Iraq’s Visa Madness

Visa problems for foreign workers in Iraq continue to make the headlines.

Last week we reported on the difficulties caused by a decision to channel visa applications through the office of the Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki; now we hear that the Basra Investment Commission has imposed its own restrictions, with the intention of reducing unemployment.

While the restrictions do not appear to be limited to specific sectors or levels of employment, the main game in town is clearly oil and gas, and in this area there are many foreign workers whose expertise is required in Iraq.

But when we say ‘many foreign workers’, that is relative – in the context of an unemployment rate between 15% and 39% (depending on whose figures you choose to believe), the number of foreign experts who need to enter Iraq is trivial. While the energy sector accounts for as much as 90% of Iraq’s GDP, it employs only about 1% of the workforce, and the number of non-Iraqi experts required would be a very small fraction of this 1%.

It’s also worth noting that native Iraqi oil workers are the cheapest in the world, so companies would be inclined to employ them first, if they have the required skills.

If Iraq is to thrive, it must allow companies to bring in the talent they need to development the country’s biggest asset.

Your business in Iraq can benefit from the knowledge and experience of both Upper Quartile and AAIB. For more information please contact Gavin Jones or Adrian Shaw.

2 Responses to Iraq’s Visa Madness

  1. taz kashan April 1, 2011 at 1:51 am #

    at last iraq give back what he was getting from the world , as iraqi we was crying our eyes out to get visa or to get work out of our country so i do not understand all this talking about what , yeh we need the required skills to do the oil jobs , skills the require in all kind of job not just in oil and gas ,that not mean let the country open and bring every one from all around the world and let the iraqi be in the back watching we need to get our hands dirty if we want to bulid our country againe , many thanks for who ever see this the right way to control and limtie the visa for iraq and many thanks for all the companies who doing great job in iraq and lets not foget they make good money from it as well

  2. Investor Immigration October 21, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    Thanks for the post, This was exactly what I needed to see.Good list, keep up the good work