Simplified Visa Procedures for Foreign Oil Workers

Iraq signed contracts with several foreign oil companies in order to develop newly discovered oil fields.

While preliminary speculation had forecast that the country’s oil production would reach 12 million barrels per day by 2017, these estimates have been decreased to around 8 million barrels per day, according to specialists.

At end of February, the General Secretariat of the Iraqi government issued a statement calling on all governmental departments to apply the pertinent orders related to facilitating the visa process for foreigners.

According to the statement, the secretariat gave “the general director of the [Department of] Nationality, or the head of his mission or his nominee abroad, the authority to grant a multiple-entry visa for foreign investors, investment companies, businessmen, experts and workers, at the request of the ministry or government agency beneficiary.”

The statement indicated that “The Council of Ministers Resolution No. 80 of 2013, which stipulates that the ministry or government agencies’ beneficiary and the ministries of interior and foreign [affairs] notify the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, providing lists of names for the purpose of issuing work permits.” The article sets forth the need of the company's owner or the worker concerned to refer to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs within a month to receive the official forms.

It went on, “[We will continue] to work with the Council of Ministers’ decision and all directives issued by the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers last year, which asked the Foreign Ministry to instruct all Iraqi embassies abroad to grant multiple [entry] visas to foreign companies. The federal ministries are planning to negotiate with these companies and the ones that already have contracts, at the request of the ministry or the competent authority, for the purpose of signing contracts for projects.”

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