Do not travel to Iraq due to COVID-19, terrorism, kidnapping, armed conflict, and Mission Iraq’s limited capacity to provide support to U.S. citizens.
Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Iraq due to COVID-19, indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country. Visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Iraq.
U.S. citizens in Iraq are at high risk for violence and kidnapping. Numerous terrorist and insurgent groups are active in Iraq and regularly attack both Iraqi security forces and civilians. Anti-U.S. sectarian militias threaten U.S. citizens and Western companies throughout Iraq. Attacks by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) occur in many areas of the country, including Baghdad.
On March 25, 2020, the Department of State ordered the departure of designated U.S. government employees from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center due to security conditions and restricted travel options as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. On December 31, 2019, the Embassy suspended public consular services, until further notice, as a result of damage done by Iranian-backed terrorist attacks on the Embassy compound. The Embassy is still unable to provide consular services. U.S. Consulate General Erbil remains open, but is only able to provide emergency consular services. On October 18, 2018, the Department of State ordered the suspension of operations at the U.S. Consulate General in Basrah. That institution has not reopened. Due to security concerns, U.S. Embassy personnel in Baghdad have been instructed not to use Baghdad International Airport.
U.S. citizens should not travel through Iraq to Syria to engage in armed conflict, where they would face extreme personal risks (kidnapping, injury, or death) and legal risks (arrest, fines, and expulsion). The Kurdistan Regional Government stated that it will impose prison sentences of up to ten years on individuals who illegally cross the border. Additionally, fighting on behalf of, or supporting designated terrorist organizations, is a crime that can result in penalties, including prison time and large fines in the United States.
Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or in the vicinity of Iraq, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR). For more information, U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.
Read the country information page.
If you decide to travel to Iraq:
Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information.