Iraqi economists believe that their country’s inclination to facilitate entry visas and residency permits for foreign workers employed by oil companies might be an additional incentive to develop oil production — a sector currently in recovery.
Economist Fallah Hassan says, “Facilitating the entry process of foreign workers in the oil field to Iraq is gaining the attention of the Ministry of Oil. Moreover, we have heard many complaints from companies that won oil permits regarding the difficulties they face in guaranteeing entry visas for their members.”
The southern province of Basra, where the largest number of foreign oil companies operate, has demanded that the central government allow it to grant visas to foreigners. The committee stated that restricting the decision to grant entry visas to Baghdad will push investors away from the district.
Omar al-Shaher is a contributor to Al-Monitor’s Iraq Pulse. His writing has appeared in a wide range of publications including France’s LeMonde, the Iraqi Alesbuyia magazine, Egypt’s Al-Ahaly and the Elaph website. He previously worked for Al-Mada covering political and security affairs and as a correspondent for the Kuwaiti Awan newspaper in Baghdad.