected in the processing of immigration applications

Due to recent changes within the Iraq Ministry of Interior, where new managers were elected in multiple departments, audits are currently being done across departments.

As a result, it is expected that the processing of all ongoing immigration applications will be delayed until the completion of the audit. 

These applications include, employment visas, multiple entry/exit visas, visit visas, and visa renewals and cancelations. This will have an impact on the entry and departure of the residents in the country.

Deloitte’s view

Whilst there is no formal announcement on the audit completion dates, the audit is expected to be finalized in the first or second week of March 2023. 

Once the audit is complete, we expect the delays to continue for some time considering the backlog of applications that would have accumulated during the audit period.

Considering the expected delays with immigration applications for the next few weeks in Iraq, we would highly recommend factoring in the processing delays when planning any international travel from or into Iraq. 

Prime Minister Masrour Barzani announces the first e-Visa portal of Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)

In an effort to increase tourism and investment in the Kurdistan region, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has launched an e-Portal allowing visitors and investors to apply for visas online. This has been effective since 22 February 2023.

The entry e-visas issued through the e-portal will be valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. These can be used to enter the Kurdistan region but cannot be used to enter Federal Iraq.

For more information, please visit the KRG portal.

Deloitte’s view

The introduction of electronic visa application services is aimed at attracting tourists and investors and is viewed as part of a wider digitization drive in the region. We expect the KRG to digitize other immigration services in the near future which will have a positive impact on the application timelines and should provide a streamlined process.

Jordan development

E-passport services for Jordanians in Islamabad, Nicosia have been launched

On 20 February 2023, Jordan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates in coordination with the Civil Status and Passport Department (CSPD), launched an e-service allowing Jordanian nationals currently residing in Pakistan and Cyprus to file for the following passport services electronically:

  • Application for the issuance of new passports.
  • Application for the renewal of passports.
  • Application for the replacement of a lost or damaged passport.

Jordanians residing in Pakistan and Cyprus can submit applications for new passports, renew passports, and replace lost or damaged passports electronically by visiting the CSPD portal.

Deloitte’s view

Whilst this service has currently only been rolled out for Jordanian nationals residing in Pakistan and Cyprus, it is expected to be available in other countries for all Jordanian expatriates in the future. 

We will be monitoring any further developments on this latest announcement.

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