Last Update: Reissued after periodic review with updates to security information.
Do not travel to Iraq due to terrorism, kidnapping, armed conflict, civil unrest, and Mission Iraq’s limited capacity to provide support to U.S. citizens.
Country Summary: U.S. citizens in Iraq face high risks to their safety and security, including the potential for violence and kidnapping. Terrorist and insurgent groups regularly attack Iraqi security forces and civilians. Anti-U.S. militias threaten U.S. citizens and international companies throughout Iraq. Attacks using improvised explosive devices, indirect fire, and unmanned aerial vehicles occur in many areas of the country, including Baghdad and other major cities. Consular services to U.S. citizens in Iraq are limited to emergency services due to severe restrictions on the movements of U.S. government personnel.
Demonstrations, protests, and strikes occur frequently throughout the country. These events can develop quickly without prior notice, often interrupting traffic, transportation, and other services, and sometimes turning violent.
Do not travel near Iraq’s northern borders due to the continued threat of attacks by terrorist groups, armed conflict, aerial bombardment, and civil unrest. U.S. citizens should especially avoid areas near armed groups in northern Iraq, which have been targeted with aerial strikes by neighboring countries’ militaries.
U.S. citizens should not travel through Iraq to engage in armed conflict in Syria, where they would face extreme personal risks (kidnapping, injury, or death) and legal risks (arrest, fines, and expulsion). The Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq has stated that it will impose prison sentences of up to ten years on individuals who illegally cross the Iraq-Syria border. Additionally, fighting on behalf of or supporting designated terrorist organizations is a crime under U.S. law that can result in prison sentences and large fines in the United States.
Because of security concerns, U.S. government personnel in Baghdad are instructed not to use Baghdad International Airport. Due to risks to civil aviation operating in the Baghdad Flight Information Region, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has extended for an additional two years its Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) prohibiting certain flights at altitudes below 32,000 feet. For more information, U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions, and Notices.
Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Iraq.
If you decide to travel to Iraq: